2012 Seat Exeo review

* Face-lifted Exeo family car driven * Priced from 19,480 * On sale now...

2012 Seat Exeo review

The Seat Exeo a four-door family car based on the previous-generation Audi A4 has been given a mild face-lift for 2012.

Exterior changes to the Seat are limited to new headlights and new alloy wheel designs, and the subtle tweaks continue on the inside, with new upholstery and higher-quality leather trim on the steering wheel.

Changes to the 2.0-litre diesel engines help boost fuel economy and cut emissions. The manual 118bhp version, for example, improves by 3.3mpg to 57.6mpg, while CO2 emissions fall by 7g/km to 129g/km.

Whats it like to drive? Most versions major on comfort rather than sporty dynamics. Even cars with sports suspension such as the Sport Tech model we drove are surprisingly compliant when cruising and you notice the firmer ride only around town.

Our test car had the 168bhp version of the 2.0-litre diesel engine, which sounds a bit rattly at low speeds, but quietens down as speeds increase. Its punchy and flexible, too, and rarely requires a downchange on the motorway.

Whats it like inside? Despite the improved materials, the Exeo still doesnt feel as classy as rivals such as the Ford Mondeo.

The dashboard isnt as intuitive to use, either, because there are too many fiddly and poorly labelled buttons. However, standard equipment includes Bluetooth, climate control, an MP3 socket and a multi-function steering wheel.

Theres plenty of space up-front, too, but six-footers will find theyre a bit short of head- and legroom in the back.

While the boot is a decent size, its nowhere near as spacious as a Mondeos.

Should I buy one? The Exeo isnt as efficient as the class leaders, but our favourite, the 2.0 TDI 120 S, costs 19,480 around 500 less than an equivalent Ford Mondeo.

That said, the Mondeo is a superior car in most other respects. Its bigger, classier, better to drive and more refined so that's where our money would go.

Ford Mondeo
Volkswagen Jetta

What Car? says

Rosie McMahon