Seat Exeo ST first drive

* Prices from £19,240 * Lots of standard kit * On sale now...

Seat Exeo ST first drive

It's hard to look good in hand-me-downs, but try telling Seat it has turned the old Audi A4 into a new family estate, called the Exeo ST.

The car's ageing attire has been accessorised with redesigned front and rear end styling to give a smart new look.

Little has changed on the inside, but that's good, because the old A4 was always one of the classiest cars in its class. The plush materials and flawless assembly are still a cut above many cars in the class.

Don't think it'll match the best family estates for space, though. There's enough room for four people to sit comfortably, but enormous rivals such as the Mazda 6 Estate give passengers much more stretching space.

It doesn't get close for boot space, either, offering only 442 litres to the Mazda's 519 litres. The Exeo's seats don't fold totally flat, either.

It's also not as sharp to drive as the best. It rides smoothly, but the steering is vague and the body control is a touch too slack. The lowered suspension on Sport models remedies that, but makes the ride jigglier.

Still, at least the engines are good. Two 2.0-litre common-rail diesel engines are offered, with either 141bhp or 168bhp both are strong, smooth and quiet. There's a cracking 197bhp 2.0 TSI petrol, too.

Stick with the lower-powered diesel engine in basic S trim for the best value. Alloy wheels, four powered windows, climate control, CD player with iPod socket, cruise control, Bluetooth and a big bunch of safety aids all come as standard. For 19,240, that's good value.

Our verdict

Classy yet affordable just make sure you don't need a proper load-lugger

Seat Exeo STPrice £19,240 to £22,940
On sale Now
You'll like Classy cabin; great engines
You won't Rival estates are bigger; so-so to drive