Used bargain: Seat Exeo

* Used Seat Exeos from under 6000 * Sharp styling, efficient engines * Based on Audis Mk3 A4...

Used bargain: Seat Exeo

The Seat Exeo is often overlooked as a new car, with people put off by its previous-generation underpinnings and an interior that can't rival the class best anymore.

However, many buyers weren't to be put off, which means there are plenty of Seat Exeos available on the used market. While the Audis and BMWs of this small executive class might be better to drive, the higher depreciation of the Seat could be enough to make it an attractive used proposition.

The Exeo was introduced in 2008, as both a saloon and estate, but got a face-lift in 2010. It's the earlier cars we are focusing on, and with an abundance of diesel models on offer at decent prices; it's this engine type that we recommend.

There are 1.6- and 1.8-litre petrol engines to be had, but they're rare for good reason: weak resale values, low power and poor fuel economy.

Our favourite engine is the 140bhp 2.0 diesel. It develops a healthy 236lb ft of torque, manages more than 50mpg and has CO2 emissions of 129g/km which makes it liable for just 135 road tax. Theres a 170bhp diesel if you need the extra power, but expect running costs to go up accordingly.

All Exeos get alloys, climate control, four electric windows, cruise control Bluetooth and iPod connection as standard. Wed take advantage of low resale values and go for SE trim, though. This adds automatic lights and wipers, parking sensors, and lumbar support. Sport cars get tinted windows and sports seats.

Those after something a bit more special can add a Tech pack to SE and Sport cars, which adds sat-nav, leather seats and an upgraded stereo. Go for SE Lux, and youre treated to bi-xenon lights, too.

Keep the ST estate version in mind if you need the extra space. Youll pay a premium for it, but the 442-litre boot is a practical shape, if not the biggest in this class.

There have been no recalls for the Exeo, and there havent been many complaints with the Exeo inside, either. Some owners have reported leaking windscreen washer fluid, though, and high oil usage.

The earliest high-mileage examples are on the market for less than 6000. The Exeo was popular with business users, so most of the miles are likely to have been done on motorways, although the usual service history checks are needed. Go for our favourite 2.0 TDI SE saloon on a '09/09-plate with around 40,000 miles and you can expect to pay in the region of 9000.

We found these on the forecourt

Seat Exeo 2.0 TDI CR 143 SE
'09/09, 38,400 miles, 8850

Seat Exeo ST 2.0 TDI CR 143 SE Sport Tourer
'09/59, 39,500 miles, 9800