SE Tech 2.0 TDI 143PS Multitronic
date, SEAT, the Spanish arm of
the Volkswagen family, has benefited
greatly from younger customers
buying into the brand because of its
Motorsport successes. Now its
turn of their Exeo with a CVT
up more sales...
TIMES, ESPECIALLY ECONOMIC TIMES, THEY ARE A CHANGIN'
SEAT's Motorsport activities are now less prominent; as too are younger
retail buyers in the brand's showrooms. That said, SEAT's UK registrations
figures show an increase (+2.9%) this year compared with the same period in
2010. Given that the overall new car market is 7.3 per cent down, around three
per cent up is a strong showing.
The Exeo is of particular importance because, thanks to its larger size, it's
also suited to the healthy business fleet and company car markets. But the Exeo
is not aimed just at business users young SEAT enthusiasts get
older and acquire family responsibilities so the four-door Exeo saloon (or five-door
estate with more family-friendly space) allows them to stay loyal to a sporty
First on sale in April 2009, this Spring the Exeo models acquired a Multitronic
automatic transmission option good news for high-mileage drivers.
The Exeo is not aimed
just at business users
as young SEAT
get older and acquire
family responsibilities so
the four-door Exeo
saloon (or five-door
estate with more family-
friendly space) allows
them to stay loyal
to a sporty brand...
The engine line-up is also geared towards high-mileage usage with three 2.0-litre
TDI turbodiesel units (118, 141 and 167bhp) and one 208bhp 2.0-litre TSI petrol
engine. Trim levels are S, SE, SE Tech, Sport, Sport Tech and SE Lux.
Exeo saloon prices run from £19,175 to £24,215; Exeo ST estates begin at £20,215
and range up to £25,255.
Being a member of the VW 'family' enables SEAT to make best use of the latest
Volkswagen technology, components and running gear from other family members,
be it VW, Audi or Skoda. Size-wise, the Exeo sits neatly between the Skoda Octavia
and Superb ranges and uses a similar bodyshell and platform from the previous
Audi A4 and VW Passat.
So far as rivals go, the SEAT Exeo does not just have to compete with its fellow
VW family members but also a clutch of popular hard-hitters for
example, the best-selling Vauxhall Insignia, Ford Mondeo, Citroen C5, Mazda6,
Honda Accord, Peugeot 508 and the Toyota Avensis.
Tested here is the Exeo SE Tech 2.0 TDI 143PS (141bhp) saloon fitted with the
recently available Multitronic CVT automatic transmission option (sequential
stick and steering column-mounted shift-paddles), priced at £23,230.
Over the manual gearbox model, with the same engine and spec, this auto version
costs an extra £1,505 to buy. It emits 153g/km of CO2, which means annual road
tax cost of £165. By comparison, the manual's emissions are 136g/km with less
costly road tax of £115. Company car drivers will pay 23 per cent Benefit-in-Kind
tax for the auto version and 20 per cent for the manual model.
Officially, the auto Exeo does 48.7mpg in the Combined Cycle, the manual model
54.3mpg and, of course, the auto is marginally slower for top speed and acceleration.
Insurance costs are the same Group 24E. Note that these comparative figures
are specifically about the saloon model although the Exeo ST estate manual/auto
comparison is very similar.
initial conclusion, just from looking at the purchase price, running costs and
the ongoing taxes, is that while the seamless CVT Multitronic auto is a nice
option to have, it unfortunately doesn't add up financially.
The initial conclusion,
just from looking at
the purchase price,
running costs and the
ongoing taxes, is that
while the seamless
CVT Multitronic auto is
a nice option to have,
it unfortunately doesnt
add up financially...
speed for the 141bhp 2.0 TDI with the Multitronic CVT automatic transmission
is a more-than-adequate 129mph; zero to 62mph takes 9.3 seconds.
During my test drive, which included motorway driving and local stop-start conditions,
it returned a competitive 43.2mpg although still shy of the official 48.7mpg.
Unlike the more modern twin-clutch auto gearboxes used by other VW Group models,
CVT automatics sap an engine's performance, emit more CO2 and return lower fuel
That said, there are positive things to say about this Exeo. The SE Tech specification
is, for the price, very good and includes black leather, DVD-based SatNav, a
BOSE premium audio upgrade, dual-zone climate control, power-operated front
and rear windows and door mirrors, Bluetooth, cruise, automatic lights and wipers,
alarm, remote locking and a full complement of airbags. As business 'wheels',
its useful specification makes long hours behind the wheel that bit more bearable.
In it's favour the Exeo is very well equipped; in particular the manual model,
which is well priced, comes with lower running and taxation costs. However,
the auto adds too much in the way of the purchase price, running costs and higher
While the Exeo saloon is not the roomiest model in this segment it does appear
well-built and the engine feels strong and, as we know, is a reliable performer.
The interior will seat five at a push and behind them is a 460-litre boot. Ride
and handling are no more than average and the competition is fierce.
SEAT Exeo SE Tech 2.0 TDI 143PS Multitronic | £23,230
Maximum speed: 129mph | 0-62mph: 9.3 seconds | Overall Test MPG:
Power: 141bhp | Torque: 236lb ft | CO2 153g/km