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Seat Exeo ST 2.0 TDI

Estate brings premium feel to family car class

Overall Auto Express Rating

4.0 out of 5

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SEAT acquired an entire Audi production line to build the Exeo ST, and that will please those looking for a premium quality estate with a dash of driving flair. It isn’t the most spacious load carrier around, but strikes a great balance between driving fun and comfort. And with prices starting at just over £19,000, it’s worth a look as a Ford Mondeo alternative.

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Spanish firm SEAT is loading up on style with its latest model – the Exeo ST estate. The badge stands for Sports Tourer, and the car is the maker’s attempt at stealing sales from family class rivals by offering a blend of proven premium underpinnings and mainstream prices.

The Exeo ST uses the body of the previous-generation Audi A4 Avant, but with fresh lights front and rear. It’s not the largest estate in its class, but neat touches ensure it’s a sensible choice. The wide boot opening gives access to a high, flat luggage bay, complete with a retractable load cover.

There’s plenty of storage up front as well, and the cabin has a quality feel, thanks to tactile switchgear, a clear dash layout and top-notch plastics. If only there was more rear legroom. Engine options are the same as in the saloon, so buyers get a choice of a 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 141bhp or 168bhp, as well as a 197bhp 2.0-litre TSI petrol engine. A 118bhp diesel will follow at the end of the year.

Our pick of the range is the 141bhp oil-burner. It delivers plenty of low-rev urge and provides its power in a smooth and refined manner. Fuel economy of 49.6mpg and emissions of 149g/km mean the model has reasonable running costs, too. On the road, the newcomer feels composed and dynamic, and resists body roll well.

The suspension is set up on the firm side of comfortable, but it irons out rough road surfaces well. And on the motorway – where most models will spend much of their time – it remains smooth. Add steering that’s weighty and precise, and the Exeo STis a well engineered package that inspires confidence.

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