SEAT Exeo ST 2.0 TSI

Estate turns up heat with Golf GTI power

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.0 out of 5

The characterful new engine makes the Exeo entertaining to drive quickly. Plus, the car has a classy cabin that’s very well equipped. However, the boot isn’t as big as rivals, and while the less powerful diesel models cost more than this hot turbo, they’re a better fit with the rest of the SEAT’s sensible appeal.

THE latest SEAT estate has been given the ‘Ex’ factor! Under the unassuming body of this Exeo lies some serious hot hatch hardware, in the shape of the engine from Volkswagen’s class-leading Golf GTI.

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The 2.0-litre TSI powerplant provides an extra 10bhp and 40Nm more torque than the outgoing 2.0 TSI, at 207bhp and 320Nm. This translates to brisk performance, with 0-62mph taking only 7.3 seconds.

Power delivery is smooth and refined, while the wide torque band means the Exeo pulls well from 2,000rpm to the red line in any gear. Economy of 40mpg-plus is achievable, but drive with any intent and that will drop rapidly. For high-mileage motorists, the common-rail diesel versions are still best.

Chrome roof rails and tailpipes and 18-inch alloys lift the Exeo’s styling, while the suspension is sportier. This firmer set-up provides strong grip and minimises body roll, although the ride suffers slightly.

The interior is comfortable and superbly finished, and folding the back seats increases boot space to 1,354 litres. Tall passengers will find the rear a tight squeeze, though. This is the flagship Exeo’s only major drawback, as rivals such as the Ford Mondeo estate are enormous by comparison.

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