EXEO MARKS THE SPOT FOR IMPRESSIVE ESTATE; SEAT load-lugger is a smooth cruiser packed with practicality and comfort.
DESPITE extensive competition from the ever expanding variety of Multi Purpose Vehicles, the estate car remains hugely popular.
Since the emergence of MPVs well over a decade ago, car designers very quickly picked up on their stowage capabilities, introducing into estate car models some increased carrying capacity to complement a very roomy and practical interior. One such example was my latest venture into the world of the load lugger with the SEAT Exeo Diesel Estate, or Sport Tourer (ST) to give the car its proper name.
SEAT aficionados could be excused for experiencing that feeling of dj vu, for the Exeo is in fact very much a mirror image of last season's Audi A4 model It's, a move within the Audi VW empire which has enabled SEAT to drive into uncharted territory joining a midsized estate line up which includes the likes of the Honda Accord Tourer, Peugeot 407 SW Estate, Mazda6 Estate and the Vauxhall Insignia.
A hugely practical motor, the SEAT Exeo Estate comes with extremely comfortable front seats with cushions and back rests benefiting from different levels of firm and plush material providing optimum support. In fact, I found the front seats ranked among some of the most supportive, yet comfortable, I have encountered to date.
For rear seat comfort, the Exeo boasts a trio of supportively comfortable pews which split and fold, all feature head restraints and three-point seat belts while the estate model provides first rate facilities, offering 442 litres of stowage area with all seats taken while extending a flat boot floor to 882 litres with rear seats folded.
Security is boosted by a roll-away load cover while a user friendly low loading sill could prove a boon to some and, while the boot floor lifts, there are several storage compartments on board, including under seat drawers.
The cockpit provided good all round vision for the driver facing a most impressive high quality, thoughtfully laid out dashboard with handy storage drawers which, in addition to its ergonomic excellence, features 'slush' moulding technology with a look of high quality and is pleasant to the touch.
As one would expect from SEAT there are a trio of diesel engines, and one TSI petrol power source, plus six trim levels from which to choose.
The Exeo Sport Tourer driven here came with range topping SE Lux fixtures and fittings which included heated leather seating, a boon for travellers throughout this current crop of bitter weather.
Powered by an VW-sourced 2.0-litre TDI engine paired with a slick switching six-speed manual gearbox the Exeo ST provided a fine drive doing full justice to the 141bhp oil burner beneath the bonnet.
Quick off the mark, the Exeo ST delivers a pretty smooth performance and while, perhaps, not so great a handler as some, performance is quiet and refined which made for a relaxed motorway cruiser overall.
Well put together, the SEAT Exeo ST proved an even more impressive head turner on the tarmac than the saloon, looks which should help it to turn into many more new drives along the way.
FastFacts MODEL: SEAT Exeo ST 2.0 TDI SE Lux PRICE: pounds 23,375 MECHANICAL:141bhp, 1,968cc, 4cyl diesel engine driving front wheels via 6-speed manual gearbox MAX SPEED: 133mph; 0-62mph: 9.2 seconds COMBINEDMPG: 51 INSURANCE GROUP: 24 CO2: 139g/km COMPANY CAR TAX RATING: 19% WARRANTY: 3yrs/60,000 miles
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|Publication:||Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)|
|Date:||Jan 14, 2011|
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