ST 2.0 TDI CR Multitronic SE Tech
latest Exeo has been face-
lifted, but only mildly the only
surface changes are LED running
lights (this years
new wheels and some cabin
tweaks. Nothing major then...
SEAT IS, HOWEVER, INJECTING some fresh brand identity with a new concept
called the IBL a four-door coupe à la VW Passat
CC. It's a good-looking machine and SEAT really needs this kind
of ID boost the current Exeo is essentially an old Audi
cast-off (the previous-generation Audi A4, merely rebadged) and doesn't
help the Spanish spirit of bravado…
Given its recent makeover, now seems an appropriate time to get reacquainted
with the Exeo. In addition to the external tweaks, this year has also seen the
arrival of a new gearbox in the Exeo range: Multitronic. Like the car itself,
Multitronic comes from the workshops of Audi.
SEAT describes its Multitronic gearbox as smooth and efficient. Frankly, if
you've tried the VW Group's excellent DSG sequential manual gearbox, Multitronic
is going to be something of a letdown.
is not a DSG-style sequential manual but a true automatic using CVT (continuously
variable transmission). It lives up to its 'smooth' billing all right, with
a seamless flow and effortless progress.
addition to the
external tweaks, this year
has also seen the arrival
of a new auto gearbox
in the Exeo range:
Multitronic and like
the car itself, it comes
from the workshops
But like all CVTs, it has a tendency to drone when you're accelerating: the
engine revs rise and just stay there until you lift off the gas, especially
when you're in Sport mode. Wearisome is the word for it.
Multitronic does also offer stepped gearchanges via steering wheel-mounted shift
paddles, but these are a pale imitation of the razor-sharp DSG gearbox: the
changes are sluggish and artificial in feel.
However, if you like the idea of Multitronic, the only engine it comes with
is the 143bhp 2.0 TDI CR diesel. This is a well-known engine, used widely in
VW Group products and with good reason: it's punchy (143bhp),
torquey at low revs (236lb ft) and well-matched to the automatic 'box.
SEAT claims a respectable, if unspectacular, average of 48.7mpg for it, although
I averaged only between the high-30s to low-40s. The main and only problem with
this engine is its refinement: by modern standards, it's noisy.
The recent changes to the Exeo have improved the one big bugbear of the old
model: rear seat space. Reshaped seats release an extra 44mm of legroom although
it's still not what you'd call class-leading. On the other hand, there's plenty
of boot space in the ST estate's capacious rear.
The interior remains the Exeo's strongest suit, with Audi levels of fit and
finish and superb quality throughout. Indeed, this is the Exeo's big attraction:
a car that's basically an Audi but priced at bargain levels. Chris
SEAT Exeo ST 2.0 TDI CR Multitronic SE Tech | £24,355
Maximum speed: 130mph | 0-62mph: 9.6 seconds | Overall test MPG: 40mpg
Power: 143bhp | Torque: 236lb ft | CO2 153g/km