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Seat Exeo
5/10

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Road Test

SEAT Exeo 2.0 TDI 143 S

Driven February 2009

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You've got to admire Seat's honesty. While it doesn't exactly shout about the new Exeo being a rebadged and re-styled old Audi A4, the Spanish don't deny it either.

And why should they? The Audi platform and engines were there for the taking, and it also meant Seat could break into the family saloon market in a simple, short and crucially, cheap way. And it's not even like the Audi interior, chassis or engines feel too dated, despite that car being launched five years ago.

This car is aiming to compete with the likes of the Ford Mondeo and VW Passat. The Exeo doesn't drive with the Mondeo's precision, or have the Ford's enormous space inside, but the interior is well put together and the 2.0 TDI is nearly as good as the Mondeo 2.0-litre diesel. Emissions and mpg are up there with the Ford, even if it's not quite as silky.

And prices start at just £17,740. Even the top spec ones are below £22,000. That sounds like a lot of money for a Seat, but as a cheap way of getting your hands on a brand new Audi, it starts to make sense. One for the belt-tighteners among us.

Piers Ward

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