Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

SEAT - with More Than a Hint of Audi

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

SEAT - with More Than a Hint of Audi

Article excerpt

Byline: Bruce Booth

EVERY now and then, a manufacturer will throw up something unexpected which turns out to be a little bit special.

SEAT's Exeo family saloon, for instance, just happened to fall into that category.

For get behind the wheel of this gem and you could easily be forgiven for thinking you were clocking up the miles in a German-built premium brand offering.

And that's no joke. For as an owner of an older Audi A4 myself, I was totally taken back at just how similar the two vehicles are both inside and out and the way they both performed on the road.

All right, Audi have moved on a lot with their A4, but what SEAT offered was a classy number with a price tag that certainly was something of a bargain buy.

SEAT initially reserved just three two-litre units for use in their Exeo, and even today they are still among the best engines you'll find in the Volkswagen/Audi group's range.

For those looking for petrol power, there was the highly-acclaimed 1,984cc four-pot TSI unit mated to a six-speed gearbox which pumped out 197bhp.

It was credited with a top speed of 150mph and could hit 62mph from standing in just 7.3 seconds.

However, the big sellers proved to be the diesels. The turbocharged pair offered the choice of 141bhp or 168-brake and it was the former which really stole the show.

Its performance figures were most impressive, with 236lb/ft of torque available from between 1,750 and 2,500 revs, making it a good choice for those towing a trailer or caravan.

Top speed was 133mph while it could complete the standard 0-62mph dash in 9.2 seconds. Expect more than 50mpg on the combined cycle and emissions worked out at 139g/km, better than many of its main competitors.

Insidethecabin,theExeoscreamed Audi through and through. The dash and climate control switches are identical to those on my 2002 A4, so there's no quality issues there, while the speedo, rev counter and fuel and temperature gauges - while newer and slightly different in design - are obviously from the same mould. …

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