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Seat models, news & reviews
By Julian Kirk
04 November 2008 14:00
Has the Large Hadron Collider finally done its thing? Have I entered a time warp and gone back in time seven years? The reason I ask is that I’m driving what purports to be a new car but is, in fact, a model which was first launched way back in 2001.
Certainly. CAR is among a select band of magazines which has been invited to Barcelona to drive the new Seat Exeo - an upper-medium saloon and estate range which is due to go on sale in the UK next April.
All well and good, but the Exeo is in essence a rebadged old shape Audi A4, save for new front and rear end styling. And the sense of déjà vu doesn’t end there – inside it uses the same dashboard, instruments, column stalks and other furniture from the A4 Cabriolet.
Seat has committed to growing its sales volumes across Europe, and needs a model in the upper-medium segment. It may be a market in decline, but it is still the third largest market sector and accounts for 17% of sales.
As it needed a challenger toute suite, it simply borrowed the old A4 production line, shipped it from Ingolstadt to Martorell, and began production. Of course, having ex-Audi top man Eric Schmitt as the new Seat president helps. And as Seat wants a quality offering, going to the acknowledged leaders in terms of build quality makes this decision something of a no-brainer.
Well, yes and no. Parts sharing and badge engineering is a fact of life at the Volkswagen Group, and Seat itself first started out 55 years years ago rebadging Fiats, so this move is no great departure.
The Exeo’s A4 parentage is evident everywhere, although Seat has changed 30% of the parts to make it more on-brand. As well as revised suspension and steering plus the adoption of technology features such as Bluetooth and MP3 compatibility, Seat has also further raided the Volkswagen Group cupboard for the engines.
>> Click 'next' below to read what the Seat Exeo is like to drive
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Seat Exeo (2009) CAR review
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RE: Seat Exeo (2009) CAR review
I personally think this new Seat Exeo is a good idea. Remember they did upgrade the previous Audi A4 a number of times.
The Exeo comes with high quality interior with nice comfortable front seats.One will also get the new Audi common-rail 2.0 diesel.Personally I think some of it's competitors are rediculously big. It makes them hard to park in busy tight spaces. If you want more passenger space buy a people carrier.
It is a way of getting good quality at a good price. Better interior than recent Seats.
29 January 2009 23:41
I cannot see how it would fit in with the current VW group range in the UK.
For Exeo read Skoda Octavia competitor with possibly lower image, higher insurance group and taxation and smaller boot, need to see the figures. (Wouldn't you rather have the Golf estate or a Jetta?)
08 November 2008 10:10
My brother that rushed into buying a used 2003 A4 3.0 Quattro, rather than heeding my words wants to know if they'll be a Exeo Quattro?
:) There are some upsides
07 November 2008 15:31
I dont get the problem with everyone. It's great for Seat but bad for Audi? Why? Audi has a new model for a while now and i seriously doubt a person who was considering a new A4 will look at a Seat. Oh brand values and blah blah... The only people who know and care that this is based on the last gen A4 are petrolheads like us. And gentlemen we are very much the minority in this market. So what that deep down it shares some parts with a car released in 2001? It's got new engines, all the new toys and will look and feel new. So how is that bad again? I say good on Seat for making such a bargain.
07 November 2008 09:15
Is this some sort of retro business strategy? I remember visiting Spain in the 70s. At that time SEATs were rebadged Fiats. If their future is rebadged Audis, perhaps they should call themselves Sedi - pronounced "seedy" - which rhymes with weedy, which sums up this effort.
06 November 2008 19:15
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