In the new February 2009 issue of CAR Magazine we've lined up the new Toyota Avensis against the Insignia, Mondeo, C5, Superb, Accord, Passat, Laguna and 6. It's the first UK meeting of these repmobile titans as we nabbed the very first Avensis in the country.
But we also wanted to see how Seat's new Exeo matched up. Unfortunately Seat couldn't get us a car (they're not in the UK until April 2009), so we decided to do the next best thing – make one ourselves.
We copied the same basic idea that Seat used to craft the new Exeo: take one old-shape Audi A4 and plonk a ruddy great Seat badge on the nose. Mind you, we didn't have a real 'S' badge to hand, so we used tin-foil, some cardboard, a black felt-tip pen and some Sellotape to craft our highly creative 'badge' (or should that be 'bodge'?).
Naturally, the Spanish manufacturer has gone a little further in transforming A4 to Exeo, replacing the lights, front and rear bumpers, and giving the saloon the dashboard from the A4 convertible.
To me, that's a decent recipe. UK prices for the Exeo will start at £17,740 and for that you get alloy wheels, USB connectivity, dual-zone air-con, cruise, heated and electric door mirrors and a multi-functional steering wheel, plus proven quality and reliability. If I was in the market for a Mondeo, I'd give the Exeo serious consideration. Seriously. I might even stick four interconnected rings on the front.
Or get a second-hand, old-shape Audi A4, of course...
Now what if Seat did a Cupra version with the old RS4's chassis and engine... Now that could be the performance bargain of the decade!
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