SEAT Exeo ST estate (2008-2013)
- Loads of equipment and low prices
- Good diesel engines with low running costs
- Plenty of safety gear
- Slightly uncomfortable suspension
- Tight rear legroom
- Residual values could be better
"The SEAT Exeo ST is based on the previous generation Audi A4 Avant, so it's well built, practical and has a spacious boot. It's good value, too."
The SEAT Exeo ST is the biggest estate in the Spanish line-up. The Sport Tourer is more expensive than the Exeo saloon, but it's still great value for money next to rivals like the Citroen C5 Tourer and Peugeot 508 SW. It also offers loads of standard equipment and plenty of safety features. The engine range consists of one petrol engine and a diesel with three power outputs - we'd recommend these over the petrol variant. Build quality is exceptional. There are bigger estates around, but the Exeo ST is a fine choice for the money.
MPG, running costs & CO2
Both petrol and diesel engines are economical
The diesels are cheap to run with 53.3mpg and 139g/km from the 141bhp version and 49.6mpg and 148g/km from the 168bhp version. The most economical Exeo ST is the 2.0 TDI Ecomotive, which returns 62.8mpg and 119g/km emissions. The 2.0 TSI petrol offers 40.4mpg and 162g/km, which isn't bad for a big petrol-powered estate. Insurance groups start at 21 and top out at 27, which is reasonable.
Engines, drive & performance
Good to drive and stable in slippery conditions
The Exeo ST offers a choice of engines: a 2.0-litre TSI petrol in top-spec Sport trim and a 2.0 TDI diesel in three states of tune. The petrol version is pretty powerful, with 208bhp, but it's neither as economical nor as smooth as the diesels, which are well-rounded options that return good economy and performance. The steering is precise and there's plenty of grip; electronic stability control is standard on all versions, so the Exeo stays in check in slippery conditions.
Interior & comfort
Comfortable and generally quiet
The suspension offers a good dose of comfort, but the car feels a little bouncy over rough surfaces. Sport models with larger alloy wheels are more composed, but big bumps can send shudders through the cabin. The engines are smooth, if a little noisy, and there's some wind noise at speed, but overall the Exeo's cabin is very quiet and a pleasant place to sit.
Practicality & boot space
Large load space and easy-folding rear seats
With the rear seats in place, the Exeo ST actually has slightly less boot space than the saloon at 442 litres. However, fold them down and 1,354 litres becomes available. That's not a class best, but it's still a lot of space and more than adequate for most needs. What's more, you only need to pull a lever to fold the seats down flat, and they split 60/40. Another advantage the Exeo ST has over the saloon is the addition of a 12-volt socket in the boot, a retractable storage cover and roof rails, so it's a very useful family buy. Like the saloon, the ST is fine for child passengers in the back seats, but adults won't have as much legroom as they would in rival estates.
Reliability & safety
Proven mechanicals should mean good reliability
As well as four Euro NCAP stars, the Exeo ST offers six airbags, Isofix child seat mountings and active headrests to help prevent whiplash in the event of an accident. Top Tether technology also helps keep child seats in place during an impact. As the Exeo is based on an old Audi A4 Avant, most major mechanical problems should have been ironed out by now. Build quality is exceptional, too.
Price, value for money & options
Incredibly generous standard spec
There is a significant premium for the estate over the Exeo saloon, but the ST still looks like good value next to rivals. Equipment is incredibly generous, even on the base S model and includes dual-zone climate control, electric windows and mirrors, front fog lights, cruise control, wheel-mounted stereo controls and a CD stereo with MP3 connection, 17-inch alloy wheels, Bluetooth and electric heated door mirrors. Resale values will be better for the estate than for the saloon, but the lack of a premium badge means that the Exeo ST is likely to lose more money than most of its rivals.