*Complete article will be up later
SEAT is making a big entrance in the saloon segment with a great car. The Exeo stands out as one of the most advanced models in its category and features very competitive pricing. The Spanish company has entered the prestigious B segment with a product that combines luxury, comfort and spaciousness with the underlying sports philosophy that characterises all its models.
- New sporty saloon boasts exceptional quality
- Three petrol engines, three common rail Diesel engines and three generous equipment levels
- The entire range complies with EU5 emissions legislation
The SEAT Exeo offer includes six engine choices, three petrol and three Diesel, the latter being equipped with advanced common rail technology for the first time. The entire range complies with stringent EU5 emissions legislation, and is available in three trim levels – Reference, Style and Sport.
New to the segment
The arrival of the new SEAT Exeo signals the Spanish brand’s move into the B segment, which is the third most important in the European market. Not only will this move attract new customers, but will also allow current SEAT owners to step up to a better, larger model. Importantly, too, many of these new SEAT customers will hail from what is known as the ‘company car’ sector, which makes up a broad percentage of sales in this segment.
The Martorell factory has been adapted in record time to begin production of the SEAT Exeo. The process has taken 18 months, including the development and organisation of the 15,000 square metres of facilities to suit production of the Spanish brand’s new saloon. The assembly line has the capacity to produce 450 car bodies daily of the sedan and ST versions, although the initial production output will be lower. The Shingijutsu system has been applied to deliver the highest productivity, which optimises all the processes in order to achieve the highest quality in the shortest time.
A quick look at the exterior of the new Exeo reveals its elegant lines. On one hand, its size and distinctive touches display its saloon traits, while the characteristic SEAT features insinuate its sporty philosophy and enhance its sporty looks with the Arrow Design at the front, the brand logo that doubles as a boot latch at the rear, and the side mirrors located on the door panels.
The chassis of the new Exeo also bears the brand’s DNA. There’s a multi-link suspension system front and rear, and SEAT’s new vehicle features ratings that provide sporty, dynamic performance.
The arrival of common rail
The new SEAT Exeo not only signals the brand’s arrival in the saloon segment, but is also a breakthrough for common rail Diesel engines. They provide lower emissions levels, better fuel consumption figures and lower noise levels. The launch will include the 170 and143 hp models, and will be joined by a further 120 hp model in September. They all feature an optimised DPF particulate filter, helping to make them compliant with the strict EU5 emissions legislation that will become compulsory in 2011.
The petrol range also contains three engines: the 102 hp 1.6, the 150 hp 1.8 turbo and the direct injection 2.0 TSI that delivers 200 hp. All the petrol-powered models also comply with EU5 emissions guidelines, making the SEAT Exeo the first model in this segment whose entire range complies with these strict measures. It is also further proof of the brand’s constant commitment to sustainable development.
The 143 hp Diesel engine’s emissions reach 143 g of CO2 per kilometre and 153 g on the 170 hp model, while the figures for the 1.6 petrol engine are 175 g/km, 184 g/km on the 1.8 and 179 g/km on the 2.0 TSI. Five of the six available engines are turbo-charged, which results in better performance and lower fuel consumption and emissions figures.
All the engine choices are equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox, with an automatic, sequential Multitronic system planned for the 2.0 TSI before the end of the year.
Luxurious and well-appointed
A close look at the new SEAT Exeo reveals impressive quality, luxury and standard equipment levels. From its silhouette to its cosy interior and extensive range of elements, luxury and comfort combine with the sportiness that is characteristic of the brand’s products.
There is an exciting range of 14 body colours and six luxurious interior trim levels to choose from. The entry-level Reference version features seven airbags as standard, with two additional rear seat thorax airbags optionally available across the entire range. The Reference version also features, as standard, dual zone climate control, ABS + TCS, ESP with EBA emergency braking, 16-inch steel rims, trip computer, front and rear power windows, heated electric door mirrors, fog lights, remote controlled central locking, CD radio with MP3, aux-in and four speakers, and Isofix anchoring points on the front passenger seat and rear window seats with the additional Top Tether, among many other things. For those looking for more, the Style and Sport versions are equipped with even more generous levels of standard equipment.
The Exeo is available with a latest-generation navigation system, a new infotainment system with numerous functions and connectivity options (MP3, IPODâ, USB, Bluetooth), as well as a hi-tech sunroof equipped with solar cells that generate power to run the ventilation system and cool the interior while the car is parked with the engine off – thereby removing the risk of running down the battery.
- First SEAT model in the B segment
- New customers for the brand
- An opportunity for growth
SEAT has opened itself up to the mid-sized B segment saloon with the arrival of the Exeo, a high quality, high performance product within a very accessible price range.
Since this market is new for SEAT, the Exeo is going to give the brand several benefits. It will attract new customers to the brand, a more mature target in a higher age and income bracket.
This, in turn, will increase brand loyalty, since until now SEAT customers have had a narrower range of models to choose from. Many happy SEAT owners have previously left the brand not out of dissatisfaction, but because they were looking for a saloon-type model that the Spanish brand could not provide. With the arrival of the Exeo, SEAT hopes that many customers in this situation will stick with the brand.
The customer profile of the new SEAT Exeo is one with an established family, with few or no children and a home life that balances family, work and the pursuit of leisure. For them, words like safety, value of money, quality, style, performance and fuel consumption are important.
Another effect the arrival of the Exeo will have on the SEAT range is to increase the number of customers stemming from renting and leasing company cars, a market with which until now the Spanish brand had little contact due to the fact its models did not satisfy these needs.
In order to encourage sales in this segment factors such as a high resale value, reliability and low maintenance costs are important.
In record time
- Just 18 months to develop and manufacture the Exeo
- A new, 15,000 square metre metal shop
- Manufacturing capacity of 450 cars daily
A mere 18 months have gone by since the SEAT Exeo project was announced and, today, production of the vehicle is under way. This record time for the development of a new model was possible thanks to the exploitation of synergies within the Volkswagen Group.
Working around the clock, a total of 1,200 trucks shifted part of the new Exeo facilities from Ingolstadt in Germany to Martorell and the Zona Franca plant in Barcelona in eight weeks. This unique logistical triumph resulted from the perfect coordination among the various departments and external suppliers involved.
And now, the Martorell factory is equipped with a new sheet metal shop totalling 15,000 square metres with a daily output capacity of 450 vehicles, in both the saloon and family-sized estate version that will be launched later.
Modern work systems
Each SEAT Exeo takes just 25 and a half hours to make. This time is short if we take into account the high quality standards achieved with the Spanish brand’s new saloon, and by applying the SEAT Production System (SPS) and the Japanese Shingijutsu philosophy, which encourages continuous improvements in all the processes.
At the same time as the finishing touches were being put on the new Exeo design and all the transfer operations were under way, a complete training programme was developed for the workers involved in manufacturing the new car, using the initial prototypes and CPD (Developmental Prototype Centre) facilities, where the production of these prototypes is simulated under the same conditions as on the assembly line.
Thanks to the implementation of these new processes, and others such as the TFT “Teil für Teil (piece by piece) parts meetings, the high standards of quality and precision found on SEAT’s new models such as the Exeo and the recently launched 4th generation Ibiza, have been achieved.
Equal balance of elegance and sportiness
- The “Arrow Design” at the front indicates its character
- Sporty looks achieved by a high waist line and well-balanced silhouette
- A further identifying trait – side mirrors on the door panels
SEAT’s entry into the mid-sized saloon segment required a design where the conceptual elegance of this segment would be present without sacrificing the brand’s sporty image. Both aspects coexist in perfect harmony in the Exeo, which combines an equal balance of elegance and sportiness.
The personality of the new Exeo is defined by its front end, with its heavy dose of the language design which made its debut on the Ibiza, called Arrow Design. The double headlights that stretch towards the sides of the body and the radiator grille with the prominent brand logo form a downward sloping line that has become SEAT’s new symbolic image. The sporty silhouette includes the skirt, which also features air vents, and the fog lights.
If the Exeo exudes sportiness from the front end, a side view reveals the simple lines that are indicative of a full-fledged elegant saloon. A further characteristic is the location of the side mirrors, found on the doors. This is both a trademark identity trait of SEAT and a streamlining technique. The alloy wheels are also very eye-catching, and are available up to 18 inches combined with 225/40 tyres.
The SEAT logo that doubles as a boot latch at the rear is another immediately recognisable identity trait. It also features an advanced anti-theft structure. The car’s sporty rear looks are heightened by the light cluster and the bumper, in both the version with two exhaust pipes, exclusive to the 200 hp 2.0 TSI, and the single exhaust with dual pipes.
There are fourteen body colours available from the launch, which customers can combine as they like with any of the interior trim levels on offer, such as the outstanding Galia blue custom colour. Furthermore, the Style trim features the chrome package as standard (optional on Sport), which includes chrome window frames and shiny B/C pillars , which on the Reference model are in matte black.
- Outstanding quality of materials and trim elements
- Three different interior finish levels combined with six upholstery choices
- Option of electrically adjustable front seats
A close look at the interior of the new SEAT Exeo reveals a profusion of quality-filled detailing that combines comfort, spaciousness and sportiness. The best materials have been chosen, and comfort has been painstakingly studied so that the brand’s sporty philosophy remains intact.
Secure, comfortable seats
The seats on the new Exeo are everything that could be expected of a car in its segment. Their shape has been carefully studied and the firmness of each area has been defined in order to provide the greatest comfort, as well as good side support, on all versions.
The front seats are made of optimised structures using the best materials with the right thickness and ergonomics, and feature ‘Wok System’ headrests as standard, which greatly reduce the effects of whiplash caused by low-speed rear collisions. The seat cushions and backrests have two different zones – the central part is plusher for greater comfort and the side zones are more firm for added support.
The driver’s seat on all versions is height adjustable, and this feature is included on the passenger seat on the Style and Sport versions, as well as driver and passenger lumbar control. A new feature on the SEAT Exeo is the possibility of including electrically controlled front seats with driver seat position memory. This feature includes the additional function of seat slant control and the option of heating the adjustable front seats.
The rear backrest structures have three head restraints and a three-point seatbelt in the middle. The back seat can be folded one third or two thirds, and includes a safety lock as standard. The front and rear seats pass strict front, side and rear collision tests with ease. The L-shaped head restraints provide greater rear vision without sacrificing either safety or comfort.
There are a total of six upholstery choices, two in leather, with trim colours in grey, beige and black.
All the versions include two storage pouches as standard on the front seat backrests, with the option of fitting two storage drawers beneath the seats. The rear seats include a spacious central armrest with storage compartment, which features a double cupholder from the Style version and up. An optional extra is a practical ski bag.
Naturally, the door panels are made with the same quality standards and the soft foam elbow rests feature the most advanced Slush technology. To complete the cosy interior, all the pillars are lined with upholstery.
Highly ergonomic dashboard
The dashboard on the new SEAT Exeo is made with Slush technology, providing a high quality look and pleasant feel. Several colour combinations can be chosen for the cockpit. The dashboard and console come in black, while the colour of the lower part, depending on the trim level, is either black, grey or beige.
The position of the radio and climate control buttons is ergonomically excellent. The five round ventilation nozzles have a chrome surround and make the interior both more elegant and more distinctive.
The easy-to-read instrument dials also have a chrome surround on the Style and Sport versions, and between them is the trip computer panel and the audio, navigation and climate control systems.
The dashboard features several storage drawers. In the upper middle part there is a lined drawer with a lid that dampens noise, which is open on the Reference model. There is also a bottle holder that can be easily activated.
The spacious glove compartment can be chosen with one of two versions, including a sophisticated cooler for drinks when the outside temperature is high. The cooler comes as standard on the Style version in Spain. The glove compartment also contains the iPodâ or USB connections.
The central console design is either standard or with an armrest. There is a button panel next to the handbrake that includes the tyre pressure control, aux-in connection and power socket or cigarette lighter (the smokers package, standard on Style and Sport, includes ashtrays at the front and rear of the console). The basic gearknob comes with an imitation leather gaiter and single stitching, while the up-scale version is leather with a leather gaiter and double stitching in two colours.
The spacious boot on the new Exeo has a capacity of 460 litres and features high quality linings and several storage compartments. All the versions are equipped with a closed compartment on the left side, and an open compartment separated by a rope net on the right side as an accessory. There is also a 12-volt socket that can be used to connect a cooler.
All the versions are equipped as standard with four chrome hooks to attach a cargo net. The storage package features two further hooks at the top to keep shopping bags from toppling. The emergency triangles fit into a space on the right wall and are easily accessed. The boot lining can be easily lifted and attached to the upper frame when removing the spare wheel or toolbox.
Several interior trim choices
The interior trim can be chosen from a combination of six upholstery variations and three trim levels.
The Reference models are equipped with upholstery to match the cockpit combination in black-grey, while the Style models offer several more possibilities. The dashboard can be a combination of black-grey to match black leather or grey fabric upholstery, or a black-beige dashboard in combination with beige leather or beige fabric upholstery. Furthermore, the interior moulding choices are either synthetic wood or volcano grey aluminium.
The Sport trim level features an all-over black dashboard with black leather or fabric upholstery with high gloss black mouldings.
The Style version features an interior lighting package as standard, which includes light on the front armrest, the front and rear ashtrays, footwell lighting, lights on the door handles so-called ‘puddle’ door lights and a dome light.
Highly rigid, low weight
Top quality materials have been used for the body of the new SEAT Exeo. Almost half are high, very high and extremely high resistance steel. Laminated profile steel has also been used on the main reinforcements, which greatly improve the production processes.
The chassis on the new Exeo is built using materials with different characteristics. The use of high resistance steel is extremely important, especially in load-bearing zones or for its energy-transferring function during a crash. The intelligent distribution of material has been well-defined and thoroughly studied during the project stage thanks to advanced computer simulation techniques and numerous crash tests. The structure’s efficiency is guaranteed in terms of rigidity and passive safety, with the lowest weight possible and the fewest number of parts to assemble.
Used on the latest SEAT models, laser technology has again been applied on the Exeo on the joint between the roof and the sides, and the body features a considerable increase in the areas where resistance welding reinforced with structural adhesives has been used. This combination makes the joints solid, considerably improves structural rigidity and greatly reduces the “unbuttoning” effect of the welded parts during destruction testing and crash tests.
The use of cold laminated profile technology on the sill reinforcements provides guaranteed dimensional stability of the parts. Elasticity is low and, consequently, the behaviour of the parts is extremely stable. This reduces manufacturing time, and as it has been designed for use on both sides of the body, the number of parts to assemble is reduced.
The ‘A’ pillar is designed to offer the highest possible rigidity within a simplified structure, made with the minimum number of parts to assemble, which all contributes to achieving weight reduction.
The bumpers are designed with polypropylene, a weight-reducing fibreglass, which also makes them more ecological, and provide the highest pedestrian protection thanks to the added beam.
Solid, air-tight doors
One of the aspects that contributes most to improving acoustics on the new SEAT Exeo is the doors. Their tight fit and air-tightness prove great solidity. But the signature door mirrors are also fundamental; their aerodynamic teardrop shape has been thoroughly developed to greatly reduce wind resistance, and their assembly on the door with high resistance steel results in minimum vibration.
The bonnet and boot lid not only also close tightly but bear the new Exeo’s identity traits, with the Arrow Design at the front and boot latch at the rear, with attention paid to anti-theft systems on both latches.
Thermal and acoustic improvements
The windscreen can be chosen as a standard version or, for the first time in the SEAT range, as an optional “Acoustic” version with a special heat reflecting or Dämmglas function, which uses the most advanced technology. The Acoustic versions reduce interior noise by between two and four decibels, while the Heat reflecting function lowers the inside temperature by five to seven degrees, and as much as ten degrees in the dashboard zone.
The two types of sunroof also contribute to lowering the inside temperature. The first features tinted safety glass with solar protection, while the more advanced version includes an integrated solar cell system that harnesses solar energy to cool the interior of the car even when the engine is turned off in summer. Complete information about this system can be found in the “Electronics” section.
Seven airbags as standard
- First SEAT model with two-stage front airbag and knee airbag for driver
- Greatest child safety with Isofix anchoring points and Top Tether
- Deliberate pedestrian protection
If SEAT has always been known for the safety of its vehicles, the new flagship model could not offer anything less. And the Exeo is a fine example of passenger, child and pedestrian protection. To begin with, the entire range is equipped with seven airbags as standard.
The Exeo is the first SEAT model equipped with a two-stage front airbag and driver knee airbag (standard on the Spanish market). Additional protection is provided by head airbags and side thorax airbags, with the option of thorax airbags in the rear.
To ensure that all the passive safety systems work perfectly, the new SEAT Exeo is equipped with several strategically-located sensors. For the first time, the brand offers two front sensors, which also feature a temperature detection system. Side collision pressure sensors are located on the front doors, and side collision acceleration sensors are on the rear wheel arches next to the rear doors. The entire sensor system is controlled by a terminal box located behind the engine.
Another element that provides great passive safety on the Exeo is the three-point seatbelts. The front seatbelts are equipped with an electric pre-tensioner and maximum load limiter, and the rear seatbelts feature the same load limiter system.
Child safety is another carefully studied aspect on SEAT’s new saloon. Both the passenger and rear window seats have Isofix anchoring points, with the Top Tether system also at the rear, which prevents child seats from spinning in the event of a collision.
Extensive pedestrian protection
Another aspect that has been painstakingly studied is pedestrian protection. The front end adds a lower beam and a collapsible bonnet hinge in the event of a collision, two elements that help in the compliance with stringent pedestrian protection legislation.
The parking sensors also contribute to pedestrian protection at low speeds. They are equipped at the rear as standard on Style (optional on Reference and Sport), and at the front as an option on Style and Sport.
The body has been thoroughly studied in crash tests, not only to guarantee the highest safety levels for the passengers but also to be able to offer competitive repair rates thanks to the deformation of the different parts that make up the body.
And if passive safety on the new Exeo is outstanding, active safety measures feature all the available systems, including ABS + TCS, ESP with EBA emergency braking and a secure chassis.
With the firm’s hallmark
- The Agile Chassis concept is also used on SEAT’s new saloon
- Multi-link front suspension
Servotronic steering calibrated according to speed and turning angle
Just because the new Exeo is a saloon it does not have to lack the sporty nature of the rest of the SEAT range. Despite its dimensions and family orientation, the new model’s chassis performance provides a much sportier driving experience than the rest of its rivals in this category.
When developing the new Exeo, the Agile Chassis concept was introduced to provide it with lively, energetic reactions in line with the performance of the rest of the SEAT range. To improve its agility, work has been done on the tyres, the coils and stabiliser bars, and the shock absorber ratings. The result is an extremely sporty vehicle, but with the driving comfort required of a car in this segment.
Greater performance with multi-link suspension
The new Exeo is equipped with a front shaft multi-link assembly made up of two pairs of arms with double ball-joint on both pairs, giving a total of four suspension ball-joints per wheel in addition to the ones associated with the steering. This system allows better slip angle and wheel camber control, limiting its variation along the combined suspension and steering movement, resulting in better tyre grip in any wheel position. The result is greater resistance and linear stability on bumpy roads and fewer jolts to the steering wheel, as well as smoother braking in curves and greater driving comfort.
The rear shaft uses an advanced multi-link system where the robust lower aluminium wishbone carries out the functions of the traditional lower arms. This way the accumulation of assembly and adjustment tolerances is restricted, resulting in less variation in controlling slip angle and camber.
On all versions of the Exeo, the front and rear springs feature T-Shape technology on the piston seals, which reduces the already low piston displacement flow leaks, resulting in greater suspension ratings and enhanced comfort.
Furthermore, the Sport version’s shock absorbers are equipped with DSI technology, which allows for optimising the adjustment possibilities of a specific rating. The practical result is greater comfort, despite the stiffer settings associated with these versions.
Some versions of the new SEAT Exeo will feature the Servotronic steering system (standard on the 200 hp TSI and 170 hp TDI CR, and optional on the rest of the range except the 102 hp 1.6), where the degree of assistance depends on the car’s driving speed, providing the driver with a more comfortable ride. Assistance is given at low speeds, for example during parking, which makes manoeuvring easier. At higher speeds, an electronic sensor gradually reduces assistance, and the driver can control the car more precisely than with conventional power steering.
The new Exeo is also equipped with all the electronic systems available on the market, including ABS + TCS, and ESP with EBA emergency braking as standard across the range.
Moving on to the wheels, the Reference version is equipped with 16-inch steel rims. The Style models feature 16-inch alloy rims (17-inch rims on engines with an output greater than 170 hp), while the Sport versions have 17-inch rims. 18-inch alloy rims are optional on the entire range, as well as selected 16- and 17-inch rims according to trim level.
Common rail arrives
- Initially, three petrol and two Diesel engines
- The entire range complies with EU5 emissions legislation
- Four of the five engine choices are turbocharged
The arrival of state-of-the-art common rail Diesel engines in the new Exeo is another major plus point for the range. The launch includes five engine choices, three petrol and two Diesel, of which four are turbocharged. They all comply with the EU5 emissions legislation, making SEAT’s new saloon the first model in this segment whose entire range is EU5-compliant. All the models are equipped with a six-speed manual gearbox, although a 2.0 TSI engine with Multitronic automatic sequential gearbox is in the pipeline.
The entry-level petrol engine is the 1.6. It has four cylinders with 1,595 cc and delivers 102 hp (75 kW) with a maximum torque of 148 Nm at 3,800 rpm. It features a newly designed catalyst, and thanks to its six-speed gearbox delivers an average combined fuel consumption of 7.5 litres for every 100 kilometres, and 175 grammes of CO2 per kilometre. It is the only naturally aspirated model in the entire Exeo range.
The intermediate petrol engine is the 150 hp (110 kW) 1.8 turbo. It is equipped with a turbo intercooler and delivers a maximum torque of 220 Nm at 1,800 rpm. Its average combined fuel consumption is 7.9 litres per 100 kilometres and its emissions level is 184 grammes of CO2.
The most powerful engine in the Exeo range is the 200 hp (147 kW) 2.0 TSI. This direct injection dual intercooler turbocharged four cylinder engine delivers a maximum torque of 280 Nm at 1,800 rpm, a fuel consumption figure of only 7.7 litres/100 km and CO2emissions of 179 g/km.
Common rail Diesel engines
All the SEAT Exeo common rail Diesel engines share the 2.0-litre four cylinder engine basis of the Volkswagen Group, which deliver 120, 143 and 170 hp. They all feature piezoelectric injectors for faster injection, and the common rail system that enhances flexibility. The specially shaped pistons improve combustion, and pre-combustion has also been worked on. They are all equipped with a DPF particulate filter near the engine, which improves efficiency. A complete acoustics package has also been developed, where the engine cover and a counter rotating shaft considerably reduce engine noise.
The 120 hp (88 kW) version is arriving in September. Its emissions figures will be143 grammes of CO2 per kilometre (figure pending homologation). The lowest powered launch version features an output of 143 hp (105 kW) and maximum engine torque of 320 Nm between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm. Its combined average fuel consumption is 5.5 litres for every 100 kilometres with emissions of 143 grammes of CO2 per kilometre.
The most powerful Diesel engine on the new Exeo delivers 170 hp (125 kW). This performance figure stems from greater turbo pressure and an enhanced water pump, as well as the addition of a double intercooler as the one on the 143 hp version. It delivers a maximum engine torque of 350 Nm between 1,750 and 2,500 rpm, and despite its power surge, combined fuel consumption is only 5.9 litres for every 100 kilometres, with emission levels of 153 g of CO2 per kilometre.