Bruce Lee once said “I’m not afraid of the car manufacturer that launches 10,000 different cars. I’m afraid of the car manufacturer that launches the same car 10,000 times.” Seat Exeo, a repurposed Audi A4 B7. Seat Exeo, a brilliant yet underrated car.
I’m not a VW fan, and generally, I’m not a fan of German cars. I’m sure those two loyal readers of the septic tank called Almost Cars Reviews know that. And it’s not that I have a specific problem with manufacturers, but rather that with these cars, you’re paying more for the badge than the car. It’s very rare to see a German car coming out of the woods where you can say, “Yeah, man, I’m buying the mechanics, I’m buying the car, not the badge.”
And here comes the Seat Exeo. Just as Renault decided to recycle parts from old generations of Clio and use them in Logan, Sandero, or Duster, VW decided to recycle old parts from the Audi A4 B7 (which is actually a facelifted A4 B6, which is actually a posher Passat B5.5) and put them to use on the Seat Exeo.
I could copy-paste the A4 B7 review, the only noticeable differences being the front, rear, and interior of the car (interior stolen from the A4 B7 cabrio, different from normal models). Is an Exeo worth it?
Like the A4 B7, Seat Exeo sacrifices technology for reliability. Yes, it received some technology from the A4 B8, but the bulk of the car is from the A4 B7. Is it worth buying a 2013 car (end of the year) with technology from 2000 (the year the A4 B6 was launched)? If you want a semi-premium car that is reliable and has as little technology as possible, then yes. A car that appeals to those who bought the Nokia 3310 New. And because it’s a Seat and not an Audi (meaning it has a Seat badge, but the car is an Audi), it depreciates, and boy do them prices fall like a sack of potatoes from the attic. This makes it an excellent car for Uber, Alpha, general taxi services, or for those who want a solid car for relatively little money.
Obviously, when you say you have a Seat Exeo, people will ask, “Exeo? What’s that?” You won’t impress anyone by saying you have an Exeo. Because here you’re buying the car, not the logo.
Seat Exeo Engines
- 1.6 MPI of 102 horsepower – Like flatearthers, I don’t understand how this engine is still on the streets. Debuting all the way back to the A4 B6 days, this naturally aspirated petrol engine somehow survived until 2013. A reliable engine, free of issues, which occasionally eats oil and coil packs.
- 1.8T of 150 horsepower – The legendary 1.8T from the A4 B6 is having its final sprint under the hood of the Seat Exeo. An old engine that occasionally consumes turbos and coil packs, but is much better than other modern engines.
- 1.8 TFSI EA888 of 120 and 160 horsepower – Brought from the A4 B8, these 1.8 TFSI engines are the legendary oil enthusiasts. If you don’t have an issue with your engine burning between 300 and 1000 grams of oil per 1000 km traveled, then go for it.
- 2.0 TFSI EA113 of 200 and 211 horsepower – If the 1.8 TFSI doesn’t have power or reliability, at least here you have power. You still have to carry oil bum barrels with you, but at least you can quickly get to the first petrol station to fill up with oil, not petrol.
2.0 TDI EA188 of 120, 143, and 170 horsepower – The same 2.0 TDI engines carried over from the Passat B7 and A4 B8. There are no more issues with the oil pump shaft and injectors, so you just have to be careful with the sludge if you refuel from the last gas station. Also, we’re talking about a VW diesel, so the flywheel will wear out faster than you’d like, and being a dual-mass flywheel, it will wear out your bank account faster than you’d like. Personally, I recommend the 120 horsepower version for reliability and the 143-horsepower version for the balance between performance, reliability, and costs.
Seat Exeo Reliability Issues
- Being based on the mechanics of the A4 B6 / A4 B7, the Seat Exeo naturally comes with multi-link suspension, which is good on asphalt like the palm of your hand but bad for pothole-filled roads. Well, at least we’re in UK and we don’t have such concerns, unlike Germany, Switzerland, or Spain.
- Be very careful with the automatic transmission because you have engines from at least 3 generations of VW, so there are around 400 types of automatic gearboxes available for the Exeo. Do your homework thoroughly and avoid the 2.0 TDI version with 143 horsepower because it comes with the Multitrauma…I mean, Multitronic automatic transmission.
Seat Exeo Verdict
If you insist on having old, tried and tested technology, then the Seat Exeo is for you. In practice, the Exeo is a kind of premium Logan, because both follow the same principle, only the Logan is a recycled low-cost car, and the Exeo is a recycled premium car. Personally, I like the Exeo, even though it has an interior more outdated than status updates on Yahoo.
What engines do I recommend? If you manage to find one, the 1.8T MPI petrol engine with 150 horsepower is a fantastic engine. But you’ll probably go for a 2.0 TDI with 120 or 143 horsepower because that’s what you’ll find in 99% of classifieds. As for the transmission, I would go for a manual gearbox because there are too many types of automatic gearboxes there, and you don’t know what you’re buying. Plus, what a man does with his own hands is called manual work.