The Exeo celebrates its six month anniversary and passes the 10,000 miles mark, but is the honeymoon period over between Adam Sloman and the load-lugging SEAT?
Another month with the versatile Spaniard has been and gone, and I am pleased to say it was somewhat gratifying to see the Exeo sail past the 10,000 mile mark. However, after spending over six months with the car, one or two minor things are starting to grate. Chief among which is the car’s satellite navigation system. With its rotary-wheel system for entering names and addresses, the system feels awkward and outdated, especially compared to those that you can buy separately – it somewhat mars one of the car’s key pieces of kit. On a recent weekend away I tried to programme the system to take me to the street our hotel was located on, except it couldn’t find the street in its database. So, instead, I tried a nationwide search under the hotel name; again, our destination wasn’t in the database. Our hotel also happened to have a golf course attached to it, so, again, I did a nationwide search, this time for Golf courses. Again nothing. So instead I set off with the town centre as my destination and relied on my smartphone’s Google Maps app to actually get me to the hotel – irritating to say the least. The Exeo’s navigation system also allows to you search for destinations according to their postcode, or at least the first four characters of it, meaning the car will happily inform me that I’ve reached my destination when in fact, I’m nowhere near it.
The long motorway run up to the East Midlands did provide some welcome news, though. The Exeo recorded 43.6mpg, now that the car has a few thousand miles under its belt the economy is now rising towards the figures claimed by SEAT.
Thankfully, the satellite navigation is only a minor fly in the Exeo’s ointment, as it continues to do sterling work in whatever capacity I ask of it. Recently, I’ve bought a second classic car, an old 1973 Austin 1300, which came complete with what the owner called ‘a large box of spares’. Well it turned out to be considerably more than that. The Exeo’s load bay came in handy as I stashed away a spare gearbox, clocks, dash, parcel shelf, gear linkage, dashboard, windows, a windscreen and more besides. Being able to get everything in one go saved me a second three hour journey back to the owner’s house, so to get everything in on one hit was a real boon. Of course old car parts are generally pretty filthy, but after a bit of effort with a vacuum cleaner, everything was clean once again. It’s encouraging to note that despite its high-end interior, the Exeo was none the worse for its stint as a British Leyland support vehicle!
Lugging classic car parts isn’t the only job the Exeo’s had to perform this month, either. It’s also filled in as a tracking car, on a photography shoot at the Haynes Motor Museum. The feature involved a trio of MGs, and part of the shoot required photographing them driving on track. The beauty of photography means that though only travelling at 15 to 20mph, the cars appear to be moving much, much faster. So, while my wife piloted the Exeo, I donned the requisite safety harness and, with the tailgate up, hung out of the back, photographing the three cars following us. With the back seats dropped down the long load bay meant I was able to lie flat and get some really dramatic shots of the following cars as they made their way around the small, tight circuit. Despite the Exeo’s firm ride and my unusual position, I was quite comfortable and – more importantly – the camera was kept nice and stable.
So it has, yet again, been another busy month for the Exeo ST. I’m starting to wonder if there’s anything I can’t do with this car and just what I’m going do when the time comes for it to depart.
SEAT Exeo ST Sport Tech 2.0 TDI
|Price when new:||£24,685|
|Price as tested (including options):||£26,575|
|Optional extras:||Bi-xenon headlights, convenience pack, metallic paint and winter pack|
|Engine:||1968cc, 4-cylinder, turbodiesel|
|Power output:||168bhp at 4,200rpm|
|Maximum torque:||258lb ft at 1,750rpm to 2,500rpm|
|Maximum towing weight:||1,800kg|
|Fuel consumption:||49.6mpg (official combined)43.6mpg (on test)|
|CO2 emissions (Taxband):||148g/gm (F)|
|Benefit in kind tax liability:||22%|
|Size (Length/width with mirrors):||4,666/1,772mm|
|Boot space (Minimum/maximum):||442/1,354litres|
|EuroNCAP safety rating:||4 stars (saloon tested)|
|Date arrived:||7th January 2011|
|Mileage to date:||11,077miles|
|Costs to date:||£19.99 (Tyre repair and bulb)|
|Faults to date:||Corroded rear lamp unit replaced under warranty|