For a few hundred pounds more than the class-winning Skoda, you can have the Seat Exeo ST. The extra cash buys a sportier design and some extra equipment, but our judges didn’t feel the Seat matched the Skoda as a tow car.
Despite its firm suspension, the Exeo was shoved around by the caravan through the lane-change test. The push-me-pull-you routine started even on the first run through the cones at 30mph, although to be fair the driver never felt the van was about to take charge entirely.
Aside from that, most judges were happy with the Seat’s high-speed stability, although its numb steering didn’t inspire confidence. The suspension made for a stiff ride and bumps were heard as well as felt.
Reversing up a gentle gradient proved simple enough, but on our 1-in-6 test hill the handbrake needed a very firm tug before it would stop the outfit. The powerful 2.0-litre diesel engine had no trouble pulling to the top of the test hill.
However, if you take all your worldly goods with you when touring, you’ll find the Exeo ST isn’t the roomiest estate. Our practicality judge couldn’t find space for a full load of holiday clobber.
Rear-seat space also disappoints, with limited legroom in particular.
As a hard-working family estate car, it’s comprehensively beaten by the Skoda.
However, if you can live without the extra space, the Seat still makes an appealing alternative.