Like its saloon sister car, Seat‘s Exeo estate (badged ST) is based on the previous generation Audi A4, and once again Seat has come up with a winner.

If you want an amazingly well-built estate made from high quality materials that’s well equipped and comfortable, and you can live without a prestige badge, then the Seat Exeo will save your business £5000 a car over the current Audi A4 Avant.

Seat has kept the Exeo range simple with a choice of S, SE, SE Lux and Sport trim levels linked to a choice of three 2.0-litre diesel engines at 120PS, 143PS and 170PS, and a 200PS 2.0-litre petrol engine – again all available in the Audi A4 range.

Our pick of the range is the 140PS TDI in SE trim. Standard kit includes niceties such as Bluetooth, dual-zone climate control, USB and aux sockets, cruise control, trip computer, alloys, parking sensors, auto lights and power-fold mirrors, to name the highlights. That’s not bad for £20,575.

This high specification and low price give the Seat Exeo ST an RV of just more than 30%, according to KwikCarcost. This puts it squarely in the mix with the volume brands.

The driving experience, too, is excellent and shares the saloon’s sporty drive yet comfortable ride. That’s also an improvement on the Audi’s driving experience, which is just sporty.

Possibly the only downside is that because the Seat is based on the previous generation A4, which concentrated on style rather than boot space, the Exeo ST’s 442-litre boot isn’t near the class leaders for this segment, which are at or above 500 litres.

However, the practicality of folding seats and a boot you can put a dog in is enough for many estate buyers. It also doesn’t stop this being a nine out of 10 car for us, which is why we’ve just ordered one for our long-term test fleet.

Seat Exeo ST 2.0 TDI 143PS SE estate manual
P11D price £20,575
Model price range £19,155-£23,555
Fuel consumption 51.4mpg
CO2 (tax) 143g/km (19%)
BIK 20/40% per month £65/£130
Service interval 10,000mls
Insurance group 12
Warranty 3yrs/60,000mls
Boot space (min/max) 442/1354 litres
Engine size/power 1968cc/143PS
Top speed/0-62mph 129mph/9.6secs
On sale October 2009
Score 9/10
Verdict So good it will embarrass
costlier sister brands