Pricing and full specification details for SEAT’s all-new Exeo saloon, released today, confirm that the Spanish upper medium segment contender will be a class leader when it arrives in showrooms next spring.

Available from £17,740 RRP, the elegant five-seat saloon promises premium quality and exceptional levels of standard equipment, alongside a healthy dose of SEAT’s trademark sporting character.

The firm has confirmed that its luxurious Latin newcomer, due to go on sale here in April, will be offered in S, SE, Sport and range-topping SE Lux trim levels, with an initial choice of three outstanding engines.

All Euro V-compliant, the powerplant selection include a brace of hi-tech common rail turbodiesels producing 143 PS or 170 PS, as well as a potent 200 PS turbocharged petrol. They are all mated, as standard, to a six-speed manual gearbox and all endow the Exeo with spirited performance.

At launch, the new SEAT saloon’s 0 to 62 mph times range from 9.2 seconds (for the 143 PS TDI) through 8.4 seconds (170 PS TDI) to a distinctly spirited 7.3 seconds for the 200 PS TSI petrol-powered version. Maximum speeds, where legal, are 133 mph, 142 mph and 149 mph respectively.

Fuel economy and exhaust emissions, both important considerations for private and business buyers alike in today’s straitened circumstances, are commendable. Depending on engine, the Exeo is capable of up to 51.4 mpg (on the combined cycle) with an official CO2 emissions figure of as little as 143 g/km.

Among the equipment highlights guaranteed to appear across the new range are USB connectivity (allowing MP3 music players to be used in-car); cruise control; steering wheel-mounted audio controls; dual zone climate control and stylish alloy wheels.

Front fog lamps, electrically adjustable and heated door mirrors, electric windows all round and colour-coded door handles and mirrors are also standard on every Exeo.

Step up to the Exeo SE and buyers can look forward to rear parking sensors, automatic lights and wipers, auto-dimming rear view mirror, leather steering wheel and gearknob, and an acoustic windscreen among the standard features.

As well as the equipment found in SE spec’ cars, Exeo Sport buyers naturally benefit from the likes of sports suspension, sports seats and stylish 18″ alloys, while those who opt for the range-topping SE Lux will enjoy black leather upholstery and bi-xenon headlights with AFS among their standard-fit kit.

Safety and security are comprehensively catered for as ESP and EBA are universal features, likewise active front head restraints, rear-seat ISOFIX points with Top Tether, six airbags, volumetric alarm with tilt sensor and remote central locking.

Quality, at every step of the car’s design and construction, is a key advantage for the Exeo as it prepares to make its UK debut. Meticulous attention to detail, allied to that generous standard equipment, combine to give the four-door a touch of real luxury.

Finally, an extensive array of options allows Exeo buyers to precisely personalise their cars. A DVD-based satellite navigation system, double-glazed side windows, electrically adjustable and heated front seats, and hi-tech solar sunroof all number among the extras available.