Introducing: the Seat Toledo
If you’re in the market for a family hatchback without putting too harsh a dent in your wallet, you’re the type of motorist SEAT is aiming its sights at with its fourth generation Toledo. You can fit five in this solidly built car with absolute ease (which is more than can be said for some so-called ‘family’ hatch models out there). It’s not going to blow you away in terms of performance, but with plenty of room in the boot and impressively low running costs, the SEAT Toledo is worth giving serious consideration to.
The Look and Feel
‘Reassuringly solid’ is perhaps what best sums up what you get with the latest Toledo in terms of looks. It’s what you’d expect of course – given that SEAT is of course now a well-established member of the Volkswagen family. It’s perhaps not surprising then that the SEAT Toledo shares many characteristics of the Skoda Rapid. While the Toledo is a hatchback, the stretched tail gives it the look of a saloon. This, along with the rather angular front-end means the car shouldn’t feel out of place either in the company car park or on the school run.
The Toledo ticks all the right boxes for a car in its class so far as accommodation is concerned. You get plenty of legroom at the rear as well as 550 litres of seats-up luggage space. To put that in perspective; it’s 60% more space than you’d find in a Ford Focus.
The cockpit is hardly going to blind you with science. It feels solid though – with everything where you’d expect it to be. A ‘V’ shaped central console from the floor to the dash houses ventilation and stereo controls.
The Seat Toledo does the job; and does so efficiently and reliably. So far as getting you and your family around with absolute control and the minimum of fuss, there really isn’t a lot to dislike about this car. You certainly have to go a long way to find any majorly annoying design quirks: there are no problems with visibility; you can expect sure steering and positive clutch and brake controls.
Boy racers aren’t going to be impressed so far as the drive experience is concerned; but of course it doesn’t take a genius to work out that the Seat Toledo is aimed pretty squarely at the family and no-nonsense business driver. If you fall into these two latter categories, you ought to find that this vehicle meets all your requirements comfortably.
So far as engine size is concerned, the starting point is the Volkswagen 75 PS 1.2-litre, three-cylinder petrol offering. In reality, this is rather too small to comfortably power a vehicle of this size; a fact that becomes even more evident if you’ve got the car fully – or even partially loaded with passengers. This translates into rather unimpressive mpg returns as well. The entry-level engine gives you a rather below par 46.3 mpg on the combined cycle.
Things improve as you move up the menu. The four-cylinder 86PS feels much more up to the job when you’re behind the wheel – as well as offering a generally more refined drive. In terms of efficiency, this model offers you a much more acceptable 55 mpg. Opting for a 1.2 Turbo 105PS variant gives you a 6-speed gearbox, and you can expect 56.5 mpg.
The 1.4 automatic and the 1.6 TDI diesel models are both at the top of the range. The most keenly eco-minded drivers are probably going to be most attracted to the diesel mode. The ‘Ecomotive’ version comes with a stop/start system designed to automatically cut out the engine when not needed and therefore prevent you from wasting juice in stop-start traffic. This, along with low rolling resistance tyres and kinetic energy recuperation results in a possible combined cycle figure of 72.4 mpg.
The Final Word…
Anyone who still thinks SEAT is the place to look for ‘Mediterranean flair’ probably won’t find much of interest with the SEAT Toledo. For the rest of us though, there’s plenty that’s worth checking over. If you’re looking at outright ownership, you’re looking at something in the region of £13-14,000 for a decently equipped 1.2, four-cylinder 86PS model. For that, you get a pretty decent family-sized package!
What do you think of the Seat Toledo?
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