SEAT Toledo review
The SEAT Toledo is a spacious and practical saloon, and it offers great value for money, too
The SEAT Toledo is the sister car to the Skoda Rapid and offers the same benefits. This means huge amounts of space from the hatchback body, plus a good-value price-tag. There’s not much in the way of excitement in the way it looks or drives, but for buyers looking for sensible family transport, there’s very little to criticise about the Toledo. It’s spacious, easy to drive, refined and cheap to run, and those are the things that some buyers will put at the very top of their new car wish list.
Our choice: Toledo 1.6 TDI Ecomotive
The SEAT Toledo falls somewhere between a supermini and a compact hatch in terms of size, yet while the styling is a little more exciting than the near-identical Skoda Rapid, it’s not going to turn many heads. To make matters worse, the cheapest cars come with steel wheels rather than alloys and black door handles and mirrors. Inside it’s a similar story, with a few nice touches, like the chrome strips around the air vents, but masses of hard plastics mean the inside of the Toledo feels far from premium.
The SEAT Toledo uses the same engines as the Skoda Rapid, the highlights being the 1.2 TSI with 104bhp and the 104bhp 1.6-litre diesel. Although both have the same amount of power, the 1.2 petrol is more responsive and flexible than the diesel, which has a very narrow power band and has to be worked hard to make progress. The handling feels mature for a car that costs so little, but there’s not very much excitement to be had, as the whole experience is a little bit inert. The ride isn’t as composed as you’ll find in a VW Golf or Ford Focus, but then the Rapid is a good few thousand pounds cheaper than those cars.
Underneath the Toledo’s body is a platform that is essentially a stretched version of the one used in the Volkswagen Polo and SEAT Ibiza. The engines are borrowed from those models, too, which means that almost everything about the Toledo has already proven itself to be incredibly reliable. As for safety, the Toledo has a full five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating, with 94 per cent for adult occupant protection. ESP, ABS and driver, passenger, side, head and thorax airbags are fitted as standard.
For a car that starts from around £12,500, the SEAT Toledo is extremely practical. The 550-litre boot is over 200 litres larger than a normal family car - such as the Volkswagen Golf - and there’s a wide-opening hatchback boot that makes accessing it incredibly easy. One downside is that the rear bench doesn’t fold completely flat, so there’s always an awkward lip in the way. On the plus side, the rear seats are more spacious than in an Ibiza, and there's easily space for four tall adults.
The engine line-up consists of small, mostly turbocharged units that boast excellent fuel economy. The 1.2 TSI manages over 50mpg and, in Ecomotive guise, the 1.6 TDI is capable of 74.2mpg. That means a full tank of diesel will give you a theoretical range of around 850 miles. The downside is that there is currently no sub 100g/km model, but SEAT has hinted that one might be offered in the future.