SEAT Toledo review

Our Rating: 
2012 model
By Auto Express Test TeamComments

The SEAT Toledo is a spacious and practical saloon, and it offers great value for money, too

Huge boot, spacious rear seats, affordable price
Dull styling, uninspiring drive, jittery ride

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The SEAT Toledo sits between the Ibiza and the Leon in the range, and is almost exactly the same car as the Skoda Rapid. It's a lot cheaper than the Skoda, though, and it's practical, too, with huge amounts of space thanks to its hatchback body. The SEAT Toledo is available in three specifications - entry-level E, mid-range S and top-of-the-range SE. Although it's bigger and cheaper than a Volkswagen Golf, it doesn't offer much in the way of driving thrills like the Golf does.

Our choice: Toledo 1.6 TDI Ecomotive

Engines, performance and drive


There are two petrol engines on offer, a 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre, and there's also a 1.6-litre TDI Ecomotive. The diesel is the best overall, it reaches 0-62mph in 10.6 seconds, which is more than enough performance for driving around town, and suitable for the motorway, too. Meanwhile, the 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre petrols manage 55.4mpg and 45.6mpg respectively. It's worth mentioning that in terms of driver enjoyment, there's not that much fun to be had with the SEAT Toledo. The ride isn't as composed as you'll find in a Volkswagen Golf or the Ford Focus, either.

MPG, CO2 and running costs


On the whole, the SEAT Toledo is pretty inexpensive to run. The 1.6-litre TDI diesel is the most frugal by far, it manages 72.4mpg, which should get you a tank range of around 850 miles. It also emits 104g/km of CO2, meaning it just misses out on the tax-free 100g/km mark. The turbocharged 1.2-litre TSI, meanwhile, returns 55.4mpg and emits 119g/km of CO2.

Interior, design and technology


Outer appearance isn't really a strong point for the SEAT Toledo. It's intended as a funkier version of the Skoda Rapid, but still, it's not likely to turn many heads. It comes in three main specifications, ranging from the entry-level E, mid-range S and top-of-the-range SE. Entry-level models miss out on alloy wheels and make do with steel wheels. Meanwhile, on a mid-range SEAT Toledo S, you'll find body coloured door handles and door mirrors. At the top of the range, The SEAT Toledo gets steering wheel-mounted audio controls, six speakers and a USB port. The dashboard of the SEAT Toledo is centred around simplicity, and most people will be able navigate themselves around the cabin easily. 

Practicality, comfort and boot space


Thanks to the large dimensions of the SEAT Toledo, there's a hefty 500 litres of boot space on offer. That's 200 litres bigger than a Volkswagen Golf, and there's a wide hatchback opening that provides great accessibility. You can also easily fold down the rear seats to create even more boot space, too. Mid-range S models get split-folding rear seats, but they don't fold entirely flat. Legroom is plentiful and there's enough headroom for tall adults to sit in relative comfort.

Reliability and Safety


In the 2013 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey, SEAT finished 27th out of 32 - not a great start. The SEAT Toledo itself didn't qualify for the survey, but it did secure the maximum five-star rating in the Euro NCAP crash safety tests. The Toledo comes with anti-lock brakes (ABS), electronic stability control (ESP) and a host of airbags, including front, side, head and additional chest airbags all fitted as standard. Plus, the SEAT Toledo shares a similar platform to the Volkswagen Polo, which means it's tried and tested - few Polos have issues with engines or anything else for that matter.

Disqus - noscript

Hardly the replacement for the Exeo that SEAT intend it to be, where are the decent engines, where is the Audi like quality? The Toledo is a sorted package, but not a replacement for the flagship model that is should be.

who ever said it was a replacement to a Exeo?? its not the Exeo is still the flagship model. As for audi like quality its well built but not that level but then its not that price either! A good family car and great deals on them comfortable and good spec.

The Audi like quality that has seen them fall to the 2nd most unreliable car on sale in the UK today?

Seat was the last of the VAG wagons that had some style. It may have been the 'budget' brand or carry as much 'badge value' but was always much nicer to look at and would have been my choice out of all the VAG cars. This seems to have fallen in to the same trap now as the rest of their stable, bland unimaginative styling on the inside as well as outside. What a shame.

Recycled review of an uninspiring machine. Another example of why the star ratings should be expunged!

Looks like SEAT wanted a slice of the taxi driver market. Can't move for new black Toledos on the roads here now!

I agree. I used to think Seat stood out from the crowd. The mk1 Leon springs to mind with its distinctive looks. Today though they seem to blend in to the scenery.

The Exeo was an emergency stopgap when they realised that most of their range looked quite similar, with various MPV shaped models but no large saloon if they really wanted a piece of the Alfa Romeo pie.

It is a de-facto replacement for the Exeo as their 'mainstream' saloon.

The Exeo is no longer sold.

It was an emergency stopgap - a second hand Audi since the whole range looked similar to the Altea.

My dad had a mk2 Toledo 2.3 V5 and it really was a fantastic car. Lovely engine, masses of kit, reasonable to drive, good looking from most angles and superb value. He ran it for years and years, putting over 150k miles on it.

The replacement was a strange beast, rather like a bulbous spaceship, but at least it still had a premium ambience (only available with the bigger engines, for instance).

This though, is turgid. Much cheaper than even a Skoda?! To me, the Seat should cost the same as the Skoda, but put flair and driving ahead of sensible considerations such as seat comfort or cubby holes.

VW is killing Seat.

I suspect the seat comfort or cubby holes thing is to secure plaudits from motoring journalists who seem obsessed with cup holders! The picture which comes to mind is of journos driving along with one hand on the wheel whilst swigging from a Starbucks cup held in the other. This practice equates with mobile phone use whilst on the move as far as I am concerned.
Surprised that you should equate Skodas with seat comfort. In my experience Skoda seats are hard, badly shaped and covered in slippery material. I have no experience of SEATs but I would hope for better standards of comfort.

No way man, Exeo was a premium aluminium chassis with independent suspension and option for awd. This thing is Polo inside.

I actually like the look of this SEAT Toledo, even though it seems I'm on my own here especially with the exterior. Does anyone else quite like this car? - James, The Car Loan Warehouse

Last updated: 3 Dec, 2013