Used buyer's guide: SEAT Toledo

The SEAT Toledo was a flop new, but looks good value second-hand

Sales of the Toledo may have bombed in the UK, but don’t let that put you off buying. Yes, this family hatch looks odd and does nothing better than an Altea XL, yet it’s more unusual and, as with its stablemate, comes with strong engines, plenty of kit (especially if you avoid the base Reference) and is refined, too. It’s hardly class-leading, but if you’re looking for a spacious family hatch, this sizeable SEAT is a great-value alternative buy.

The new SEAT Toledo is a five-door hatch that looks like a saloon, but when the previous model was unveiled in 2005, it looked far from conventional.

This was a car few people understood, either. The large family hatch cost more than an Altea XL, but didn’t appear to offer enough extra to justify the price premium, and confused buyers.

Thanks to that higher price and those awkward looks, the Toledo struggled to find favour when new. However, on the second-hand market this VW Golf-based hatch makes more sense thanks to keen prices and more carrying capacity than its Leon or Altea stablemates.

History

Toledo sales in the UK were always slow, which is why the model suffered from a lack of development. The second-generation Toledo reached showrooms here in March 2005 with a choice of 1.6 or 2.0 FSI petrol engines, and 1.9 TDI and 2.0 TDI diesels.

While the smaller engines came in Reference or Stylance trims, the 2.0-litre versions got their own Sport spec – although the 2.0 TDI was available in Stylance guise, too. From August 2007, the 1.9 TDI Stylance and 2.0 TDI Sport came with a DSG dual-clutch transmission only – other than that, there was no development of the Toledo at all.

Alternatives

Other large hatches that major on carrying capacity include the Ford Mondeo, plus the Vauxhall Vectra/Insignia. All are cheap to buy as they’re so common. Estates are available, too.

The Skoda Octavia is a Driver Power winner that’s reliable and practical, plus in plentiful supply. Or you might consider a Renault Grand Scenic or Vauxhall Zafira. With an extra row of seats and lots of seating flexibility, they’re big, comfortable, practical and good value. Or you could choose a small estate such as a Ford Focus or Vauxhall Astra; they’re cheap, roomy and easy to find.

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