Seat Toledo

The Essentials

  • Price from £12,500
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 72.4mpg
  • What is it? Spacious and attractively priced small family hatchback

Great

  • It boasts a roomy cabin and a huge boot
  • It's significantly cheaper than similarly-equipped versions of the Ford Focus or VW Golf
  • The controls are simplicity itself to use

Gripes

  • The ride is firm and the steering is woolly
  • The hard plastics in the cabin feel a bit cheap and are easy to scratch
  • The driver's seat, in particular, isn't supportive enough
  • Drive

    It's okay but it falls some way short of the bes

  • Inside

    The materials feel cheap but the dash is a lesson in clear design

  • Safety

    Six airbags and stability control on most models is reassuring enough

  • Reliability

    Seat doesn't have a great reputation but at least it's part of VW Group and the Toledo is closely related to Skoda's Rapid

  • Space

    Roomy cabin and huge boot mean space impressive for a car of this size

  • Standard and extras

    Entry-level cars explain their low price but the rest are well equipped as standard

  • What's it like to drive?

    The Toledo is a nice enough, solid-feeling car which is stable on the motorway and keeps body movements in check on twisty roads. However, its slightly slow steering and lack of grip means its less agile than a Ford Focus or VW Golf. It also thumps over bumps and the ride never really settles.

    You can choose from three 1.2-litre petrol engines (varying in power) plus a 1.4 petrol and a 1.6 diesel. A more powerful 1.2 and less powerful 1.6 will be added at some point. Unless you do a lot of miles and think the current diesel will cover its higher purchase price with its higher mpg, the higher-powered and plucky 1.2 is a better option as the diesel feels a bit lacklustre at low revs. It's also quite coarse, while the higher-powered 1.2 petrol is smooth and quiet. There's a bit of road and suspension noise but on the whole the Toledo isn't too noisy.

  • What's it like inside?

    The hard plastics make the cabin feel a bit cheap but all the controls are easy to find and use. There's a good range of adjustment to the driver's seat and steering wheel though this doesn't hide the fact that the seat lack support, which could give some drivers back ache.

    There is tons of space, however, with loads of rear head- and legroom and a huge boot; you can fold the seats down to expand the load area but they don't go completely flat. It's a pity the boot lid is so heavy to shut and that its exterior profile hampers the driver's rear view.

    The entry-level E trim, which comes only with the lower-powered 1.2 petrol car, is poorly equipped, but move up to S trim and you get plenty of kit including air-con, Bluetooth, steering-wheel mounted audio controls and front electric windows. Range-topping SE cars include alloy wheels, climate control and cruise control.

  • How reliable is it?

    Despite the hard plastics, which are prone to getting scratched, the cabin feels solidly built. It's reassuring to know that the Toledo is closely related to the Rapid and built from tried and trusted parts, although Seat didn't perform as well as Skoda in the latest JD Power customer satisfaction survey. All Toledos come with six airbags and most have stability control; the car received the maximum five stars in crash tests by Euro NCAP, including 80% for child safety. There are various features to protect against thieves.

  • Should I buy one?

    The Toledo is very spacious and competitively priced compared to other small family cars, even if you opt for the pricier S trim to get a decent kit list, but it's not the best to drive so you'll need to consider your priorities. Running costs are generally low but no version emits less than 100g/km of CO2, so it misses a trick there too.