First Drive: SEAT Toledo
SECTOR Compact hatch PRICE £12,500 – £17,840 FUEL 46.3 – 83.1mpg CO2 104 – 137g/km
Last month Rapid, this month Toledo. SEAT’s version of the voluminous hatchback is built at the same Czech factory as the Skoda, looks pretty much like the Skoda save for some minor aesthetic changes, but will cost slightly more in most cases.
The Toledo comes with a useful petrol and diesel line-up that offer various low power output in return for low fuel consumption. On the petrol front there are 1.2 12V, 1.2 TSI and 1.4 TSI engines, with power ranging from 75 to 122bhp, while a diesel Ecomotive version, powered by 1.6 TDI CR 105 PS engine, is likely to emit just 104g/km once ratified.
None of the engines imbue the car with especially sprightly performance, although it is likely the ageing base 1.2 75bhp unit plays the steady card a little too far. The newer TSI motors are tidy though, with a decent turn of pace that makes you wonder if the diesel is worth the extra money, paying as you would more than £1,500 over a similarly 105bhp 1.2 TSI. CO2 emission of 116 for the latter and 104 for the former mean that sums would have to be done to ascertain whether the extra initial outlay is worth it.
The principle attraction of the Toledo though, is the excellent interior space, which oddly enough outguns even the new and more expensive Leon. The boot, which is shaped like a saloon but reveals itself as a hatch is vast while even rear passenger space is not cramped. Up front, the same uniformly shaped, varying quality plastics of the Rapid appear and as a driving experience, the Toledo is pedestrian at best thanks to some old chassis architecture begged and borrowed off previous Volkswagen Group small cars.
The Toledo is not an especially interesting car, but it is well made, extremely practical and well priced. As a job need choice, it would be an excellent one. Just don’t mention the Skoda.