Seat Toledo

Seat Toledo lr

By Tim Saunders
I’ve been doing this long enough to know whether I like a car or not pretty much immediately. A bit like tasting a good meal, all the senses are relatively alert (even more so if my daughters allow me a good night’s sleep) and the decision is quick in coming.
And so as I slide into the driver’s seat of the Seat Toledo I can tell you that I instantly like this saloon. Why? First and foremost because the seat is hard and supportive and easy to operate to ensure that it is in exactly the right position. The steering wheel is also in the correct position for me in terms of both height and distance away. While this really is key in ensuring that the driver feels confident, an uncluttered easy to navigate dashboard is a necessity for me. And again Seat scores highly here. I don’t have to sit and scratch my head for 10 minutes to work out how to start the engine or demist the windscreen. Simply put the key in the ignition and turn while your foot is on the clutch. There’s a traditional handbrake, too. It is home to a potentially complicated media centre incorporating satellite navigation and digital radio but is pleasantly easy to operate. This is refreshing because when I was in a Jeep the other week I really did feel lost for sometime before discovering where certain controls could be found. I am surprised how simple this vehicle is. And I like it.
What also appeals very much is the frugal 1.6 TDi engine. It is claimed to return 67.3mpg while emitting 109g/km. This Seat is an ideal company or family car. Its sleek modern lines are appealing and it is large enough for a family of five. That boot is a good size, too. I like the ski hatch for those awkward longer items like curtain poles or for allowing access to the boot for rear passengers, while driving. The cabin with its black cloth interior is a bit bland and could do with a glass sunroof to lift the light levels.
For me the Toledo is a great driver’s car, it is responsive, hitting 60mph from standstill in a respectable 10 seconds and will go on to 125mph. I am surprised that there is only a five speed manual gearbox but that’s only because every other manufacturer these days provides a six-speed. If it’s unnecessary and is not going to improve economy then there’s no need for it. And that’s very much the ethos of the Toledo, I feel. Seat could have gone overboard on the vanity goodies it included in this package but they haven’t. For instance, there’s no reversing camera or welcome home lighting when you open the door at night. There are parking sensors, which are helpful. And the high levels of equipment that are included are important and useful. For example, there’s a tyre pressure monitor and tiredness recognition system. It comes with 17-inch Dynamic alloy wheels and rain sensing windscreen wipers, too.
With its sporty hard suspension and decent engine the Toledo is a joy to drive.
The only thing I do not like is the folding armrest in the front, which frankly, just gets in the way.
Facts at a glance
Price £19,755
Top speed: 125mph
0-60mph: 10secs
Economy: 67.3mpg
Power: 115bhp


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