SEAT Toledo

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Road Test

SEAT Toledo 1.2 TSI 105 SE 4d

Driven May 2013

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If ever a car company needed a brand identity, it's Seat. Unfortunately, if ever there were a car which doesn't provide it, it's this new Toledo. It's been designed to sit between the Ibiza and the Leon, but because it's just a boggo small saloon, and because it's largely a reskinning of the Skoda Rapid, there's little to distinguish it from other stuff in the class.

But wait, enough of the moaning - there are some good points. Like the engines. There are two petrols in various states of tune, and one diesel, and they're all from the VW Group, so they're all excellent. The highlight is the 1.2 TSI with 104bhp and 95lb ft, which does 0-62mph in 10.4secs - nothing spectacular, but the Toledo feels reasonably responsive and sharp. It's smooth, and it'll easily sit at m'way speeds.

Other good points about the Toledo? It's truly enormous inside. The Toledo's wheelbase is now 2,602mm - longer than the Skoda Octavia, which theoretically lives in the class above. So it does at least look like good value, because it's an awful lot of car for a starting price of about £12,500. It also rides well.

Coupled with the decent refinement, it wouldn't be a bad car to do some serious miles in. But, boy, would it be a boring journey. There is absolutely nothing interesting about the Toledo - everything is predictable, from the numb steering to the safe understeer to the dull dash layout. At no point does it feel like anyone at Seat has put effort into the Toledo. It's as if the engineers and designers started off with a basic brief of what was required - wheels, engine, seats, steering wheel - and then spent zero time actually crafting anything.

As such, I can't think of any situation where I would recommend it. The Toledo feels like a transition car that will bumble along selling a couple of thousand editions a year to people who don't know any better. But you do, because you've read this. So you will avoid it.

Piers Ward

The Numbers:

1197cc, 4cyl, FWD, 104bhp, 95lb ft, 55.4mpg, 118g/km CO2, 0-62mph in 10.4secs, 121mph, 1175kg

The Verdict:

A good-value saloon, but doesn't provide a single reason to buy one over other good value saloons.

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