SEAT Toledo Road Test Review

Here’s a little tip; if you prefer solid practicality and reasonable running costs, above all else, then I recommend you take a look at the vehicles parked up on a taxi rank. These pro-drivers choose cars which are roomy and robust inside and have bomb-proof reliability - their livelihoods depend upon that car being on the road. The cars you see on the taxi rank may not necessarily be glamorous, but they will be very practical and cost efficient to run.

That’s one very good reason why you’ll often find this car, the fourth generation SEAT Toledo, among them. Some may look down their noses at that, but many more will appreciate what the Toledo gives them, the 24 carat build quality, enormous boot and the ability to carry five adults in comfort. You can add to that good value for money, low running costs, good standard equipment and much more.

Rear view of a white SEAT Toledo driving down the road

What does the SEAT Toledo look like?

Styling: 3/5

It looks like a saloon, but is actually a five door hatchback and at the front it has the trapezoidal light designs now common to all SEATs. They’re sharp edged, distinctive and make the car instantly recognisable as a SEAT. From there back it is perhaps not a car which turns heads and SEAT certainly has more stylish cars in its model range, but in this market and bearing in your criteria if you're considering the Toledo, then I would suggest that its unremarkable looks are not a problem.

What’s the interior of the SEAT Toledo like?

Interior: 5/5

Now it gets interesting and one of the big plus points of the SEAT and I do mean big here is that the Toledo has a huge boot space, 550 litres to be exact, which extends to a class-leading 1,490 litres when the rear seat backs are lowered. That numbers may not mean much, but if I say that it has a bigger boot than cars such as the Mercedes-Benz E Class then you get an idea of how just practical the Toledo is for families.

It has a big seating area too and will comfortably take five adults, with plenty of leg and head room for the three behind. Up front it has a two-way adjustable steering column, with all the instruments clear and easy to read.

For 2018 SEAT has streamlined the Toledo range so there are now only two equipment grades, SE and EXCELLENCE, but the number of features in them is so generous that the options list must be one of the shortest in the car market with the main items being metallic paint, Full Link smartphone integration and DAB radio reception. That’s it, pretty much everything else you want comes as standard. You can see what I was saying about value for money!

You can take as read that it has things like Sat Nav, air conditioning, all the safety kit (it is a five-star rated car by EuroNCAP) and every car has as standard front and rear electric windows, leather steering wheel and gear knob, height-adjustable driver’s seat, rear parking sensors, heated door mirrors, cooled glovebox, four airbags, multi-collision braking system, hill hold control and a 12V power outlet in the centre console.

One thing I noticed as being slightly unusual was the Tiredness Recognition System. Fitted as standard, essentially, the car `learns’ how you use the steering and if it notices you getting slower or more sluggish it flashes up and sounds an alert warning you that it’s time to stop and have a break. Handy if you do a lot of motorway miles or night time driving.

Boot space of a SEAT Toledo
Steering wheel and dashboard of a SEAT Toledo

What’s the SEAT Toledo like to drive?

Driving: 3/5

It’s smooth enough on most roads and the ride’s OK, but the semi-rigid rear axle can be unsettled by a bump on one side of the car. The steering does what you want and follows your inputs at the wheel, but it lacks the fluidity and feel of say, the VW Golf; it would be fair to say it does the job, but I wouldn’t say it provides much entertainment on the way.

For 2018 there are two engines to choose from, a three-cylinder 1.0 TSI 110 PS turbo petrol unit and the familiar 1.6-litre TDI turbo diesel. The petrol comes with a six-speed manual gearbox, the diesel with a five. On paper both look pretty good on fuel and emissions, the petrol averaging 61mpg and pumping out 106 g/km CO2 with respective figures of 67mpg and 109 g/km for the diesel.

That said, there’s quite a lot of difference on the road and the surprise is how well the little three cylinder petrol engine performs. Being turbocharged it’s got quite a lot of torque, despite its titchy capacity and it pulls better than you might think, uphill or when loaded.

Given the way the market’s turning away from diesel it’s probably the better buy, although against that, you must consider what your annual mileage is likely to be, because if you do high mileage then real-world fuel economy will favour the diesel and that goes for any car.

Is the SEAT Toledo good value for money?

Value: 5/5

What you don’t pay up front you can’t lose in depreciation later and with the SEAT Toledo you get a lot of car, a lot of metal, for your money; a lot of room, a lot of features and a car that for those reasons, plus the renowned reliability and build quality will always be in demand on the second hand market.

Front view of a SEAT Toledo parked on a road



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