Toledo returns to

SEAT fold

SEAT Toledo, interior
SEAT Toledo, rear seats
SEAT Toledo, boot
SEAT Toledo, display screen
SEAT Toledo, side
SEAT Toledo, front
SEAT Toledo, rear

A well-built family car with stacks of room, reasonable equipment level and a competitive price is the latest addition to the SEAT line up.

The new Toledo will suit those who just want a reliable, practical motor with VW quality engineering.

Okay, it's not going to get the heart racing when you look at it nor will it offer thrills behind the wheel but the fourth generation Toledo is a car which makes a lot of sense.

The new Toledo is built on an extended version of the SEAT Ibiza platform and at first glance looks like a saloon but it has a huge hatchback boot which can swallow a staggering 550-litre load - the largest in its class. And with the seats down this jumps to 1,490 litres.

I said its looks won't get the heart racing, but it's by no means an ugly bug. SEAT designers have given the Toledo a sporty front grille and lights and the rear end has a touch of class with attractive taillights.

Interior space is excellent offering comfortable seating for four adults with stacks of head and legroom for everyone.

The front seats are quite supportive if a bit flat and short but they are very adjustable so drivers can get the ideal position. The three-spoke steering wheel is also adjustable for rake and reach and all the knobs and buttons are easy to reach and simple in layout.

The Toledo is built in the Czech Republic alongside the Skoda Rapid and shares a lot of the same engineering but SEAT says its engineers and designers have chosen the trim and specification levels for the UK market.

Engine line-up in the UK for its delivery date in November includes two petrol engines: 1.2 12-v; 1.2 TSI; and 1.4 TSI with power ranging from 75 to 122 bhp.

Diesel power is from a 1.6 TDI CR 105 bhp unit which emits 104 g/km.

Appropriately SEAT launched the new Toledo in the city of the same name close to the Spanish capital of Madrid and I I drove the 1.2 TSI and the 1.6 TDI.

Unfortunately the route consisted of around 90 per cent motorway and the only corners I came across were at roundabouts, so it's difficult to say how these engines perform on tight bends or on hilly routes.

So, in a straight line at 80 mph or so, the Toledo was a pretty comfortable ride with little engine, road or wind noise. How it will perform on UK roads remains to be seen.

On acceleration I would go for the 1.2 TSI turbo charged which comes with a slick six-speed manual gear change. It has a claimed top speed of 121 mph and a 0-62 mph time of 10.4 seconds. Fuel consumption on a combined run is claimed at 56.5 mpg. CO2 comes in at 116g/km.

The 1.6 TDI has a five-speed manual change and a top speed of 118 mph, sprint time of 0-62 mph in 10.6 seconds and a claimed 72.4 mph on a combined run. CO2 is 104g/km.

At launch there will be four specification levels, E, S, SE and S Ecomotive. S models feature air conditioning, Bluetooth, remote audio controls, front electric windows and electronic stability control.

SE trim adds alloys, front fog lights, climate control, cruise control, leather steering wheel and gear knob.

Optional extras on SE versions include a colour touchscreen with sat-nav, DAB radio and Bluetooth audio streaming.

Prices start at £12,500 for the E 1.2 12v 75 bhp and up to £17,840 for the SE 1.6 TDI CR Ecomotive 105 bhp.

Key competitors of the new Toledo include the Chevrolet Cruze, Kia cee'd, Hyundai i30 and MG6, which is stiff opposition.

But on price, space and engineering quality I think the new Toledo should be able to attract the family motorist back to the SEAT which was first introduced in 1991.



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