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What Car? says

3 out of 5 stars

For It's a modern family car that’s well built, spacious, practical and easy to drive

Against It has awkward proportions and suffers from some big blind spots

Verdict It's good, but it's little better than the cheaper Altea XL that the Toledo is based on

Go for… 1.9 TDI Reference

Avoid… 2.0 FSI Sport

Seat Toledo Hatchback
  • 1. The Toledo has a huge boot, so it can swallow the luggage of five adults comfortably
  • 2. Visibility is poor all round, so you need to take care when reversing or pulling onto roundabouts
  • 3. The best all-rounder is the 1.9 TDI diesel
  • 4. Look out for scratches on paintwork and cracked bumpers
  • 5. There's little point in the Toledo - the Altea XL does everything it does, and for less money
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Seat Toledo Hatchback full review with expert trade views

If you see a Seat Toledo parked up next to a Seat Leon, it makes you believe in that depressing theory that for everything positive allowed into the world, something negative must also be sent to counteract it. Alongside the genuinely beautiful Leon, the Toledo looks plain ungainly.

Its other family problem is the Altea hatchback. That model does just about everything the Toledo does, but for less money. Even the Toledo's huge boot is negated by the larger Altea XL. If you do go for a Toledo, though, it can swallow five adults and their luggage comfortably.

The interior is solidly put together and, like all modern Seats, there’s a sporting feel to the cockpit. Visibility is poor all round, though, so you need to take care when reversing or pulling onto roundabouts.

There’s little to complain about in the drive, though. Based on the excellent Mk5 Volkswagen Golf platform, the handling is tight and tidy, and the ride comfortable.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Practical but not pretty. Depreciation fairly heavy. 1.9 TDi Reference best value model

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

The Toledo was launched in 2005 with four engines. The best all-rounder – especially if you plan a lot of motoring in a heavily laden car – is the 1.9 TDI diesel. It has 104bhp and, more importantly, a healthy 184lb ft of pulling power.

By comparison, the 101bhp 1.6-litre petrol does a reasonable job, but struggles under a full load. However, there are no such problems with the rapid 150bhp 2.0 FSI petrol Sport.

Sport trim is also available with a 140bhp 2.0 TDI diesel is also available and both models get electronic skid prevention. Traction control, six airbags and anti-lock brakes are standard fit across the entire range.

Opt for the perfectly adequate Reference spec, though, and you’ll get air-con, rake- and reach-adjustable steering, remote central locking, electric front windows and a CD player. Stylance models add alloy wheels, cruise control and rear electric windows.

Parking sensors were an option at launch, and it’s worth looking out for a car equipped with these.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Car supermarkets like them and there's a lot of 1.9 TDIs around

James Ruppert
Used car guru

Stick with the 1.9 TDI diesel for low fuel bills, thanks to a claimed 51.4mpg. You’ll never get that in real-world driving, but mid-40s is perfectly possible.

If you prefer the more powerful 2.0-litre diesel Sport, it’s still not a disaster, with an official 47.9mpg. The downside, however, is group 9 insurance costs.

Insurance on the 2.0 FSI Sport is even worse, with a group 10 rating, but at least its fuel economy, at 36.2mpg, is reasonable. Our recommended 1.9 TDI incurs only group 6 insurance, as does the 36.2mpg 1.6-litre petrol version.

Other running costs aren't great, though, as the Toledo has slightly higher servicing costs than the Leon or Altea. And that's despite the fact that the service intervals are the same, with work required every 10,000 miles.

Dealers tend to be pricier than Citroen, Ford or Skoda franchises, so if the three-year, 60,000-mile warranty has expired, find a recommended independent garage.

Trade view

Martin Keighley

Practical but not pretty. Depreciation fairly heavy. 1.9 TDi Reference best value model

Martin Keighley
Valuations expert,
What Car? Used Car Price Guide

Seat continues to make improvements in build quality, and the Toledo feels solidly screwed together, so you shouldn't have to worry unduly about loose trim and fittings.

Underneath that oddly styled body, the floorpan, engines and gearboxes are pure VW. So, too, is the suspension, although Seat tunes that to its tailor-made settings. On your test drive, check the steering for accuracy and any signs of the vehicle pulling to the left or the right.

If the car feels overly 'floaty', or takes a long to time recover and recompose itself after a big bump, it could indicate worn suspension parts.

The Toledo’s poor visibility means parking scrapes to that big back bumper and overhanging front end are not uncommon on models without parking sensors. So, have a good look for any damage. Paint chips won’t be too hard to rectify, but cracked bumpers are expensive to replace.

Trade view

James Ruppert

Car supermarkets like them and there's a lot of 1.9 TDIs around

James Ruppert
Used car guru
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