Used Seat Toledo Saloon 1999 - 2005 review

Category: Family car

It could be a shrewd, enjoyable and economical purchase, but beware of engine trouble

Seat Toledo Saloon (99 - 05)
  • Seat Toledo Saloon (99 - 05)
  • Seat Toledo Saloon (99 - 05)
Used Seat Toledo Saloon 1999 - 2005 review
Star rating

What's the used Seat Toledo saloon like?

The attractive-looking Toledo arrived in 1999 using the floorpan of the Mk 4 Volkswagen Golf as its basis. It rides well, making it an easy car to live with. And, many reckon that it's a sharper-handling car than the Golf, although the faster versions, such as the 170bhp V5, don't feel as sporting as they could.

There's a wide range of engines, and all offer acceptable performance and refinement, but some suffer reliability problems.


It could be a shrewd, enjoyable and economical purchase, but beware of engine trouble

  • It's a handsome-looking car which is reasonably pleasant to drive
  • It's got a deep boot, too
  • The cabin trim feels cheap, and high-mileage engines can give problems

Equipment is good across the range, and all but the entry-level car get steering which adjusts for both rake and reach as well as height-adjustable seats, so getting a good driving position is easy.

The cabin feels reasonably plush, although it's no match for a Golf. More than that, the four-door saloon body style restricts practicality, and the boot sits high with a narrow opening. However, the seats split and fold, and cargo space is generous.

Ownership cost

What used Seat Toledo saloon will I get for my budget?

How much does it cost to run a Seat Toledo saloon?

A replacement engine is going to put a bit of a dent on your credit card, and it could well happen if the 1.8-litre petrol unit is allowed to run past 70,000 miles without having a new timing belt fitted.

Although less serious, diesel engines can eat cash having turbochargers repaired. Seat dealer rates tend to be marginally higher than most rivals, while the average repair cost is more expensive than for a VW or a Skoda.

At least insurance isn't too much of heartache. The 1.6-litre petrol proves the least expensive, with a group 5 rating, while our favoured 1.9 TDi S is in group 7. The more sporting models can be rated as high as group 15, and it doesn't make any difference whether you go for the diesel or the petrol. Instead, the reason for going diesel is to get better economy; the 1.9 TDI has an official 54mpg, a far cry from the thirsty V5's 30mpg.

Our recommendations

Which used Seat Toledo saloon should I buy?

We recommend the diesels. They are all 1.9 litres and come in different states of tune. The original 108bhp engine is okay, but the two sports versions, which arrived in 2003, have 138bhp and 150bhp and are much faster.

The 2002 110bhp TDI S is no performance car, but it's a good compromise between the other diesel engines, and comes with four airbags, air-conditioning, front electric windows, anti-lock brakes and traction control.

At the pinnacle of the range sits the 2.3-litre V5. It was introduced in March 1999, with 150bhp, but from October 2000 power was upped to 170bhp.

It's worth perusing the car supermarket lots for an even later June 2001 model, because that gets sat-nav on top of the CD player and electric leather seats of earlier models.

The 100bhp 1.6-litre petrol was discontinued in October '99. A 1.8-litre 20-valve petrol engine was introduced with 123bhp, which rose to 176bhp in turbocharged form from 2003.


What alternatives should I consider to a used Seat Toledo saloon?