The Seat Toledo has gone through four distinct generations over the past two decades, the most recent of which was only unveiled in 2012. That means that it not only has a rich pedigree, but is also widely available on the used market if you are looking for a saloon from this Spanish manufacturer that is a little different from its German and French rivals.
The first generation Toledo landed in 1991, using the Golf Mk2 platform as its basis and benefitting from the stewardship of the Volkswagen Group which had only recently taken ownership of Seat at the time.
In 1999 the second generation Toledo was launched, with a heavily revised design and a new platform underpinning it. It basically offered the same solid grounding as the Audi A3
and VW Bora
, but at a more affordable price point.
2005 saw the third generation Toledo arrive and this time Seat had decided to ditch the saloon style and instead stick with a hatchback setup which more firmly established this as a family-oriented vehicle.
The most recent Toledo flips things again, this time reinstating the saloon styling and positioning the model between the Ibiza and Leon in Seat's current line up.
With a big back catalogue of Toledo variants to choose from, used buyers will need to pick carefully when they settle on this range.
Bang for your buck
The Seat Toledo has always offered great value for money thanks to the fact that it lets you buy into the VW range without actually having to pay the premium just for the sake of the German badge.
Engines have run the gamut from small 1.2 and 1.4 litre units right up to 2.0 litre power plants designed to be a little sportier.
The boxy exterior styling of the first generation was replaced by the sleek curves of the second Toledo, only to be thrown out again by the compact yet surprisingly spacious 2005 iteration, so you can opt for whichever look suits your tastes.
On the inside trim levels and equipment have been competitive, with well put together components and unfussy dash elements keeping things simple. Post-2005 there have been impressive basic features, including an audio system that comes with CD player and the option to add full colour sat nav as an extra.
What you'll pay
Although the Toledo has been around for quite some time, it is not the most popular of Seat's offering in the UK and so used examples are affordable if relatively uncommon.
Pre-2000 Seat Toledos can be nabbed for under £1000, although you will obviously have to put up with high milers in this price bracket.
If you want something from the 2005 third generation, which of course is the point at which the hatchback form factor became the standard, then you'll pay from around £3000.
The latest generation of the Toledo starts at about £13,000 if you are willing to buy a nearly-new example which has had the first hit of depreciation sliced off its asking price.
What to check
Older Toledo cars for sale will obviously require a thorough examination before you commit to purchasing. Look out for all the usual paperwork indicating that there is a comprehensive history of servicing and repairs and also check to see if there is evidence of any involvement in accidents.
Mechanically the engines are very sound across the board, although you shouldn't get complacent because this could cost you further down the line. Any used Seat Toledo that looks a little too rough around the edges is probably best to be avoided.
Early Toledo parts are inexpensive, with £40 getting you a timing belt and a basic oil filter costing just £9. The post-2005 examples will come with £185 costs if you need to replace the alternator and common parts are usually a little more affordable if you pick an example with a sub-1.6 litre engine.
How it drives
Driving the Seat Toledo may not be the most inspiring experience in the world, but each generation has offered competitive handling and performance for its price point, which is not to be sniffed at. The influence of Seat's German owners has meant that safety and quality control is also excellent, which is something to celebrate.