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Tales of the unexpected: SEAT Toledo

Tales of the unexpected: SEAT Toledo

The European market is no stranger to smaller, compact family cars, with a variety of models on offer in showrooms and forecourts around the continent.

SEAT is one of the brands known for its production of nimble and versatile small cars, with the Ibiza, the Leon and the Altea among the notable models. 

However, in 1991 SEAT launched the Toledo on the continent, reaching the UK in October of that year.

It was a surprise to see SEAT move into the larger family car market, a move perhaps encouraged after the brand was brought under the Volkswagen Group in 1990. 

The first version of the car was in fact built on the Golf Mk2 Volkswagen Group A2 platform and featured a 1.6-litre engine capable of a top speed of 106mph. 

Of course in the years that followed, the Toledo underwent a number of changes, culminating in the most modern version of the estate. 

The most recent Toledo comes with a choice of 1.2-litre and 1.4-litre TSI engine units, as well as 1.6-litre diesel alternatives. 

At the top of the line in the petrol range, the 1.4-litre TSI delivers 122PS, while emitting just 134g/km of CO2. The diesel version offers 105PS but with emissions as low as 104g/km.

The top speed has also seen some improvement over the years, with the latest version able to hit the heights of 118mph, with a 0-60mph time of 10.4 seconds. This is all while offering 70.6mpg. 

It wouldn't be a family car without a lot of storage space and the Toledo offers an outstanding 550 litres of boot space, with hatchback like opening. It is still one of the very best for capacity in its class. 

The Toledo was a stark contrast to the little SEATs we were so used to. However, it was a very welcome addition to the range.