Staggering performance and economy in one tidy package
Still early days yet for me, but nothing so far and I'd like to keep it that way. Should be OK with VAG sourced bits although I've heard stories of problems.
My car is 4 years old and looks fresh and new inside. There are some scratches on some of the plastics, like the door handles, where the previous owner must have been wearing a ring. The body comes with a 12 year warranty, and there are no issues on my body work.
My perspective comes from owning the original Seat Toledo TDI and my mk2 Toledo is the newest, and lowest mileage car I've ever owned by a good 3 years.
I chose the Toledo again as it's cheaper and more discreet than the Leon FR equivalent and I was impressed by the ride, handling and quality of the original. The Sport model comes with stiffer suspension and 16" alloys, which are pleasant enough and give a good, if rather jiggly ride, on rough B-roads.
The Sport model also has supportive seats, with large side bolsters, but they are quite wide and don't hug that much.
The seats are also quite hard and I find that even though the steering wheel and seat move in every way you could ask for, about 30 minutes driving is enough to make my right foot ache on the accelerator. It's as though the pedals are set too high. I'm considering retro fitting cruise control to combat this.
However, the general driving position is very good and all the controls are well laid out.
The boot is cavernous, but you have to post your luggage through the narrow boot which can be awkward. I've had my mountain bike in the back, but it's a bit of a struggle and it's fortunate that the back seats will fold down.
Getting the radio out to fit my own head unit was more of a struggle than it should have been and I needed to buy a facia adapter, for a couple of quid off eBay, to fill in the gaps you get round the sides.
Compared to my old Toledo, which would be noisy at speed, this one is far more relaxed on the motorway and it's easier to exceed the speed limit without realizing.
Now, onto the performance. Quite simply the engine is a belter. I remember reading about the 150bhp Golf TDI having a narrow power band, and how diesel's in general have a restrictive usable rpm range. From my experience this was true with most older Peugeot diesels, but that's another story. The turbo on this is whistling with intent from just above tick-over, and from there it builds with intensity to a whine at about 2000rpm where the torque is huge. Keep your boot in and there is a kick felt at about 2500rpm and the turbo starts to scream and it pulls with un-diminishing vim all the way to 5000rpm. Now that is a larger usable power band than most petrol cars.
There's no real need to change down at any time, unless you really want to take off, and at a 70mph cruise you are doing about 1900rpm, smack in the peak of the torque. As a result, I've managed an average (according to the computer) of 65mpg on a gentle cruise to work. I'm somewhat of a hypermiler, but this is excellent for the performance you also get.
Another boon is the road tax is also cheap. Currently at £120, for 12 months, and moving to just £125 after the next big government rip-off by 2010.
I am considering having it chipped up to about 185bhp, mainly because I'm so curious as to what it would be like. Anyone any experiences?
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 3rd September, 2008