2017 Seat Toledo Xcellence 1.0 TSi from UK and Ireland

Summary:

Spacious, economical and (relatively) inexpensive

Faults:

Nothing.

General Comments:

I recently came across a deal for a new SEAT Toledo Xcellence at a large (~41% off list price) discount. These cars are not popular and are typically discounted heavily, but nevertheless this deal gave me a well-equipped new car for less than the cost of a number of second hand alternatives (Fabia, Polo, Focus etc). This model is effectively a clone of the Skoda Rapid hatch and given I’d owned 2 of these previously, I was on familiar ground and went ahead and traded in my old car (Vauxhall Cascada) for a new Toledo 1.0 TSi Xcellence.

I’ve covered just over 1000 miles since collecting the Toledo and thought I’d post up my thoughts regarding my new car. Thus far the pros are as follows:

Engine - the new 1.0 3 pot TSi is a remarkable unit, given its diminutive size. I'd previously owned 2 1.2 TSi 105 BHP TSi engined cars and find the newer unit is both more "characterful" and free revving. The fuel returns thus far also suggest it is 10-20% more economical than the older TSi units (I record MPG brim-to-brim).

Gear change – the car has the usual 6 speed gearbox. This gives relaxed cruising – 70 MPH in 6th equates to ~2200 RPM. The change is typical VAG fare and is slick, although occasionally baulks when changing down to 4th.

Headlights - the Toledo has full LED headlights and these are the best lights I've experienced, despite previously owning cars with Xenons. The dipped beam is exceptional and main beam is akin to stadium flood lights! The car also has LED indicators at the front and partial LED rear lights (rear indicators are halogen).

Infotainment - In typical VAG fashion the infotainment system is well integrated into the car and provides a number of options for playing / streaming music (Blueotooth, USB, x2 SD cards), a functional / responsive voice control system and a number of the features (sat-nav instructions etc) are mirrored on the dash display.

Practicalities - The boot is enormous and the car is supplied (as standard) with a spare wheel. Many years ago I was pleased to find my Mark I Skoda vRS came with 5 alloys. The SEAT however has the usual VAG 15" spare wheel and 195/55/15 tyre.

Interior - the interior is half alcantara / leatherette (much like Mercedes Artico) and is much plusher than the Rapid's I've owned previously. The car has keyless entry, which despite the reported security implications I find useful in everyday use.

As for negatives:

Wheels / tyres - the Xcellence model comes with 17" rims and 215/40/17 tyres (Bridgestone Potenza RE050). I would have preferred a more comfortable tyre profile, but had no choice in the matter.

Interior - this is a cheap car and the interior plastics / fixtures & fittings are a little dated / low rent in places. This is perhaps a little harsh, given the alternatives available at similar prices - I recently sat in a Dacia and can confirm the SEAT (or any VAG product) is simply light years ahead in this aspect. The glovebox is much smaller than the older Rapid’s, as the infotainment system unit occupies at least 2/3 of the available space.

Engine - Whilst the engine is eager to rev, there is no escaping its low capacity / 3 cylinders and it's much easier to catch it "off boost" at low revs. This contrasts markedly with the older 1.2 TSi 4 cylinder units which are much happier "lugging" at low revs and display almost diesel like low rev torque.

Technical updates - I enquired regarding map updates and it seems SEAT UK does not operate the free map updates seen in Europe (and in the UK for Skoda, VW and Audi). I assume the new Toledo has a reasonably up-to-date map version installed, but as with any pre-installed system, the maps tend to lag a long way behind stand-alone units / phones running Google maps etc. A family member has just taken ownership of a 2015 Fabia and I was frustrated to see how easy it was to update both the maps, and system firmware, using the online Skoda portal. This free service is attached to the car for 3 years and is available for SEAT in Europe!

Warranty – The SEAT warranty is equivalent to the Skoda new car warranty (3 years / 60K miles), but I was disappointed to see the breakdown cover only applies for 2 years, whereas it is 3 years for a Skoda.

All in all I'm fairly satisfied with the Toledo and hope it continues to provide spacious and economical family transport for years to come.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 10th September, 2017

10th Sep 2017, 20:34

Nice review, these are good cars, and they are actually popular, I see them everywhere, always diesel ones being used as taxis, which is a good sign of reliability. I wouldn't worry about the shorter warranty; so long as you look after the car, I'm sure it will last many years and miles.