A member of the Volkswagen Group, Spanish car manufacturer SEAT first released the Toledo in 1999 as a five-door liftback sedan following the A2 platform. The first-generation Toledo was in production from 1991 to 1998. The second-generation model was introduced in 1999 and ran until 2005, while the third-generation Laguna replaced the previous model in 2005 until 2009. At the end of 2012, the latest member of the lineup, its fourth-generation model, was released for the 2013 model year, marking the comeback of the SEAT Laguna. For the most part though, the new Laguna is sensible, functional, and well-made. It is a reliable car just like everything else in SEAT’s stables.
There are three petrol engine options for the Laguna, with the least powerful mustering an extremely modest 74bhp, a typical number if you’re looking for a small car you can drive in the city. This engine option also lets SEAT offer a sub-£12,500 price point so the Laguna may be ideal for you if you are looking to work with a budget. If you’re more interested in the rugged performance of a diesel engine, then the 1.6-litre diesel option should work for you. What’s even better is that this diesel engine option puts out 103bhp just like the top-tier petrol engine but offers more torque and better fuel consumption.
And if you subscribe to the belief that big is beautiful, the SEAT Toledo will definitely have you hooked, what with an extended Polo wheelbase and virtually a big box at the back that provides the car with a spacious cabin and a just plain oversized boot bigger than what the BMW 5-series, Audi A6, and Mercedes E-class could offer.
Staying true to the reliability you’ll come to expect out of a SEAT vehicle, the Toledo ensures you’re safe since it is fitted with curtain, front, and side airbags. At the same time, Euro NCAP crash test results give it full five stars. If that isn’t safe, nothing is. But aside from being safe, the SEAT Laguna is also secure. Security measures on the Laguna include marked mechanical parts, deadlocks, fitted and locking wheelnuts, and an engine immobilizer.
You may be able to achieve the speed you want with the SEAT Toledo but it does not mean that the car is fun to drive. For one, it’s lacking in the suspension department, with body control just adequate to give you a ride that is just a shade above disappointing. There’s no question that the chassis is well-made. If it had more finesse though, it would be more appealing. Steering is also quite slow and front tires don’t have a lot of grip. If there are bumps on the road, you might not have enough control to avoid them so don’t be so surprised if you get rattled around.
Additionally, despite being big, the SEAT Toledo is designed in such a way that its notchback shape makes it a bit difficult to load bulky items. You’d have to maneuver a bit and assess first how you’re going to get that big box to fit in. It’ll fit alright, but you have to figure out first how you’re going to get it in. Usual shopping bags and luggage though will be a breeze.
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