Seat Toledo - neat styling, economical engine and a monster boot!

SEAT’s Toledo might never be one of the stars of the Spanish manufacturer’s model portfolio but it’s a genuinely solid offering, with neat styling, economical engines and a monster boot.

If you’re a bit wearied of unnecessary complexity in cars, this could be the vehicle you were looking for but never realised you needed.

If you feel a little baffled by the complexity of modern cars and don’t really want to select one of five suspension modes, a gearshift map, ride height adjustment and the amount of steering assistance you get, you’ll probably like this back-to-basics Toledo.

Old schoolers having a squint under the car will rapidly conclude that there’s nothing radical here. And they’d be correct. There’s a simple strut front suspension and a torsion beam rear end with tried and trusted Volkswagen Group engines plumbed under the bonnet.

What’s a little less predictable is the way this car has been created. The front end is a modified Polo platform, whereas the rear end comes from the Beetle.

The result is a car which rides firmly and probably won’t appeal to enthusiast drivers. Still, light steering and excellent all-round visibility make the Toledo an easy car to drive.

At the bottom of the line-up, you’ll find a 12v 1.2-litre petrol engine putting out 75PS and able to thrash its way to 60mph in 13.4 seconds.

Better though, to stretch to one of the more satisfying turbocharged 1.2-litre TSI four cylinder petrol units (available in either 85 or 105PS states of tune).

Those wanting an auto gearbox are restricted to a 122PS 1.4-litre PSI petrol variant, but the ‘box is question is at least a rather good one, the VW Group’s silky-smooth twin-clutch DSG system. That leaves the 105PS 1.6-litre TDI turbodiesel option, offered with or without the Spanish brand’s ‘Ecomotive’ eco tweaks for lower running costs.

The Toledo’s basic proportions take a little getting accustomed to. It’s fairly long and relatively narrow (4.48 metres in length, 1.7 metres in width).

It’s a hatchback that looks much like a saloon and it’s also a good deal bigger than you first expect and indeed expect at its price point. While it’s not extrovertly styled in any way, this feeling of sparse utility is really rather refreshing in a market rammed with gaudy attention seekers.