Fleet News

SEAT Toledo 2.3 V5

SEAT

Review

AS much as I have enjoyed driving the Fleet News long term SEAT Toledo 2.3-litre V5, there is one thing that bothers me - its name.

I just can't get the image of the old Triumph Toledo out of my mind. If only the Toledo was called something snappy like the other models in the SEAT range such as the Ibiza, Leon Cupra or even the Alhambra.

Despite this niggle, I can't complain about the SEAT - it has provided the Fleet News team with miles of trouble-free motoring. And I still can't resist getting that lovely throaty 'grunt' from the powerful V5 engine when accelerating hard.

Everyone on the Fleet News team who has driven the Toledo has been impressed by the excellent value for money it represents: just £16,995 on the road (£17,235 to our car's specification including metallic paint). Nothing can touch it as far as standard specification goes, with a package that would put many upper medium sector cars to shame.

The raft of standard features includes leather seats, satellite navigation with a large colour screen, cruise control, a six CD autochanger, ABS, climate control and electric front and rear windows.

A similarly-specced Volkswagen Golf 2.3 V5 5dr would set you back £21,990 (including heated front seats) - a staggering £4,755 more.

The difference in company car tax under the emissions-based scheme between the SEAT and Volkswagen will have a major bearing for cost-conscious fleet operators. The SEAT, with its P11D price of £17,055, will cost a 22% tax payer £901 in benefit-in-kind tax in this tax year while a 40% tax payer will face a bill of £1,637, rising to £976/£1,774 in 2003/4. The driver of the Golf V5, with its P11D price of £21,810 and paying 22% tax, will get a bill for £1,152 - or £2,094 for a 40% taxpayer, rising to £1,248/£2,268 in 2003/4.

Build quality is as you would expect from a car from the Volkswagen stable and makes no compromises for its low price. There are also lots of useful storage areas and other handy gadgets. Despite having covered more than 14,000 miles, the Toledo is showing no signs of wear. It handles smoothly, accelerating from 0-62 in 8.6 seconds and on to a top speed of 140mph.

Although the sensible choice in the Toledo range is undoubtedly the 1.9 TDI 110 in these tax and emissions-conscious days, the V5 still provides a lot of fun.

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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