This morning I came across two of these on my drive to work. Long forgotten in my mind, once I’d recalled them as being Toledos (should that be Toledi? maybe not), I realised how good they looked in today’s traffic.
The Mk2 Seat Toledo preceded the more popular Mk1 Leon hatch to market in 1998 and remained in its catalogues until 2004. Styling was attributed to Giugiaro and it does look credibly like one of his from that era. It was built on the same PQ34 platform as the Mk4 Golf/ Bora, Audi A3 and Skoda Octavia.
Everyone loves the styling of the Mk4 Golf, and I have to say I was always partial to the original Leon – it having echoes of the Alfasud – but this is a really nice small saloon (4-door notchback, if you want to be precise) with the rear pillar blending smoothly into the rear wing and boot panel. If I could criticise it, I’d say that the rear ensemble looks a little lardy, but it’s still quite acceptable in my view. It shared much of its interior with the A3, albeit using lower quality plastics (from what I remember of the Leon). It’s not that far off being a car that could have been an Alfa Romeo, is it?
It was replaced by a weird looking thing also called Toledo which was effectively a Altea MPV (which I quite liked at the time) with an added hump on the back and reverse angled D-Pillar, not too dissimilar in concept to the more intriguing Renault Vel Satis. I can only think that purpose of that Mk3 Toledo was to remove any thought of the infallibility of Walter de Silva, who is accredited with its design.
There’s not much more to write, except that it seems relevant to mention it given that VW just launched its new Jetta in the US, which I also find easy on the eye in isolation, although somewhat hard to distinguish on the outside from the Passat, Audi A4 or even Skoda Superb. The dash is very nice and VW has gone to the trouble to give Jetta a fascia that is distinct from the Golf (both photos sourced from Autocar). It won’t come to the UK, which is a bit sad but not a surprise given the relatively small scale of sales over here for this kind of thing.