Watch out silver - buyers are going back to black! Last year, ubiquitous silver lost some of its sheen with new car buyers, while black jumped from third to second most popular colour choice. Riding on the crest of this enthusiastic wave for arguably the coolest paint option, SEAT has launched a menacing new version of its Toledo, available in one colour only. And it’s not silver.
The new Toledo Sport – which attracted unprecedented interest when previewed at the London Motor Show last July – is a car with visual drama. While the Toledo’s shape has always challenged conventions, the Sport’s extensive array of enhancements significantly boosts its on-road presence. Key to the head-turning look is the stark contrast between the gleaming 18” BBS alloy wheels and the ‘Black Magic’ metallic paint.
The new model, which is set to appeal principally to fleet ‘user-choosers’, is a stand-out alternative to more obvious options such as the Renault Laguna and Peugeot 407. Like other Toledo models, it is a hatchback with saloon car overtones that also boasts MPV-like space and flexibility. If a car really is a mirror of its driver’s personality, then the Toledo Sport owner is most definitely a free-thinker who wants to be different, but not brash.
One engine is fitted to the Toledo Sport - SEAT’s 2.0-litre TDI diesel with 140 PS - which is combined with cutting-edge DSG (Direct Shift Gearbox) transmission. This revolutionary technology blends the best aspects of manual and automatic gearboxes, while also reflecting SEAT’s heavy involvement in UK motorsport (the Leon Cupra race car from the SEAT Cupra Championship uses DSG).
The Toledo Sport will sprint from rest to 62 mph in 9.9 seconds before going on to a top speed of 125 mph, where permitted. Yet despite the strong performance, fuel consumption is remarkably frugal, with a combined figure of 47.1 mpg and CO2 emissions of 162 g/km.
Standard equipment is impressively comprehensive. Highlights include leather upholstery with heated front seats, dual zone climate control, ESP (Electronic Stabilisation Programme), full bodykit, 18” BBS alloy wheels, rain-sensor wipers, MP3-compatible CD player with steering wheel-mounted controls and AUX IN socket for iPods etc, integrated Bluetooth handsfree phone connection, cruise control, four electric windows, dark tinted windows and rear parking sensors.
And the price for being at the forefront of UK car-buying fashion trends? A surprisingly reasonable £18,995 (RRP, on the road). Which should leave most buyers in the black, not the red.
Nor, indeed, silver.Published 20 April 2007