The safety gurus at the European New Car Assessment Program (Euro NCAP), an independent organization that assesses and scores vehicle safety, have released a new round of scores for 15 new models, many of which were presented at the recent Paris Motor Show.
With one exception, the new Dacia Lodgy minivan that Euro NCAP said "budgets on safety" as it was rated with a mediocre three stars out of five, all other cars tested were awarded five stars.
Euro NCAP criticized the Renault Group's decision to not offer the electronic stability control (ESC) as standard equipment on the Lodgy, while also noting that the Dacia model scored poorly for pedestrian and child protection.
The fourth generation of the Seat Toledo just made its global debut at the 2012 Paris Auto Show. The Spanish brand’s new compact saloon is a “sister” model to fellow VW Group member Skoda’s Rapid and it promises to offer a spacious interior in spite of the car’s compact dimensions.
Seat has announced that order books are now open in the UK, with first deliveries scheduled to start on December 1. Prices range from £12,495 and top out at £17,840, with insurance group ratings being as low as 8E.
The Volkswagen Group's Spanish Seat brand has turned over dozens of fresh photos and new videos of its 2013 Toledo compact saloon, which was first revealed online this past June.
The reincarnated, fourth generation Toledo will received its world premiere at the Paris Motor Show before going on sale first in Spain and Portugal in mid-November, and then in the rest of Europe early next year.
The Toledo is a sister model to the also new Skoda Rapid with the two cars sharing their body, interior and mechanical hardware. The differences mainly concern the styling with each model getting unique front and rear ends, as well as bespoke interior trim, steering wheels and instrument panels.
Like the Rapid, the Toledo sports a handy hatchback tailgate that opens together with the rear window to reveal a capacious luggage compartment with 550 litres of space that can be expanded to 1,490 litres with the optional folding rear seats.
After showing a thinly disguised concept version at the Geneva Salon in March and following a leaked set of pictures earlier this month, Seat has pulled the wraps of the production version of the new generation Toledo.
Seat's new compact sedan is more of a successor to the first (1991-1998) and second generation (1998-2004) Toledo sedans than to the ill-fated, third generation model of the same name produced from 2004 to 2009, which was essentially an Altea minivan with a prosthetic boot.
However, it is also a sister model to the new Skoda Rapid and even though each brand makes word of a bespoke design language, the fact remains that the styling differences between the two are concentrated in details such as the front end, the tail lights, rear license plate fitment, wheel designs and interior trim.
We knew that it was only a matter of time before the Spanish-flavored twin of the Czech Skoda Rapid sedan would make its debut in production trim, but the crew over at the Seat Fans Club speeded the process by dropping what we believe to be the first official photos of the new Toledo.
Not much has changed from the near-production Seat Toledo Concept displayed at the Geneva Salon this past March, with the Spanish brand simply replacing the upscale trim pieces from the study's exterior and interior like the grille surround, large alloy wheels and flat bottom steering wheel with more conventional pieces.
The website that posted the photos says that the production car will launch in Europe with a choice of four petrol engines, including a gutless 1.2-liter three-cylinder unit with 74hp (75PS) and 84hp (85PS), a more peppy 1.2-liter TSI turbo with 104hp (105PS) and a 1.4-liter TSI turbo with 120hp (122PS).
At this year's edition of the Geneva Motor Show, Seat is exhibiting it’s vision of what the…Skoda Mission L study should look like with the Toledo prototype.
As it seems, the Volkswagen Group has more or less given up on its dream of creating an Alfa Romeo brand out of Seat so the Spaniards are once again targeting economy-minded customers.
Seat has officially presented the Toledo Concept car only a few days before the grand opening of the 82nd Geneva International Auto Salon.
As you can see for yourself, sans the large alloy wheels and the premium interior trim that includes two-tone leather surfaces with red accent stitching, the Toledo is ready to enter production, which it will, as Seat itself admitted that sales will start "later in 2012".
The new Toledo takes the series from one extreme, which was the previous generation's extremely odd-looking MPV shape with a hastily crafted boot, to another, by which we mean "concept's" ultra-conservative three-box design.
The Spanish automaker may claim that the new Toledo "combines the proportions of a classic saloon car with a sporty, almost coupé-like design", but what we see here is a car that closely resembles the VW Jetta sedan both on the exterior and even more so, in the interior. It also looks a lot like the Skoda Mission L study.
This past Tuesday, we told you that Seat is planning to whisk the covers off a new concept model for the next generation Toledo at the 2012 Geneva Motor Show.
However, we won't have to wait until next week for our first view at the Toledo as Carscoop reader Bruno tipped us off about these shots taken from an Autobild video which has since been removed.
Despite its moniker, the Toledo Concept doesn’t look at all like a concept but a production ready model, which makes sense since our sources said it will go on sale in Europe before the end of the year.
Seat had told us that it would be unveiling a "new and exciting" concept car at the upcoming 2011 Frankfurt Motor Show, but a Spanish fan club beat them to it by publishing the first official photograph of the study, which it claims found on the pages of Spanish newspaper ABC. We asked around and can confirm that the scanned image is indeed is official.
In an article on a BMW-faced Honda Accord we found for sale on Craigslist back in 2008, we wrote that in a perfect world, our ultimate car would be “designed by Italians, engineered by Germans, built by Japanese and marketed by Americans”.
So, what’s the worst car one could imagine? Well, if we played around with the above statements, we’d say one designed by Japanese, engineered by Americans, built by Italians and marketed by Germans.
But UK insurance firm Warranty Direct had something a little bit different in mind. Instead of playing the origin card, the company decided to check out its database of 50,000 live policies on cars aged five years on average to part the UK’s most unreliable vehicle that would break down every other month and cost an average of £2,050 (equal to US$3,270 - €2,330) to fix each year.
VW's Spanish subsidiary is expecting a 10 percent rise in sales this year and aims further growth in 2012, when it will launch four new models. According to CEO James Muir, new products such as the Ibiza ST and the Alhambra will boost Seat sales in 2011.
"We want to increase our 340,000 unit sales from last year – by 8 to 10 percent – thanks to existing models. We aim to sell 45,000 units of the Ibiza ST (station wagon) this year. And the Alhambra already is well above plan so we expect a full-year volume of 20,000 units. This proves that our brand is gaining strength," Muir was quoted as saying by Autonews Europe.
For 2012, the company has even bigger plans, fueled by the launch of four new models. "We will launch four new cars: the new Leon, a totally new entry-level model, a four-door sedan and a major Ibiza facelift," said Muir, who was appointed head of Seat in 2009.
Most probably based on the same, Audi A3/VW Golf/Seat Leon stretched platform that the VW Passat uses, the
PROGRESSES IN IMPROVEMENT PLAN FAVOUR DECISION
SEAT to produce two new C/D-segment models in Martorell
The Spanish car maker
The decision to produce these models in Martorell, whose market launch is planned for 2009, contributes to considerably improve the capacity utilization of the Spanish plant. This announcement is the first made by SEAT since the dissolution of the brand groups and supports the progress of the Improvement Plan that was set in motion at the beginning of 2007 and whose most important objectives have been met by now.
Erich Schmitt said: “The assignment of the two new C/D-segment models to the plant in Martorell is an historic step for SEAT. By these means, we enlarge our current product range, which does not only give our clients the possibility to grow with the brand, but also enables us to increase the profitability of our dealer network thanks to the availability of these new models.”
In my opinion this is the road that Seat should have followed from the beginning. Seat was supposed to be the sportiest brand among the marks in the VW group. Leaving aside the fact that it doesn't know if it's a hatchback, a sedan or a MPV, today's Toledo (picture on the left) is no where close to being characterized as a sporty model. The only characterization I can give it, is of being a Spanish interpretation of Renault's humpback styled Vel-Satis model (picture on the right).
Anyway, just for the record, the SEAT Altea XL measures 18.7 centimetres longer than the Altea. Consequently, the 409 litre capacity of the Altea's boot has increased to 532 litres in the Altea XL, while sliding the rear seats forwards by 14 centimetres expands the boot's volume further to 635 litres.
The Altea XL will be launched with a choice of two petrol models -the 102 hp 1.6 and the 2.0 FSI developing 150 hp (only available with the six-speed Tiptronic gearshift) --and three diesel engines: the 1.9 TDI with 105 hp, the 140 hp 2.0 TDI (with the 6speed DSG gearshift as an option) as well as the 170 hp 2.0 TDI. These engines can be combined with three different trim lines: Reference, Stylance and Sport-Up.