Alfa Romeo Tonale, the hybrid SUV to the test

Behind the wheel of the mild hybrid petrol with the highest level of power available. The price list starts at 42,300 euros

Andrea Brambilla

Expected, imagined and dreamed. Today the Alfa Romeo Tonale has finally become a reality. The 160 horsepower hybrid version, combined with the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission, is in the spotlight. Nice on the outside and also nice to drive even if the engine doesn’t show the grit some expect when the pace picks up. The most powerful mild hybrid engine is available from the TI set-up with a list price starting at 42,300 euros.

Alfa Romeo Tonale: how it is outside

Having that symbol on the hood basically means two things: Alfa style and fun driving. Admiring it from the outside, in fact, the Tonale shows the typical made in Italy design. A style that he created, and which he still does today, breaks through the hearts of Italians and beyond. Analyzing it in detail we find a three-element front lights that transmit dynamism while the rear shows more sobriety. Overall, it is a car that blends sportiness and elegance very well. Seen from the side, the Tonale has a muscular silhouette, also embellished by the design of the 20-inch alloy wheels of the model we are testing. The purists of the brand are already imagining a Quadrifoglio version stuffed with mini skirts, air intakes and big and noisy exhaust pipes. A dream that will probably remain so even if, with Alfa Romeo, never take anything for granted.

The interiors of the Tonale SUV

Being the latest arrival on the market, the Tonale had to present itself to the public with a modern and technological cockpit. The result is a well-finished environment designed to offer maximum comfort to the driver and passengers. The instrument panel relies on a 12.3 ”display that can be customized in every single detail. At the center of the dashboard stands a 10.3 ”touch screen that uses the Android operating system, allowing updates over the air and taking advantage of the Alexa voice assistant. The trunk has a capacity between 500 and 1,550 liters, on board only the fifth passenger in the center of the rear seat is a bit sacrificed in space. Hard plastics are found only in the lower part of the central tunnel, in general the quality of materials and assemblies is good and seems made to last over time. The work of the designers to give personality to the interiors has been successful even if some competitors (see the German ones) show a more futuristic style.

Alfa Romeo Tonale, engine and Adas

The Tonale protagonist of our test is powered by the 1.5 Hybrid Miller cycle engine equipped with variable geometry turbo, this is accompanied by a 15 kW electric motor, for 160 horsepower at 5,750 rpm and 240 Nm at 1,500 rpm of maximum torque. The gearbox is dual-clutch and seven-speed, it is soft in the city but less sporty in fast driving. Too bad for the paddles on the steering wheel which are also optional for the TI version. Under Adas la Tonale shows a long list of devices that include adaptive cruise control and active lane maintenance. All these systems allow this Alfa to be accredited for level 2 autonomous driving.

How is the Alfa Romeo Tonale going

This is the question that everyone has asked themselves: does the Tonale drive like a real Alfa? Considered also the starting point, which is in common with the Jeep Compass, it is a more than legitimate question. The suspensions have been specially calibrated for this model in order to ensure that driving pleasure that is asked of the Biscione cars. The work done on the chassis and suspension has paid off with good driving dynamics even if the 160 horsepower engine does not have a great reserve of power. In fact, the contribution of the electrical part is not so important as to make its presence felt, especially when the rhythm and curves increase. More useful in the city when maneuvering, or starting, when it allows the car to move (a little) using the battery alone. Using the DNA selector, in Dynamic mode, the Tonale expresses itself to its full potential. The steering is direct and precise, even if a little light, but always manages to convey a feeling of total control over the vehicle. The braking system relies on Brembo 4-piston calipers and adopts the Ibs brake by wire technology, that of Giulia and Stelvio, and guarantees excellent braking power. The wait to test the 275 horsepower plug-in hybrid version arriving in the coming months is great, especially to touch the real potential of this project. Speaking of consumption, we expected something better, especially in the city, where the Tonale achieves average (real) distances of about 12 km per liter. Things are better on the motorway where you can easily reach 15-18 km per liter.

Alfa Romeo Tonale: equipment and prices

The Alfa Romeo Tonale 1.5 Hybrid 160 Hp under construction Ti, the protagonist of our test, has a strike price of 42,300 euros. It is equipped as standard with Alfa Connect Services, Apple Car Play / Android Auto, 6 Speaker Audio System, Rear USB Type A + C sockets, Dab Radio Tuner, 10.25 “Infotainment System with navigation, 2 USB ports, Bluetooth and controls. voice, rear camera, wireless charging Pad, adaptive full led matrix headlights and dynamic functions and full led rear lights with Infinity Mirroring technology and 3D effect.

Pros and cons

  • Like it: beautiful to look at and also pleasant to drive, the Tonale has several arrows in its bow. The simple and complete interiors are spot on, components and assemblies are also good.
  • Do not like: consumption not to be best in class in the segment. Engine not very present at the most sustained speeds. Paddle at the wheel not standard.

Data sheet

Alfa Romeo Tonale Hybrid 160 Hp

Motor Petrol hybrid, in-line 4-cylinder turbo 1,469 cc
Maximum power 118 kW / 160 Hp at 5,500 rpm
Maximum torque 240 Nm at 1,500 rpm
Transmission Tct dual-clutch automatic, seven-speed, front-wheel drive
Full speed 212 km / h
Acceleration 0-100 km / h 8.8 seconds
Consumption 6 l / 100 km combined cycle Wltp
CO2 emissions 133 g / km
Dimensions Length 4.528 mm, width 1.841 mm, height 1.601 mm, pitch 2.636 mm
Weight 1,600 kg in running order
Trunk 500-1,550 liters
Price From 42,300 euros

Alfa Romeo Tonale, the hybrid SUV to the test