A model of the Alfa Romeo revival, Tonale has two missions: to compete with the premium Germans and to take off the brand’s sales. To achieve this, he intends to leverage his style, technologies and driving experience.
Lightning in the world of the automotive industry Ή π say, Tonale! Alfa Romeo is finally on the way to the market the new SUV. This is good news for the brand, which will thus expand the range of starvation consisting only of elderly Stelvio and Giulia, but also for the long-awaited Alfistsa true rebirth of Biscione.
It must be said that it would be necessary to be patient to see the land of Tonale. Initially presented in concept form in Geneva in 2019, the newcomer delayed several times. First because of the merger between FCA and PSA, then because of the global pandemic and finally because ofbrand leader Jean-Philippe Imparato wanted to be as successful as possible, according to German premium standards.
Good to know: anticipate buying and reselling.
It is possible to know the resale or transaction value of your vehicle thanks to the Alfa Romeo Tonale auto Turbo rating, the alternative to the Argus rating.
One thing is for sure, aesthetically, no Germanism. Tonale is really 100% Italian, 100% Alfa. The trilobite of the front is there, with the Scudetto grille and 3 + 3 headlights inspired by the SZ Zagato. The compact SUV extends to a dynamic profile 4.53 meters which will place it as a competitor to the Audi Q3, BMW X1 and Mercedes GLA.
The most observant will have noticed other nods in the past such as 33 Stradale style rimsits a rear windowinspiration 8C and one Montreal green shade. Friends Alfists do not worry, no offense for the two boot colors (green and blue), red Alfa is on the list. However, it is less stressed to differentiate Tonale from its big brother Stelvio.
Once you board, it is very easy to get your bearings. The steering wheel remains the same, with the start button located below the left branch, the telescopic shape of the lid reminiscent of the Alfas of the past and the small Italian flag under the gear lever reminds me that it is indeed a model Made in Italyassembled at the Pomigliano d’Arco factory near Naples.
And as always with supercars, not everything is perfect and this is obviously what contributes to their charm. Get the materials, in progress compared to Stelvio and Giulia, they are still perfectible, and back compared to the German premium. Stitched leather, chrome elements and foam plastic are attached to many hard plastics, especially on the dashboard and the top of the door frames. Same thing for some assemblies for review near the door handles.
Another point where Tonale was expected, his sense of hospitality. And Alfa SUV does not disappoint! Its access to the boat is easy, the space for its hind legs is good enough for adults and the space for its heads is more than enough for adults.. Only the middle passenger can be bothered by an intrusive central tunnel and a somewhat hard back, which transforms into a ski hatch. For the rest, the trunk is also well thought out since then its volume is 500 liters can satisfy families who like to go on vacation. Even if the basic modular device (folding seat 60/40) would deserve a little more attention.
An updated Alfa
On the other hand, this is where we least expected it, Tonale is not a technology critic. The 12-inch digital instruments that are adjustable in various functions are easy to read and use, as well as the 10-inch central touch screen that manages the infotainment and in combination with the Alexa voice assistant. The icing on the cake ergonomics, Alfa decided keep physical commands for climate control, volume and DNA drive mode selector.
The Milanese SUV allows it even to itself a small invasion of the post-universe as it is the first vehicle on the market to be equipped withNFT digital certificate (Non Fungible Token) or non-fungible token in French. In other words, an ID card with protection against infringement, based on blockchain technology that will certify Tonale at the time of purchase and throughout its existence. A type of maintenance log with breach protection associated with 5-year warranty or 200,000 km increasing the residual value of the model.
So many innovations for Alfa Romeo since Tonale is the first Alfa Romeo hybrid. In addition, no 100% thermal engine will be available in the catalog, customers will have to choose between two mild 48 V (130 and 160 hp) hybridizations and a plug-in hybrid variant 275 hp available later.
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The 160 hp version has a 1.5 turbo 4-cylinder petrol engine (with variable geometry, first) connected to the 7-speed TCT dual-clutch transmission and a small 48-volt electric motor with 15 kW and 55 Nm of torque housed in the gearbox. The small 0.8 kWh battery allows the Tonale to start, drive very slowly and park in electrical mode. Almost more!
In the city, the system is convincing. Tonale turns the heads of passers-by silently and with good comfort even without controlled damping (optional). Typing a little stable, dynamic DNA requires, the Tonale suspension has the advantage of keeping the SUV body well in corners. Road behavior is successful and the Italian is very pleasant to take with you on winding routes.
Its direction, a little less direct than in Stelvio and Giulia, is accurate and generous in the feedback, except for the middle point which is more or less soft. And its well-guided front axle perfectly digests 160 hp. After all, the driving experience is much more sporty rather than the Jeep Compass cousin with whom he shares his chassis, reinforced for the front and rear occasion. This should make Alfists allergic to SUVs digest the pill a little better!
After all, the big disappointment concerns the engine-transmission assembly off urban routes. The slightest acceleration (240 Nm of torque) will cause vibrations and voices not really enjoyable for the driver and his passengers. But above all, it is the time of change of gears that is surprising its slownesssometimes giving the impression that you are driving with an old automatic transmission and not a state-of-the-art dual clutch.
The Dynamic function of DNA – the drive mode selector – does not change that, transmission remains slow and the increase in speed becomes even a caricature. Unusual for an Alfa! The plug-in hybrid Tonale with 275 hp and 4WD should probably turn it all off. In the meantime, pay attention to the consumption since the narrow, winding and congested roads of Lake Como, Tonale was greedy drinking an average of 10 liters of unleaded per 100 km..
Alfa Romeo’s compact SUV has one primary goal, the BMW X1. Without forgetting it Mercedes GLA and Audi Q3. But either in terms of finish and engines, the Tonale is one step below the competition. Even a Peugeot 3008, but generalized, looks more homogeneous from a mechanical point of view.
Sold from 35,400 €Tonale is displayed a premium rate which justifies with its larger dimensions, its electrified range and its numerous technologies. A price that will easily exceed € 40,000 in the most sporty versions of Super and Sprint.
|Tested model: Alfa Romeo Tonale 1.5 48V 160 hp Ti|
|Dimensions L x W x H||4,528 / 1,841 / 1,601m|
|Minimum / maximum body volume||500 / 1,550 liters|
|Weight without load||1,525 kg|
|Engine displacement||4-cylinder Turbo, petrol – 1,469 cc|
|Engine power||160 hp|
|Pair of||240 Nm|
|0 to 100 km / h||8.8 sec|
|maximum speed||210 km / h|
|Percentage of CO2||Between 130 and 144 g / km|
|Prices||From € 35,400|