A small hybrid
From € 35,400
On paper, the new Tonale marks all the appropriate boxes. It is an electric, 5 year warranty SUV, priced from € 35,400, which makes it one of the most accessible on the market against first-time competitors such as the BMW X1, Audi Q3 and Mercedes GLA.
The new tonal is more than just a novel, it will serve as a launch pad for the 100% Italian manufacturer’s new electric line, announced in 2027. Indeed, it launched this spring season with two hybrid engines of 130 and 160 hp (and 130) . hp diesel engine), compact SUV is the first Alfa Romeo to have electricity in history. It will be supported by the end of the year with a hybrid version of 275 hp and from 2024 with a new 100% model.
The tonale relies on a 130-hp gasoline engine to ensure access to its range. It is a 4-cylinder gasoline engine with a flexible geometric turbo connected to a 7-speed TCT gearbox. The latter receives a small 15 kW electric motor powered by a small 0.8 kWh battery which reduces the heat engine effort in energy-efficient phases.
It is not a complete hybrid. Tonale cannot run in 100% electronic mode like the Toyota Prius for example. However, Alfa Romeo notes that the latter is higher than conventional light hybrids because it allows the Tonale to run at a much lower speed, for operation for example, in the case of electricity, is true. In the city, during our test we were able to observe several (very short) phases of 100% electrical operation.
But the main advantage of this hybrid light is the reduction in emissions and emissions of CO2. In this respect, it is less successful. We saw an average of 7.7 l / 100 km during our experiment conducted on a mixed course, without practicing eco driving. Faced with competition and in particular, the BMW X1 18i (non-electric) is about 1 liter more. For this a small penalty of € 280 must be added for completing the “special” top of our experiment. The lower extremities are neutral in ecological malus.
If in return the Tonale Hybrid 130 provided the usual driving pleasure of Alpha, one can endure. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Heavy weight (1,525 kg) as well as low torque (220 Nm) compels driving smoothly, even with anesthetized. The flexibility and silence of operation are appreciated in the city but as soon as the right pedestrian is requested, acceleration is mollassonnes and times for subscribers who are absent.
It’s a shame, because Alfa Romeo has successfully adjusted the Jeep Compass base which is based on Tonale. Consistent humidity soothes body stress without providing comfort. Despite its weight and 20 ” rims, the Italian is well-suited for road safety. Higher authority can even benefit from two-level operation. For all Q4 wheel drive, you will have to wait until the arrival of a rechargeable hybrid engine.
Elevated but without extra, the driving space is reminiscent of that of the sedan. The seats ensure the best support and the arms fall perfectly into the steering wheel that you know how to be smooth and precise. The driving experience is exciting, but it will be even more so for a response engine, such as the turbo 2.0, stored for the North American market.
So the Tonale Hybrid 130 runs like a good daddy car, and that’s good because it has its origins. The rear passengers, sitting in the 60/40 bench seat, will have space on all floors. The middle seat is operated by an transmission tunnel at the foot level and by a ski hatch at the back level. The stem is one of the largest in the unit, delivering 500 basic liters. It is enough to meet the needs of a family of 5 people without playing Tetris during charging. As a bonus, it is installed with a standard floor.
On board, Tonale presents well. The driver is equipped with a large-format digital device with a three-tone steering wheel on which the start button is mounted. The shape of the hat barrel and the circular mesh resemble the old Alfas, while the Italian flag placed under the gear lever indicates that the Tonale is produced in the Dante country. In the far south, in the suburbs of Naples, at the Pomigliano d’Arco factory.
Production quality in general is good and above all it persists compared to Giulia and Stelvio. This high-end “Special” property, which sells for € 39,000 for this engine, has a well-made leather interior with embroidered aluminum connectors, but hard hollow plastic remains, especially on the dashboard. The Mercedes GLA or Audi Q3 proves to be the strongest.
We were particularly impressed by the high-tech content offered as usual, including a touch screen with high performance. The latter shows good visibility, very short response time and provides Android and Carplay wireless compatibility. Alexa sound assistant is also available.