A bright SUV with a strong character, Tonale will no doubt impress Alfa Romeo brand lovers. Others will be associated with somewhat dry suspension and several ergonomic flaws. But the quality of manufacture and price work on its behalf.
The Alfa Romeo Tonale is long overdue, to say the least. This SUV which was supposed to be sold over a year ago is just getting into the business. It should be noted that this is the last example of Alfa Romeo’s era of FCA (Fiat Chrysler Automobile) and that since the merger of the brand on the chest of Stellantis (formerly PSA) a year ago, amendments have been requested by the new bosses. to better meet the expectations of paid brand customers.
Quality of life on board
The interior of the Tonale incorporates quality and the atmosphere is very warm. The quality of the materials is unquestionable and their collection, of the highest standard, does not show any unpleasant vibrations or creaking. We are doing well in the top tier world. And, as soon as you turn on the ignition (the start switch has the peculiarity of being at the steering wheel), the emotional lamp, whose color can be changed, becomes activated. Similarly, two digital 10.25-inch intermediate and 12.3-inch digital screens emphasize the technological side. It is a pity that ergonomics at the steering wheel level is a little complicated and that it takes a little time to fully manage many buttons. This happens best on a central touch screen whose distinctive icons make it easy to control the desired layout. The only buttons left under it are those that control the ventilation, heating and air conditioning, which makes it very easy to change these settings.
The accommodation is decent and the front and back occupants will have all the necessary space. One regret at the level of the front seats that have little side support and turns a little wider. In the back, the two extreme seats are as comfortable as you would like, while the middle is only acceptable, often. And the presence of a central tunnel, which hides the battery of a hybrid system, will be a little difficult for passengers in the middle. At the same time the trunk is in the average loading category between 500 and 1,550 liters.
For its commercial launch, Tonale could receive a hybrid gasoline engine, 130 or 106 hp. With a 1.5-liter transmission, this barrier is connected to a 7-speed dual-clutch gearbox consisting of a 15 kW electric motor. It is powered by a battery below 48 volts and 0.77 kWh of power. As a complete hybrid, this allows you to travel up to 2 km at 15-20 miles per hour: it is enough to do tricks at low speeds or start again in traffic queues for example. Note that a hybrid version of the plug-in will appear within one year and that in a few months, a 130 hp diesel engine will be released (also attached to a dual-clutch gearbox).
We took by hand the two versions available: no significant differences were observed in us. Maybe the clock will be able to decide between the two versions but, on the road, driving like a good father, the 30 hp difference is not obvious. Well, the question arises only with a higher finish that can receive one or the other, but for a difference of € 2,000, buying more power is therefore not necessarily justified. Both engines showed the same noise level (very high at high revs), the same consumption (7.8 l / 100 km) and the same lack of pep at low revs. A small flaw highlighted by a slow-response gearbox. This delay suffers greatly at start-up or acceleration, for exaggeration for example. Then it is advisable to use the large paddles located behind the steering wheel to select the gear itself or to select the most powerful operating mode (see below).
In terms of handling, Tonale is not an example of its kind. The suspension is actually a bit rigid and, especially on rough surfaces, passengers will be heckled. It is less fun as the seats do not provide good side support. Fortunately, on the highway, it is less noticeable and the comfort of the trip improves significantly.
Other complaints are about the steering, which is less emotional and the driver sometimes has a feeling of being in the dark. And, thanks to the popular DNA of the brand, it is possible to choose different driving modes to adjust the mood a bit. Thus, the D (dynamic) mode allows to obtain an improved stimulus response, gear box and brake pedal; The N (normal) method offers the best configuration of chassis and driving controls; condition A (High efficiency) improves engine performance and prefers fuel economy.
The Alfa Romeo Tonale, with the exception of the Super version, allows for level 2 free driving due to the combination of flexible maritime transport control (Intelligent Adaptive Cruise Control, IACC), lane system (Lane Centering, LC) and front camera, which monitors the longitudinal and transverse settings of the vehicle. Added to this are automatic emergency brakes, 6 airbags, driver fatigue recognition, front collision warning … Too many solutions are offered as usual in all versions.
Alfa Romeo Tonale briefly
Wanting to address the high-end market, Alfa Romeo has a way. The quality of manufacture deserves its ambitions, as well as the level of materials. Alfa Romeo strikes hard to give for the first time a 5 year or 200,000 km warranty on its Tonale: an undeniable profit. In terms of price, the Italian is also well-established as it offers between € 35,400 and € 44,900. This is under the DS7 Crossback available from € 40,500 or Volvo XC40 starting at € 38,450. Still, it will be important to tackle a mechanism that is slightly behind in terms of consumer comfort.
- Level of equipment
- Quality of manufacture
- Road clearance
- Suspension of the company
- Slow gear box
First in the automotive world, Tonale incorporates NFT (Non-Fungible Token) technology. This technology is based on the concept of a “blockchain card”: a secret and irreplaceable record of a major step in the life of a car. With the owner’s permission, NFT will record vehicle data, issue a certificate that will ensure that the vehicle is properly maintained, and benefit from its residual value. Thus, in the second-hand market, this NFT certification will represent an additional source of trust that owners can count on to assure future buyers. A plus in a thriving market where competition is fierce.