Alfa Romeo Tonale review

Stunning looks, slick tech and decent practicality make the Alfa Romeo Tonale an appealing, if flawed, compact premium SUV

  • 1Verdict – currently reading
  • 2Engines, performance and drive
  • 3MPG, CO2 and running costs
  • 4Interior, design and technology
  • 5Practicality, comfort and boot space
  • 6Reliability and safety

  • 3.8 out of 5

    Price£38,595 to £48,495SPECIFICATIONS

    • Svelte styling
    • Handles well
    • Wealth of tech on-board
      • Interior quality
      • Laggy mild-hybrid
      • PHEV boot space

      The rear-wheel drive Giorgio platform used by the Guilia and Stelvio is absent here. Instead, under the Tonale’s svelte bodywork are the same underpinnings as the Jeep Compass uses, itself an evolution of the Fiat Small Platform that underpinned the Grande Punto from 2005, and the Alfa Romeo MiTo. Thankfully, the running gear isn’t sourced from the start of the century.

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      The plug-in hybrid Tonale Q4 is the most powerful variant in the range, producing 271bhp all-in and offering all-wheel drive. The 1.3-litre petrol engine under the bonnet sends its power to the front wheels, while the single electric motor fed by a 15.5kWh battery drives the rears. 

      According to Alfa Romeo, the Tonale Q4 can cover up to 42 miles on electric power alone, or 50 miles if you’re just driving around town. The plug-in Tonale can also return up to 217mpg while emitting 29-32g/km of CO2, which is how it attracts the same eight per cent Benefit-in-Kind tax rate as the latest BMW X1 PHEV, and well below the 14 per cent BiK rate for the equivalent XC40. 

      Alternatively, you can go for the front-wheel drive, mild-hybrid version of the Tonale. It uses a new four-cylinder 1.5-litre petrol engine paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission and 20bhp electric motor. This combination produces 158bhp in total and allows the car to run on electric power when you start it up, at low speeds and when parking. 

      Both versions are available in the same three trim levels – Ti, Veloce and Edizione Speciale launch edition – with the upgrade to the plug-in hybrid model adding £6,000 to the Tonale’s price tag. The standard kit list is lengthy, as it should be at this price point, with every model receiving LED headlights, a reversing camera, powered boot lid, keyless entry, 18- to 20-inch alloy wheels, 12.3-inch digital driver’s display and 10.25-inch central touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto smartphone connectivity.

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      In this review
      • 1Verdict – currently readingStunning looks, slick tech and decent practicality make the Alfa Romeo Tonale an appealing, if flawed, compact premium SUV
      • 2Engines, performance and driveThe Tonale PHEV is comfortable, composed and packs plenty of punch, and as a result it’s our pick of the range
      • 3MPG, CO2 and running costsCompany car drivers will flock to the plug-in hybrid Tonale thanks to 8 per cent BiK rate and impressive fuel economy
      • 4Interior, design and technologyWe love the slick infotainment system, however cabin quality can’t match the Tonale’s closest rivals from Germany and Sweden
      • 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceCabin space and luggage capacity is decent rather than generous in Alfa’s smallest SUV
      • 6Reliability and safetyThe Tonale’s five-star Euro NCAP safety rating is no surprise with the level of driving assistance tech on-board

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