2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale (European spec shown)

Alfa Romeo has recently added a new smaller and less expensive SUV to its lineup called the Tonale. You can buy the same basic SUV in the form of a Dodge Hornet, but the Alfa is much better choice despite the Dodge having 3 more horsepower. Alfa Romeo is trying to go to electric vehicles, and the Tonale is the first step in that direction and is only offered as a hybrid for 2024.

The Tonale for 2024 is a plug-in hybrid vehicle that can go 30 miles on a full charge. The advantage of a plug-in hybrid is that once the battery is depleted, you still have a gasoline engine on board and can just keep going. It is like having a regular internal combustion engine car and an electric car in one. It is a great option for many people, and in this case it provides the driver with some fun behind the wheel.

Alfa Romeo products have always been about style, and the Tonale is full of beautiful Italian styling cues. The car sparked interest from everyone who saw it, and thought that in a world of bland SUVs it really stands out. Small features like the headlights show the amount of detail that went into the design of the Tonale. The “3+3” headlight design evokes the proud look of the SZ Zagato or the Proteo concept car. Developed in conjunction with Marelli, the three modules make up a unique frontline for the car and simultaneously provide artificial light, dynamic turn signals and a “welcome and goodbye” feature — activated every time the driver turns the car on or off — to ensure the best lighting conditions.

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale front (European spec shown)

Alfa is also about performance and the Tonale delivers. There is no Quadrofoglio version, so there is only one choice of engine. The hybrid system uses the 1.3-liter MultiAir turbocharged four-cylinder engine, which puts out 180 horsepower at the front wheels. A high-voltage Belt Starter Generator, mounted to the engine, delivers torque to the crankshaft to smooth transitions during changing driving conditions, in addition to providing seamless stop-start capability. The rear axle of the Tonale is powered by a 90-kW electric motor capable of producing 184 pound-feet of torque from 0 rpm. Together they are good for 285 hp and 0-60 in about 5.6 seconds.

A great feature of the Tonale is that you get to choose how you want to deliver electrified power to the wheels, controlled by the DNA switch in the center console. Each mode also includes changes to the driving dynamics and changes steering, braking and suspension feel. Dual-power mode gives you maximum output from the engine and electric motor. Natural mode is automatic for everyday use and Advanced Efficiency gives you pure electric operation, good for about 30 miles.

Driving the Tonale is rewarding, and the car handles amazingly well, as you would expect. The balance between handling and ride comfort is perfect and it is a driver’s car. On the down side, while 285 horsepower is adequate, this car needs a lot more to be really exciting.

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale interior drivers side (European spec shown)

The interior of the Tonale is a great place to be, with beautifully designed seats that hold you really well and well-positioned switches. You don’t get the really fancy interior of the Quadrofoglio models, but you have to keep in mind that the price is significantly less in this case.

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale interior rear seat (European spec shown)

Speaking of price, Tonale prices are reasonable starting at just $43,845. Our car had about $15k in options that brought the price to $58,990, but many of those are just cosmetic items that can be skipped if you are on a budget. And that is the best part of the Tonale, the value. If you can control your urges to choose every option, you will be rewarded with a vehicle that is a fun-to-drive sporty car and an economical electric car in one beautiful package.

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale profile (European spec shown)


Engine: 1.3-liter inline four-cylinder turbo PHEV
Horsepower: 285 combined with hybrid power
Torque: 347 pound-feet
Front Suspension: McPherson strut
Rear Suspension: McPherson strut
Transmission: Six-speed automatic
Axle Ratio: NA
Curb Weight: 4,133 lbs.
Base MSRP: $43,845


Image courtesy of Stellantis

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