Alfa Romeo has recently announced its compact SUV: the Alfa Romeo Tonale. This new crossover will be available as a PHEV as the automaker’s first step toward electrification. But is the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale plug-in hybrid electric vehicle ready to compete?
With so many other automakers already selling PHEVs and EVs, the Alfa Romeo Tonale faces stiff competition. One more unconventional opposite is the performance and off-road capable 2022 Jeep Wrangler 4xe. Comparing these two PHEV contributions, you might be wondering which is superior, Italian class or off-road, plug-in power?
What the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale has to offer
Alfa Romeo says, “experience the reveal” as it introduces the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale and its PHEV variation. A press release from parent Stellantis says the Tonale will “mark the brand’s metamorphosis.” It’s clear the excitement for this PHEV model, combining state-of-the-art technology with unmistakable Italian style, is formidable.
There will be two powertrains, the PHEV Q4 AWD with a six-speed automatic and 15.5kWh lithium-ion battery, and the non-electric Q4 AWD 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with a nine-speed automatic transmission, capable of 256-hp, which Wards Auto says will be available in the U.S. first. The PHEV variation will arrive a few months after the gas-powered model, and pricing is not yet confirmed.
Going with the PHEV version of the Tonale will mean harnessing the 1.3-liter MultiAir turbocharged four-cylinder and the 90-kW electric motor for 272 hp and an electric driving range of over 30 miles, as Autoweek shares. Electrification will present three options: the Dual Power dynamic with max output from both the engine and electric motor, the Natural, ideal for everyday use power management, and Advanced Efficiency, designed for “pure electric operation.”
And in true Alfa Romeo fashion, as Autoblog points out, the Tonale will come with all the bells and whistles you’d expect, including a MacPherson strut suspension, a 10.5-inch Uconnect 5 infotainment, five storable driver profiles, over-the-air update capability, and wireless Apple and Android connectivity. Fuel efficiency has yet to be released, along with the pricing, but we expect this compact SUV’s stats to fall in line with the likes of the Jeep Wrangler 4xe.
Power meets fuel efficiency with the 2022 Jeep Wrangler 4xe
Despite all the buzz around Alfa Romeo’s first electrification effort, Jeep has already been innovating in the PHEV space, with the Wrangler 4xe, the plug-in off-roader. Jeep describes the driving experience as “plugging into adventure” with the industry’s first open-air SUV.
Being a year ahead of the Alfa Romeo Tonale’s PHEV, the Wrangler 4xe has more data available, like its electric range of 22 miles and starting price of $52,530, according to KBB. The Jeep Wrangler 4xe’s hybrid system brings 375 hp with a 0 to 60 bragging rights of a mere six seconds, which is due to drawing power from the turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine, two electric motors, and lithium-ion batteries. EPA ratings are 49 MPGe for the hybrid combination.
So, which electrified ride is superior?
Looking at the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale and the 2022 Jeep Wrangler 4xe, the only things the two SUVs have in common are their class segment and hybrid DNA. The Wrangler PHEV is far more superior when it comes to horsepower, off-road capability, and open-air experiences. On the other hand, the Tonale PHEV will bring all the refined touches of Italian design, a quieter cabin experience, and way more cockpit technology for a more driver comfort-based dynamic.
If you can be patient and wait until this time next year, you’ll want to sample the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale. But if you need to get electrified yet this year and crave some outdoor adventure, the 2022 Jeep Wrangler 4xe is already here.