2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale Initial Impressions: A Plug-in Hybrid SUV That’s Very Italian
Alfa Romeo has been around for over 100 years, and during that time, it has cemented itself as a winning brand in motorsports and produced some of the most beautiful cars in the market. However, the Italian automaker is poised to focus on a different market going forward.
According to Jean Philippe Imparato, the CEO of Alfa Romeo, there are plans to have its vehicle lineup produce zero emissions by 2027. As such, the first step in that direction is the all-new 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale, a plug-in hybrid SUV that embodies the richness, power, and beauty of Italy.
The 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale is a unique and robust plug-in wild card
In case you’re wondering, the 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale is named after a mountain pass outside Milan, Italy. It’s fitting, considering the car it is named after has the same type of strength and uniqueness those majestic mountains possess. It’s also fitting because Alfa Romeo flew me out to Milan to get a first peek at the new car.
To get down to the nitty-gritty, the 2024 Tonale is solely powered by a plug-in hybrid powertrain consisting of a turbocharged 1.3-liter, four-cylinder engine paired with a 90-kW electric motor. Combined, the duo puts out a total of 285 hp and 347 lb-ft of torque and 30 miles of all-electric range. It’s also good for a 0-60 mph time of about 5.6 seconds.
No, that’s not Tesla-like acceleration or range, but that’s not what the Tonale is about. Instead, it’s about the balance of power and design. Considering there aren’t many compact SUVs in the market like it, I consider the Tonale a wild card in the C-segment category it resides in.
The Alfa Romeo Tonale’s design exudes the sleekness and beauty you would expect
Speaking of the car’s design, the 2024 Tonale shares many of its styling cues with the rest of the Alfa Romeo lineup. If you have seen the Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV, you’ll find the Tonale has a familiar “tribolo” front fascia that incorporates the shield-shaped front grille and side vents. Also, the slim front LED headlights, first seen on the Proteo concept car, give the vehicle an aggressive look.
The sides of the car are mainly accentuated by the “GT line” that extends from the headlights to the rear end. And the back end of the Tonale is highlighted by the sleek taillights that form a sine curve for a largely distinct look.
When sitting inside the Tonale, it’s clear that the Alfa Romeo design team took their time. The materials and textures have a rich feel to them. The large paddle shifters behind the steering wheels are made of metal, and the HVAC buttons on the dash don’t look like they came from the Stellantis parts bin.
Additionally, the front seats are well-bolstered and feel great in their Alcantara and leather skins. There’s even Alcantara suede on the dash as well as some textured aluminum to give it a sporty touch. Overall, the Alfa Romeo Tonale has a luxuriousness to it that sets it apart from German and Japanese rivals.
The Alfa Romeo Tonale will make its way to American shores sooner than you think
Although Alfa Romeo touted the Tonale a year ago, and I just got a sneak peek of it now, the good news is that the American market will see it soon. The Tonale is expected to show up in dealer showrooms by the end of May, and it will carry a price tag of around $45,000 to $55,000, depending on the trim level.
When it arrives, the Alfa Romeo Tonale will compete with other small SUVs like the BMW X1 and Audi Q3. However, after what I experienced on my trip, this unique wildcard will make a different kind of impression on U.S. buyers and bring them a taste of Italy in an automotive sense.