2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale
This Small Crossover May Just Keep Alfa Alive In The U.S.
While Alfa Romeo officially returned to the U.S in 2008 with the exotic 8C, they got a lot more intentional with the arrival of 2017’s Guilia sedan and 2018’s Stelvio utility. Well, 2024 sees their lineup expand even more with this Tonale compact crossover. Let’s find out what this practical Italian performer has to offer.
Let’s face it, if you want to sell a significant number of vehicles these days, you’ve got to have at least one small crossover in your lineup. So, if you’re Alfa Romeo, that means the all-new 2024 Tonale.
Available in Sprint, Ti, and Veloce versions, we opted for the top Veloce as it highlights both the performance and luxury aspects of this stylish crossover to the full, with big aluminum paddle shifters, luxurious and sporty perforated leather seating, and adaptive dual-stage valve suspension setup included.
All Tonales however, come equipped with the same plug-in hybrid powertrain that pairs a 1.3-liter turbo 4-cylinder engine with a rear-mounted 90-kW electric motor for standard all-wheel-drive, and a total output of 285-horsepower and 347 lb-ft. of torque. Plus gets the added benefit of driving 32-miles as an EV, drawing power from a 15.5-kWh battery.
There’s a true 6-speed automatic transmission, plus Alfa’s DNA drive modes which take on new meanings here in the Tonale. Dynamic D now also stands for Dual Power, dialing up maximum output from both power sources; Natural Mode delivers a balanced approach, operating as a traditional hybrid using whichever power source is most appropriate for the task; and Advanced now stands for Advanced Efficiency prioritizing EV driving whenever possible.
No physical connection from the front engine to the rear wheels means when you’re in EV mode, you’re driving a rear-wheel-drive vehicle.
At our test track, there was plenty of grip off line, as well as some hard-hitting power, with the Tonale leaping forward with urgency on its way to 60 miles-per-hour in 5.9-seconds.
The excitement tapered off a bit as we continued down the track, and power delivery steadied rather than continuing to build. Shifting in the 6-speed automatic was quick and precise with no lag, yet still felt quite smooth as well. We finished out the ¼-mile in 14.5-seconds at 95 miles-per-hour.
The Tonale does share a chassis and almost all hardware with the Dodge Hornet that arrived last year, but obviously Alfa tuning is unique. And proved more than capable through our handling course; grip was again plentiful, balance almost perfect, and there was even good steering feel. It’s truly a fun little SUV that always seemed to be asking us to push harder with only minor amounts of understeer showing up at its limits.
The Frequency Selective Damping active suspension takes cues from the selected drive mode, keeping body roll to a minimum at the track; while providing a very soft and composed ride on the highway for the drive home.
Brembo brakes are standard, and delivered great stability, feel, and results; stopping us from 60 in just 108-feet; even nose dive was minimal.
While not exotic looking by any means, the Italian influence is strong in the Tonale’s flowing body panels. Of course, their shield grille leads the way. And, we give them props for using the serpent from their badge to come up with this cool new plug-in logo.
All lighting is LED, including the slim Tri-lobe matrix-style headlights.
Don’t plan too many off-road adventures, as ground clearance is just 5.6-inches, and it’d be a shame to dirty up these 20-inch Grigio 5-hole wheels.
Inside, there’s a 10-inch touchscreen for Uconnect 5 with navigation, along with a 12.3-inch customizable digital driver’s cluster; both of which are standard for all Tonales.
It was very dark inside our tester, with all of the blackness only broken up by splashes of aluminum trim.
Front seats offer great comfort and quite a bit of space as well; same in the back seat of this 5-passenger utility, with both good head and legroom.
The rear-mounted electric motor, battery, and associated hardware does eat into cargo capacity, as its 22.9 cubic-ft. is almost 4 cubic-ft. less than the standard Dodge Hornet. But seats still fold to expand the space to 50.5 cubic-ft.
The Tonale gets a Government Fuel Economy Rating of 77-Combined MPGe, 29-Combined for gasoline only; we averaged 32.6 miles-per-gallon of Premium.
Pricing begins at $44,590; top Tonale Veloce starting at $49,590.
Alfa Romeo tends to be a brand that looks to the past for inspiration, but they’re clearly looking to the future of transportation here, by making the 2024 Tonale available exclusively as a plug-in hybrid. We’re glad to see that, and even happier to see that Alfa Romeo is still around here in the U.S. Let’s hope his compact SUV is what it needs to not just survive, but begin to thrive.
- Engine: 1.3-liter I-4 Turbo
- Electric Motor: 90kW
- Horsepower: 285
- 0-60 mph: 5.9-seconds
- 60-0 Braking (avg): 108 feet
- MW Fuel Economy: 32.6 MPG (Premium)
- Transmission: 6-speed automatic
- Battery: 15.5-kWh
- Torque: 347 lb-ft.
- 1/4 Mile: 14.5-seconds at 95 mph
- EPA: 77 Combined MPGe | 29 Combined MPG
- EV Range: up to 32 miles