2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale puts personality first

Alfa Romeo’s trying to figure out where it exists in the current world order, and the Tonale is the latest piece of the puzzle

The 2024 Alfa Tonale is a plug-in hybrid that takes aim at the luxury class though it rides on more pedestrian bones. With a chic design, usable electric-only driving range, and a comfortable interior, it mostly pulls off that nifty trick—though some drivetrain tweaks are in order.

With a TCC Rating of 7.0 out of 10 the 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale bests quite a few of its competitors, but it needs a more powerful electric motor, it’s expensive, and its transmission hangs.

Here are the pros and cons of the 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale after spending a week putting it through the paces of family life.

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale

Pro: Alfa Romeo Tonale features usable electric driving range

The Alfa Romeo Tonale only comes with a plug-in hybrid powertrain with EPA ratings of 77 MPGe, 29 mpg combined, and 33 miles of electric driving range. The 33 miles of electric driving range proved to be about accurate in my real-world mixed suburban testing despite the Minnesota winter cold. Using the accelerator gently in city driving might eke out more than 33 miles of electric range, saving consumers real money at the pump on a weekly basis.

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale

Con: Alfa Romeo Tonale’s transmission hangs

When the 180-hp 1.3-liter turbo-4 does kick in it pairs with a 6-speed automatic rather than an 8-speed. The 6-speed is not only down on gears compared to nearly every modern vehicle on sale today, but it consistently gets hung up on the 1-2 and 2-3 shifts every time. It’s annoying, jerky, and something that should’ve been fixed with a software flash before even entering production.

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale

Pro: Alfa Romeo looks terrific

If there’s one thing Alfa Romeo does well it’s execute a handsome yet simple design that doesn’t rely on flashy bits. Alfa’s trademark curves are all here, though the form factor’s smaller, so the shrunken proportions make the Tonale look stubbier than the larger Stelvio. The “Scudetto” triangular grille flanked by slim headlights makes it known this is an Alfa. Inside there’s a distinct lack of shiny piano black plastic, and the start button is mounted on the steering wheel like all modern Alfas. The digital gauge cluster even features a throwback design with old-school needles and a charge/power light when in the Advanced Efficiency drive mode.

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale

Con: Alfa Romeo Tonale needs stronger electric motor

The tubo-4 is paired with a 121-hp and 184 lb-ft of torque electric motor mounted on the rear axle with no direct connection to the gas engine or front end. In electric only mode the Tonale is rear-wheel drive. The issue comes in that the electric motor doesn’t make enough power to move the Tonale out of its own way when needed. Even when in Advanced Efficiency mode, which theoretically keeps the powertrain in electric power if possible, the gas engine will kick in if the accelerator is pushed past a certain point, which isn’t terribly far in its travel. The Tonale can be kept in electric-only mode, but it takes thinking about it. Merging onto the highway, or even pulling away from a stoplight can kick on the gas motor instantly if too much throttle is applied. 

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale

Pro: Alfa Romeo Tonale delivers good space

Despite its size the Tonale is comfortable for four people. Five will be tight but work in a pinch. At 5-foot-10 I could sit in the second row, with the front seat set in my best driving position. The kids never complained once about space like they do in a Jeep Compass. With 38.0 inches of legroom in the back the Tonale actually has more second-row space than the larger Stelvio, all due to packaging of a less complicated suspension system and less dash-to-axle ratio. The front seats of my loaded Veloce tester were comfortable, supportive, and looked like a smaller version of the setup in the larger Stelvio. Bear hugs for all. The useful 20.9-cubic-foot cargo hold easily swallowed gifts from my daughter’s birthday party. 

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale

Con: Alfa Romeo Tonale costs too much

The Tonale starts from $44,590 including a $1,595 destination charge, and that nets heated cloth seats and a heated steering wheel. My loaded Veloce tester cost a shocking $57,450 and featured big metal column-mounted paddle shifters, 8-way power front seats, and 19-inch trademark Alfa wheels. That’s serious Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class territory,, and this Alfa isn’t nearly as large or nice inside, nor does it have the loyal brand following to demand that price. A nicer Volvo XC40 costs less across the board. 

It’s clear Alfa Romeo’s future vehicles will retain its pretty design language, but less clear if the automaker can make a solid case for why someone needs to choose it over the competition. Most of the pieces are here, just waiting for a fine-tuning on the gearbox—and on the price.

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2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale Veloce EAWD

Base price: $44,590, including $1,595 destination

Price as tested: $57,450

Powertrain: 285-hp plug-in hybrid, 6-speed automatic transmission, AWD

EPA fuel economy: 29 mpg combined, 33 miles electric range

The pros: Pretty design, nice materials, real electric range

The cons: Weak electric motor, costs too much, transmission hangs


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