Alfa Romeo Tonale Review 2024

Alfa Romeo Tonale At A Glance

Honest John Overall Rating
In typical Alfa Romeo fashion, the new Tonale SUV is quite an appealing choice despite its flaws. We reckon the plug-in hybrid is a better choice than the underwhelming mild-hybrid, especially with its impressive 43-mile range.

+Stylish family SUV. Long electric range makes the PHEV a good choice for company car drivers. Slick infotainment system.

-Lacklustre mild-hybrid engine. Overly light steering. Not as posh or spacious inside as rivals. Quite expensive for private buyers.

New prices start from £35,995

The new Alfa Romeo Tonale is a desirable family SUV intended to tempt buyers away from premium competitors including the Volvo XC40, BMW X1, Mercedes GLA, Audi Q3 and Range Rover Evoque. It combines svelte Italian design with a stylish interior and a fun driving experience... so should it be on your new car shortlist? Read our full Alfa Romeo Tonale review to find out.

Apparently, the Alfa Romeo Tonale is the brand's most technologically advanced car ever. It can take over-the-air updates, has built-in Amazon Alexa and even comes with an NFT digital certificate which marks the end of printed service records.

We lost you there for a moment, didn't we? While Alfa's marketing bods think the above are the Tonale's strongest selling points, we'd disagree. We think it's the fact it looks 'phwoarrrr'.

It's just a shame that it's so late to the party. While other premium manufacturers have been selling family SUVs for several generations now, Alfa Romeo didn't launch its first SUV (the Stelvio) until 2017 - and it's taken another five years to follow that up with its difficult second album.

So why should the Alfa Romeo Tonale really be on your radar? Well, we'll start with the efficient hybrid engines. There are two of them: the mildest of hybrids, which uses a diddy little battery pack to provide a 1.5-litre petrol engine with a small amount of electrical assistance. And then there's the plug-in hybrid, which uses a much bigger battery pack and a 1.3-litre petrol engine.

The mild-hybrid (or simply the Tonale Hybrid as it's marketed) is two-wheel drive, while the PHEV is four-wheel drive. We've only driven the former so far and it's definitely at the sporty end of the family SUV market, thanks to its direct (if overly light) steering and impressive cornering composure. The weedy engine does let it down somewhat, though, while the stodgy dual-clutch auto gearbox also takes away some of the shine.

The plug-in hybrid Tonale is the better option, we reckon, if only for the extra oomph provided by the punchy turbo engine and powerful electric motor. It can travel more than 40 miles on a charge, which is pretty good by PHEV standards, and also means it qualifies for lower company car tax (giving it an advantage over rivals like the Range Rover Evoque P300e).

Perhaps more important than performance in a family SUV, the Alfa Romeo Tonale is quite a versatile car, capable of carrying four adults in comfort. You can fit a fifth person in too, if you must, although no one will thank you for it.

The interior looks pretty smart, helped by the 10.3-inch infotainment screen and 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster. It doesn't feel as spacious or as upmarket as the new BMW X1's cabin, though, while even mainstream competitors like the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage don't feel noticeably downmarket compared to the Tonale.

In typical Alfa Romeo fashion, the Tonale is an interesting left-field choice in a competitive segment. It's good to drive (although the Alfa Romeo Giulia saloon holds greater appeal if that's a priority) and is guaranteed to turn heads, but it lacks some substance that's required if the brand is serious about tempting buyers away from the premium German brands.

What does a Alfa Romeo Tonale cost?