In a bid to sway Audi, BMW or Mercedes-Benz customers, Alfa Romeo extended the main vehicle warranty to five years, and covers the batteries on hybrid models for eight years or 150,000 km (93,000 miles)
Odd to start an article with the above heading, isn’t it? However, if Alfa Romeo is to turn the course of the tide and successfully reinvigorate the brand, adding assurances to its customers is the main thing to do. After all, Alfa Romeo never had issues with design (both interior and exterior) or performance. It was the reliability plaguing these vehicles that stood out most. In turn, moves like these will certainly help establish the trust and get some of its customers that ran away for greener (German) pastures back.
Overall, the Tonale is one slick looking vehicle – as one might expect from Alfa. It features many design cues that were revealed on the concept car back in 2019. The aggressive lines, interesting racing-derived design cues and overall, a true spectacle of Italian design can be seen throughout this vehicle. And if you put it against its direct competitors (Audi Q3, Mercedes-Benz GLA and BMW X1), the vehicle certainly holds its own.
Underneath the skin of the Alfa Romeo Tonale is an evolution of an older FCA platform seen on cars like the Jeep Compass, but with a wider track and greater use of aluminium and modifications made to suit the new hybrid drivetrains that we’ll get to later. Measuring 178.4-inches (4530 mm) long and 63.0 inches (1600 mm) high, the Tonale is 1.8 inches (46 mm) longer and 0.6 inches (16 mm) further from the sun than rival Audi’s Q3.
Alfa Stepping Into The Electrification World. Finally.
The Tonale features not just one, but two conventional hybrid variants, a PHEV, plus several conventional ICE engines. What you will actually be able to buy will depend largely on what country you live in, but the entire hybrid lineup will be available in every market. Which is great news.
The new model features two regular hybrids. Both are powered by a combination of a 1.5 liter four-cylinder petrol engine, mated to a to 48-volt 15 kW electric motor. Even if it was logical to power both the front and rear wheels, this combination drives just the front wheels. This is done through a seven-speed dual clutch transmission. The base model makes 128 horsepower on petrol before its 20 horsepower shot of electricity is added. However, the more expensive version gets a VGT (variable geometry turbo) blower that lifts ICE output to 158 horsepower and gets the same hybrid boost on top.
On the other hand, both models will allow you to start them, cruise and park using purely electric power, Alfa promising economy equivalent to a diesel engine (which a few European markets will still get). But if you prefer your hybrid to come with a plug, or want your Tonale to come with AWD, you’ll want to step up to the Q4, which Alfa claims is built with the U.S. and Middle East markets, rather than Europe, in mind.
The interior of the Tonale looks magnificent! It’s comfortable looking, feels premium and overall exerts a dose of Italian elegance and performance inspired design. There is no manual option, however, as Alfa thought this should be positioned as a premium product. Not a bad decision either, as the vehicle definitely appeals to a more high-end market share.
The official imaged of Tonale’s interior show a configurable TFT instrument display and new Amazon Alexa-equipped tablet infotainment system in more detail. The 12.5 inch gauge pack sits under Alfa’s trademark 1960s-style double-cowl, and one of its three selectable layouts even features a retro typeface for speed and revs, while the 10.25-inch main touchscreen allows you to customise the position of its widgets.
Will it sell and save Alfa?
Not sure. While it looks great and will certainly draw a lot of customers, it still remains to be seen whether it’s enough to beat its German rivals. Additionally, the issue with the Tonale is that it just threads the EV waters lightly, it’s not a full-blown electrification, further emphasized by a rather old platform alltogether. It remains to be seen and we’ll know quite soon. And yes, we’re holding our fingers crossed for Alfa to knock this out of the park as the world needs well-design performance cars from Italy. Let’s just hope it all comes through as they’ve planned it, that is.