2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV: full pricing and specs revealed
Italian brand’s striking compact SUV is now on sale with a petrol-powered mild- or plug-in hybrid powertrain
- Mild- and plug-in hybrid powertrains
- Ti, Veloce and Speciale trim levels
- On sale now from £38,595
The plug-in hybrid version of the Alfa Romeo Tonale SUV is now on sale, with prices starting from £44,595. This new model joins the less-expensive Tonale mild-hybrid, which went on sale in 2022 and shares that car’s striking design and trim level structure.
The Tonale SUV is an important car for Alfa Romeo, because it aims to give the Italian brand a foothold in the lucrative family SUV sector. It sits beneath the Stelvio SUV in the brand’s range, rivalling the Audi Q3, BMW X1, Mercedes GLA and Volvo XC40.
2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale: pricing and specifications
At launch, Alfa Romeo is offering the Tonale SUV in three trim levels: Ti, Veloce and Speciale. Starting at £39,995, the Ti is the range entry point and is only available with the 1.5-litre mild-hybrid engine. Kit includes 18-inch alloy wheels, LED headlights, black cloth upholstery, a 10.25-inch touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, digital dials, dual-zone climate control, a powered bootlid, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition and a reversing camera.
Next up is the mid-range Veloce model, which starts from £42,505 for the mild-hybrid and £48,495 for the plug-in hybrid (PHEV). It adds larger 19-inch alloy wheels hiding powerful Brembo brakes, adaptive suspension and a more aggressive body kit with matte black accents. Standard equipment includes aluminium gear-shift paddles on the steering column and Alcantara suede upholstery.
The limited-run Speciale range-topper starts from £38,595, making it the least expensive model in the lineup – good value considering it’s a Veloce with more kit. With PHEV models setting buyers back £44,595, the Speciale gets darker 20-inch wheels and an array of model-specific badging.
Perhaps the most intriguing standard feature of the Tonale is the free NFT certificate that comes as part of the deal. A non-fungible token is a type of digital asset that uses encryption to avoid being replicated. An NFT’s owner is recorded as part of the asset’s online data, preventing anyone else from claiming ownership.
All Alfa Romeo Tonale owners will be given an NFT of their buyer’s certificate – a novel keepsake in the encroaching world of cryptocurrencies and internet real estate.
Exterior design and styling
The design of the new Tonale borrows heavily from the concept car first showcased at the Geneva Motor Show in 2019. Like the show car, its nose features several traditional Alfa Romeo design cues, including a triangle-shaped front grille, a slim swept back headlight design, an offset front number plate, and a full-width front air intake across the lower part of the front bumper.
The model seen in the images sits on a set of large ‘Teledial’ alloy wheels, although smaller designs are also available. The sides of the car feature black plastic bodywork cladding, with an uninterrupted bodywork crease from front to back, leading to an upswept rear window. At the back, a full-width LED light bar sits above a centre-mounted Alfa Romeo badge, along with a sharply angled rear window, giving the Tonale a strong family resemblance to the larger Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
Interior, technology and practicality
Inside, the Tonale features a split-level dashboard design, separated by a central contrasting trim piece, and leather covers the lower section. A 12.3-inch digital dial cluster is standard, with graphics designed to replicate Alfa’s traditional analogue dials. This is complemented by a 10.25-inch infotainment touchscreen featuring wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, along with Amazon Alexa – which is integrated with a voice assistant. The Alexa functionality also allows owners to select their Tonale as a parcel drop-off point using Amazon’s “secure delivery service.”
Elsewhere, there’s a conventional-looking climate control setup featuring a row of physical buttons and a pair of rotary dials. There’s also a rotary dial for the car’s driving modes, and a flat-bottomed steering wheel paired with a set of large gearshift paddles.
All versions of the Tonale are well-equipped, with top models getting things like heated and ventilated seats, a Harmon Kardon premium stereo, wireless smartphone charging and a powered tailgate. According to Alfa Romeo, the Tonale features a 500-litre boot – although this shrinks to a disappointing 385 litres on the PHEV model.
Alfa’s baby SUV also features a host of connected services, too, with integrated blockchain technology that record’s the car’s digital service record and details of over-the-air software updates.
Alfa has fitted all of its latest safety tech to the Tonale, including adaptive cruise control that can automatically keep the car in the middle of its lane at motorway speeds. It also features autonomous emergency braking (AEB), pedestrian and cyclist detection, blind spot and rear-cross traffic detection, and a 360-degree view camera.
Engines, platform and performance
The Tonale is only offered with two choices of powertrain in the UK: a turbocharged 1.5-litre petrol engine, mated to a 48-volt electronic hybrid system, alongside a 1.3-litre petrol plug-in hybrid setup. Dubbed the 160 Hybrid, the mild-hybrid produces 158bhp and is paired with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox (there is no manual option).
With this powertrain fitted, the Tonale is said to get from 0-62mph in 8.8 seconds and return just over 45mpg. The 160 Hybrid also features an ‘e-Creeping’ mode, allowing the car to move slowly in EV mode, along with an ‘e-Queuing’ function that keeps the car moving in traffic. This setup means that the Tonale mild-hybrid models can be parked using electric power.
The Tonale is also available as the Italian firm’s first plug-in hybrid model. Plug-in hybrid Tonales (dubbed the Hybrid Q4) utilise a four-cylinder 1.3-litre petrol engine, combined with a rear-mounted electric motor and a 15.5kWh battery for a total power output of 271bhp.
Power goes to all four wheels via a six-speed automatic gearbox, allowing the Tonale PHEV to get from 0-62mph in 6.2 seconds – making it the fastest model in the line-up. Alfa claims the Hybrid Q4 can manage up to 43 miles in electric mode, and a full top-up of the battery takes around two and a half hours when using a 7.4kW home charger.
The Tonale sits on an updated version of a Fiat-Chrysler platform, which is used on several Jeep models. Here, Alfa has given the small SUV wider axles to improve handling, along with several upgrades including Brembo brake calipers, a regenerative braking system equipped with brake-by-wire-technology and Frequency Selective Dampers (FSD), which automatically adjust as the car is driven. Alfa Romeo claims all of this should deliver a sporty, yet comfortable ride – find out whether this is true in our in-depth review
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