Alfa Romeo Tonali 2024 – MotorWeek road tests
While Alfa Romeo officially returned stateside in 2008 with the exotic 8C, it’s gotten even more determined with the arrival of the Guilia sedan for 2017 and the Stelvio SUV for 2018. Well, 2024 will see a further expansion of the lineup with the compact crossover Tonal. Let’s find out what this practical Italian artist has to offer.
Let’s face it, if you want to sell a large number of vehicles these days, you should have at least one small crossover in your collection. So, if you’re Alfa Romeo, that means the all-new 2024 Tonale.
Available in Sprint, Ti and Veloce trims, we chose the top Veloce model because it highlights both the performance and luxury aspects of this stylish crossover to the max, with large aluminum paddle shifters, premium leather sport seats and adaptive dual bucket seats. Stage valve suspension setup included.
However, all Tonales come equipped with the same hybrid powertrain that combines a 1.3-liter turbo four-cylinder with a rear-mounted 90-kilowatt electric motor for standard all-wheel drive, for a total output of 285 horsepower and 347 pound-feet. of torque. In addition, the car has the added benefit of 32 miles of driving as an electric vehicle, as it draws power from a 15.5 kWh battery.
There’s a true 6-speed automatic transmission, plus Alfa’s DNA driving modes which take on new meanings here in the Tonale. Dynamic D now also stands for Dual Power, and dials maximum output from both power supplies;
Normal mode offers a balanced approach, operating as a conventional hybrid system using the power source best suited to the task; Advanced now symbolizes advanced efficiency that prioritizes electric vehicle driving whenever possible.
There’s no physical connection from the front motor to the rear wheels, which means that when you’re in EV mode, you’re driving a rear-wheel drive car.
At our test track, there was plenty of grip off the line, as well as some solid power, with the Tonale jumping forward with urgency on its way to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds.
The excitement waned a bit as we continued down the track, and the power delivery leveled off rather than continuing to build. Shifting in the 6-speed automatic was quick and precise with no lag, yet it felt quite smooth as well. We finished the quarter mile in 14.5 seconds at 95 mph.
The Tonale shares the chassis and almost all of the hardware with the Dodge Hornet that arrived last year, but the Alpha’s tuning is clearly unique. We have proven more than our ability through our dealing cycle; Grip was again plentiful, balance nearly perfect, and there was good steering feel. It’s a really fun little SUV, which always seemed to be asking us to push harder with only minor amounts of understeer appearing at its limits.
The Active Frequency Selective Damping suspension takes cues from the selected driving mode, keeping body roll to a minimum on the track; While providing a very smooth and quiet ride on the highway back home.
Brembo brakes are standard, and provide great stability, feel and results; We stopped from 60 by just 108 feet; Even the nose dive was minimal.
Although it doesn’t look exotic by any means, the Italian influence is strong in the Tonale’s flowing body panels. Naturally, their shield network leads the way. And we give them props for using the snake from their badge to come up with this cool new bonus logo.
All lighting is LED, including the slim, three-lobed matrix-shaped headlights.
Don’t plan on doing too many off-road adventures, as ground clearance is just 5.6 inches, and it would be a shame to get the 20-inch 5-slot Grigio wheels dirty.
Inside, there’s a 10-inch touchscreen for the Uconnect 5 system with navigation, plus a 12.3-inch customizable digital driver cluster; Both are standard for all Tonales.
It was very dark inside our test device, and all the blackness was only broken by flecks of aluminum.
The front seats offer great comfort and plenty of space too; Same thing in the back seat of this five-passenger car, with good head and legroom.
The electric motor, battery and associated hardware in the back take up the cargo capacity, at 22.9 cubic feet. Approximately 4 cubic feet. Less than the standard Dodge Hornet. But the seats still fold down to expand the space to 50.5 cubic feet.
The Tonale gets a government fuel economy rating of 77-MPGe combined, 29-MPGe combined for gasoline only; We averaged 32.6 miles per gallon with the Premium.
Pricing starts at $44,590; The top Tonale Veloce starts 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 Tonali available exclusively as a hybrid. We’re happy to see that, and even happier to see that Alfa Romeo is still here in the United States. Let’s hope his compact SUV is what it needs to not only survive, but to start thriving.
- engine: 1.3L I-4 Turbo
- Electrical engine: 90 kW
- Horsepower: 285
- 0-60 mph: 5.9 seconds
- 60-0 braking (average): 108 feet
- Fuel economy in MW: 32.6 mpg (excellent)
- moving in: 6 speed automatic
- battery: 15.5 kWh
- Torque: 347 ft. lbs.
- 1/4 mile: 14.5 seconds at 95 mph
- EPA: 77 mpg combined | 29 mpg combined
- Electric car range: Up to 32 miles