I get a lot of questions from different readers, on the websites where I post my reviews. Specific questions about whether I want to say something about a product, the question of whether I would like to review another product, which is very similar to the product I was allowed to review. But also questions if I would like to review something else, such as a car. And that … I want that!
Davo Group gave me a car for a long weekend, and not just one … namely the very latest Alfa Romeo Tonale. How do you like this one? You can read it in this review.
First of all, let’s kick off with the specifications that the Alfa Romeo Tonale offers.
In this case, the demo car is an Alfa Romeo Tonale 1.5T Hybrid 130hp Edizione Speciale.
This has been upgraded with the following options:
Autonomous Driving Level 2
Color & interior:
Rosso Alfa – Standard Solid paint
Leather upholstery black with gray stitching
Standard equipment (*which may be modified in the future):
12V connection in front
Rear seat 50/50 foldable
Tailgate (foldable rear shelf)
Remote control audio on the steering wheel
Front airbag (driver) (passenger), can be deactivated
Rear central armrest
Front central armrest
Central door locking
Electrically operated windows (front and rear)
Electric boot lock
Electronic Traction Control
Electronic brake force distribution
Low tire pressure indicator
Alloy wheels (20″)
Navigation system (3D map + voice instructions)
Parking sensors, front, rear, front, and rear
Voice recognition system
Power steering (speed dependent)
Steering wheel adjustable in height
The 1.5T Hybrid 130hp starts at (a consumer price) of €42,000
The ‘Edizione Speciale 130 hp’ that I received for a weekend cost about € 49,000
There are 4 different variants in total. A 130 hp diesel, 130 hp and 160 hp petrol (hybrid), and finally a 240 hp petrol plug-in hybrid. The last two are coming a bit later this year.
However, I must admit that with 130 hp I honestly wasn’t expecting a whole lot from it. And it was quite good. The Tonale is fast enough to overtake something fast. If you are still in doubt, Davo can give you the different variants to feel the difference.
By the way, the list of options is huge, I’m not going to post it completely in this review, or otherwise, you’ll keep scrolling. The best thing you can do is to contact Davo and ask for the options list, of course, mention that you have read my review from a-z … (cough) … 😉
On this page of Davo Group you see more info about the Alfa Romeo Tonale.
Further technical, transmission specifications, etc. are as follows:
A few years ago I was allowed to drive an Alfa Romeo Giulia for 2.5 years, and that was a great pleasure for me as an Alfa lover. And that remains for me a car that continues to radiate a lot of passion, emotion, and pleasure.
Hence the day, Alfa Romeo has also managed to achieve this with the Tonale. And that’s pretty nice. The shapes of the Tonale are completely right in my opinion. It is a little brother of the Stelvio, yet it is still a crossover SUV.
Alfa Romeo is known to everyone as the brand for the enthusiast. With the Tonale, the manufacturer also tries to appeal to a wider audience.
Now that Alfa Romeo has become part of the Stellantis group, you might think there would be more sharing with the other works. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Tonale was already in development when it was still part of FCA.
However, the Tonale’s chassis is shared with that of the Jeep Compass, is that a bad thing? I don’t think so.
For a review of a product I often take around 200 photos – per product. No less than 1190 photos were taken for the Alfa Romeo Tonale. And that sets the tone. In my opinion, it is also a very nice car. And the funny thing is… not just me.
During the weekend that I had the Tonale, I drove around 600 km. Fellow road users often looked – and even that is an understatement – at the Tonale. Alfa Romeo fanatics (Alfisti) rode alongside the Tonale and gave the thumbs up. Or they are just very happy with the logo of the Davo Group … that is also possible … 😉
People also came to watch at times when photos were taken, some even wanted to sit in it and feel how the steering wheel felt. That says something
And that’s not surprising. The Tonale just worked out very well.
The 20” alloy wheels finish off the Tonale in this case, especially in combination with the red brake calipers. The Pirelli P-Zero tires also provide a lot of grip.
The front has, as always, the well-known Alfa Romeo grill. The triple LED headlights have a U-shape and are inspired by those of the Alfa Romeo SZ. The U-shaped daytime running lights at both the front and rear give the car a distinctive character.
Of course, the LEDs normally remain on during the day as daytime running lights.
As mentioned, the rear is also equipped with U-shaped LEDs. In my opinion, it is a beautiful sight that continues the line to the logo.
By the way, in case you think the exhausts are on the rear, unfortunately, I have to disappoint you. The exhaust is just at the bottom.
Like almost all cars, the Tonale also has a shark fin at the top for DAB + / Radio, etc.
The variant that I received is the ‘Edizione Speciale’ – and that is also shown on the side. What also completes the car is the Italian flag on the side of the mirror. As for the mirror, it is large which is also really nice. This gives you a huge overview.
The engine block of the Tonale is in any case quite well concealed behind plates, etc.
Yet you get to the necessary things that you should get to.
The cool thing about the Tonale is that there is quite a lot of detail in the car. The bonnet also has beautiful shapes, it is not just a straight piece of metal.
Speaking of details … The Tonale also simply has a four-leaf clover in the headlights. I can appreciate that! 🙂
And that was the Tonale during the day. Of course, there are also photos taken in the evening, and even at night. And you just get it here as a bonus!
This way, by the way, you’ll understand how I got about 1200 photos … 😉
I know it’s a lot of scroll work. But these pictures are worth it in my opinion, so I would like to share them.
Let’s go straight into the evening theme.
The lighting, buttons, and screens provide a calm image for the driver. The ambilight comes out beautifully in the evening – this can also be set in other colors such as green, yellow, blue, and red. There are several pre-programmed colors. In any case, it is a nice place to be as a driver.
The 10.25” touchscreen infotainment system is not only a nice big and clear screen, but it also offers a lot of options to make the home page as clear as possible using widgets. The navigation works very well, the screen is very responsive. Whether you use an iPad… Alfa Romeo has done that well. There is nothing more annoying than a faltering and slow screen.
What I used to have with the Alfa Romeo Giulia, and now also with the Tonale, is that LED lighting is used. And that’s fine. The cabin is nicely lit, right down to the feet.
When starting the car, the lamps of the SZ… I mean the Tonale is nicely displayed on the 12.3” display. It also implies that the Tonale has 22.55″ of screens. According to the manufacturer, the SUV should be the most modern Alfa Romeo of all time. And that is quite right.
The 12.3” display can be immensely increased with different windows. For example, you can choose to put the map in the middle and the trip calculator on the right. But you can also choose from the ‘Driver Assist’ – so that you literally see your vehicle in front, announce in case of messages, charge/power for using the hybrid, further hybrid info, speedometer, or the performance of the moment. When the D of the DNA mode is used, a graph is displayed on performance with the g-forces you create with the Tonale. The Tonale is quite sporty for an SUV, but again not SO sporty that you can take a turn with the 6g. Doesn’t matter, it’s just nice that you can.
If you’re thinking … DNA … what?
D = Dynamic
N = Normal
A = Advanced Efficiency
The Tonale is Android Auto and Apple Carplay ready… and it is, even so ready that you have to connect it to the phone via the menu… and there is Carplay, for example.
As a driver, the screen is fortunately not too far away, so you can quickly switch between the different pages, apps, etc. while driving.
What’s handy about the Tonale, and the Italians do it well, is that it has two front illuminated mirrors. In addition, there is also a possibility to clamp some badges.
A choice that I had made with my Giulia at the time was the paddle shifters. And that is a must-have in my opinion. The Tonale responds wonderfully to ‘manual’ switching. It also gives a sporty feel. The paddles are fixed and therefore always remain in the same position, which is just very nice.
As a driver and co-driver, you are simply very comfortable in the Alfa Romeo Tonale. But what about the rear? There too, with my 1.84cm, I am well seated. In short, I can sit comfortably in the front, get out, and sit in the back without being cramped. There is also a lot of space above me. So the Tonale is big enough in that respect.
My phone – in this case, an iPhone 12 – charged wirelessly while driving. The blue LED on the left indicates that a phone is being charged. It is also very nice that there is both a USB-C and USB-A connection. So there is still a lot to charge.
The cigarette lighter is only a 12V connection. By default, you cannot light a cigarette with the cap empty.
By the way … even in the back of the trunk is a 12V connection. And that is extremely convenient!
Speaking of trunks … That is reasonable, with 500 it is not the largest in its category. But it does offer a lot of possibilities. The floor panel can be lowered one more step, or even removed completely. This also gives extra packing space.
So if you ever wonder whether a digital camera can be put in the trunk … Rest assured, I have hereby answered that question for you.
Yes … you can!
To test the space a little more extensively, I put a Joolz Geo3 in the trunk, the Rolls Royce among the strollers. And it’s not small either. With the floor on the highest level, it fits just fine.
With the floor at a lower level even more so.
By the way, the hatch in the back seat is nice. So you can easily transport longer things, or just quickly get something out of the back seat – if you’re sitting in the back. Of course, the Tonale also has the option to anchor child seats through the two points at the rear.
In addition, the rear passengers have an armrest with two cup holders. Ideal for coffee on the go!
The Tonale also has a USB-C and USB-A connection, as in the front.
And for the kids, the booklets can also simply be tucked away in the seats.
Back to the front of the Tonale. What the manufacturer has cleverly done is to put buttons on both sides of the car to lock the car. Of course, the doors also have a child lock.
The last thing I say about the cabin and then we move on to the next chapter is the finish of the fabric, the grille, and the buttons. This is a topper! The Italians simply show here that they have style.
And they extend that style to the seats. In the front seats, the Alfa Romeo logo is stitched into the headrest.
The leather seats are also comfortable, and the support on the sides is perfect for an SUV in my opinion. In this case, there is also a winter package with the option to have cool or warm air blown over your back. And that was on a hot day … wonderful!! The electric seats work fine, without any problems, and can be adjusted to your liking.
Driving performance and safety
As a crossover SUV, the Alfa Romeo Tonale is quite direct. For an SUV of this size, it is also great that the manufacturer has made it so directly. The car drives well on the road and steers just very fine. And I had to get used to that too. But that was quite short. After a day I was already used to it, and it felt very natural and relaxed.
The Tonale can be equipped with a lot of nice safety options. In this case, the lane assist could be turned on, making it counter-steer – literally, too – when driving toward a line. When using the direction indicators, this is briefly stopped and you can switch lanes.
One thing I didn’t like very much was the system that detects the speed limit. If you’re driving on the highway and somewhere on a road next to it says 80, the Tonale takes this as “truth” for you as a driver. But also the other way around, when you have to drive slower than shown. This happens more often than you think, and that’s a shame. But … that can also be solved with several updates.
At the top, there is an SOS button to immediately contact for help.
In addition to lane assist, the Tonale is also equipped with Autonomous Driving Level 2. This means that the car keeps itself between the lines (both during the day and at night). As a result, it drives itself – even when turning. Ideal if you’re driving home after a long day of work and you’re just starting to feel a bit tired (in any case, always be rested and don’t go tired on the road). When in this mode it is signaled after a short time that the steering wheel is no longer being held, the Tonale will apply the brakes for a very short time, which will certainly keep you awake for the rest of the night. There were no skid marks on the road then… but …
Anyway, that works very well in any case, and in my opinion, is a very good option to use.
Other options such as adaptive cruise control work well, when the vehicle in front briefly touches its brake, the Tonale will also brake immediately. There are also different levels of distance to be set, up to about the back seat of the vehicle in front (sarcasm).
So if the predecessor slows down, the Tonale will also slow down. When the direction indicator comes on to change lanes, you regain speed and continue at the speed set until you meet another “slower” car in front.
In my opinion, Alfa Romeo is doing a good job with the Tonale. The safety options work well. However, I do want to add. Do not rely solely on systems, but always pay attention by yourself.
The Tonale … what a wonderful car. In my opinion, Alfa Romeo has shown that they are back again. The Tonale drives wonderfully, is direct, and offers a lot of space for both passengers and luggage. With the 500L trunk, it is not the largest of its kind. Yet it is easy to adjust by lowering or raising the plate.
With my 1.84cm and very athletic build (cough), I can sit very easily and spaciously in the front, get out and get into the back. There is plenty of room there so that I can sit comfortably. With quite a bit of space above my head too. The seats are comfortable and the winter package also has the nice necessary options such as heating and cooling.
In terms of fuel consumption, the Tonale, according to the manufacturer, should do about 1:16 and that is not bad for a car of 1500 kg (empty).
Also during the test, it was noticeable that the Alfa Romeo Tonale belongs everywhere. The Tonale fits perfectly in the city center of Rotterdam or The Hague, but also on a dike near Hoek van Holland. It is a car where the driver sits nice and high and therefore has a lot of overview. By using the DNA button, the car changes into a wild rabbit or a quiet cruiser. So it’s all possible. And that also makes it fun. The LED lights provide an enormous amount of light when you are on the road in the dark hours. Ambilight on the inside also provides ‘serenity’ and also looks nice. It’s not too exaggerated, not a complete runway in your door that many airports would be jealous of.
Speaking of the cabin … the Tonale is pretty quiet and that also gives peace of mind. Combine that with a huge entertainment center in front of you, and the enjoyment can also begin. However, playing Spotify or Apple Podcasts did not always go without problems. In my case, now and then the connection between my phone and the car was lost, so my navigation (via Waze) was suddenly gone. I was allowed to borrow the car too short to test this properly via the cable. So it could have been my phone. So, unfortunately, I can’t give a good opinion on that, but it is important to mention.
I received the Tonale for a few days (Saturday to Monday), and that is of course not long enough for a very extensive review. Perhaps in the future, after a considerable number of kilometers on the clock, I can borrow it again to see if everything still works and does as it should. I’m guessing yes, by the way. The Giulia was a hassle-free car for me and hopefully so is the Tonale.
And yet I would also take the Stelvio in hand to see how it compares to the Tonale as a big brother. Because that also remains an interesting car.
The Tonale has put a smile on my face. After that, it took some time to get used to getting back into my own – older – car, a BMW 630i from 2007. It immediately feels like a school bus, while it should be lower and sportier than the Tonale. Would I immediately exchange the BMW for the Tonale? In a heartbeat.
And that’s because the Tonale is a car that you walk into with a smile. Especially after a long day at the office, you walk to a car that exudes enthusiasm and passion.
With an entry of € 42,000, the Tonale is not cheap, and yet it is of course in a completely different class (it must compete with the Audi Q3 and the BMW X1). And you can see that in everything. Finish, driving experience and you name it. After all, you get more car in return.
The Alfa Romeo Tonale should appeal to the wider public, and I honestly think (and hope) that they will succeed. It’s a car that can make anyone smile.
As far as I’m concerned, the Tonale therefore also gets 4 out of 5 stars. In short, an 8!
To conclude, I would also like to thank Martijn van R. and Davo Group for this nice first set-up. On to the next…!