Alfa Romeo’s leader says the company is benchmarking Lexus when it comes to the build quality of its new models, led by the Tonale small SUV.

While a star when it comes to design appeal, dynamics and a certain type of brand cachet, the Italian marque’s products aren’t always regarded as top of the pops in this area.

“My quality benchmark is Lexus,” said Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato at a Tonale launch event, as reported by attending media Automotive News.

The Japanese luxury brand has a reputation – backed by qualitative market surveys – for top-shelf quality.

Mr Imparato, formerly head of Alfa’s fellow Stellantis brand Peugeot, appears to be a perfectionist of sorts, given he delayed the Tonale’s launch to make some improvements to the plug-in hybrid.

In April this year, Alfa Romeo Australia became the latest premium brand to switch to a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty.

All new Alfa Romeo vehicles sold and registered from April 22 will offer the new warranty in place of the old three-year, 150,000km one.

“We are focused on fully strengthening our customer commitment in Australia and by introducing this competitive ownership proposition, we will ensure our valued customers benefit from added peace-of-mind, not only at the time of purchase, but for many years to come,” said Stellantis’ local aftersales and customer experience director, Stephen Lester.

Mr Lester was previously managing director of Nissan Australia.

It’s part of what Alfa Romeo is calling its Head & Heart Promise campaign, with the Italian brand aiming to underscore its vehicles’ reliability in its messaging.

The Tonale’s role will be to serve as a new entry point to the range, which also comprises the Giulia and Stelvio.

It’s the starting point for Alfa’s latest five-year plan, which will see the company launch a new model every year to 2026.

Built at a refurbished Stellantis plant in Naples, Tonale order books open globally in April. It won’t arrive in Australia until the first half of 2023, with a standard hybridised-petrol engine.

Mike Costello
Mike Costello is a Senior Contributor at CarExpert.
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