Find a 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale

    From $78,500 - excl. on-roads
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    Pros
    • All the bells and whistles over the rest of the Tonale range
    • Perfect for city driving without committing to EV power
    • One of the only PHEV powertrains within its segment
    Cons
    • $19,600 more than Tonale Hybrid
    • Not as punchy as specs suggest
    • Fuel economy balloons past EV range
    Specs
    1.5L
    132kW
    34g
    From $78,500 excl. on-roads

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    Alfa Romeo has introduced its first plug-in hybrid vehicle to the Australian market.

    The 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale Plug-in Hybrid Q4 starts from $78,500 before on-road costs which carries a $19,600 premium over the equivalent hybrid model.

    The Veloce PHEV is the top-spec variant in the local Tonale range, and includes all the fruit which are usually optional extras available lower down in the range.

    The Tonale competes with the likes of the Audi Q3 ($54,600 to $70,800) and recently refreshed BMW X1 ($60,400 to $90,900) in the premium small SUV segment. However, it’s worth noting that none of the Tonale’s premium competitors offer a plug-in hybrid option, despite some doing so in the past.

    Remaining plug-in hybrids that could logically be cross-shopped include the smaller Cupra Formentor VZe and larger Lexus NX 450h+ F Sport. The Formentor VZe is priced from $70,900 before on-road costs, while the Lexus NX 450h+ F Sport will set you back $90,948 before on-road costs – though it’s currently off sale due to low supply.

    In late 2023, the Australian Federal Government introduced updated the Luxury Car Tax threshold which means the Tonale Plug-in hybrid is exempt based on its combined cycle efficiency rating. It also qualifies for Fringe Benefits Tax (FBT) exemptions for those who purchase vehicles under a novated lease.

    How does the Alfa Romeo Tonale compare?
    View a detailed breakdown of the Alfa Romeo Tonale against similarly sized vehicles.

    How much does the Alfa Romeo Tonale cost?

    2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale pricing:

    • 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale Hybrid Ti: $50,990
    • 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale Hybrid Veloce: $58,900
    • 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale Plug-in Hybrid Q4 Veloce: $78,500

    Prices exclude on-road costs

    To see how the Tonale compares to its rivals, line it up with any of its rivals using our comparison tool.

    What is the Alfa Romeo Tonale like on the inside?

    It looks and feels like an Alfa Romeo inside there’s no denying that – I also give it points for interior finishes and perceived build quality.

    I went looking for issues in the interior of the Tonale PHEV and I wasn’t able to find a lot if I’m being honest. The cabin cocoons you and feels “homely”.

    The Tonale PHEV has all the bells and whistles available in the range, with options limited to paint and a wheel upgrade. It’s a shame Alfa Romeo Australia didn’t bring in a Ti-spec Tonale PHEV to make the plug-in drivetrain more accessible.

    The digital instrument cluster is a great size and sits pretty at 12.3 inches. It offers enough real estate for the virtual tacho and speed gauges if you prefer the analogue design, as well as space for vehicle information in the centre which is customisable using the steering wheel buttons.

    It has an additional two virtual gauges for fuel and battery levels, and it may take some getting used to to make sure you aren’t looking at the wrong one. One thing that perhaps might have been more convenient was putting the gauges on the correct side to represent where the charging port and fuel filler flaps are located.

    The Tonale doesn’t offer a head up display and traditionally I am a very big advocate for this, however given my seating position and the height of the instrument cluster I didn’t find I had to take my eyes that far off the road ahead to read the information on display.

    The 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system was good… enough. A very odd observation and probably not relevant to the Tonale’s younger demographic is the text size on the infotainment system was fairly small, at times almost too small.

    I remember trying to change this and I gave up because I think I went through almost all the settings in the infotainment screen before putting it in the too hard basket and just living with it.

    The system itself works well. One thing I did struggle with however is scheduling my charging times, the screen would freeze or fail to respond for a few minutes which was very frustrating.

    It does have Amazon Alexa capabilities but again I put it in the too hard basket because it seemed too hard to create an account and try and connect it all together. Satellite navigation – a feature I think is dying out when you have access to smartphone mirroring – did take a few seconds more than expected to load given this is Alfa’s latest system.

    A nice touch is the customisable profile settings in the infotainment system. It was cool to create a profile and have my name pop up when the car turned on.

    The steering wheel which is taken out of the larger Stelvio is very nice to touch. It feels boujee and special, and for over $80,000 once you add on-road costs, I would expect nothing less. I will add though, the dashboard and driver displays don’t feel or look cheap, but also aren’t class leading.

    It has a circular stop/start button which gives it a sporty feel, as well as controls for adaptive cruise control, voice commands, the instrument cluster as well as track and volume.

    The paddleshifters also add to the Tonale’s sporty feel, but I don’t know how often one would use them if they are mainly travelling on pure electric power. I also enjoyed fact the climate controls are still physical buttons and are very easy to use.

    In the centre tunnel there is one USB-A and one USB-C port, as well as an upright wireless phone charger which proved to be a little annoying for the chunky case on my iPhone 13 Pro Max. I found I was constantly fiddling with the angle to get it to sit properly in the charger, which was fairly frustrating as I reverted back to using a cable and storing my phone in a cup holder, which didn’t fit desirably either.

    When connected to wireless Apple CarPlay, I found on occasion when my phone was charging in the wireless charger and connected to smartphone mirroring that it would overheat and need to cool down. Wireless Apple CarPlay can be temperamental, it works most of the time but on the last few days of the loan it would not connect and I had to use my cable which defeats the purpose of having the technology.

    The centre console is unchanged from Hybrid models with the exception of the e-save button for the battery. Pushing this button will prioritise the combustion engine and charge the PHEV battery. There are two cup holders in the centre tunnel which were adequate. They fit a small drink bottle but don’t get optimistic you can fit a Frank Green drink bottle here.

    The centre storage bin between the front seats is very small and can probably only fit your keys and smaller items. The panoramic sunroof makes the car feel so much bigger inside when the shade is drawn back. To control both of these features the buttons are next to the interior lights in the overhead console.

    If you’re tall (unlike me) and are expecting to carry taller passengers in the second row, legroom could be on the tighter side but that’s to be expected from a ‘small’ SUV. That said, the Tonale is a little larger than its direct premium small SUV competitors in the back and boot.

    I was able to fit three rear-facing child seats in the second row – one baby capsule and two compact reversible car seats to specific. My only concern with using this car as the primary family taxi is that boot space is fairly limited for families with multiple prams, for example.

    The second row has air vents as well as USB-A and -C ports. The driver and front passenger seatbacks have storage pockets as well.

    Lastly boot space. I didn’t expect a lot but I was surprised I was able to fit a single pram with bassinet and still have space for two or three grocery bags.

    While not listed on the spec sheet, the Tonale PHEV offers 385L of cargo capacity, which according to the company’s local division is identical to the Australian-spec Tonale Hybrid. It betters the Formentor VZe (345L), but notably less than the Lexus NX 450h+ (520L).

    Also worth noting is the fact PHEV versions only get a tyre repair kit instead of the spare wheel offered in Hybrid models. This is to accomodate for the larger battery pack mounted under the boot floor.

    What’s under the bonnet?

    ModelAlfa Romeo Tonale Plug-in Hybrid Q4
    Engine1.3-litre 4cyl turbo PHEV
    Engine power132kW
    Engine torque270Nm
    Electric motor power90kW
    Electric motor torque250Nm
    Total system power208kW
    Total system torque
    Claimed 0-100km/h sprint6.2 seconds
    Transmission6-speed automatic
    Driven WheelsAll-wheel drive
    Weight1811kg (tare)
    Battery15.5kWh (gross)
    Electric range60.5km (WLTP)
    Fuel economy (claimed)1.5L/100km
    Fuel economy (as tested)4.3L/100km
    Fuel tank42.5 litres
    Minimum fuel requirement95 RON

    Alfa Romeo says customers can charge their Tonale PHEV using Mode 2 or Mode 3 charging cables. The high-voltage battery can be charged in 2.5 hours using a 7.4kW AC charger, and the Mode 2 cable is capable of charging at 3.0kW.

    To see how the Tonale compares to its rivals, line it up with any of its rivals using our comparison tool.

    How does the Alfa Romeo Tonale drive?

    Starting up the Tonale PHEV, the vehicle will default to its “Natural” mode which will automatically shift between power sources to balance efficiency and performance.

    It tends to start up with electric power so there isn’t really any loud engine noise until you put on the air conditioning at a high fan speed or draw any noticeable power from the car which may cause it to fire up the petrol motor.

    Alfa Romeo’s DNA drive mode system stands for Dynamic, Natural and Advanced Efficiency. When driving in Natural mode it offers a decent enough level of grunt off the mark given the electric motor’s 90kW/250Nm outputs. When the petrol engine comes online, performance improves.

    It’s less impressive when you run out of usable EV range and prioritise ICE power. The turbocharged petrol engine doesn’t feel particularly strong when left to its own devices, despite having higher outputs than the electric motor.

    Unfortunately this is going to be my biggest disappointment in the Tonale PHEV. The power it can offer is a little underwhelming and it can be a bit of a turn off – especially when Alfa Romeo is pitching the plug-in as the performance pick.

    Alfa Romeo says the Tonale PHEV is “among the best in the C-SUV premium market in terms of performance and range”, but that’s because most of its rivals don’t offer plug-in hybrid drivetrains so it’s not necessarily comparing apples with apples.

    There are other options in the segment with more power, though with either petrol or electric drivetrains – but they do come with a heavier price tag. For example, a BMW X1 M35i or Volvo XC40 Recharge Twin offer more power and performance than the Tonale.

    Driving at low speeds in and around the city, the suspension feels nice and enjoyable even in Dynamic mode. The Tonale feels smooth, and despite the optional 20-inch wheels didn’t crash over bumps in inner-city Melbourne.

    The Tonale PHEV’s all-wheel drive system came in handy both on the road and some light gravel roads that I encountered during my time with the car. For those playing at home, the engine powers the front axle and the electric motor powers the rear.

    Given the rear-biased Giulia and Stelvio are lauded for their dynamics, I expected the Tonale to offer a similar level of engagement and sporty feel. However, I came away a little disappointed.

    The steering, for example, is very light in weight and at times lacking in feedback when making lane changes and tighter manoeuvres, which for city driving was nice however given Alfa Romeo’s sporty branding I was expecting the steering to be firmer and more communicative.

    On the highway it was good, it’s a very comfortable long-distance tourer. I took it for the day with some friends to the Yarra Valley about a 90-minute drive from Melbourne – we were hopping around the region all day and never once got uncomfortable.

    Alfa Romeo claims the PHEV has a combined fuel consumption of 1.5L/100km. I averaged an indicated 5.0L/100km during my week of testing which combined daily commuting to and from work, plus the longer trip out to the countryside on the weekend.

    If you’ve read any of my other reviews, Auto Hold is a must and the Tonale PHEV had it so… tick! However the setting was located in the infotainment system which takes a bit of digging – but the car will remember your setting so it’s a set and forget.

    Lastly, the Alfa Romeo Connect functionality was a big disappointment. I did a lot of online research to find how to set it up, but all the online help is for overseas markets. I was then told it’s specific to the email address used on the purchase agreement – which begs the question of once you sell the car, how does it work?

    Once I was set up, the app’s functionality was limited and only offered remote lock/unlock as well as turning on the lights to find it in carparks. Based on my testing it took a sold 10-15 seconds to register the command from the app to the car, which seems to defeat the purpose because if I’m close by I can do it myself.

    Interestingly, there was also no ability to check battery or charging status, which I thought was included and would be beneficial for a PHEV owner. The app itself also took a while to load the vehicle’s location.

    What do you get?

    Tonale Ti highlights:

    • 18-inch alloy wheels
    • Tyre pressure monitoring
    • Auto Matrix LED headlights
      • Adaptive Driving Beam
      • Dynamic turn indicator
    • Automatic high-beam
    • Power-folding heated exterior mirrors
    • 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
    • 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system
    • Wireless Apple CarPlay, Android Auto
    • DAB radio
    • My Alfa Connect services
    • 6-speaker sound system
    • Wireless charging pad
    • USB-A + USB-C ports front, rear
    • Keyless entry and start
    • Dual-zone climate control
    • Electric park brake with auto hold
    • 6-way manually adjustable front seats
    • Power driver lumbar support
    • Carbon cloth/leatherette upholstery, beige stitching
    • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
    • Aluminium pedals

    The $3500 Technology Pack adds:

    • Side parking sensors
    • 360 degree view camera
    • Blind spot monitoring
    • Rear-cross traffic alert
    • Adaptive cruise control
    • Lane keep assist
    • Traffic jam assist
    • Auto dimming external rear view mirrors

    Over this, the Veloce adds:

    • Dark Miron body kit with matte inserts
    • Privacy glass
    • 19-inch alloy wheels
    • Brembo red brake calipers
    • Gloss black window trim
    • Auto-dimming exterior mirrors
    • Active Dual Stage Valve Suspension
    • Perforated Black leather and Alcantara, with red stitching
    • Aluminium door sills
    • Aluminium paddle shifters
    • Red stiching on the doors and centre console

    The $4500 Lusso Pack adds:

    • Heated, ventilated front seats
    • Heated steering wheel
    • Heated washer nozzle
    • Black leather upholstery with dark grey stitching
    • 8-way power front seats incl. driver memory
    • 14-speaker 465W Harmon Kardon sound system

    You can also add 20-inch alloy wheels for $1500 and a panoramic sunroof for $2500.

    Tonale Plug-in Hybrid Q4 Veloce adds:

    • Dark Miron “Scudetto” front grille finish
    • Dark Miron body kit with matte inserts
    • Privacy glass
    • Veloce badging
    • Brembo red brake calipers
    • 19-Inch diamond cut alloy wheels
    • Gloss Black electric-folding heated exterior mirrors with Italian flag
    • Perforated Black leather-accented seats
      • Embroidered Alfa Romeo logo
      • Dark Grey double stitching
    • Dark Grey accent stitching (front centre armrest, door trim)
    • Aluminum door sills, gearshift paddles, pedals
    • Customisable ambient lighting (from September production)

    You can also add 20-inch alloy wheels for $1500.

    Is the Alfa Romeo Tonale safe?

    The Tonale wears a five-star ANCAP safety rating, based on testing conducted by Euro NCAP in 2022 – though the PHEV is not included.

    The Tonale Hybrid achieved category scores of 84 per cent for adult occupant protection, 87 per cent for child occupant protection, 67 per cent for vulnerable road user protection, and 85 per cent for safety assist.

    Standard safety equipment includes:

    • 6 airbags
    • Adaptive cruise control incl. stop & go
    • AEB incl. Pedestrian, Cyclist detection
    • Intelligent speed assist
    • Lane keep assist
    • Parking sensors front, rear
    • Reversing camera
    • Traffic sign recognition

    Tonale Veloce adds:

    • Blind-spot monitoring
    • Rear cross-traffic alert
    • Side parking sensors
    • Surround-view camera
    • Level 2 autonomous driving
      • Lane centring assist
      • Traffic Jam Assist

    How much does the Alfa Romeo Tonale cost to run?

    Alfa Romeo offers a five-year, unlimited-kilometre warranty. The high-voltage battery in the Tonale PHEV is covered by an eight-year/160,000km warranty.

    The Tonale also comes with five years of roadside assistance and capped-price servicing – required every 12 months or 15,000km, which ever occurs first.

    The first five services cost $500, $600, $500, $1000 and $500, totalling $3100. It’s worth noting the Tonale Hybrid costs more to service over five years by an additional $575.

    BMW offers cheaper servicing for the X1 and X2 , both costing $2500 for five years/80,000km. Audi’s prepaid service plans for the Q3 costs $3330 for the same five-year period. Volvo Australia will charge customers $3000 for a five-year/75,000km service plan.

    CarExpert’s Take on the Alfa Romeo Tonale

    Alfa Romeo says the Tonale PHEV is targeted at customers looking to downsize from a Stelvio or Giulia to a smaller vehicle, but still stay within the brand umbrella.

    While there are obvious links to its larger siblings, I think the Tonale lacks its own bold personality and objective reasons to choose it over its Audi or BMW rivals.

    The $19,000 odd premium over the equivalent Tonale Hybrid to me is a little unjustified. I tried to work out some rough figures for how many years it’ll take you to break even on the fuel savings and to me it didn’t seem worth it.

    Theoretically, the average cost of fuel in Australia is $1.984. It would cost $109.12 to fill up the 55L tank on the Hybrid models versus $84.32 to fill up the PHEV’s fuel tank plus $5.89 to charge at 38 cents per kWh during peak times. Even if you’re charging it every night, it could take years to recoup the costs.

    I did find it annoying charging every night – I park in a shared basement which meant charging was a little difficult. Luckily I have access to a powerpoint in my carpark, but I know it’s not the same for everyone who lives in a multi-level apartment complex.

    Plug-in hybrids aren’t for everyone, and while the Tonale PHEV has its good traits it’s not such a standout to make it an easy pick over the cheaper mild-hybrid versions nor the bulk of its rivals with electrified powertrain options.

    Props to Alfa Romeo for offering a PHEV option while other brands move away from the technology – but let’s face it, this is a niche version of an already niche product.

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    BUY: Alfa Romeo Tonale
    MORE: Everything Alfa Romeo Tonale

    Jade Credentino

    Jade Credentino is an automotive journalist currently based in Melbourne, Australia. Jade has had a chance to review a variety of vehicles and particularly enjoys SUVs. She enjoys traveling and going on road trips exploring Australia.

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    Overall Rating
    7.6
    Cost of Ownership7.5
    Ride Comfort7.5
    Fit for Purpose7.5
    Handling Dynamics7.5
    Interior Practicality and Space8
    Fuel Efficiency8
    Value for Money7.5
    Performance7.5
    Technology Infotainment7.5
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