Alfa Romeo Tonale First Look - Is it as ugly as it sounds?

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The new Alfa Romeo Tonale is the brand’s first hybrid car. All their competitors already have hybrid and fully electric vehicles, so this car needs to impress to bring Alfa onto the playing field.

 But the name gathered some negative attention as soon as it was announced. 

The word Tonale (To-na-leh) sounds nice in Italian. It takes its name from an Italian Pass, similar to the Stelvio. But in the Western world, where we don’t have Italian accents, it quickly became the toenail. 

In fact, a recent post on TopGear claims Alfa tackled the Westernised name head-on by releasing a special edition Tonale Ingroné (ingrown toenail). 

The article says that the Ingroné features foot spas in the passenger footwells. I don’t think that’s remotely true – even if it is hilarious! Who knows, maybe we will see it one day just for fun.

Alfa Romeo Tonale Alfa Red

What is the Alfa Romeo Tonale?

Despite the ugly name, the Tonale is a bit of eye candy. The marque’s first compact SUV is based on the Jeep Compass but has an exclusive 160hp, 1.5L petrol engine powering it. The beautifully designed body still has the sporty DNA you would expect from an Alfa.

Since it’s based on the Compass, it’s predominantly front-wheel drive. However, the plug-in hybrid model delivers 4WD because of the electric motor on the rear axle.

This was an exclusive preview, so I wasn’t allowed to drive it this time. Nonetheless, Alfa says the Tonale will accelerate through its 7-speed automatic transmission from 0-60 in 8.8 seconds. Compared to similar hybrids on the market, like the BMW X1 or Volvo XC40, that’s pretty sluggish.

Alfa Romeo Tonale digital display

Trim Levels

Drivers in the U.K. can expect the choice of 2 trim levels – Ti and Veloce. Both have six colour choices to choose from. These are Alfa Red, White or Black, Misano Blue, Montreal Green and Vesuvio Grey.

Alfa Remeo Ti Spec

The Ti starts off the Tonale range, featuring a 10.25-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, Navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a wireless charging pad and even Amazon Alexa integration. (This means you can set your car as a safe place for your amazon parcels, allowing the courier to leave packages in your boot if you’re brave enough).

The Ti is styled with a satin chrome ‘V’ front bezel, 18-inch diamond cut alloys and black painted mirror caps. The sports steering wheel is wrapped in leather with the start button attached.

This means you can set your car as a safe place for your amazon parcels, allowing the courier to leave packages in your boot.

The Ti is styled with a satin chrome V front bezel, 18-inch diamond cut alloys and black painted mirror caps. The sports steering wheel is wrapped in leather and embodies the start button.

Alfa Remeo Veloce Spec

The Veloce gets sportier styling cues with the chrome front bezel being swapped for a dark one, Veloce badges and a body kit. Gloss black window surrounds, tinted rear windows and 19-inch diamond cut alloys with red-painted Brembo brake callipers round off this spec.

Alfa Romeo Tonale Price UK

Alfa has just released pricing for the Alfa Romeo Tonale, and there are some attractive PCP finance deals. The Ti starts at £39,995 on the road, while the Veloce is from £42,495. [Correct at time of publishing 16.08.2022]

Alfa has also introduced an industry-first way to protect the residual value of your Tonale. It is called an NFT digital certificate.

NFT stands for non-fungible token; basically, it’s like a very detailed digital service book. I know it seems vague. It is. Everyone is eagerly awaiting more details on this NFT certificate from Alfa. For now, this will have to do;

“The NFT will record vehicle data, generating a certificate that can be used to assure the car has been properly maintained”. 

I’m not entirely sure how it will work, but Alfa says it will help maintain the value of your car.

Should the Tonale wear an Alfa badge or do we need a fungal nail treatment? Let me know in the comments below!

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