Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV: First Look Review

  • Alfa Romeo's first PHEV priced from USD 43,845 (excl. USD 1,595 destination fee)
  • Does 0-60 mph in 6 seconds and delivers an electric driving range of 33 miles
  • Competes with the 2024 Dodge Tonale R/T and the 2024 Lexus NX 450h+
  • Stylish Italian compact SUV now available at U.S. dealerships

The 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV, the entry-lux alternative to the 2024 Dodge Hornet R/T plug-in hybrid compact SUV, has begun arriving at U.S. dealerships. It’s designed to offer style, class, comfort, and performance in a smaller and more eco-friendly package than the mid-sized Alfa Romeos Americans have been used to since last decade – the Giulia and Stelvio. Recently, I checked out a Verde (Green) Fangio Metallic unit to see if the model does justice to the Alfa Romeo badge and figure out if it’s worth the premium it carries over its American counterpart, the Dodge Hornet R/T.

Design

The 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV has an aggressive and athletic design, which is typical of Italian cars. Having seen it in person, I can tell Alfa Romeo has tried hard to make it glamorous and sensuous, although I still don’t find it as attractive as the bigger and more expensive Stelvio.

I find the inward slant of the front fascia a little odd, and the same goes for the angular shape of the three-module headlamps. The Trilobo front grille, including the “Scudetto” shield, conveys prestige, but in my opinion, the 2024 Hornet R/T’s “mail slot”-style grille looks much more attractive. I think the Dodge model’s mail slot-style grille, just like its hood scoops, wouldn’t go well with the 2024 Tonale PHEV’s elegant character, though.

The side profile of the 2024 Tonale PHEV gives it the impression of powerful forward-looking motion. My favorite element here is the sleek glasshouse that ends with a beautiful curve. At the back, the tail lights repeat the intricate design cues of the headlights, and along with the cursive model inscription on the tailgate, project sophistication and remind me of Italy’s roots in art.

Interior

I think the interior of the 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV is modern, but it doesn’t go overboard on reductionism or digitalization. As soon as I stepped into the cabin, I could tell it was driver-focused. The dashboard is tilted towards the driver and there are analog controls wherever needed – no fiddly capacitive buttons. I felt the aluminum shift paddles, the conveniently located drive mode selector, and the turbine-shaped elevate the feeling of sitting in a vehicle built for driving enthusiasts.

I expected the bank of physical switches, buttons, and knobs in the front of the cabin to offer tactile feedback and be precise with the desired inputs. In my experience, the feedback and the quality could be better. The quality of trim, plastics, and other materials in the lower part of the car and the center console could do with an upgrade in future iterations.

The 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster features crisp graphics and a slick UI. The 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system includes wireless CarPlay, wireless Android Auto, and satellite navigation and has a familiar feel to it.

I’m six-foot-tall, and I felt that ingress and egress in the 2024 Tonale PHEV didn’t pose challenges. The eight-way adjustable front seats offer decent under-thigh support. I felt that the leg space in the front was ample and that I had good headroom there. I was concerned about the rear-diagonal visibility because of the small rear-quarter glass and thick C-pillar. When I turned around to check that, I didn’t see that would be a problem while driving.

In the back, three adults like me would not fit side by side. I felt that the legroom was tight and, thanks to the clever seat extenders, under-thigh support was pretty nice. As for headroom, I didn’t have much, and I recommend it only for kids and shorter adults.

Driving impressions

The 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV sports a 1.3-liter turbocharged gas engine-based plug-in hybrid system that produces 285 hp and 350 lb.-ft. of torque. For some reason, it’s less powerful and less torquey than the 2024 Dodge Hornet R/T (288 hp and 383 lb.-ft.), and unlike its American offshoot, it doesn’t have a boost feature. It takes 6 seconds for a 0-60 mph sprint, which is 0.4 seconds more than the Dodge derivative, and with a top speed of 125 mph, it’s 3 mph slower.

Moreover, the Tonale PHEV doesn’t offer a significant advantage in terms of efficiency either. It has the same EPA-est. electric range of 33 miles and an EPA-est. combined fuel economy of 77 MPGe.

Putting the numbers aside, the 2024 Tonale PHEV isn’t a bad deal. Various media reviews suggest that it handles quite well, although it’s not as lively as the rear-wheel-driven, gas-only Stelvio. The compact Alfa Romeo is quick off the line, and when it needs more power, the gas engine comes into action smoothly. Overall, the plug-in hybrid powertrain packs plenty of punch.

The 2024 Tonale PHEV’s steering feels solid and can get heavier when needed during dynamic driving, but it doesn’t feel that sharp. The Brembo brakes give it all the biting force it needs once things get out of the hands of its regenerative braking system, which, unfortunately, doesn’t allow manually adjusting the intensity. Noisiness comes in the way of having a pleasant ride a bit at high speeds, but all in all, it’s quite a fun and comfortable compact SUV.

Price

The 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV’s prices start at USD 43,845 and go up to USD 48,840 (excl. USD 1,595 destination fee).

TopElectricSUV says

The 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV is stylish, packs plenty of comfort and convenience features, has a capable powertrain and chassis, and promises great practicality with a good electric range. However, it seems more like a slightly more premium compact SUV for the daily commute than something truly special that’s deserving of the Alfa Romeo badge and worth the premium price. It’s got some nice-to-haves, but for customers who don’t need that or the Italian branding, the 2024 Dodge Hornet R/T is worth considering.

2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV FAQs

What is the 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV release date?

The 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV is now available at U.S. dealerships.

What is the 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV price?

The 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV’s prices start at USD 43,845 (excl. USD 1,595 destination fee).

Which models are 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV rivals?

The 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV competes with the 2024 Dodge Hornet R/T and the 2024 Lexus NX 450h+.