The eye-catching Alfa Romeo Tonale has our attention

Slotted below the Stelvio, the new Alfa Romeo Tonale was launched in South Africa in December. This new compact SUV features the brand's stylistic features and a mild hybrid powertrain – the first for any Alfa Romeo car. The automaker named the all-new compact crossover after a mountain pass in Italy and pitches it against the BMW X1, Mercedes-Benz GLA, Audi Q3, and Volvo XC40.

Three variants are on offer: The Ti, Speciale, and Veloce. They are all powered by a mild hybrid powertrain. It comprises a 1.5-litre four-cylinder Hybrid VGT (Variable-Geometry Turbo) mill, a 48-volt electric motor, getting juice from a 0.8kWh battery pack, and a seven-speed dual-clutch transmission. The engine produces 118kW and 240Nm of torque, while the electric motor adds another 15kW and 55Nm to the total output.

The automaker uses an Intelligent Brake System that recharges the battery during deceleration. Depending on the conditions, you can use e-Creeping (to start up normally), e-Launch (to start using the electric motor), e-Queueing (for stop-and-go driving), and e-Parking (to engage when you seek parking).

Alfa Romeo claims its all-new product, Tonale, can accelerate from 0 to 100 km/h in 8.8 seconds and max out at 210 kph. The claimed fuel efficiency rating stands at 5.7 litres per 100 km.

Features like the Independent McPherson suspension with Frequency Selective Damping technology, direct steering, and electronic self-locking differential built into the DNA selector are a testament to its sporty underpinnings.

Like most vehicles, the interior feels more luxurious as we move up the trim levels. The entry-level Ti comes equipped with a 10.25-inch touchscreen display, supporting Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, a 12.3-inch digital driver display, full Matrix LED adaptive headlights, and 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels. The black cloth upholstery and a range of driver assistance and safety amenities are also standard.

The top-of-the-line Veloce gets better with adaptive suspension, column-mounted aluminium paddle shifters (available for the Speciale as well), and 19-inch alloys with red-hued brake callipers. Moreover, this luxury crossover variant boasts Alcantara upholstery, which you can upgrade to full leather by opting for the R37,000 package. This upgrade package also brings power adjustment and ventilation for the front seats, as well as a Harman Kardon sound system.

The Alfa Romeo Tonale is equipped with Alfa’s Advanced Driver Assistance Systems,. The vehicle uses a 360-degree-view camera, adaptive cruise control, traffic sign recognition, and lane-centering systems for a hands-free driving experience.

The Tonale also offers a broad range of active and passive safety facilities like multiple airbags, autonomous emergency braking, drowsy driver detection, blind spot monitoring, and many other amenities to keep you safe on the road.

The 2023 Alfa Rome Tonale starts at R739,900, while the mid-level Speciale goes for R799,900. The flagship Veloce is available at R819,900. (Prices correct at time of publication.) All Alfa Romeos come with a five-year/100,000km warranty and a five-year/100,000km service plan.

Overall, the new Tonale is a promising compact crossover, offering a great mix of styling, power, tech, and safety. It will be interesting to see how South Africans embrace this new utility vehicle from the Italian automaker.

Please note the imagery supplied in this blog was taken off

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