3 FWD models
The local lineup consists of only 3 FWD models: the TI (R739 900), which has 18 inches wheels, the Veloce (R819 900), which has 19 inches wheels with more than two-stage damping; and the Speciale (R798 800), which has 20 inches wheels but with no fancy suspension.
All of these vehicles are built on the same platform (Jeep Compass) and are propelled by the new 1.6 liters, four-cylinder turbocharged engine with 119 kW and 241 Nm of torque. It is paired with a twin-clutch seven-speed transmission. A 49V of the electric motor with 15 kW/55 Nm of torque and a 0.9 kW lithium battery round out the powertrain.
Tonale pass, the pass after which the vehicle is called, has a lengthy list of standard characteristics. All models feature a Level 3-grade suite that includes adaptive cruise control with road sign recognition, adaptive matrix LED headlights, collision warning, autonomous emergency braking, departure warning, and lane keep assist. Additionally, all models feature a 10.25 inches infotainment touchscreen with integrated voice control and voice navigation, rear, and front USB-C and USB-A charging ports, and wireless phone charging.
The Tonale's Speciale's real colors (and occasionally lack thereof) were exposed on the coiling pass-test route of Bain's Kloof, which recently resurfaced and is best enjoyed in light with flashing hot hatches.
Although the Tonale has the fastest steering ratio in its class (13.6:1), but still it lacks sportiness and engagement in feel. Steering is quick but light in weight; regenerative braking and the hybrid assistance are barely even noticeable; and with even the mashed right pedal, negotiating uphill hairpins caused the engine to lag significantly before it began to perform well. Additionally, regardless of the manual mode chosen, the gearbox lacked the same crispness and readiness as the industry-standard DSG from the VW Group.
The Tonale, on the other side, has the good body control and conceals its weight remarkably well while being heavy. This, all in SA spec, creates the installation as well as operation standard of a 1.5-liter engine all the more unfortunate because the base is easily capable of accepting more power.
Comparison With Other Top Models
Although it is far more sporty than a Lexus UX or a Volvo XC40, the Alfa Romeo Tonale isn’t quite as revolutionary as the Stelvio. Given that it is a crossed-breed vehicle with front-wheel steering, braking, and cornering duties, the very nature of the car itself is rife and with trade-offs. Alfa's first step toward an all-EV future looks positively charged.