When the Alfa Romeo Tonale was launched it was supposed to be the family SUV that put Alfa back in the big league, but it was greeted frostily. Reviewers complained of cheap cabin plastics and a challenging hybrid powertrain, as well as an unsettled ride. We were also concerned about the price, which turned out to be even higher than expected. But the car showed promise with sharp styling and even sharper handling. It just felt as though there was something missing
Now, Alfa Romeo claims to have found that missing piece of the Tonale jigsaw with this: the Plug-In Hybrid Q4, or PHEV Q4 for short. Using a plug-in hybrid system to provide ultra-low emissions and high official economy figures, as well as all-wheel drive and 276bhp, it promises to add performance, efficiency and off-road capability to the Tonale’s repertoire. But can it be the engine that takes the Tonale from unremarkable also-ran to genuine BMW X1 rival?
The Tonale PHEV can run on electric-only power for a little over 40 miles on the official economy test, thanks to the 15.5kWh rechargeable battery.
Our test drive suggested a range of 35 miles or more would be achievable without too much effort, and that means those who can charge regularly and mostly do short journeys will be able to drive the Tonale more or less like an electric car. For pootling around town and even on a short commute, there’s no real need to use the petrol engine at all, but it’s there when you need to travel further afield.
VERDICT: The Tonale PHEV is a far more promising compact SUV than the standard Hybrid model, although it still retains some of the same issues. The technology and cabin quality remain weak points, while the ride comfort still isn’t quite right and the price is expected to be steep.
Full review at the link…