With 80 kilometers of autonomy in electric mode and almost 300 hp, is the first Alfa Romeo PHEV the most logical version?


It was a few weeks ago when a server had the opportunity to test the Alfa Romeo Tonale with the 160 hp mild-hybrid engine. The conclusions were, in short, that the Tonale is a good SUV but it does not transmit that inherent sportiness of all Alfa Romeo, and the engine was not accompanied either. But is it the same with the PHEV variant of 280 CV and 80 kilometers of autonomy What does the Italian firm propose to us as the top of the range for its compact SUV? Let’s find out.

And it is that without a view to the existence of an Alfa Romeo Tonale QV, the plug-in hybrid version of this becomes the most powerful and performance of the range. All this is thanks to the pairing of a 90 kW electric motor with a 1.3 four-cylinder engine turbocharged to deliver a total power of 280 hp.

Is there efficiency and sportiness in the new Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV?

Neither design nor interior change in this plug-in hybrid Tonale, so let’s go directly to the most relevant difference: its mechanical scheme. Those 280 CV are managed by means of a six-speed automatic transmission that we can manage through excellent aluminum cams and which should be required by law in any self-respecting automatic car. Its response is fast and efficient, making power manageable without inconvenience.


The engine’s response is forceful and leaves behind that rather aseptic character of the 160 hp mild-hybrid variant. The almost 300 CV that declares they make themselves noticed with a good push from low turns to almost the cut, leaving a not inconsiderable 6.2 seconds to cover 0 to 100 and a top speed of 206 km/h. To this we must add a precise, direct direction and with an adequate weight, missing only one more point of communication so that it is perfect.

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The chassis, for its part, is well sculpted and leaves a good SUV behavior palpable thanks to adaptive suspensions that, without being excessively harsh at any time, contain body sway well. But the Tonale doesn’t sit as a sports car to go with a knife in its teeth, but as an efficient SUV, with decent materials, a good load of technology and an electrical section that works considerably well.

And it is that we are talking about an electric motor that is powered by courtesy of a 15.5 kWh lithium-ion battery, guaranteeing, under the WLTP cycle, an autonomy in electric mode of 80 kilometers if we drive in the city and 69 kilometers in mixed use, plus a recharge time of 2.5 hours with a 7.4 kW charger. The truth is that these are figures that are not too far from reality, at least in combined use.

During the presentation, the Italian firm prepared for the occasion a good pack of curves on a mountain road, highway and city. It was in this pairing of journeys where the Tonale PHEV managed to cover approximately 50 kilometers in electric mode, which is not bad at all. To this we must add that we can tell the car that we want to safeguard the percentage of battery that we have through the e-Save button located on the center console, as well as activate a mode in charge of recharging the battery with the due increase in fuel consumption. that this implies.

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Be that as it may, the set is pleasant and allows us to breathe in an atmosphere of comfort thanks to the silence when it works in electric and hybrid mode, as well as good acoustic insulation. To this we must add a firm ride but at no time is it uncomfortable and without looking at any time for extreme sportsmanship. And it is that although the plug-in hybrid Tonale behaves well in curves and even on the circuit, with the Balocco test center being the chosen dance floor, It is not a biting or exaggeratedly precise car, but it does have a noble and quite firm behavior.

How much does the new Alfa Romeo Tonale plug-in hybrid cost?

After all, it is the million dollar question, and more about a car that is increasingly in demand and required by European laws. In this way, the Italian house requires a minimum outlay of 51,000 euros for the new Alfa Romeo Tonale Q4 plug-in hybrid.

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This leaves it at the level of some of its most direct rivals., like the Audi Q3 PHEV that starts from 53,825 euros; the BMW X1 PHEV that starts at 51,900 euros or the Mercedes-Benz GLA PHEV that starts at 53,879 euros.

And answering the question in the headline, in my humble opinion, yes, I think it is the most logical version if we comply with a series of aspects. The first of these is that we drive a lot around the city, where the electric mode is the most logical along with the ZERO label; The second is that we have a charger at home and/or in our workplace and the third is that we can afford the almost 52,000 euros that the brand requires.

In this way, the Alfa Romeo SUV points unceremoniously towards premium competitors, leaving on paper an attractive, decisive and efficient set. Now, will they be enough arguments for the Tonale to unseat its German and Japanese rivals? We will find out soon.


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