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I am testing the Alfa Romeo Tonale and this self-charging hybrid is not e-evolution

Not long ago, the only green piece on an Alfa was the four-leaf clover. What speed meant.

But times are changing.

Alfa Romeo is pushing to go all-electric by 2027, and the hybrid Tonale (pronounced Finale) is the first step in that direction

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Alfa Romeo is pushing to go all-electric by 2027, and the hybrid Tonale (pronounced Finale) is the first step in that direction
This 160hp self-charging hybrid - no cable required - is the only power unit available until we see the 275hp plug-in hybrid, cable required, in December

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This 160hp self-charging hybrid – no cable required – is the only power unit available until we see the 275hp plug-in hybrid, cable required, in December

Alfa Romeo is pushing to go all-electric by 2027, and the hybrid Tonale (pronounced Finale) is the first step in that direction.

This 160hp self-charging hybrid – no cable required – is the only power unit available until we see the 275hp plug-in hybrid, cable required, in December.

It’s fair to use its electric motor intelligently to silently e-launch and e-creep in e-queue before either harvesting energy while e-coasting at speed, or an e-torque boost for a pace boost insert before you say e-parking that Alfa’s engineers were e-busy.

The only thing that’s slightly unnerving is the engine’s occasionally unflattering sound when you give it a few revs, but to be fair that’s not an exclusive problem in the world of four-cylinder hybrid powertrains.

Ride comfort is fine even on 19-inch alloy wheels and steering is positive, but the seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission can sometimes prove indecisive and hesitant when not in dynamic mode.

However, understeer and side roll are minimal, giving the Tonale enough Alfa feel to be part of the family.

But of course these are not historical Alfa problems.

Residuals and reliability were against it.

As the first car to use NFT technology, it records every battery charge, every single drive and every repair the car will ever have and should, in theory, improve confidence and clarity in resale.

Inside is a familiar Alfa affair, where there are some cheaper plastic touches here and there, but for the most part you’ll like the neatly stitched soft-touch textiles and funky atmospheric backlit glow of the dashboard trim.

The distinctive dual-dome display and crisp new 10-inch center-mounted touchscreen exceed all expectations – and if you don’t agree, you can always ask Alexa, since she’s built-in too.

Wireless charging, as well as USB and USB-C ports front and rear, keep everyone connected in the spacious cabin with plenty of headroom and 500 liters of boot space.

The Alfa Romeo Tonale isn’t an evolution of the premium compact SUV sector, but it’s undoubtedly a desirable addition to a list of already popular alternatives.

KEY FACTS: ALFA ROMEO TONALE

Price: £35,000 (estimated)

Engine: 1.5 liter turbocharged petrol hybrid

Perfomance: 160 hp, 240 Nm

0-100km/h: 8.8 sec

Top speed: 130km/h

Business: 44mpg

CO2: 144g/km

Out of: July

The only thing that's mildly annoying is the engine's occasionally unflattering tone when you give it a few revs

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The only thing that’s mildly annoying is the engine’s occasionally unflattering tone when you give it a few revs

https://www.the-sun.com/motors/5319461/alfa-romeo-tonale-test-drive/ I am testing the Alfa Romeo Tonale and this self-charging hybrid is not e-evolution

Chris Barrese

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