6 Reasons to Love the 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale PHEV

The 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale is a headturner. It's stylish, designed with care, and performs with passion — just like your favorite Italian designer handbag.

Alfa Romeo Tonale
The Alfa Romeo Tonale is stylish and powerful. Photo: Connie Peters

What do Fendi and Prada Have in Common with the Alfa Romeo Tonale?

Oh, Italy. So full of charm, beautiful people, enchanting vistas, and a noteworthy selection of artisanal luxury goods, from jewelry to food to large ticket purchases. And the biggest pleasure is that we don’t necessarily have to travel far to experience it. We can slip behind the wheel of a sports car and transport ourselves into the heart of the culture.

During my time with the 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale, I find myself comparing two symbols of sophistication – an Italian car and a designer handbag. The sleek curves of the car, reminiscent of a finely tailored suit, beckon with promises of speed and luxury. Its metallic exterior gleams like polished leather, the essence of Italian craftsmanship.

On the other hand, the designer handbag whispers tales of fashion and refinement. Supple leather mirrors the car’s upholstery, creating an unexpected connection between two distinct worlds. As I weigh the allure of the car’s roaring engine against the the timeless allure of an expertly crafted handbag, I can’t help but marvel at the meticulous design of each.

That’s when I grapple with the choice of whether to race through life in a roaring Italian masterpiece or stride confidently with a designer accessory on my arm. Can I have both?

The Tonale is the new plug-in hybrid small crossover from Italian race car legend Alfa Romeo. It is the most budget-friendly offering in the Alfa Romeo lineup, starting at $43,845. 

Related: Alfa Romeo Tonale AWD PVEH First Drive – All the Feels

Alfa Romeo Tonale

The gorgeous front end of the 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale. Photo: Connie Peters

I Fell in Love with this Italian Blue Beauty for Many Reasons

1. It Looks Like NOTHING Else on the Road

Let’s start with the front end, the Scudetto grille. Its triangular shape, reminiscent of a V-shaped shield, is completely unique to Alfa Romeo. I think it’s not only one-of-a-kind, but it’s also really sporty-looking and beautiful.

The adaptive Trilobo headlights boast an athletic  3+3 shape. You won’t see anything else like these on the road (well, maybe only the new Giulia and Stelvio designs that are coming soon).

The Tonale’s top trim, Veloce, as tested, offers a bold and historically significant 20” 5-hole circular-like wheel design. This impressively sporty and uncommonly creative special style is seen only in Alfa Romeo. 

There is no question that the exterior design of the Tonale is unlike any other small crossover or SUV.

You even get Italian flags on the exterior side-view mirror caps.

Related: Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce: Luxurious Athleticism

Alfa Romeo Tonale Rear End

The rear view of the Alfa Romeo Tonale. Photo: Connie Peters

2. Racing Heritage Inspires a Joy to Drive Factor AND a Pure Electric Range

The new Tonale plug-in hybrid comes standard with all-wheel drive and 6-speed automatic transmission. It is a 1.6 L turbocharged four-cylinder with an electric motor on the rear wheels. It has 285 horsepower and 350 lb-feet of torque and will get you to 60 miles per hour in about 6 seconds. That means it’s peppy to drive and doesn’t feel sluggish in the least. 

Not only is it a joy to drive and handles incredibly well, but, because it’s a plug-in hybrid, it also offers pure electric driving. Plugging it in at home in my garage every day gave me maximum range, and I love that about PHEVs. The Tonale gets up to about 31 miles (or 50 kilometers) in pure electric range, which is more than most people drive each day. 

DNA drive modes for Alfa Romeo are D for Dynamic (Sport), N for Normal (Comfort), and A for Advanced Efficiency or Eco. I, of course, always drive in Dynamic.

Related: 13 of Our Favorite Electric Cars, Hybrids and PHEVs

Alfa Romeo Tonale

Rear seats in the Alfa Romeo Tonale. Photo: Connie Peters

3. Interior Luxury 

While the rear seats felt less luxe to me, the driver gets all the goods. The dash is beautiful and cleanly designed with leather and ambient lighting across the width of the car. The driver display is all digital and customizable.

With supple leather, heated and ventilated seats and a sport steering wheel, the driver feels not only comfortable but in control in style.

4. All the Technology you Need is Here

Firstly, let me say that the 360 backup camera is fantastic. I enjoy having a super clear view; it gives me a command of all my surroundings and makes me feel like I am in better control, as well as making the driving experience feel safer.

A digital dashboard and touchscreen plus wireless Apple CarPlay mean that tech is at our fingertips, just the way I like it while driving.

While driving, we want standard safety tech, including stress-free adaptive cruise control, which leads me to my next love of the Tonale.

Drivers View Alfa Romeo Tonale

Driver seat views in the Alfa Romeo Tonale. Photo: Connie Peters

5. Highway Driving is Easy and, Dare I Say, Carefree

Adaptive cruise control is the epitome of driving relaxation due to its seamless integration of advanced technology into the driving experience. Unlike traditional cruise control systems, adaptive cruise control employs sensors and radar to detect the speed and proximity of vehicles ahead. This intelligent system automatically adjusts the speed of the car to maintain a safe following distance, effortlessly gliding through traffic without the need for constant manual intervention.

I drove the Tonale from Vancouver to Seattle, which is about 140 miles, and traffic through Seattle was fairly heavy and a little rainy, so I truly appreciated the adaptive cruise through all of that.

In heavy traffic or on long highway stretches, the system’s ability to handle speed variations and maintain safety distances not only reduces driver fatigue but also enhances overall driving comfort. The constant adjustments made by adaptive cruise control to match the pace of surrounding vehicles create a harmonious and stress-free driving environment. The result is a serene and calm driving experience, allowing the driver to truly appreciate the journey without the constant micro-management of speed and distance. 

Alfa Romeo Tonale

Gorgeous wheels on this hot Italian ride. Photo: Connie Peters

6. It’s the Prettiest Package on the Road

Between the exterior design elements that I adore that make the Tonale completely unique on the road, the interior tech, and the love-to-drive factor, I fell head over heels for the Tonale. The fact that it is a plug-in hybrid pushed me over the edge because I love its efficiency.

The Tonale PHEV, as tested, was $57,450 US.

I may have called the Stelvio, the larger SUV from Alfa Romeo, my Italian Boyfriend when I spent time with it, but I refer to the Tonale as a designer handbag on my arm the week I got to spend with this beauty.

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Connie Peters is a mother of 3 girls in suburban Vancouver, Canada and has been an online entrepreneur since... More about Connie Peters