Alfa Romeo Tonale 130: The beautiful Italian from Stellantis

Alfa Romeo Tonale 130: The beautiful Italian from Stellantis

5 years. This is the time since the last new Alfa (Stelvio) was launched. That is, if we had been impatiently waiting for this compact SUV Tonale. Briefly tested in 160 hp in early May, it finally arrives in France. We were able to test this vehicle longer, in the basic version with 130 hp. So here we are again at the wheel of this car that we have been desperately waiting for since… 2002, date of presentation of a first concept! After twenty years of hesitation, changes in strategy that the former FCA group was used to, Alfa Romeo finally has a compact SUV in its range. Unfortunately, today the segment has an abundance of models, even Chinese ones. However, the new Stellantis group, born in 2021 from the merger of PSA and FCA, has spoiled its latest release, which aims to mark the revival of the firm founded near Milan more than 110 years ago.

also readHow Stellantis wants to quadruple sales of Alfa Romeo

The line does not disappoint. We find the Alfa style of the latest Stelvio and Giulia. Nothing to complain about: the designers have retained their talent. Very personal with its famous grille adorned with the Visconti coat of arms and its offset number plate, full of sensual curves, without unnecessary frills like an Asian, this Tonale is well born. It looks like a smaller Stelvio. Elegance appears at the rendezvous. We love. Small detail, anyway: pay attention to the opening of the rear doors, protruding! If you open up without paying attention to deviate, you’ll get the end that tops in the face. We’ve seen it: This styling exercise can really hurt.

Dashboard inspired by Alfasud

Inside, the dashboard is as flat as an Alfasud from the early 1970s with the two historic round instruments. The design is typical of the brand. And the finish has greatly improved. The plastics are generally of good quality, although some details still need to be perfected. Closing the doors emits a reassuring pop, even with the often-neglected rear doors, and we didn’t hear any squeaks on bad roads. It is true that Stelvio and Giulia had already made great strides in this regard.

On the other hand, the brand missed their shot for atmosphere masterfully! Under pressure from Stellantis and a desire to simplify the range to cut costs, Alfa inadvertently reduced its range of interior colors to one colour: black. Like on a Japanese, Korean or Chinese, but also a Peugeot 3008 or Opel Grandland! This sadness ruins everything. Where are the red, light beige or Havana colors that made the brand’s cars so charming? Zero points here for tricky savings. Detail? No, not on an Italian whose warm interior ambience is one of the reasons for buying it. And to make matters worse, the wood is no longer available!


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