Alfa Romeo Tonale review - MPG, CO2 and running costs
Company car drivers will flock to the plug-in hybrid Tonale thanks to 8 per cent BiK rate and impressive fuel economy
The Tonale is Alfa Romeo’s first hybrid, and the first step towards its all-electric future. There are two flavours to choose from: the mild-hybrid model uses a new 1.5-litre petrol engine and a small electric motor that’s fed by a minute 0.8kWh battery.
This combination, according to Alfa Romeo, will return up to 47.9mpg and emit around 135g/km of CO2. Both figures are on par with the stats for a mild-hybrid BMW X1 or Volvo XC40, and allows it to attract a 32% Benefit-in-Kind (BiK) tax rate. That means company car drivers will pay £2,452 a year to run the base Tonale.
But if it’s low running costs you’re after, then the plug-in hybrid Tonale Q4 will be the one for you. Its 1.3-litre petrol engine is paired with a larger electric motor powered by a much larger 15.5kWh battery. As the name suggests, you need to plug this version in to charge the battery, which using a standard 7.4kW home wallbox will take two and a half hours.
CO2 emissions in the plug-in Tonale are much lower at 29-32g/km, while Alfa Romeo says it can return up to 217mpg. If you don’t charge the battery or run it flat on a longer journey you’ll see around 41.5mpg in the plug-in hybrid Tonale, as we experienced first hand when we pitted one against a similarly electrified Volvo XC40 T5 Recharge.
Car group tests
Regular charging will also allow you to cover up to 42 miles on electric power alone, or 50 miles if you’re just driving around town.
One of the big benefits of the Q4’s 40-mile-plus electric-only range is that it allows the Tonale to dip into the eight per cent BiK tax band, compared to the 14 per cent rate the Volvo XC40 Recharge attracts. As a result, a 20% income taxpayer will face annual deductions of close to £700 to run a Tonale Q4, while higher income taxpayers will have to fork over roughly £1,500 a year.
Sorting out insurance coverage for the Tonale won’t be particularly cheap as even the mild-hybrid Alfa Romeo Tonale lands in insurance groups 28 to 29, while the plug-in hybrid Tonale Q4 sits in groups 37 to 38.
In 2022, our example quote for a Tonale Q4 in Veloce trim, based on a 42-year old male living in Oxfordshire with three penalty points on their licence, came to £626.
Analysts predict that the Alfa Romeo Tonale will retain between 52 and 55 per cent of its value after three years and 36,000 miles come trade-in time. In comparison, both the BMW X1 and Volvo XC40 should hold onto as much as 64 per cent of their original value after the same three-year period, although that depends a lot on the specification you go for.
In this review
- 1Alfa Romeo Tonale reviewStunning looks, slick tech and decent practicality make the Alfa Romeo Tonale an appealing, if flawed, compact premium SUV
- 2Engines, performance and driveThe Tonale PHEV is comfortable, composed and packs plenty of punch, and as a result it’s our pick of the range
- 3MPG, CO2 and running costs - currently readingCompany car drivers will flock to the plug-in hybrid Tonale thanks to 8 per cent BiK rate and impressive fuel economy
- 4Interior, design and technologyWe love the slick infotainment system, however cabin quality can’t match the Tonale’s closest rivals from Germany and Sweden
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceCabin space and luggage capacity is decent rather than generous in Alfa’s smallest SUV
- 6Reliability and safetyThe Tonale’s five-star Euro NCAP safety rating is no surprise with the level of driving assistance tech on-board