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In-depth reviews

Alfa Romeo Tonale review - Practicality, comfort and boot space

Cabin space and luggage capacity is decent rather than generous in Alfa’s smallest SUV

Overall Auto Express Rating

3.5 out of 5

Practicality, comfort and boot space Rating

3.7 out of 5

Price
£36,015 to £52,330
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You’re more likely to pick the Tonale over its key rivals because of the way it drives or looks rather than how practical it is. Cabin space and luggage capacity are decent for a premium compact SUV, just not class-leading. Door bins and the central armrest cubby are a good size, but not quite as large as those in the Volvo XC40, while the smartphone tray is a little awkward because the drive mode dial obstructs it slightly.

Size

The Alfa Romeo Tonale measures 4,528mm long, 1,841mm wide, 1,601mm tall and has a wheelbase of 2,636mm. That means it’s longer than either a BMW X1 or Volvo XC40, but is slightly narrower and shorter than either of those direct rivals.

Leg room, head room & passenger space

It’s a bit of a mixed bag in the back of the Tonale. Rear-seat passengers get a decent amount of head and kneeroom, but the seats themselves feel quite flat and the backrests are very upright. What’s more, it’s a little gloomy back there because the rising window line has created fat C-pillars, that also hamper rear visibility.

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There is enough space to comfortably seat three passengers at once at least, thanks to the low floor, relatively small hump in the foot well and generous room for feet under the front seats.

Boot

In terms of practicality, the mild-hybrid Tonale’s 500-litre boot is bang in the middle of the class – larger than the 452 litres you get from the Volvo XC40, but not quite matching the BMW X1’s 540-litre boot.

But, as is the case with many plug-in hybrids, the Tonale Q4 gets a significantly smaller 385-litre load area, the most likely culprit being the larger 15.5kWh battery or the additional electric motor on the rear axle. It’s the same story when folding the rear seats down; the mild-hybrid Tonale offers 1,550 litres of cargo space, compared to the plug-in model’s 1,430 litres.

Towing

Both versions of the Tonale are rated to tow up to 700kg of unbraked weight, however the plug-in hybrid version maxes out at 1,250kg compared to the mild-hybrid model which can tow up to 1,500kg if you’ve got a braked trailer. Buyers who prioritise towing ability will be better served by a Volvo XC40 or BMW X1, versions of which can haul up to 2,000kg. 

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