Alfa Romeo is the sportiest of Stellantis’s mass market European brands, but that perceived athleticism doesn’t translate into a great score in the moose test.
The Spanish road-cone connoisseurs from YouTube channel KM77 ran the little SUV through their standard lane-change and slalom program and found that the Tonale couldn’t manage more than 46 mph (74 km/h) without taking out some orange pylons.
That speed was achieved with the car’s DNA drive selector in its dynamic mode, which forced the dual clutch transmission to hang on to a low gear and so add some useful engine braking. In earlier tests in the car’s default normal mode the Tonale didn’t brake by itself and ploughed on. That 46 mph speed isn’t a terrible result for an SUV, but it’s certainly nothing to shoot about. For context the much heavier Mini Cooper SE Countryman whipped through the same cones in 49 mph (79 km/h), and a Nissan Ariya recorded 48 mph (77 km/h).
The test Tonale was a European-spec front-wheel drive car with the entry-level 128 hp (130 PS) mild-hybrid 1.3-liter four-cylinder engine, though its Speciale trim meant it was running 235/40 R20 tires with a slightly bigger contact patch than the 235/50 R18s fitted to base cars.
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That tiny power output didn’t affect the lane-change result but it did have a bearing on the outcome of the slalom numbers because the slalom is performed from a dead stop, and the Tonale took an age to get going. It finished the course in 24.9 seconds, compared with 23.3 seconds for the Mini Cooper SE Countryman.
But KM’s test team conceded that the Tonale’s test figures don’t tell the whole story, stating that on the road in real driving situations the Alfa feels impressively nimble, resisting excessive body roll and offering precise steering.