Alfa Romeo Tonale Interior Layout & Technology | Top Gear
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What is it like on the inside?

There’s a little Tricolore flag down by the gear selector. The tachometer says ‘Giri’ not ‘Revs’.  And it’s no longer an instrument binnacle, it’s a cannocchiale. Who knew a dashboard could be so sultry? If you’ve shuffled through some slightly austere VW Group interiors before this one, it might all feel a touch contrived.

Yet the gear selector itself is a nice chunky lever that slots conventionally through P, R, N and D, then flicks sideways if you want to lock it in manual mode (with the + and – the correct way around for keen drivers). The dials are nice traditional circles that replicate Alfa’s historic twin-porthole design despite now being digital. They’re readable, handsome and well placed enough that the lack of a head-up display simply isn’t an issue. Alfa Romeo is setting an example for ergonomic rationality…

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Has the world gone mad?

Perhaps. Alongside those sweetly positioned dials is a touchscreen that’s both large enough to be useful but small enough so as not to distract. An uncommon trick. It’s perfectly easy to wrap your head around its layouts, too, or even easier to just pop your phone into a USB port and use Apple CarPlay or Android Auto. There’s even Alexa connectivity which allows you to bark instructions at your home appliances from the comfort of the commute home.

It’s worth noting those ports are both traditional USB and USB-C in the front and back of the car, with a wireless charging pad up front. Alfa really has melded tradition and tech – with a welcome sprinkling of tartiness – in impressive fashion. Even the climate controls have dodged getting involved in the touchscreen, something BMW and Ford can no longer claim as their models get renewed. Over-the-air updates ensure there’s still a healthy glance towards the future here.

The materials are good: solid and prosaic where they can be, plusher and wearing delightful stitching and motifs elsewhere – and the whole thing feels, at least for now, solidly screwed together. And there’s room. Those below six foot will be plenty comfortable in the rear and it’s not too claustrophobic back there, whatever the 8C supercar-inspired window line might suggest. Three people can sit in the back and behind them is a competitive 500-litre boot (1,550 litres with the back seats flipped down). Admittedly those figures drop to 385 and 1,430 for the plug-in Tonale Q4.

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