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Long-term review

Alfa Romeo Tonale - long-term review

£48,495 / as tested £53,345 / PCM £534
Published: 25 Jan 2024
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SPEC HIGHLIGHTS

  • SPEC

    Alfa Romeo Tonale Veloce 1.3 280 PHEV AT EAWD

  • ENGINE

    1332cc

  • BHP

    276.3bhp

  • 0-62

    6.2s

Life with the Alfa Romeo Tonale: where to put the charging cable with a full boot?

Along with a large proportion of the British public, I spent the festive period largely driving around. Which is not something in the slightest bit arduous if you have the fortune to be behind the steering wheel (or even better, in the passenger seat) of an Alfa Tonale.

Such trips require careful planning and packing to get items stowed in the exact opposite order to that which you will want them. Thus, after only several attempts, I managed to get all required bags and gifts and etceteras into the book safely. 

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However, I did come face to face with the problem that haunts all plug-in hybrids – where to put the charging cables. You see, the problem is that Alfa, as many other carmakers, created a handy cubby beneath the bootfloor in which you can store theaforementioned cables. Very neat, very tidy and (with a boot full of frankly god only knows what) highly impractical and really bloody annoying.

This results in the dilemma of either keeping the charging leads handy (maybe in the rear footwell? Or on the rear seat? Neither any good if you need to give anyone else a lift. Maybe in the boot? No good if it’s full of stuff. Maybe in the passenger footwell? Absolutely not if you have a long journey ahead) or putting them in the cubby in the boot, tailor-made for them. Which is impossible if you want to charge the car while you are out and about.

The end result was that no charging was achieved until the boot was emptied enough to be able to lift the floor without needing to emulate the contestants on World’s Strongest Man – excellent Xmas viewing, BTW.

There is also another issue with the bootspace in the Tonale... because it is a plug-in hybrid, it loses 115 litres of storage when compared to the mild hybrid version (385 litres vs 500 litres). This means its bootspace is comparable to an Astra or even a Clio. Really not great, but at least it was enough for my needs this time. However, I can see that lack of room being an issue for young families who need to carry lots of gear around. May I humbly suggest that if they were to go with the mild hybrid Tonale they would be far happier as the storage space would be on a par with the BMW X1, Audi Q3 or Mercedes GLA, and I, for one, would find that a very tempting proposition.

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