Drive Notes: 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale eAWD

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey

Welcome back to drive notes, which is a Cliff Note's review of vehicles that are currently in, or recently were in, my possession for a test.

Today we have the 2024 Alfa Romeo Tonale eAWD.

The Tonale is built along its sibling, the Dodge Hornet, in Italy. Unlike the Hornet, the Tonale is available only as a plug-in hybrid, using the same powertrain as the Dodge Hornet R/T. This setup mates a 1.3-liter turbocharged four-cylinder to a 90 kW electric motor for a system output of 285 horsepower and 347 lb-ft of torque. Alfa promises up to 30 miles of electric-only range.

I've been harsh on the Hornet R/T -- I prefer the internal-combustion GT -- but the driving experience was different with the Alfa. Better in some ways, worse in others. Read on.


  • The Hornet handles pretty well for a small crossover, and the Tonale feels just as sharp, if not sharper, both in the default drive mode, and in Dynamic.
  • Although it's on the stiff side, the ride never punishes. Even on cruddy Chicago streets.
  • The interior looked, if not felt, slightly upscale from the Hornet.
  • It's quick, though it seems to take the powertrain a second to get sorted when you go from cruising to tromping on it.
  • The powertrain transitions are mostly smooth, though occasionally harsh.
  • That said, the powertrain generally felt much better sorted than on the Hornet R/T.
  • The styling is a bit sexier here than on the similar Hornet.
  • I had no chance to charge, but the Level 2 charging times shown by the trip computer at each shutdown weren't unreasonable. Even on slow charging, you'd be able to juice up overnight.
  • Like with other Stellantis PHEVs, there's an eSave mode to help better manage battery usage.


  • The were some weird electronic issues. Some I understood -- the constant beeps were warning me that there was a speed camera ahead. But occasionally the ADAS system activated unnecessarily. It was also perplexing to find that the switch that customizes the gauges is on the wiper stalk.
  • Activating the defogger somehow cranked the heat up to Hades. Thankfully, one could just put the climate control back to auto and all would be good again.
  • If you want to hop out of CarPlay to use UConnect, there can be a lot of menu-hopping required to do what you want/need to do. This tester also had more lag than I am used to from the generally excellent UConnect system. It also had 16K miles on it, which is a lot for a press car -- I don't know if that makes a difference, but it does mean this vehicle has been used more than most I test.
  • Rear headroom is a teeny, tiny bit cramped.
  • The vehicle didn't unlock when I was standing right next to it with the keys in my pocket. Not sure if this was a setting -- some vehicles offer customization -- or if keyless entry was failing.

Given the choice between the Hornet R/T and the Alfa, I'd pick the Alfa, and not because it's better-looking -- though it is -- or because of the Alfa brand cachet. It's just more fully baked. That said, there are minor flaws here that will annoy all but the biggest Alfa cognoscenti.

[Images © 2024 Tim Healey/]

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Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for, CarFax,, High Gear Media, Torque News,,, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as,, and He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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2 of 15 comments
  • Kwik_Shift_Pro4X Kwik_Shift_Pro4X on Apr 26, 2024

    I've mentioned before about being very underwhelmed by the Hornet for a $50000+ all in price tag. Just wasn't for me. I'd prefer a Mazda CX-5 or even a Rogue.

  • SPPPP SPPPP on Apr 28, 2024

    I am actually a pretty big Alfa fan ... and that is why I hate this car.

  • Tassos I never used winter tires, and the last two decades I am driving almost only rear wheel drive cars, half of them in MI. I always bought all season tires for them, but the diff between touring and non touring flavors never came up. Does it make even the smallest bit of difference? (I will not read the lengthy article because I believe it does not).
  • Lou_BC ???
  • Lou_BC Mustang sedan? 4 doors? A quarterhorse?Ford nomenclature will become:F Series - Pickups Raptor - performance division Bronco - 4x4 SUV/CUVExplorer - police fleetsMustang- cars
  • Ede65792611 Got one. It was my Dad's and now has 132K on it. I pay my Mercedes guy zillions of dollars to keep it going. But, I do, and he does and it's an excellent vehicle. I've put in the full Android panel for BT handsfree and streaming with a backup cam.
  • Lou_BC Wow. People say they want sedans and there should be more of them. Goes to show that internet warriors do not accurately represent the desires of the general population. What do people buy? Pickups and CUV'S. Top 10:1. F Series2. Silverado3. Ram4. Toyota Rav45. Model Y Tesla6. Honda CRV7. Sierra8. Toyota Camry9. Nissan Rogue10. Jeep Grand Cherokee Only 2 sedans.#5 Is a sedan and an EV#8 The ubiquitous Camry The only way to resurrect the sedan is by banning crewcab pickups.