The Giulia and Stelvio never lived up to the expectations of the defunct Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, but Alfa Romeo's new parent Stellantis still believes in the fabled Italian brand. After axing the 4C sports car and the Giulietta compact hatch, the portfolio received some fresh metal with the unveiling of a compact crossover. Despite the fact it uses the Jeep Compass' platform, the Tonale is touted as being a luxury model through and through.
It's the promise made by Alfa Romeo CEO Jean-Philippe Imparato during a recent interview near Lake Como in Italy where a test drive event was organised for the Tonale. Automotive News Europe cites the top brass saying "my quality benchmark is Lexus" going forward. He went on to mention "I wanted to be sure that the Tonale's quality was perfect from Day 1, but also that we offered a state-of-the-art connectivity and user interface."
2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale
Alfa Romeo hasn't exactly fared great in quality tests as we've usually found it near the bottom of the rankings. In the J.D. Power 2021 US Initial Quality Study, the Giulia and Stelvio had 204 issues per 100 vehicles, which placed the company in the 28th spot out of a total of 32. Toyota's premium division was third with 144 problems per 100 cars.
Some will remember Jean-Philippe Imparato decided to push back the Tonale’s launch for several months to make sure it would be ready for prime time. Alfa Romeo’s first-ever plug-in hybrid model will spawn an equivalent Dodge Hornet due to be unveiled before the end of the year. In the meantime, a decision regarding a Tonale Quadrifolio will be made in the coming months.
On paper, Alfa has a bright future up ahead by announcing plans to vastly expand its lineup to include a subcompact crossover due in 2024 with both ICE and EV powertrains. The Giulia will live to see a second generation, but only as an EV with a different shape, while larger models to go up against the BMW X5/X6 and the 7 Series are on the agenda as well. In addition, the first EV-only model is planned to arrive in 2025.
Meanwhile, customer deliveries of the Tonale will commence in Italy next month.