The interior layout, fit and finish
Behind the wheel of the Alfa Romeo Tonale you get a comfortable driving position with plenty of adjustment in the steering wheel and seat, but entry-level Ti trim doesn’t come with lumbar adjustment. You’ll have to order the premium pack to get four-way lumbar control, although this will also include eight-way electric front seats with three-position memory.
The driving position can’t match the lofty heights of the Volvo XC40 and the Tonale's tall dashboard tricks you into thinking you’re sitting lower than you would in the BMW X1 (even though the Tonale is a smidgen taller).
Every Tonale has a 10.25in infotainment screen with Android Auto and wireless Apple Carplay connectivity. Unlike the older system used in the Alfa Romeo Giulia and Alfa Romeo Stelvio, the Tonale doesn’t have a handy rotary controller to interact with it, hurting its ease of use on the move. You can use the Alexa voice recognition software to handle some basic commands (as long as you don’t have a car full of chatty children).
The operating system is quick and features sharp graphics and a simple menu structure. It's a shame that the left-hand-drive layout of the screen means that its shortcut buttons run down the left side, meaning you'll need to lean over to operate certain functions. That's not the case on the Audi Q3 and other rival cars.
We’ve yet to try the standard sound system, but the upgraded 14-speaker Harman Kardon option provides excellent audio quality.