Since the 1970s, the Swedes have been performing evasive maneuver tests (commonly referred to as the “moose test“) to see how well a vehicle can avoid a suddenly approaching obstacle. While its nickname came to light in the late 1990s after a German magazine termed the phrase, the test is constructed to simulate, a reversing car or a child rushing out onto the road.
Many of the tests performed over the years have highlighted vehicles getting up on two wheels and how a vehicle performs can make or break a vehicle’s sales reputation around the globe. One vehicle that received a lot of negative attention after failing the test was the beloved Jeep® Grand Cherokee (WK2). It later had to redeem itself, but not before millions of people saw it perform poorly online.
But most recently, KM77 put yet another Stellantis vehicle was put to the test: the 2023 Alfa Romeo Tonale Edizione Speciale.
This particular test vehicle was equipped with a turbocharged 1.5-liter inline-four-cylinder gasoline mild-hybrid (mHEV) engine, first shown on the Jeep® Renegade and Compass e-Hybrid models. The engine delivers 131 horsepower and 176 ft.-lbs. (240 Nm) of torque, mated to a new 7-speed 7HDT300 dual-clutch automatic transmission sending power to the front wheels only.
It was also equipped with the vehicle’s optional 20-inch aluminum wheels wrapped with 235/40 96V Pirelli PZero performance rubber.
Although the Tonale features a performance-oriented suspension, the Tonale was sub-par for the test. According to the test driver, the reason behind the lackluster performance had to do with the vehicle’s electronic assistance system. The test revealed that the vehicle’s electronic stability control (ESC) systems, hardly put any braking input into the skid causing the vehicle to be harder to control under these kinds of conditions.
The best results for the Italian-built C-UV came at a speed of 46 mph (74 km/h).
For the North American marketplace, the Tonale will only be available with a plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain. Tonale’s PHEV Q4 powertrain integrates two electric motors and a 15.5-kWh battery pack (4.1-kWh bigger than the Jeep Renegade and Compass 4xe), with a fuel-efficient 1.3-liter turbocharged gasoline engine and 6-speed automatic transmission.
This architecture provides two cars in one – a battery-electric vehicle featuring an electric motor and a high-voltage lithium-ion battery pack on the rear axle and a conventional vehicle with an internal combustion engine (ICE) fitted on the front axle, creating AWD.
The PHEV Q4 system delivers a total output of 275 horsepower and makes the PHEV Q4 system the sportiest offering in its class-leading 0 to 62 mph (0 to 100 km/h) acceleration in just 6.2 seconds. The PHEV Q4 system allows the Tonale to have an all-electric range of up to 50 miles (80 kilometers) in the city cycle and 37.2 miles (60 kilometers) when city and highway are combined.