So says one of the UK’s leading motoring news platforms, What Car?, after the Italian won its coveted Reader’s Award.

The Tonale came out tops among a list of 14 vehicles – all to be launched in 2021 – and garnered more than twice the votes than the car that came second, the Hyundai Ioniq 5, and BMW’s i4 placed third.

The plug-in hybrid Tonale is the most advanced car the Italian brand has ever made.

It is expected to combine a 1.3-litre turbo petrol engine with an electric motor to produce at least 180kW and offer an official electric range of more than 50 kilometres, making it potentially very cheap to run if you can charge it regularly and do mostly short trips.

While the final production version has yet to be revealed, it is expected to look not much different from the car shown at the 2019 Geneva Motor Show and pictured here.

The Tonale is Alfa Romeo’s second foray into the SUV market, following the Stelvio which has become the Italian brand’s best seller since it was launched four years ago.

When launched, it will slot in below the Stelvio as a smaller, more affordable SUV from Alfa Romeo; the Stelvio currently selling in SA from R838 882 for the base model to R1 829 485 for the range-topping Quadrifoglio Q4 Race edition.

While the Tonale’s global launch has been delayed by the Covid-19 pandemic, it is expected to be in showrooms by midyear, including here in SA.

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