The Alfa Romeo Tonale and Dodge Hornet share many similarities as siblings, but is the Alfa Romeo worth the higher price?
Dodge has gained attention with its powerful, fuel-consuming muscle cars, even extending the Hellcat variant to the Durango full-size SUV. However, Dodge’s lineup has been stagnant for quite some time, with updates limited to their old vehicles produced since 2011. Nonetheless, Dodge has recently unveiled a brand-new model, the Dodge Hornet, entering the competitive compact crossover segment and aiming to attract new buyers.
In contrast, Alfa Romeo has experienced a brand resurgence with the successful introduction of the Giulia sedan and Stelvio SUV, both of which are excellent vehicles. Now, Alfa Romeo adds a third vehicle to its lineup that shares many similarities with the Dodge Hornet. The Alfa Romeo Tonale, which was first showcased as a concept car at the Geneva Auto Show in 2019, has finally arrived. It serves as Alfa’s response to the demand for a compact Italian crossover, and it holds promise as a high-quality vehicle.
Is the Alfa Romeo Tonale Essentially a More Attractive Dodge Hornet?
While this statement is partly correct, it should be noted that the Tonale actually preceded the Hornet. It was initially unveiled as a concept car in 2019, showcasing a striking SUV design that embodies Alfa Romeo’s unique design language. To Alfa’s credit, the production version closely resembles the concept. The front features the iconic V Scudetto Grille and a distinctive lower section, trademarks of Alfa Romeo cars since the 1950s. The adaptive LED Trilobo headlight design adds an interesting touch and contributes to the vehicle’s sporty appearance.
The side profile of the Tonale is typical, featuring black body cladding and the well-known five-hole design that dates back to the 1960s. The rear end mirrors the front with Trilobo taillights and a full-width light bar, while the absence of visible exhaust pipes is noticeable. Alfa Romeo has consistently drawn design inspiration from its rich heritage, and the Tonale gracefully embodies a modern interpretation of that legacy.
The Dodge Hornet was previously teased in 2006 as a mini MPV, differing significantly from its current crossover form. The new Hornet showcases an imposing design, with upper and lower grilles sporting a honeycomb pattern that resembles a hornet’s hive, complemented by the Dodge Rhombi logo. Notably, the Hornet features hood vents that are absent on the Tonale.
The Hornet logo is also present on the front quarter panel, akin to the Hellcat logo found on other Dodge models. The side profile bears a striking resemblance to the Tonale, featuring black body cladding, although the wheels are less distinctive. At the rear, the styling echoes that of the Tonale, but the LED light bar design resembles a smaller version of the one found on the Dodge Durango. An interesting feature is the illuminated Rhombi logo, a first for Dodge.
Both car brands are part of the Stellantis group and share the same small wide 4×4 LWB architecture. Consequently, both vehicles have similar dimensions, with the Hornet slightly wider and the non-hybrid trim being lighter at 3,715 pounds. The Tonale draws its name from one of Italy’s highest mountain passes, taking inspiration from nature. On the other hand, the Hornet’s name derives from a deadly wasp, showcasing Dodge’s knack for cool names.
Indistinguishable Interior Design and Layout
The interior design and layout of both vehicles exhibit numerous similarities. The steering wheel design and button placement are identical. Physical climate controls are located just below the center screen, and the center console layout is the same. They also offer comparable features and technology, such as:
There are a few differences, such as the start-stop button placed on the Tonale’s steering wheel, whereas the Hornet positions it on the center console. The side air vents have distinct designs, and the Tonale employs superior materials compared to the Hornet. In terms of interior space, both vehicles provide similar room due to their shared wheelbase. However, the Hornet offers greater cargo space at 27 cubic feet, whereas the Tonale provides only 22.9 cubic feet. This is because of the underfloor storage in non-hybrid Hornet GT models.
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