Your grandparents’ boots were made for walking, and they’re still cool. Your parents’ minvans were made for, well, you, and now that you’re the car buyer, you’ve made it clear minivans are uncool. Crossovers and SUVs run family bus routes now, and they’re simply not as handy for hauling the kiddie army as the playroom-on-wheels that is a minivan. Alfa Romeo has an idea about how to change that. The automaker’s UK arm interviewed 2,000 parents to get insights about parent- and kid-friendly features. The results come together in a one-off called the Alfa Romeo Tonale Edizione Bambini — the Kid’s Edition, as it were.
The biggest gripe parents had was how hard it is to keep their vehicles clean. A spiffy leather organizer that Alfa Romeo should sell for every Tonale, not just the babyfied ones, hangs over both front seats. It’s got shaped slots for a drink bottle, a bento box for snacks, and pens. It also protects the seat backs from the repeated kicks that children are known to apply during journeys. A small trash container sits on the floor behind the center console. And because parents today use a thing called a “reward chart,” kids can keep track of their progress keeping the vehicle clean so mum and dad aren’t embarrassed to take the boss for a ride.
There are more cleaning supplies in the boots, these for the elders. They include a battery-powered vacuum charged by the Tonale, and a collapsible caddy with products like a boot cleaning brush, leather cleaner, tissues, and wet wipes.
Move vital parenting duties are aided by the retractable changing station in the cargo area and the baby monitor in the back seat. A survey by diaper brand Huggies found 86% of parents needed to change their child’s diapers “on the move.” The custom changing station can slide out from under the parcel shelf after the hatch is raised, and is upholstered in an easy to clean changing mat. The video monitor for kids in the back seat can be placed to watch over rearward- or forward-facing baby seats, the feed available in a smartphone app that guardians in the front row can check.
The obligatory entertainment needs come courtesy of screens on the seatbacks, headphones hung from the seatback organizers, tablet pockets for up to three children, and a foldable toy caddy. For parents who consider “minivan” a four-letter word, this one-off Tonale is definitely a stylish solution to managing the warehouse of goods so many kids seem to travel with nowadays. Not sure even a reward chart is going to keep it clean, though.