Alfa Romeo Stelvio review
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is the company's first SUV, and it's a good one
Alfa Romeo's range is slowly being revitalised, and the stylish and likeable Stelvio follows in the footsteps of the excellent Giulia. Alfa's first SUV is expected to be its biggest seller, but it does have a tough fight on its hands, with rivals like the Mercedes GLC, BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace and even the Porsche Macan to beat.
The Stelvio inherits perhaps the most important quality of any Alfa Romeo: uniquely desirable styling that stands out in the SUV crowd. The interior is similarly attractive to the eye, although the Germans still have it beaten for fit and finish and rear seat space.
But there's substance here, too, as the Stelvio is great to drive, with strong engines and handling that's agile and involving for an SUV. It's certainly transferred the Giulia's DNA over in this regard, although the ride isn't as comfortable as the best rivals.
Overall, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is definitely worth a look if you're bored of the German establishment. It's got style and flair in spades, and deserves to succeed in a saturated market.
These days, a car company can't just rely on its heritage and character to earn sales, the big bucks are in the business of meeting customer demand. So really it's no surprise that the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, the company's first SUV, exists. Alfa clearly saw the money to be made in the mid-sized premium SUV class and decided it needed to put one on sale.
Car group tests
Under the skin, the Stelvio shares a platform with the Giulia saloon, and is part of the revival the brand is currently in the middle of to make it a viable alternative to the Germanic norm. As a result, the new platform is designed to deliver comfort and engaging handling, there are a range of powerful yet efficient petrol and diesel engines, while a high-performance model signals Alfa's intent on delivering cars that are fun for enthusiasts to drive.
The Stelvio is a rival to models such as the Jaguar F-Pace, Volvo XC60 and the German trio of Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC. Other opponents include the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Lexus NX, while the fastest Alfa could be considered as an alternative to performance SUV such as the Porsche Macan and Alpina XD3.
The model range comprises of Super, Sprint, Lusso Ti and Veloce trims, while at the top is the Quadrifoglio version. All cars come in a standard five-door SUV body, although it's curvy enough that the lack of coupe-SUV in the line-up isn't an issue. All-wheel drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox are standard on all UK cars, the only exception being if you spec the 187bhp 2.2-litre diesel unit with the Lusso Ti trim.
There's a 2.0-litre turbo petrol and a 2.2-litre diesel, each offered in a choice of two power outputs. The Super, Sprint and Lusso Ti trims come with a 197bhp petrol unit, or a 187bhp diesel engine. The Veloce benefits from a higher-powered 276bhp petrol, or a 207bhp diesel.
At the top of the range, the 503bhp Stelvio Quadrifoglio features the same Ferrari-engineered 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 as the Giulia, but as it comes with four-wheel drive, its total traction means it's faster from 0-62mph by a tenth of a second at 3.8s.
Prices for the Stelvio range from around £38,000 to almost £70,000 for the Quadrifoglio. If you're looking at one of the standard models, it's worth noting that versions over £40,000 cost much more in road tax for the first five years, jumping from £140 to £450.
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe Alfa Romeo Stelvio is the company's first SUV, and it's a good one
- 2Engines, performance and driveDespite the increased ride height, the Stelvio drives almost as sweetly as the Giulia. The sharp handling does affect ride comfort a bit, though.
- 3MPG, CO2 and Running CostsThanks to its light weight and efficient engines, the Stelvio is right up there with the best for economy and emissions
- 4Interior, design and technologyThe interior design is attractive and quality is a step up for Alfa, including improved infotainment and autonomous tech
- 5Practicality, comfort and boot spaceStelvio offers a comfortable interior. There’s decent space inside which matches rather than betters rivals
- 6Reliability and SafetyStrong crash-test results, with positive customer feedback on brand performance