Alfa Romeo Stelvio review
The handsome Alfa Romeo Stelvio is a sporty SUV that's good to drive, but it's expensive to buy and run compared to some rivals
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, even if the Germans still have it beaten for fit and finish and rear seat space.
The sporty Italian SUV follows in the footsteps of the excellent Giulia saloon; great to drive, with strong engines and handling that's agile and involving, although the ride isn't as comfortable as its 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, but it remains expensive to buy and some rivals boast superior residual values.
About the Alfa Romeo Stelvio
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.
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.
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The Stelvio is a rival to models such as the Jaguar F-Pace and Volvo XC60, along with the German trio of the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Mercedes GLC. Other opponents include the Land Rover Discovery Sport and Lexus NX, while faster Stelvio models could be considered as an alternative to performance SUVs such as the Porsche Macan and Alpina XD3, or even a more left-field choice such as the Cupra Formentor.
The model range comprises of Sprint, Veloce and Competizione 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.
There are two engines available in the regular Stelvio: a 2.0-litre turbo petrol that produces 276bhp, and a 2.2-litre diesel that pumps out 207bhp. Both engines are offered in all three trim levels. 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 3.8 seconds.
Prices for the Stelvio range from around £47,000 to nearly £80,000 for the Quadrifoglio. Standard kit on all models now includes a 12.3-inch digital dash with three different layouts, a 8.8-inch central touchscreen, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Alfa Romeo’s DNA drive-mode selector and aluminium shift paddles on the steering wheel. Competizione spec models also get 21-inch alloy wheels, red brake calipers, an exclusive matte grey paint and Alfa Romeo’s Active Suspension system, which incorporates electronically controlled dampers.
For an alternative review of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV visit our sister site carbuyer.co.uk
In this review
- 1Verdict - currently readingThe handsome Alfa Romeo Stelvio is a sporty SUV that's good to drive, but it's expensive to buy and run compared to some rivals
- 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 CostsWith lightweight and efficient engines, the Stelvio delivers decent fuel economy, although can't compete with rivals that utilise hybrid technology
- 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 spaceThere’s decent space inside the Stelvio, which matches rather than betters its rivals in this area
- 6Reliability and SafetyThe Stelvio boasts strong crash-test results, with positive customer feedback on brand performance