Alfa Romeo Stelvio (2017) Review
Alfa Romeo Stelvio (2017) At A Glance
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is a premium SUV with a bit more flair than its conservative German rivals. Glamorous Italian styling means it really stands out when compared with other premium SUVs, and thanks to underpinnings shared with the sprightly Giulia saloon, it’s also enjoyable and comfortable to drive. Yes, the interior trails many rivals for outright quality, but it still feels like a classy product and plenty of creature comforts are included. Again, it’s not as roomy as some rivals, but it should be plenty practical enough for most families. A good all-rounder that’ll appeal to those looking for an SUV with a difference.
SUV buyers are a fashion-conscious lot, so it’s a wonder there aren’t more cars like the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. You see, however fashionable they are, most SUVs of this size and type - cars like the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes GLC and Volvo XC60 - couldn’t look more conservative if they were wearing a blue rosette and a Boris wig.
Next to these rivals, the flamboyantly styled Stelvio stands out like Cindy Crawford at the Tory Party Conference.
Under the skin, a lot is shared with the Giulia saloon. That includes its range of strong 2.0-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel engines, and an eight-speed automatic transmission that comes as standard on all versions. All-wheel drive is optional on lower powered versions and standard towards the top of the range.
Sitting at the very top of that range is the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, an SUV that’s capable of dusting it with most supercars thanks to a 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 with a truly monstrous 510 horsepower.
On the road, all versions of the Stelvio have impressive handling, especially for an SUV. There’s very little body roll, strong grip and quick steering, so quick in fact that it takes some getting used to.
Despite this ability in the corners, the Stelvio also manages to ride pretty smoothly, keeping you comfortable over all but the very roughest of roads. The only fly in the ointment is the fly-by-wire braking system that lacks feedback through the pedal.
On the inside, you’ll notice typical Alfa features such as deeply-recessed instrument dials and a starter button on the steering wheel. For the most part, quality is pretty good, but compared with the impeccable standards of rivals from Audi, BMW or Mercedes, it’s still a little way behind.
That said, practicality is all you’ll ever need it to be. There’s a decent amount of leg- and headroom in each of the five seats, so adults and lanky teens will be able to get comfy, and you’ll have plenty of space for bulky child seats. The boot’s a good size, too, and the load area is wide and flat.
However, if you’re really looking to maximise family-friendliness, the Audi Q5 is even better, with more passenger space and a bigger boot.
All in all, the Stelvio is a good all-rounder, doing a thoroughly decent job in all areas and a really good job in some of them. If you like the flamboyant styling, and you enjoy your driving, it’s definitely worth considering.