The Alfa Romeo Stelvio packs an impressive punch as a stylish, no compromise crossover

“The Alfa Romeo Stelvio packs an impressive punch as a stylish, no compromise crossover”

  • Striking good looks

  • Beautiful Interior

  • Engaging to drive


Overall Rating

  • Premium pricetag

  • Suspension a little firm

  • Boot not the roomiest in the class

Overall Rating


There’s no denying Alfa’s first attempt at an SUV is a striking one, but a spacious, well-equipped cabin and impressively car-like handling means there’s plenty of substance to go with the style.

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Interior Gallery

Space & Practicality

The Stelvio is competing as a premium SUV which puts it up against the likes of the BMW X3 and Audi Q5. In terms of bootspace – it’s a little bit behind both at 525 litres. It is quite a well-shaped boot, with a good wide opening, no load lip to lug stuff over, and the seats fold completely flat at the pull of a lever. There’s also got some handy shopping bag hooks and tether points to keep everything in place back there.

As for the back, leg and head room are more than adequate and width wise it’s pretty good too, although the middle seat passenger will lose leg room to the large transmission tunnel.

The business end gives a good first impression, and if you have already sat in the cockpit of the new Giulia then this will feel very familiar. It’s a very nice design, that replicates the smooth and curvy lines of the outside, and the dashboard slopes up to house a very slick infotainment set up controlled by a rotary dial in the centre. Materials used feel of a high quality and there are some clever storage areas around the place to help it nice and tidy.

Equipment and Safety

Standard equipment on the Stelvio includes features such as dual-zone automatic air conditioning, cruise control, parking sensors, keyless go, and some impressive safety kit like lane departure and forward collision warning.
They all come with an 8.8 inch touchscreen infotainment system complete with Bluetooth connectivity and DAB digital radio.

Step up to the Super trim to add SatNav to that screen, a fully digital instrument cluster, 18 inch wheels and half leather upholstery.

The Speciale will upgrade those wheels again to 19 inches complete with sporty red brake calipers, bi-xenon headlights, upgraded styling inside the cabin including lashings of aluminium trim and full leather heated seats in a choice different colours.

The final and most luxurious option is the Milano Edizione which gets 20 inch wheels, privacy glass, a reversing camera, an air quality control system, a 10 speaker surround sound and sports leather upholstery.

Performance & Running Costs

The Milano Edizione is the halo of the range for now until the Quadrifoglio arrives. It comes paired with the most powerful engine currently available which is a 2.0l turbo charged petrol pushing out 280bhp.

This is the one we had on test, though your more typical Stelvio is more likely to be the 2.2l JTD diesel which you can get in power outputs between 180 and 210 hp. They all come mated to an 8 speed automatic transmission with the option of rear or all wheel drive.

The excellent 8 speed auto box provides immediate, seamless power uptake and, in the Milano Edizione edition anyway, there is plenty of it available too.

The handling is fantastic, and not just in that qualified ‘for an SUV’ way, though that does make it all the more impressive. The Stelvio is proof that SUVs can in fact be fun to drive. It corners really well, and offers a fantastically planted grip, particularly in its all-wheel drive guise.

For the most part it’s powered from the rear wheels, but in low grip conditions, it can transfer up to 50 per cent of that power to the front wheels too for some really impressive traction. The steering is pin sharp, and if you want to step things up another gear you can stick it in Dynamic mode, courtesy of Alfa’s famous DNA switch. This will liven things up considerably, changing the throttle response and making everything a bit more fun and frantic. It’s safe to say the Stelvio is not your typical SUV experience.

It’s not the one you buy for the fuel economy either with a claimed figure of 7 .0l per 100km and €570 tax bill. If running costs are a concern you might be better off with one of the more sensible diesels.

One slight trade off from the great sporty handling is that while that firm suspension is great fun on a windy road, it can be a little bit on the harsh side for the day to day of suburban life and the ramps that live there so you’ll have to take it a bit easy around town.

Reliability & Residuals

Everyone knows someone who’s had their heart broken by an Alfa and the brand have struggled to shake off a historically bad rap here. However build quality is a world away from what it was and Alfa are backing that up with a three year/ 100,000 km warranty.

Stylish, unique, desirable, fun to drive yet still fiercely practical; the Stelvio might just be our new favourite no-compromise crossover.

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