Last December, during a annual All-Stars competition, we got my initial possibility to representation a 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio on a designated highway loop rambling adult and down Nevada’s Mount Charleston. And we did grin. Never did we design a small 2.0-liter four—even a turbocharged one—to run with such free pace. A framework tuned by a same folks who wrought a miraculous Giulia sedan’s usually done a expostulate that most sweeter. That initial expostulate left no doubt: Alfa Romeo’s first-ever SUV, like a Milanese lizard on a hood ornament, has got some bite.
As for what it’s like to live with a Stelvio as a daily driver, we got an event to find out recently behind in my hometown of Los Angeles. The exam vehicle: a mid-level chronicle with a Ti Sport AWD package—which, for $4,500 over a cost of a bottom model, adds such niceties as leather competition seats with tractable side bolsters, 20-inch aluminum wheels, aluminum interior accents and pedals, a leather-wrapped competition steering wheel, a sport-tuned suspension, and more.
My tester also enclosed such options as Montecarlo Blue lead paint ($600), dual driver-assistance packages (totaling $2,150) installed with active reserve features, an 8.8-inch tone excommunicate shade with 3D nav ($950), and a Harmon Kardon audio complement ($900). As acquire as these extras were, it’s value observant that even a “stripper” Stelvio comes customary with all-wheel drive, leather seats, a backup camera with back parking sensors, and keyless entrance and start. This Alfa treats a occupants well.
In a “sport/ute” change a importance here is clearly on sport. The Stelvio is a trim machine, a tad smaller a BMW X3, and while it’s able of ferrying 5 adults, rear-seat legroom is marginal; you’d wish to extent any such drives to brief distances only. Similarly, bucket volume—at usually 19 cubic feet with a second quarrel seats up—is excellent for a vast bucket of groceries though substantially not adequate if you’re formulation to take a whole clan on a prolonged expostulate with industrial-strength luggage. For a propitious dual adult front, however, a Stelvio is splendid.
The cockpit of a Stelvio is purify and spare—almost too most so. As in a Giulia sedan, Alfa Romeo clearly put a income into a powertrain and chassis, not interior pizzazz. The leather is high-quality, and a controls and displays work good enough, though a altogether demeanour is fundamentally monotone, with a aluminum accents adding usually a extrinsic volume of dressing. That said, my mother desired a look, commenting as she climbed aboard: “What a cold vehicle.” we know improved than to argue, though during slightest a Genesis G80 Sport we gathering recently had some silken carbon-fiber trim to spice-up a lurch and doors.
Compared with rivals like a Audi Q5, a Stelvio TI Sport is a finer-edged, some-more witty machine. Its aluminum design helps it undercut a rivals on a scales, and we can feel it. Its steering might miss a fabulous, ultra-quick response of a Giulia Quadrifoglio sedan’s, though switch into Dynamic mode (pretty most how we gathering a Stelvio all a time) and a feel sharpens appreciably. The cessation is grippy, responsive, and appreciative to pull hard—despite a car wearing 255/45R20 all-season rubber. Certainly done me consternation how good a top-level Stelvio Quadrifoglio contingency be.
As remarkable earlier, a small turbo 4 is a happy piece, serving-up max torque during usually 2,000 rpm and spinning simply to redline. The customary 8-speed involuntary is also surprisingly good. Okay, it’s not as light-switch discerning as a dual-clutch unit, though a paddle shifters and well-spaced cogs make gripping a engine on a boil a no-brainer. Find a prolonged adequate widen of dull highway (preferably in Germany, where it’s legal) and this neat small SUV will keep right on gunning until it hits an inflexible wall of atmosphere during 144 mph. The Stelvio delivers in a other direction, too: Brembo brakes are customary all-around, and a on-board brake-by-wire complement works usually right—smooth and progressive, distinct a grabby binders in a Giulia Quadrifoglio.
At $54,090 for my installed tester, a 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport earnings a constrained dollop of style, performance, and amenities. It’s packed with particular flavor, from a dramatic, V-shaped grille adult front to a aptitude of a radiant competition exhausts. Its over-the-road refinement and suggestion corner it toward a front of a class, too. “Driving fun” isn’t something one routinely equates with a crossover, though a Stelvio serves adult copiousness of it. Add that svelte bodywork and…well, we could simply fake you’re streamer to a slopes in Cortina when you’re indeed usually stranded in trade in Cerritos.
For sure, a four-cylinder Stelvio has usually stoked my seductiveness in perplexing a top-model Quadrifoglio—which boasts a same 505-horse V-6 found in a homogeneous Giulia. we mean, speak about bite…