The Stelvio SUV is based on the excellent « Giorgio » all-wheel drive platform (shared with the Giulia), endowing it with a dynamic on-road behaviour . It oozes charm and is just perfect if you want to stand out and away from the usual default choice… a German premium SUV. The Veloce version is very similar to the tof of the range Quadifoglio, but makes do with a 280 bhp petrol engine (Text: Dimitri URBAIN, Photos: Paul-Edouard URBAIN)
I like it
Even though the Stelvio was launched back in 2016, its shape ages gracefully and is still attractive. The 2019 restyling focused mainly on details and all the better for it! The turbocharged four-cylinder petrol engine produces 280bhp and 400Nm. More than enough to move it about swiftly and it is backed by a nice and effective 8-speed ZF automatic gearbox. Ergonomics, materials as well as fit and finish are on par with its German rivals now. The aluminium gearbox paddles are reminiscent of a Ferrari’s and we like it!
As we said, on the outside the Veloce version is almost identical to the Quadrifoglio. It offers 21″ wheels in the traditional Alfa « phone dial » design with sporty tyres, a hands-free tailgate, big exhaust tips at the back and carbon touches all over it. Various aluminium body panels and suspension parts help to keep the weight down, as does the use of carbon fibre for the driveshaft. It tips the scale at 1,660 kg, bettering its German competitors (the Q3 and X3), which are closer to 2 tonnes with similar power levels.
The DNA button allows you to modify the engine mapping, the reactivity of the gearbox and the stability control. Our tester lacked the pilot-controlled suspension, but we appreciated the excellent compromise. The Stelvio was comfortable and always well sorted on all types of road surfaces. The Stelvio is quite agile, even on winding roads. The steering is precise and direct, bringing real driving pleasure.
I don’t like it
The central touchscreen could be bigger… however, it’s easy to use and changing menus is quite intuitive. Rear seat space is limited, especially considering the size of the car. Moreover, the seat is quite low and the side windows being rather high, claustrophobia could come quickly in the back.
Why I buy it
Because it’s an Alfa! In the 80’s, the brand’s advertising claimed that « some cars still have soul »… It is indeed still the case here. Its dynamic on-road behaviour inspires confidence, the steering is precise and pleasant to use while the body-hugging supportive seats turn it into a brilliant mile-munching machine that’s ideal on long trips. The Stelvio is not a common sight on the streets and this makes it even more exclusive. We like the fact that it’s different and elegant.
Why I don’t buy it
Prices starts from € 67,800, excluding discounts.. quite a lot of money ! Diesel is losing popularity with buyers, especially business users, petrol engines being now back in favour again. What Alfa needs now is a hybrid Stelvio. It would allow the brand a better chance to regain sales volume on the company car market. As well as… lowering its fuel consumption. During our more than 2,000 km test drive, we sticked to speed limits on all types of roads and averaged 10.6l/100 km.