Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio — the roguish Italian Casanova of the American SUV market — has been turning heads and winning hearts since its release last year.
And now, its celebrity status in the United States has been ratified once again – by none other than Car And Driver magazine, the Bible of the automotive space for American car enthusiasts.
In its upcoming issue, Car And Driver has featured the Stelvio Quadrifoglio on its cover with the headline: “Alfa Romeo Stomps Porche and AMG”. The magazine has also presented an editorial display box in which the three vehicles are compared on price, dimensions, powertrain, driveline, chassis, and of course Car And Driver’s own test results:
With the stunningly Italian Stelvio (named after Italy’s most famous mountain pass), Alfa Romeo has entered the profitable SUV market to compete with premium mid-sized SUVs like BMW X3, Porche Macan, Audi Q5, Jaguar F-PACE and the Mercedes GLC.
According to Alfa Romeo, there is no faster production SUV than the Stelvio today. And based on the time in which this car went around the Nürburgring’s famous Nordschleife track – 7 min 51.7 sec – that is indeed an SUV record.
The Stelvio offers remarkable handling, and is possibly the most agile, performance-driven SUV in the market today. The steering is determinedly direct and the wheels need very little turning to negotiate tight turns. Add to this, the presence of a stiff suspension, and the Stelvio goes round corners with all the smooth facility of a sedan.
The front seats are deeply bolstered to offer maximum body support. The driving position is calibrated with driver’s comfort in mind – the steering wheel is at a perfect position to keep arms relaxed and rested and visibility is excellent. Massive door bins, storage cubbies and USB ports are peppered around the interior, for backseat passengers as well. Possibly the most novel feature of the Stelvio’s interior are the optional wood or carbon-effect fittings. Some love it, some don’t and it’s entirely a matter of personal choice.
There’s plenty of room for passengers and a cargo capacity that isn’t bad at all when compared with rivals like the Porsche Macan and the Mercedes AMG. The trunk space is pleasingly square with no lip ledge to make loading and unloading cumbersome. The boot floor is at bumper height, which makes it an especially dog-friendly car. The 40/20/40 split-folding rear seat extends storage possibilities immensely.
Most of Stelvio’s engineering is shared with Alfa Romeo’s sexy and sophisticated sedan, the Giulia, that won Motor Trend’s prestigious `Car Of The Year’ award in 2017, and market watchers are calling the Stelvio the only truly `interesting’ SUV that you can buy in the United States right now.
“For those who want a big family crossover but also some sort of `emotional’ connection with their car, the Stelvio is going to be hard to beat,” says auto guru Ed Wiseman of The Telegraph. “This – finally – is an SUV you can buy with your heart, as well as your head.”
MORE FEATURES THAT ARE TIPPING THE BALANCE IN STELVIO’S FAVOR
• Bi-Xenon Headlamps: Premium lighting system with Adaptive Forward Lighting, signature LED daytime running lamps and LED tail lamps.
• Q4 All-Wheel Drive: Continuously monitors road conditions to deliver ideal torque distribution in every driving environment.
• All-Aluminum 2.0L Turbocharged Four-Cylinder Engine: Hear it roar by clicking here.
• Alfa Link Rear Suspension: A patented rear suspension system designed with vertical rods to enhance performance and driving experience.
• Chassis Domain Control: Serving as the `mind’ of the Stelvio, the Chassis Domain Control coordinates all the active systems by optimizing performance and drivability.
• 8 Speed Automatic Transmission: A perfect balancing act with adaptive shift technology to deliver enhanced balance between driving ease and efficiency.
• Alfa DNA Drive Mode Selector: A quick and easy tool to customize the nature of your driving experience – rotating between 3 styles that the system recalls as default the next time you are behind the wheel.
• Forward Collision Warning Plus: Get audible and visual alerts and apply brakes if necessary if you’re approaching a vehicle too quickly.
• Premium Acoustics: Harmon Kardon Premium Audio System with 14 speakers, a subwoofer and a 900-watt, 12-channel amplifier.
STELVIO TRIM LEVELS
• Stelvio (base model)
• Stelvio Ti
• Stelvio Quadrifoglio