Alfa Romeo Stelvio (2018-present)

Alfa Romeo's first SUV is sporting and good looking - but not one for tech lovers

Strengths & Weaknesses

Strengths 

Good looking
Powerful engines
Direct, sport-like steering

Weaknesses 

Petrol engines not frugal
Entertainment system outdated
Annoying small foibles
Best New Discount

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Diesel Estate 2.2 d 210 speciale 5dr auto

Total RRP £43,075

Your quote £35,928

You Save £7,147

Alfa Romeo Stelvio prices from £33,990   Finance from £438 per month

The Stelvio is named after a mountain pass in Italy. And like the pass, the car is rugged, handsome, and will appeal to outdoorsy types.

This is Alfa Romeo’s first SUV, and goes up against a huge array of other cars, from humble offerings like the Volkswagen Tiguan, right up to the Porsche Macan and Maserati Levante, with the Jaguar F-Pace thrown in the middle.

Inside, there are American-levels of size and space. It’s easy to get in and out of, has huge cupholders, loads of storage, massive door bins, and a bemusingly small glove box.

Big curved dials and a sporty steering wheel are the first thing that will greet you when you sit behind the driver’s seat. Next up you’ll clock the wraparound dashboard, which brings a premium feel to the car, as does the starter button situated on the steering wheel. Wood or brushed aluminium trim can be found on the dashboard too - both look fabulous.

Soft touch plastics greet you above the steering wheel too. However, if you look hard, you can see some cheapness creeping in. Worst culprit is the entertainment system. The sat-nav is reasonable, the screen resolution, and size (8.8-inches) is poor. It doesn’t use a touchscreen, and while the dial used to navigate the system works well, it feels light and flimsy.

The rear view camera, which comes on when you select reverse, is also slightly grainy, and is easily smeared when it’s raining. The Volvo XC60 and Audi Q5 have considerably better systems.

Move into the rear and you’’ll find ample legroom for passengers, although three across the rear might be a push. There are two USB sockets though - good for kids on a long trip.

Moving further back into the boot, and you’ll find load capacity is slightly below average. The Jaguar F Pace and BMW X3 have bigger boots. At least there is no lip, and every model comes with an electrically operated tailgate as standard. Shopping hooks and a 12v socket are also a nice touch.

Readers of a certain age or disposition might associate Alfa Romeo and sporty driving dynamics, and the good news is that the Stelvio doesn’t disappoint. It has light but accurate steering that eggs you on to drive with just your fingertips. It can’t escape its height, but being frank, very few SUVs can.

Even the lowest diesel-powered engine is punchy, and the 280bhp petrol is out and out as fast as a hot-hatchback. The mad Quadrifoglio version has supercar-slaying capacity.

The diesels are a bit rattly, and the petrols aren’t that economical. Our test car had the 2.0-litre 280bhp engine and refused to do more than 25mpg at motorway speeds. That means on a long motorway slog, you could be looking at a range of around 300 miles - not ideal.

Other foibles include the aluminum paddle shifters for the gearbox. While they feel wonderful, and are attached to an eight-speed gearbox that is smooth and seems to know what you want instantly, they can get in the way when you want to use the windscreen wipers. The rear-windscreen is pretty small, and rain can occasionally cover the wing mirrors.

It might not be as well put together as a BMW X3, or as comfortable as a Mercedes GLC, but it’s as sporting as a Porsche Macan, has a five-year warranty, and is a handsome and likeable family hauler.

Last Updated 

Monday, December 3, 2018 - 12:30

Key facts 

Warranty: 
Five years/75,000 miles
Boot size: 
525 litres/1600 litres
Width: 
1,955mm
Length: 
4,702mm
Height: 
1,681mm
Tax: 
£515-£830 in the first year, £140-£450 thereafter

Best Alfa Romeo Stelvio for... 

Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.2d (190hp)
Not much of a surprise here - the lowest powered diesel engine is the most economical, with an official rating of 60.1mpg.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.2d (210hp)
Families who regularly haul large loads might be best off with the most powerful diesel. It will do virtually the same mpg as the less powerful diesel, but it has a bit more oomph for carrying.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
While the 280hp 2.0-litre petrol is no slouch, the quadrifoglio has it well beaten. Alfa claims it’s the fastest SUV in the world, with a 0-62mph time of 3.8seconds and a top speed of 176 mph.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio History 

  • November 2016 Alfa Romeo announces that it will make its first SUV, the Stelvio.
  • July 2017 UK Prices formally announced.
  • November 2017 Sporting Stelvio Quadrifoglio revealed.
  • July 2018 Five year warranty introduced.

Understanding Alfa Romeo Stelvio car names 

  • Stelvio
  • Engine
    2.0-litre petrol
  • Gearbox
    Automatic
  • Trims
    Speciale
  • Driven wheels
    AWD
  • Engine
    There are five engines to choose from - two diesels, and three petrols.
  • Gearbox
    There is only one option - an eight speed automatic
  • Trims
    Alfa Romeo is offering four trim levels at the moment –Super, Nero Edizione, Speciale, and Milano Edizione
  • Driven wheels
    AWD stands for all-wheel-drive, which means all the wheels have the engine's power going to them. The cheapest Stelvio is offered with rear-wheel-drive (RWD). This means that the engine's power is sent to the rear-wheels.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Engines 

2.0-litre petrol (200hp), 2.0-litre petrol (280hp), 2.9-litre petrol (510hp), 2.2-litre diesel (190hp), 2.2-litre diesel (210hp)

The Stelvio offers the choice of five different engines - two 2.0-litre diesels, two 2.0-litre petrols, and a 2.9-litre petrol.

None are offered with a manual gearbox, but luckily the automatic gearbox on offer in all versions is silky smooth, and quiet. It’s teamed to an electronic handbrake, which is easy to use, and something you’ll easily get used to if you’ve never used one before.

The diesels are by far and away the most economical. The least powerful of the two, the 2.2-litre diesel (190hp) feels punchy, especially from low rpm. It can be a little coarse-sounding, but 60.1mpg with rear-wheel-drive is pretty impressive. It should also be noted that this is the only engine on offer without an all-wheel-drive system. Forgoing four-wheeled-power offers a saving of nearly £4,000 from new (£33,990 versus £37,690), assuming you want the same engine.

The 2.2-litre diesel with 210hp is about a second quicker from 0-62mph while only being a few mpg off. If you regularly do motorway miles and feel that you want all-wheel-drive, this is probably the one to go for. If you would prefer the money and not to have all-wheel-drive, the 190hp version is still plenty good.

Petrol engines kick off with a 200hp 2.0-litre engine that Alfa Romeo reckons will do 40.4mpg and a 0-62mph time of 7.2 seconds. This is the least powerful petrol engine on offer, but it’s still pretty quick and smooth.

The 2.0-litre 280hp engine is a real peach in terms of performance. It offers a genuinely quick turn on pace, with a 0-62mph time of 5.7 seconds. It’s also smooth and quiet, but has a nice rasp under hard acceleration. The only problem with this is the mpg - officially it had a combined figure of 40.4-35.7mpg, but you’d have to be pretty light with your right foot to achieve this. At motorway speeds, don’t expect much above 25 mpg.

The most powerful version on offer is called the Quadrifoglio, which has a 2.9-litre petrol engine. This is supercar fast, with 510bhp and a 0-62mph time of 3.8seconds. Big wheels and bodykits adorn this, while the inside is decked with carbon-fibre shelled seats. Prices for these models start from £69,500, moving north of £89,500.

 

Fuel

Fuel economy

Power

Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

2.0-litre petrol engine (200hp)

petrol

40.4mpg

200hp

7.2s

133 mph

2.0-litre petrol engine (280hp)

petrol

35.7mpg

280hp

5.7s

143 mph

2.9-litre petrol engine

petrol

28.8mpg

510hp

3.8.s

176 mph

2.2-litre diesel

(190hp)

diesel

60.1mpg

148hp

10s

130 mph

2.2-litre diesel

(210hp)

diesel

58.9.mpg

181hp

9.0s

134 mph

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Trims 

Super, Nero Edizione, Speciale, Milano Edizione

Super wasn’t always the base specification, but it is now. It gets parking sensors, Apple Car Play/Android Auto, sat-nav, leather dashboard and leather and cloth seats.

Nero Edizione adds adaptive cruise control, larger wheels, front and rear parking sensors, plus matte grey colours.

Speciale models have even bigger wheels (19-inch), bi-xenon headlights, electric folding door mirrors, heated front seats with six-way control, and very expensive feeling aluminium shift paddles for selecting gears.

The Milano Edizione was a launch edition, which you can still order now. This model gets sports seats, a 10 speaker sound system, 20-inch alloy wheels, keyless entry, privacy glass, and a rear-view camera.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Reliability and warranty 

As of July 2018, all Stelvios have been offered with a five-year/70,000 mile warranty. This is above the industry standard of three-year/60,000 miles.

Alfa Romeo finished second overall out of 26 brands in Auto Express’ Driver Power survey of 2018, only just behind Lexus. Owners quizzed in the survey loved the looks and driving experience of their Alfa Romeos, but 26.6% of them did reports at least one fault within the first year of ownership.

Used Alfa Romeo Stelvio 

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio hasn’t sold in great numbers, so don’t expect to be spoilt for choice on the used market just yet.

There are currently 12 Alfa Romeo Stelvios available on BuyaCar, with prices starting from £33,990.

Monthly finance payments start from £438 per month.

Keep an eye out for base spec-models. Confusingly, the entry level Stelvios were simply called Stelvio. These aren’t on sale anymore, but you will find some on the used market. They came with a good amount of kit, including an 8.8-inch entertainment display, hill descent control, and a leather steering wheel. But they will be missing leather seats and sat-nav.

Also look out for launch-edition Milano Edizione cars. These came with loads of niceties that will have lost a good chunk of value.