Alfa Romeo Stelvio Review

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

Strengths & weaknesses

  • Good looking
  • Powerful engines
  • Direct, sport-like steering
  • Petrol engines not frugal
  • Entertainment system outdated
  • Annoying small foibles
Alfa Romeo Stelvio prices from £17,790.
Finance from £503.66 / 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. Brushed aluminium or wood 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. The worst culprit is the entertainment system. The sat-nav is reasonable, but 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 reversing camera 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 280hp petrol is out and out as fast as a hot hatchback. The mad Quadrifoglio version has supercar-slaying speed.

The diesels are a bit rattly, and the petrols aren’t that economical. Our tests suggested that 30mpg is optimistic for the 2.0-litre petrol engine, even for motorway driving, and fuel economy can be closer to 20mpg if driven more enthusiastically - which is tempting given the exhilarating performance from the 280hp engine. 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. Having said that, they are clearly visible and always within reach when you need them, and we rather like that they are fixed in position and don't follow the wheel when it's turned. 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. It is somewhat let down by its three-year warranty which is just ok - other manufacturers offer five, seven or even 10 years' cover.


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...

Best for Economy – 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.

Best for Families – 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.

Best for Performance – Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

While the 280hp 2.0-litre petrol is no slouch, the Quadrifoglio has it well beaten. Alfa claimed it was the fastest SUV in the world when it launched, with a 0-62mph time of 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 176mph. The 510hp comes from a 2.6-litre bi-turbo V6.


  • 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 names

Engine 2.0-litre petrol

There are five engines to choose from - two diesels, and three petrols.

Gearbox Automatic

There is only one option - an eight speed automatic

Trims Speciale

Alfa Romeo has offered various trim levels in the past including Super and Speciale, along with Nero Edizione and Milano Edizione special editions. More recently, the range has been refined to Sprint, Veloce, and the bonkers Quadrifoglio.

Driven wheels AWD

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 economy


Acceleration (0-62mph)

Top speed

2.0-litre petrol engine (200hp)





133 mph

2.0-litre petrol engine (280hp)





143 mph

2.9-litre petrol engine





176 mph

2.2-litre diesel






130 mph

2.2-litre diesel






134 mph

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Trims

Super, Nero Edizione, Speciale, Milano Edizione

Super gets parking sensors, Apple Car Play/Android Auto, sat-nav, leather dashboard and part-leather 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 reversing camera.

More recently, Alfa Romeo has been offering the Stelvio in entry-level Sprint form with a wireless charging pad and adaptive cruise control, and Veloce with a performance-oriented limited-slip differential, larger alloy wheels and sports seats.

Range-topping Quadrifoglio models come with the highest levels of equipment, including a powered tailgate, as well as more aggressive styling and an eyewatering price tag to match.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Reliability and warranty

Alfa Romeo introduced a five-year warranty in 2018, however it has since reverted to an industry-standard three years. 

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.

Keep an eye out for early 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.