The Car Connection Alfa Romeo Stelvio Overview
The stylish, decidedly road-oriented Alfa Romeo Stelvio is the Italian automaker's first crossover SUV.
With the Stelvio, Alfa brings a serious dose of style and passion into the mid-size, luxury crossover niche, where many entries have relied on utility as their calling card.
As a luxury SUV, the Stelvio competes in the most difficult automotive segment on the planet. Among its rivals are the BMW X3, Porsche Macan, and Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class. The Stelvio trades on its seductive shape and interior, available horsepower and relative rarity.
MORE: Read our 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio review
For its initial model year, the Stelvio is offered in three trim levels powered by a choice of two engines. All-wheel drive is standard across the lineup. The Stelvio and Stelvio Ti models come with a 280-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4, while the Quadrifoglio—that's Italian for "four leaf clover"—utilizes a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 rated at an impressive 505-hp.
Alfa Romeo made extensive use of aluminum to lighten the Stelvio, and it says that the Quadrifoglio in particular will be a track-oriented machine. To that end, the range-topper will offer Brembo carbon ceramic brakes and carbon fiber sports seats created by Sparco as options. Even the standard Quadrifoglio is a performance machine, however, with adaptive dampers and a four-mode control system including a race setting. The Quadrifoglio also includes a torque-vectoring rear differential designed to help out in hard cornering situations. In normal situations, most of the SUV's power goes to the rear wheels, but it can transfer up to 60 percent to the front axle.
The Stelvio looks properly Alfa Romeo, with numerous styling cues reminiscent of its Giulia platform-mate. Inside, the base model features a 6.5-inch infotainment screen, but other trim levels up that to a big 8.8-inch widescreen. A 7.0-inch LCD is included in the instrument cluster on all models, although Alfa Romeo hasn't gone the way of Audi with a fully virtual gauge cluster (yet). A control knob for the infotainment system with a touchpad for navigation entry will also be available.
Alfa Romeo says that it will offer a full complement of safety features in the Stelvio, including automatic emergency braking and adaptive cruise control that can be used in heavy traffic situations to bring the vehicle to a halt. The airbag count includes the expected front, side impact, and curtain airbags, plus knee airbags for the front seat passengers.