The Car Connection Alfa Romeo Stelvio Overview
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is a luxury crossover SUV that prioritizes sportiness. It's loosely based on the Giulia sedan and slots in as the third Alfa Romeo vehicle on sale in the U.S. since the brand returned a few years ago.
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.
For 2021, Alfa simplifies the lineup to four models and shuffles equipment, including safety packages.
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, available horsepower, and relative rarity.
MORE: Read our 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio review
For its initial model year, the Stelvio was offered in three trim levels powered by a choice of two engines. All-wheel drive was standard across the lineup, but for the 2019 model year Alfa added a base rear-drive Stelvio. All Stelvio models except for the Quadrifoglio come with a 280-horsepower turbocharged 2.0-liter inline-4, while the Quadrifoglio—that's Italian for "four-leaf clover"—utilizes a twin-turbo 2.9-liter 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 is a track-oriented machine. To that end, the range-topper offers Brembo carbon-ceramic brakes and carbon-fiber sports seats created by Sparco as options. Even the standard Quadrifoglio is a performance machine, however, with available adaptive dampers and a four-mode control system that adds a Race setting for the Quadrifoglio. The line topper 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, it has the 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen, though its functions can also be controlled by a rotary dial. 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).
Alfa Romeo offers a full complement of safety features in the Stelvio. Automatic emergency braking joined rear park assist as standard equipment for 2020. Options include active lane control, blind-spot monitors with steering assist, a driver-attention monitor, traffic sign recognition, and intelligent speed control that changes speed when the speed limit changes. Also available are adaptive cruise control that can bring the vehicle to a halt, regular blind-spot monitors, lane-departure warnings and front park assist. The airbag count includes the expected front, side impact, and curtain airbags, plus knee airbags for the front seat passengers.
The Stelvio arrived for the 2018 model year. For 2019, the Stelvio gained a rear-drive model, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, optional heated rear seats, and available black-out and carbon-fiber trim packages.
For 2020, Alfa Romeo updated the infotainment system with a standard 8.8-inch touchscreen, improved some of the interior materials, and added new standard and optional safety equipment.