2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

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2021
The Car Connection
2021
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Kirk Bell Kirk Bell Senior Editor
February 6, 2021

Buying tip

The Stelvio Ti Sport model is a mini Quadrifoglio with the base engine and some key performance equipment.

features & specs

AWD
Quadrifoglio AWD
RWD
MPG
22 city / 28 hwy
MPG
17 city / 23 hwy
MPG
22 city / 29 hwy
MSRP
$43,500
MSRP
$80,800
MSRP
$41,500

The 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio sexy looks match its agile moves, but the interior package is compromised.

What kind of car is the 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio? What does it compare to?

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is a rear- or all-wheel-drive crossover SUV with a sporty flair. The Stelvio takes on accomplished rivals like the Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class, and Porsche Macan.

Is the 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio a good car?

Review continues below

The 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio offers sleek style and sporty moves with a luxurious but small interior. We rate it a 6.6 out of 10. (Read more about how we rate cars.)

What's new for the 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio?

Alfa Romeo simplifies the Stelvio lineup for 2021 with Sprint, Ti, Ti Sport, and Quadrifoglio models. Alfa adds more equipment to the various models, and shuffles what safety features are available in what packages. 

The Stelvio shares its running gear with the Giulia sedan. The result is a raised sport sedan with sexy looks, agile moves, and a curvy crossover body that flows from Alfa’s triangular nose. Inside, the curvy dash is accented by sporty elements such as a flat-bottom steering wheel with a start button.

The cabin lacks the space of most rivals, with short rear-seat leg room and a smallish, but still useful cargo hold. An 8.8-inch touchscreen is standard, and it can be controlled with a rotary dial. 

Power starts out strong and graduates to raucous. The base 2.0-liter turbo-4 works well with the 8-speed automatic transmission to deliver ready power from a stop. The Quadrifoglio’s Ferrari-sourced 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 turns up the wick to 505 hp and delivers a 0-60 mph time of 3.6 seconds and a top speed of 176 mph. Models with the base engine can get up to 25 mpg combined, while the Quadrifoglio offers just 19 mpg combined.

A strong platform, quick-ratio steering, and a relatively short wheelbase create an agile crossover. We don’t like the wooden feel of the brakes, though, and the Quadrifoglio can ride too firmly.

How much does the 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio cost?

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Sprint starts at $42,945, while the top-line Quadrifoglio runs $82,345.

Standard features include  an 8.8-inch center touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, power-adjustable leather front sport seats, a power liftgate, Brembo brakes, and 18-inch alloy wheels. 

The only standard safety features are automatic emergency braking and rear park assist, though Alfa offers many more advanced safety features as options.

Where is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio made?

In Italy.

8

2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Styling

The 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio’a curvy figure makes it one of the most attractive SUVs available today.

Is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio a good-looking car?

Yes, it’s one of today’s more attractive SUVs, with a sensuous body and a sporty, driver-centric cockpit. We rate it an 8 here. 

The most striking element of the Stelvio’s design is the triangular grille that Alfa calls the “scudetto,” which is Italian for shield. The front end sports curved surfaces, broken up by high-set cat’s-eye headlights and low-set air intakes. The flanks feature rounded haunches over the wheels and a character line that rises front to rear to create a feel of forward motion. The rear is simple, with eye-slit taillights, a rounded built-in spoiler, and dual exhaust. 

The sporty cabin features a flat-bottom steering wheel with a Ferrari-esque red start button. The dash picks up the curved theme, punctuated by round air vents at the corners and round gauges.

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8

2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Performance

A sport sedan on stilts, the 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio is a blast to drive.

The Stelvio is a sport sedan in crossover clothes, and it offers a high-performance variant bred for the track. We rate it an 8 for performance for its strong base engine, and excellent handling. 

Is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio AWD?

The Stelvio comes standard with rear-wheel drive and all-wheel drive is optional.

How fast is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio?

The Stelvio starts out fast and gets faster. 

Its 2.0-liter turbo-4 makes 280 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque to launch the SUV from 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds on its way to a top speed of 144 mph. Power is strong down low and the 8-speed automatic transmission provides crisp, smooth shifts. 

Opt for the Stelvio Quadrifoglio and you get a track machine. Its twin-turbo 2.9-liter V-6 puts out 505 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque to cut the 0-60 mph time to a scant 3.6 seconds while sounding a visceral growl and bark.

The Stelvio reacts quickly to cornering, too. Its super-quick 12:1 steering ratio sends the front end diving into turns and the rear end follows along with vigor thanks to a strong structure, an ideal 50/50 front/rear weight balance, and a short wheelbase. It has some body lean, but it’s well controlled. An available torque-vectoring rear differential sends the power more efficiently to the pavement so the Stelvio can launch out of turns. 

The Stelvio Quadrifoglio also adds wide tires, adaptive dampers, additional cooling, and bigger brakes to give it track capability, which is further enhanced with available carbon-ceramic brakes.

The Stelvio has brake-by-wire technology and the pedal literally presses against a block to act as a stopper. It takes time to learn how to modulate the brake pedal, which always has a wooden feel.

The DNA drive-mode selector has Dynamic, Natural, All-Weather, and, in the Quadrifoglio, Race modes. Natural works for every-day driving, while Dynamic and Race quicken the reactions.

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6

2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Comfort & Quality

Sit up front in the 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio because the back seat is tiny.

The 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio may be an SUV but its relationship to the Giulia compromises its rear-seat space. We award it points for its supportive front seats and cargo room, but remove a point for its discount airline rear-seat leg room, bringing the total to 6. 

In keeping with the Stelvio’s sporty vibe, it comes standard with front sport seats that hug passengers in the right ways, and the Quadrifoglio model’s seats are even more supportive. 

However, the rear seat has only 31.9 inches of leg room, which is about what you get in most airline coach seats. At least head room is sufficient and there’s enough hip room to fit three across in a pinch. 

The cargo hold is also on the small side at 18.5 cubic feet behind the second row, and that expands to a useful 56.5 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down. 

Afla Romeo outfits the Stelvio’s cabin with materials that are appropriate for the price. Leather upholstery is standard, the Quadrifoglio gets additional leather surfaces, and the dials and switchgear feel solid.

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2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Safety

The 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio offers a wide range of optional safety features, but it has no crash-test ratings.

How safe is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio?

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio has not yet been subject to crash tests so we can’t give it a rating.

Standard safety features consist of rear park assist and automatic emergency braking. The rest of the features are available in packages or standard on the Quadrifoglio model. They include adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitors with steering assist, active lane control, front parking sensors, and systems that operate the brake, steering, and throttle in certain highway and traffic jam situations.

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7

2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Features

Base versions of the 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio are well equipped and buyers can choose plenty of performance and luxury features.

Alfa Romeo loads up the 2021 Stelvio with features at its base level and offers a spate of options. These strengths earn the Stelvio a 7 here. 

The 2021 Stelvio lineup is simplified to consist of Sprint (replacing base), Ti, Ti Sport, and Quadrifoglio models.

Which Alfa Romeo Stelvio should I buy?

The $42,945 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Sprint is so well equipped that we think it’s the best value. It comes standard with adaptive headlights, ambient lighting, an 8.8-inch center touchscreen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, satellite radio, 10-way power-adjustable leather front sport seats with 4-way lumbar adjustments, a power liftgate, Brembo brakes, and 18-inch alloy wheels. 

How much is a fully loaded 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio?

The high-performance Stelvio Quadrifoglio starts at $82,345. It comes loaded with performance parts and amenities. The performance bits include a Race mode, shift paddles, adaptive dampers, 6-piston front and 4-piston rear Brembo brakes, a torque-vectoring rear differential, a two-mode exhaust system, and wider summer performance tires on 20-inch wheels. 

The niceties include navigation, a 900-watt Harmon Kardon sound system with 14 speakers, heated 14-way adjustable front seats, and a heated steering wheel. 

The Stelvio’s 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen can also be controlled via a center rotary dial. It’s relatively easy to use compared to the bad first-generation system, but we don’t count it as a strength or a weakness. 

The Stelvio’s warranty is a good one, but there are better. It covers the whole vehicle for 4 years or 50,000 miles and the powertrain for 5 years or 100,000 miles. It also includes the first engine service.

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4

2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Fuel Economy

The 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio is fairly efficient with its turbo-4, inefficient with its turbo V-6.

Is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio good on gas?

The Stelvio’s fuel economy is what you’d expect for a sporty crossover. Our rating of 4 reflects the fuel economy of the base 2.0-liter turbo-4 with all-wheel drive, which the EPA rates at 22 mpg city, 28 highway, 24 combined. 

The ratings rise to 22/29/25 mpg with rear-wheel drive. 

The high-performance Quadrifoglio model uses a twin-turbo V-6 that drinks gas to the tune of 17/23/19 mpg. 

Alfa Romeo requires premium fuel for all Stelvios, so buyers will pay more at the pump.

Review continues below
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The Car Connection Consumer Review

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$41,500
MSRP based on RWD
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6.6
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 8
Performance 8
Comfort & Quality 6
Safety N/A
Features 7
Fuel Economy 4
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