2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio review: Not the best SUV, but close

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The Alfa Romeo Stelvio isn’t one of the best SUV, nevertheless it got here shut.

The Italian-made mannequin was a finalist for the 2018 North American Utility of The 12 months award, dropping out in the long run to the Volvo XC60. The Stelvio acquired the nod from a jury of journalists as a result of it’s robust on the “sport,” even when it may well’t compete with Volvo’s luxurious, expertise, residual worth, status for reliability…I’ll cease there.

The Stelvio is Alfa Romeo’s first SUV.

 (Alfa Romeo)

It’s Alfa Romeo’s first-ever SUV, and the apple didn’t fall to removed from the tree. The Stelvio is constructed on the identical platform because the Alfa Romeo Giula, which has confirmed to be one of the vital entertaining sports activities sedans on sale in the present day. It inherits the identical curvy, eye-catching styling, plus a well-balanced platform that comes commonplace with all-wheel-drive at a beginning worth of $42,990.

ALFA ROMEO GIULIA QUADRIFOGLIO TEST DRIVE:

That’s proper within the combine with premium European opponents just like the Jaguar F-Tempo and Audi Q5 – however the Stelvio outguns all of them with a 280 hp 2.Zero-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that’s probably the most highly effective at that worth level.

It’s matched to an Eight-speed automated transmission that may be shifted manually through racy, steering column-mounted aluminum paddles which are roughly the dimensions of elephant ears. You’ll need to use them typically, at the very least to assist make the growly exhaust bark.

The wheel itself impresses from the primary quarter-turn. Seconds after pulling away from the curb you possibly can let you know’re driving one thing particular. The Stelvio is responsive in a approach that only a few autos are nowadays, not to mention SUVs. It’s quite a bit just like the Mazda CX-5 in that regard, and evaluating it to a less expensive mannequin like that isn’t a dig, as a result of the Mazda is an efficient one.

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Sport

The Stelvio’s 280 hp engine is probably the most highly effective for the worth.

 (Alfa Romeo)

The Stelvio is quite a bit faster, in fact, and has a black magically-tuned suspension that delivers sharp dealing with whereas taking the sting off huge bumps. It may well cross over uncovered practice tracks practically as easily as a practice driving down those self same tracks.

The consolation of the trip carries over into the cabin, which isn’t the roomiest at school however can handle 4 adults wonderful. It’s not lavishly-appointed, however its styling has a type of 1970s sports activities automobile vibe that’s enhanced by the italic font on the gauges. The bags compartment is longer and deeper than the outside suggests, however the sloping rear roofline does take an enormous hunk out of the vertical area.

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport

The Stelvio’s cabin is sports activities automobile cool.

 (Alfa Romeo)

Since this can be a driver’s type of automobile, it’s a little bit gentle on the autonomous options, nevertheless it does have a blind spot warning system and probably the greatest adaptive cruise controls I’ve tried. Some abruptly apply the brakes as you strategy a automobile in entrance of you, however the Stelvio slows down gently like its operating into an enormous MyPillow.

You gained’t need it to. On the correct twisty street (like its namesake Stelvio Move in Italy, I’m certain,) it may well ship the thrills. The drivetrain is so rear-biased that you would be able to even coax it to do donuts within the snow, and dropping your self within the excellence of it’s an occupational hazard for many who take pleasure in having a clear driving file.

Fortunately the automobile is entertaining sufficient by itself, as a result of the infotainment system leaves quite a bit to be desired. It has the fundamentals, however there’s not quite a bit occurring. It’s managed by a knob as a substitute of a touchscreen, and the entire thing feels dated and clumsy.

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport

That is what the Stelvio’s sunroof appears to be like like when it is closed.

 (Alfa Romeo)

So far as reliability is worried, there aren’t sufficient Stelivos on the street but to get a very good image, however there wasn’t a squeak or rattle to be heard on my check automobile, even after Eight,000 hard-earned miles of press fleet responsibility. That mentioned, the sunroof did get caught a few instances throughout the sub-freezing week that I had it. Fortunately not for too lengthy when it did.

That was the one problem I skilled, and one simply remedied by not selecting that $1,350 possibility. Though a little bit wind within the hair does appear proper in an Alfa Romeo, which the Stelvio positively is.

———-

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Base worth: $42,990

As examined: $52,985

Sort: 5-passenger, Four-door all-wheel-drive SUV

Engine: 2.Zero-liter turbocharged Four-cylinder

Energy: 280 hp, 305 lb-ft

Transmission: Eight-speed automated

MPG: 22 metropolis/28 hwy

Gary Gastelu is FoxNews.com’s Automotive Editor. Observe him on Twitter @garygastelu

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