For 2018 Italian auto maker Alfa Romeo introduces the mid-size luxury Stelvio crossover SUV to Canada and the U.S. With the unique styling and soul of the storied Italian performance auto maker, this is a much anticipated vehicle. Under the hood of the Stelvio is the same 2.0-litre turbocharged four-cylinder engine as Alfa’s excellent Giuli sports sedan, developing an impressive 280 hp and 306 lb-ft. Transmission is via the Giuli’s 8-speed automatic gearbox with All-Wheel Drive, called Q4 as standard.
Inteior wise, the Stelvio features a simple, tasteful and elegant cabin There is a cool thin-rimmed flat-bottomed steering wheel with an integrated starter button, plenty of metal trim, good looking dials and a neat, simple to use and navigation system. The infotainment screen is well designed and there are decent enough ergonomics. The seats take some adjustment to fit right, a common trait with Italian vehicles, but visibility is good all-around with fine driver and occupant room. Cargo capacity is also competent with 1,677 litres behind the front seat and 525 litres behind the second row. The Stelvio has a tow rating of 1,361 kg (3,000 lb)
On the road, the Stelvio’ s strong point is its smooth, refined power delivery from the four cylinder engine –a typical Alfa free-revving unit with plenty of power at both low- and mid-range. With an impressive 306 lb-ft of torque, there is no shortage of acceleration. The eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters offers fast, determined, shifts. There are three drive modes (Dynamic, Natural and Advanced Efficiency) for driver preference and road conditions selected via a dial on the centre console.
Handling is excellent, with the Stelvio offering stable, sure on road dynamics. Taking the steering from the Giuli, agility and cornering is wonderful. The Stelvio, feels light, and very tossable. The bigger wheels offer a slightly harsher ride, but otherwise the Stelvio rides compliantly. The Q4 All Wheel Drive system operates on demand and transfers up to 60 per cent of the torque to the front wheels as required. Alfa Romeo lists a 0-100 km/h time of about 5.5 seconds, which is verging in the sport sedan territory for this mid-size crossover SUV. Fuel consumption is rates at: (Premium) 10.8/8.3L/100 km city/highway. The Stelvio has real personality, soul and passion. You won’t see many around, so it will be rare. Highly recommended. Wonderful!
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio: $52,995; Stelvio Ti, $55,345. As tested $65,499 including $1,895 destination charge.
WEB SITE: Alfa Romeo.ca