2017 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Review

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If you were to put together a family tree for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio, you would find that its roots can be traced back as far as the Kamal Concept of 2003. More than a decade has passed since Alfa Romeo pulled the sheet off of that concept, and in recent years, the brand has been fighting to make its name relevant in the market yet again. If you want proof of the brand’s unsurpassable drive to relevancy, you really don’t have to look far – just take a glance at models like the Alfa Romeo 4C or the more recent Alfa Romeo Giulia or Giulia Quadrifoglio. The Stelvio was first shown to the public at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show in Quadrifoglio form. Six months later, and we’re looking at two lesser versions of the Stelvio: and entry-level model and the Stelvio Ti.

The best part is that the lesser trim levels look just like the Quadrifoglio version we saw last November, but makes use of a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 280 ponies on tap. The entry level model gets Alfa’s DNA drive mode selector, 18-inch wheels, LED running lights and taillights, and an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Ti version, which is a bit more expensive comes with larger 19-inch wheels, wood interior accents, and an 8.8-inch display inside as standard equipment in addition to everything found in the entry-level model.

What’s really nice about the Stelvio, especially compared to some models out there, is the fact that you don’t have to go for the range-topping model just to have the sportiest looks and best design cues. Whether you go with the Quadrifoglio, the Ti, or the entry-level model, it looks like you’ll get the same beautiful looks. Sure, you won’t have quite as much power, and you may be lacking some technology on the inside, but you’ll still look just as good driving down the road. With that said, let’s dive on in and take a closer look at the Stelvio and Stelvio Ti.

Exterior

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“The Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Stelvio Ti are showing up to the party sharing the same exterior as their range-topping brother, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio.”

In a surprising move, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and Stelvio Ti are showing up to the party sharing the same exterior as their range-topping brother, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Up front, they sport the same triangular Alfa grille to go with a fairly aggressive bumper that has a bit of a snarling look to it. The same headlights with the long LED running lights carry over to the lesser models as down that fairly bubbly hood that sits just a tad above the beltline.

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“Moving to the side profile, the Stelvio and Stelvio Ti rock the same general design as the Quadrifoglio.”

Moving to the side profile, the Stelvio and Stelvio Ti rock the same general design as the Quadrifoglio, including the tinted windows, side view mirrors, and sloping roofline. 18-inch aluminum wheels come standard on the entry-level model while the Ti gets 19-inch units as standard. The entry-level model can be upgraded to 19- and 20-inch wheels if you’re willing to pay, while the Ti can be upgraded to 20-inch wheels through the Ti sport upgrade package. This upgrade package will set you back $2,500 but includes the larger wheels, sport-tuned suspension, gloss black window trim, black roof rails, and colored brake calipers. The Sport package for the basic Stelvio includes the 10-inch wheels, sport-tuned suspension, black roof rails, black window trim, and colored calipers.

Around back, there isn’t anything that separates one version of the Stelvio from the others. The same taillights with LED trips and rear diffuser carry over. All models get the twin, dual exhaust outlets a mild overhang above the rear hatch, and that massive insert in the rear fascia that is both attractive and aggressive. Sure, the entry-level Stelvio and the Stelvio Ti will be pretty much indistinguishable from the range-topping Quadrifoglio, but that’s a very good thing.

Interior

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“The interior of a base model is generally lackluster in comparison to the high-level models in the lineup.”

In most cases, the interior of a base model is generally lackluster in comparison to the high-level models in the lineup. But, when it comes to the Stelvio, this stereotype couldn’t be farther from the truth. Regardless, of the trim level, the Stelvio comes to the party rocking an interior that is eerily similar to that of the Giulia Sedan. It’s got the multi-tier dash with integrated infotainment display, simple but effective center console, supportive seats, mixed HVAC vents, and a sporty steering wheel to wrap the whole interior package together.

As far as standard equipment goes, the entry-level Stelvio gets leather seating, remote start, a flat-bottom steering wheel, powered liftgate, backup camera, and Alfa DNA drive mode selector. If you opt for the Sport Package on the entry-level Stelvio, you’ll have to pony up an extra $1,800, but you’ll get a sport steering wheel, aluminum accents, aluminum pedals and footrest, and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity.

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Moving up to the Stelvio Ti will get you even more standard features that includes front parking sensors, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, SiriusXM, genuine wood accents, and an 8.8-inch infotainment display. For $2,500, you can upgrade to the sport package that will give you sport leather seats with four-way lumbar and power bolsters, thigh extenders, column-mounted paddle shifters, a sport steering wheel, and aluminum pedals. Going with the Lusso package (also, $2,500) will get you 12-way powered front seats, a leather-wrapped dash, leather upper door trim, accent stitching throughout, wood trim in dark gray or exclusive light walnut, aluminum pedals, and a luxury steering wheel.

Outside of the things mentioned above, the interior of the entry-level and Ti models will be identical that of the Quadrifoglio. And, that’s a good thing, as this cabin looks quite literally delicious in every sense of the word. To be honest, the overall design of the interior and exterior makes it quite difficult to justify going for the Quadrifoglio version, unless power output is what really drives you. And, even if that is a case, the Stelvio and Stelvio Ti might come with enough power to keep you happy. Let’s take a better look.

Drivetrain

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“The entry-level Stelvio and Stelvio Ti comes with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder that delivers 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque.”

Where the Stelvio Quadrifoglio comes with a 2.9-liter V-6 with 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. The entry-level Stelvio and Stelvio Ti comes with a 2.0-liter, turbocharged, four-cylinder that delivers 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque. It might not sound like much in comparison, but it is enough to get the SUV up to 60 mph in 5.4 seconds on the way to a top speed of 144 mph. Shifting duties are handled by an eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels via Alfa’s intelligent Q4 AWD system. The system can deliver up to 60 percent of the engine’s torque to the front wheels on demand and will adjust automatically as road conditions and traction varies while driving.

As far as drive modes go, the Stelvio and Stelvio Ti come with just three choices. Advanced Efficiency offers up an “eco-friendly” option that is said to return the best fuel economy available at the cost of performance, of course. Natural is more of a comfort setting and is designed for your everyday drive or commute. Finally, there’s Dynamic, which makes adjustments to various systems to offer up sharper brake and steering feel, while the engine, transmission, and throttle tip-in calibrations have been altered to provide a peppier performance curve. Standard safety features include a full-speed forward collision warning system which, under certain conditions, can apply eh brakes as needed. Adaptive cruise control with full stop allows the SUV to follow the car ahead and come to a complete stop in some traffic conditions. Finally, lane departure warning is there to warn you if you happen to be drifting into someone else’s lane. Things like blind-spot monitoring, rear cross path detection, and park assist sensors are available as optional equipment.

Prices

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With the Stelvio Quadrifoglio commanding an estimated $70,000 here in the U.S., you might expect the base Stelvio and Stelvio Ti to come at a higher premium as well. But, that isn’t really the case. It’s set to go on sale with a starting price of $41,995 plus a $995 destination fee. Going with the Stelvio Ti will up your buy-in to a minimum of $43,995 plus that $995 destination fee. Furthermore, the Sport Package for the Stelvio will set you back an extra $1,800 while the same package for the Ti will set you back $2,500. The Ti can also be had with the Lusso package which will also add another $2,500 to the bill.

Competition

BMW X3

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There’s absolutely no shortage of mid-sized SUVs in the luxury segment or otherwise. A Prime contender in the luxury segment is the X3, and it’s set to go through a generational shift for the 2018 model year, which should bring a fresh model into showrooms about the same time the Stelvio hits dealers later this year. While the X3 will debut as a new-gen model, it will really be a fine-tune of a design that already works quite well. As such, you’ll get revised BMW kidney grilles, a more aggressive fascia, sharper body lines, and a few new wheel designs to choose from.

Inside, the X3 will get BMW’s latest iteration of the iDrive infotainment system, and a new interior design with range-topping models like an X3M, for instance, getting an all-digital instrument cluster. Drivetrain options should include a 240-horsepower 2.0-liter or a 300-horsepower 3.0-liter, which will push the X3 up to 60 mph in 6.2 and 5.3 seconds, respectively. Pricing should start from around $39,000 and increase to as much as $50,000 in range-topping form.

Mercedes GLC-Class

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The Mercedes GLC-Class was introduced to the market in 2016 as a replacement for the aging Mercedes GLK. It offers traditional Mercedes design cues outside that include bulky headlights with sleek LED strips, a massive AMG-style grill, beefy fascias and sharp lines to go with a gently sloped roof. Inside you’ll find an interior that is similar to that of the Mercedes-AMG GT with a big, prominent center console with a massive face, a floating infotainment display, accent lighting on some models, and supportive seats.

Under the hood, you’ll get to choose between a 2.0-liter four-cylinder with 241 horsepower and 273 pound-feet of torque or a 3.0-liter V-6 with 362 horsepower and 384 pound-feet of torque. Of course, the entry-level model comes with the 2.0-liter and will set you back at least $39,150 or $41,150 with AWD. The only other model available, and the only one that comes with a V-6 here in the U.S., is the AMG GLC43, which starts out at $54,900.

Conclusion

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I find it wildly refreshing that Alfa Romeo kept the same exact exterior design for the lesser models in the Stelvio lineup. It’s nice to know that you can get the same aggressive and sexy design cues without having to opt for the most expensive model in the lineup. On top of that leather appointments standard across the line is also a big plus. And, even with a four-cylinder coming into play as motivation, the Stelvio and Stelvio Ti should still be spunky enough for some spirited weekend driving while still keeping your fuel usage in check. The interior of even the base model is attractive and comfortable and, unless you’re truly interested in having that 505-horsepower V-6, there is no real need to spring for the Quadrifoglio version.

What do you think about the new Stelvio and Stelvio Ti? Would you take one of these over the Quadrifoglio, BMW X3, or Mercedes GLC? Let us know in the comments section below.

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(topspeed.com, https://goo.gl/o6YjnG)

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