The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio, an intermediate crossover with five four-wheel-drive seats, in a high-end country, with prices ranging from $ 40,000 to $ 50,000. It’s late at the party.
An Alfa Romeo SUV has been under construction for about fifteen years and this vehicle has always been the pivot of any theoretical return of the Italian sports brand on the American market. There is no doubt that Alfa dealers would have seen more pedestrian traffic if the company started with the SUV model two years ago, rather than the exquisite rarified Giulia sedan.
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio has enough momentum to blend in with the highway, powered by a 280-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder that runs fast and decisively thanks to an eight-speed automatic transmission. But the experience is not always smooth, especially in low speed situations; there, the transmission stumbles sometimes after a cold start. Nevertheless, the Italian heritage of the engine comes with a nice exhaust rumble. Yes, this SUV has character.
The intimidating forward fascia of the Stelvio and the triangular shield Scudetto communicates its business purpose in an undoubted way. The muscular metal sheet stretched over the body seems fast and motionless. And the carved fastback carved fastback is a bit busy, but it still looks wonderful. The Stelvio is what you expect from a design studio that will not allow the function to compromise the form.
Inside, the Stelvio suffers from the same ergonomic flaws as its sister, the Alfa Romeo Giulia. There are weird touches, like the start button on the steering wheel, with which one can live. But other touches are real frustrations. You use a rotary knob to interact with the infotainment system, which at first glance is similar to the operation of the Audi or BMW systems. But the icons are not clear and the structure of the menu is convoluted. You must select an icon to highlight its label or click on a tape source to move to the next choice. The whole process is heavy, too distracting, and quite boring. The driver’s seat and the driving position are also compromised. You can not adjust the angle of the lower cushion independently of the height adjustment of the seat. The only way to adjust the position of the cushion is to raise or lower the seat. And finally, the electronic shifter is a nuisance to use, requiring the press of a release button to switch from the reverse to drive, and a different button to engage Park.