Editor: Jason “The Bok” Date – 31 Mar 2018
Let’s face it, when you think of the brand name and heritage of Alfa Romeo, the last thing which springs to mind is a high-riding SUV. This being said, Alfa is not the first sportscar brand to introduce an SUV, Porsche brought us the very successful Cayenne, Bentley have given us the Bentayga and soon we will even see the Lamborghini Urus climbing-up our mountain paths, so let us now welcome the brands first every entry to the increasingly emerging SUV space, the all-new Stelvio.
An Italian Through & Through
Being truly Italian goes deeper than facts and figures, it is far more about emotion, passion and finesse, values always held by the Alfa Romeo brand. I am glad to report that the Stelvio bares all of these qualities.
To begin, it has the beautiful looks of Monica Bellucci, the grace of Sophia Loren and the sporting model appearance that you associate with famed fashion icons such as Giorgio Armani. A blend of sculpted lines, the trademark Alfa style grille and wide flared arches beautifully resemble what is an SUV with true style.
As with anything beautiful, the attraction starts when you first cast your eyes on the Stelvio. But being named after the world-famous Stelvio Mountain pass in Italy, it needs to do more than just look pretty, it has to be great to drive and handle as well. I can certainly report that this is an SUV which you would choose to tackle the pass, it feels planted, dynamic and engaging as you would want from an Alfa, while also remaining high-riding and comfortable as you would want from an SUV.
All the power is offered-up by its four-cylinder 2.o-litre turbopetrol engine which delivers a peak of 206 kW and 400 Nm of torque. The result is an SUV which will propel you from 0 -100 km/h in a shade under 6 seconds and this before we even get a chance to look at the fire-breathing Stelvio QV, which will be arriving in SA in the third quarter of this year.
All the power is mated to a seamless 8-speed automated gearbox, and Alfa Romeo claims that the Stelvio will average a combined 7.0 L/100 km, but who really worries about fuel economy when it looks and feels this good!
Style Done The Italian Way
Much the beautiful body, the interior is a mingle of fine leather work, embossed Alfa Romeo emblems etched into the headrests and a steering wheel with a formula 1 inspired stop/start button in the centre. The large aluminium paddles look like they have been lifted straight out of a Ferrari and the interior space is generous throughout.
You can argue that some of the switchgear and surfaces could be more premium in the likes of the Stelvio’s German compatriots, but the general feel of the cabin is very good. The central jog dial controlled multimedia system is intuitive and in the First Edition Stelvio, the vehicle features the likes of keyless entry and go, privacy glass and premium Harman Kardon sound delivered through its 10 speaker system. The large panoramic roof and unique 20-inch alloys certainly assist in adding to its elegant image.
The Stelvio is Alfa’s first ever entry into the tightly packed and highly competitive SUV market segment. Though it has very tough competition, I believe that this vehicle will generate big sales for the brand, and follow much of the same success story as has been shown by the Cayenne and the Porsche brand.
SA Pricing & Warranty
Prices start from R810,000 for the Super and the First Edition (As Tested) is priced at R946 000.
The new Alfa Romeo Stelvio range is sold with a 3 year or 100,000km Warranty and a 6 year or 100,000km Maintenance plan as standard.