The Alfa Romeo Stelvio (Tipo 949) is a front engine, all-wheel drive, five-door compact luxury crossover SUV manufactured and marketed by the Alfa Romeo subdivision of FCA since debuting at the 2016 Los Angeles Auto Show and entering production at the Cassino Plant at the end of 2016. It is the current top Alfa sales with about 43,000 samples per year (2018).
Sharing the platform of the mid-sized Giulia sedan, the Stelvio uses FCA’s Giorgio platform, ultimately to be shared with Maserati, Dodge, and Jeep. The name Stelvio derives from the Stelvio Pass, Italy’s highest mountain pass, noted for its 48 circuitous switchbacks.
The Stelvio was crash tested in July 2017 by Euro NCAP, with a score of 97% for the adult occupant protection. Overall, the Stelvio achieved five-star results. For adult protection, the Stelvio did “exceptionally well”, with its near perfect 97 percent score matching that of the Volvo XC90 (all tests are not comparable because Euro NCAP updated its protocols in 2017).
The Stelvio is also fitted with an autonomous emergency braking system (AEB) as standard.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio diesel engines
Of the four engines available in the Stelvio, the 2.2-liter diesel is our favorite, with 207bhp and lots of pulling power when you put your foot down at any speed. The 0-62mph sprint takes 6.6 seconds – impressive for a car that can return almost 60mpg. There’s also a less powerful version of this engine with 187bhp, but unless you can’t stretch to it, the top version seems a better bet.
Although less powerful than the top petrol overall, it doesn’t need to be worked as hard to get the best out of it. What’s more, it emits a sporty rumble, which may, or may not appeal to you. It gels well with the eight-speed automatic gearbox and can be relaxing or entertaining, depending on your mood.
The 2.0-liter petrol engine produces 276bhp – more than the entry-level Porsche Macan 2.0-litre and enough for a 0-62mph sprint of just 5.7 seconds. In truth, it never feels scintillatingly quick, but there’s a substantial feeling of acceleration whenever you plant your foot on the throttle, and overtaking is immediate and safe.
It can be a frustrating engine in some respects. It relies on an artificial sound generator to make up for what is an otherwise dull noise under acceleration, and because of strict emissions control equipment, it won’t rev to the heights that you might expect of a turbocharged petrol engine. A 197bhp version of the same engine is also available in the entry-level Super trim, taking 7.2 seconds to get from 0-62mph.
The high-performance Quadrifoglio model has a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engine that’s also used in the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio. It develops 503bhp and can get the Stelvio from 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds.