Just a car?!? - Alfa Romeo Stelvio Forum
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post #1 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-17-2019, 09:42 AM Thread Starter
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Just a car?!?

I was exiting a local Italian eatery and, to my surprise, there was a white Stelvio TI sitting two cars down from out vehicle. I pointed it out to my wife and daughter, then the owner opened his door and stepped out. I thought, “Sweet, I can ask him about his Stelvio!”. I complimented him on his vehicle then asked how he liked it. “It’s a car” he said 😳.

It’s a car? What kind of response is that? I told him I had one and that I love it. Told him I loved the sportiness of it. He recommended the Quad if I liked the sportiness. I commented about the price to which he replied, “It’s only money.” He was serious . . . no laughter or smile to indicate otherwise.

Perhaps not everyone who owns a Stelvio is a “car guy”. Or maybe he just has too much money and doesn’t appreciate what he’s got. Not sure. He said he was from Las Vegas and just driving through. That’s good, I guess. I prefer Stelvio owners who love and appreciate what they drive.

Just an interesting interaction with a fellow Stelvio owner.
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post #2 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 08:46 AM
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"Perhaps not everyone who owns a Stelvio is a car guy. Or maybe he just has too much money and doesnt appreciate what hes got'.

in either of those scenarios it's actually quite a compliment of sorts - for someone expecting it to function as a car, get you to work, carry people, start after vacation or a cold spell etc etc, it is one of the things I always appreciated about my prior Alfas and now this one.
I can use it as a "just a car" instead of a special day only toy, but then when special days or moments occur .... it's an Alfa!
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post #3 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 09:05 AM
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Summed up well!

2018 Stelvio 2.0T AWD

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post #4 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-18-2019, 11:28 AM
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I had 2 Alfa's in the 50's and 60's and purchased them for how they handled and how they drove. I was happy just having a radio. Only big compalin was heaters were very poor if you lived in the northern USA. Bought my 2018 Stilvio for the same reason don't judge a car's performance by the bells and whistles. Yes they can have some problems and alway did, geat on building engines and handling but never good on electronis choices. Enjoy the car for the great car it is, if you want to feel like you are riding around in your Lazy Boy in the living room buy a high end American car and be bored.
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post #5 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-25-2019, 12:40 PM
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I'm afraid that after leasing a Giulia for two years and beginning a two year lease of my Stelvio I am now jaded. Unlike the Giulia I have not been asked by anyone how I like the car, nor do I get the rubber necking I did with my Giulia (except from Ferrari drivers). If asked, though, I would be tempted to say, "it's just a car". My bad!
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post #6 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 10:39 AM Thread Starter
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I'm afraid that after leasing a Giulia for two years and beginning a two year lease of my Stelvio I am now jaded. Unlike the Giulia I have not been asked by anyone how I like the car, nor do I get the rubber necking I did with my Giulia (except from Ferrari drivers). If asked, though, I would be tempted to say, "it's just a car". My bad!
I’m kind of interested in how you decided to go with a Stelvio after owning the Giulia. How does it feel/perform compared to the Giulia? I get people snapping their necks quite often, but I also live in rural Wisconsin. Most people just don’t know what it is. I specifically bought this car because I love performance-minded vehicles, plus it had AWD, 4 doors, and a large usable boot! It was very refreshing to drive after testing out the Hyundais, Fords, Mazdas, etc. I even drove a cadre of German vehicles. While the Stelvio has its drawbacks, I find the driving experience to more than make up for them. I look forward to hearing about how it compares to the Giulia!
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post #7 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 11:19 AM
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Originally Posted by drdon View Post
I'm afraid that after leasing a Giulia for two years and beginning a two year lease of my Stelvio I am now jaded. Unlike the Giulia I have not been asked by anyone how I like the car, nor do I get the rubber necking I did with my Giulia (except from Ferrari drivers). If asked, though, I would be tempted to say, "it's just a car". My bad!
I think the Giulia is much more unique looking. It is a sedan but has an interesting profile. As much as I love how my Stelvio Looks and see the nice lines
interesting bumps here and there, it still looks a lot like many of the Crossovers on the market.

If you aren't a detail person or a car person I would think the STelvio will blend in quite a bit with the CX-5's and Kia Sportages of the world. The same goes for the Jaguar F-Pace. We gave up some uniqueness for the extra utility.
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post #8 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 12:57 PM
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I had a base '17 Giulia and I have a base model Stelvio. The Giulia had the stock nice looking 17 rims the Stelvio not so nice looking 18's with high profile tires:

In the appearance category the Stelvio reminds me of Kim Kardashian; a lot of beautiful coming at you and too much leaving you from behind. Baby got back! Yes, from the side and from behind they look like every other SUV.

There are even greater differences in driving performance. The first thing I noticed getting into the Stelvio was how easy it was to enter compared to the Giulia. The B pillar is more open and the height of the seat allows easy entrance and more importantly, for me with hip and knee issues, is egress. This is why I switched. I literally fall out of the Stelvio while with the lower Giulia I had to position myself. Not only is the Stelvio at least 2 more inches off the ground, yes it's an SUV, the seat sits on a platform that raises the front seats about 2 inches. This gives the driver a somewhat truck like driving position. The angle of the steering wheel is somewhat school bus like in comparison to the Giulia. Also, the brake pedal is slightly higher than the Giulia's making heel/toe driving more of a challenge (if I ever wanted to heel/toe drive!?). On the plus side the Stelvio just feels and sounds (quiet) like a more substantial car.

Driving the two cars is very different IMO. First you have the aforementioned driving position. I keep looking behind while in the Stelvio wondering where the soccer kids are :-). The Stelvio reminds me of a '02 Mazda 4X4 3 door truck I had and loved. When you come to a stop the body sways at bit forward and aft. There is more body roll in the Stelvio and the car over steers a bit more. For me, this adds up to less confidence in the twisties. The Giulia feels lighter and more nibble like a sports sedan should. The Stelvio is noticeable slower. I've not put a stop watch to the Stelvio (I did with my Giulia, 0-60 in 6 seconds to include turbo lag) but it feels about a second slower. It just doesn't push me back into the seat like the Giulia would. I do like the Alfa four cylinder growl which is unlike the other turbo fours I've driven. (But Alfa!, shouldn't this motor rev at least 1K more!) The ride in the Stelvio is better than the Giulia and the wheels and tires have something to do with the increased comfort on cobbled pavement. There's a lot of that around north bay. When you get behind the wheel of a Giulia you feel like you are in a sports sedan when I get behind the wheel of the Stelvio I feel like I'm in an SUV.

Do I wish I had my Giulia back? Yes! until it's time to get out of the vehicle then I love the Stelvio. Remember, this is my comparison between two base vehicles. Now, if I had a Stelvio quad I'm sure I'd have a decidedly different report! So, if someone were to ask me how do I like my Stelvio I would have to qualify my generally benign response because I would be comparing it to another Alfa. Maybe I should test drive a couple of premium SUV's to appreciate it more. I did before I leased the Giulia and for me there was no comparison.
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post #9 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 03:37 PM
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@pyrrhusmj yeah, it can definitely blend with a CX 5. The details are very different, but in passing...definite similarities.

Probably why Mazda is a close second favorite brand right now, just wish they would go back to a more sporting focus. And make a RX again...


@drdon , great comparison! It's funny since some of the things you describe..the higher position, the slight body roll, sway, etc...I think is part of the fun of the Base Stelvio...although I have 20's and the lower sidewall does change things some...not huge though really.

The extra level of control required feels rewarding to me. Totally get why you would enjoy the other experience more too, though. To me one feels more serious and the other more wacky. Both are fun and have benefits.

As far as not pushing you back the same...if yours is a Q4 (you said base..a base 2wd is different, just not sure which you have) the power moving to the front accounts for some of the different feel..fwd doesn't put you back the same...and the lower axle ratio up front magnify's the effect to me. Be interested if you ever time it!

Still the lower Giulia with less weight transfer in the car will "feel" faster...and probably is.

For the confidence around corners...you have to take the attitude of a 20 year old in a WRX.....grip the wheel with both hands and repeat "In all wheel drive I trust, in all wheel drive I trust..." (Not if yours is RWD though!)

You'll get used to it. Not saying it will be faster than the Guilia or anything, just saying it'll be faster than you think and a lot of fun!!!! Like stupid fun, especially once you figure out how to manage the side to side sway at high speeds through s-turns like a champ.

The RWD I would enjoy that extra oversteer maybe...but maybe not too....

Either way..great write up again. Kinda deserves it's own thread.
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2018 Stelvio 2.0T AWD

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Last edited by ALFAOFFROAD; 07-26-2019 at 03:41 PM.
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post #10 of 21 (permalink) Old 07-26-2019, 03:54 PM
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Addressing the body roll/sway you both are discussing, I wonder how much of a difference the sport suspension would make to combat that? I'd love to hear that comparison (it may have already been done in a thread somewhere but I don't feel like searching right now, haha).

2018 Stelvio Ti Sport
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