Perhaps some kind of news embargo has been lifted because drive reviews for the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio are steadily streaming in from automotive publications including AutoWeek.
There’s no shortage of car models for potential buyers to choose from, especially in the crowded and booming SUV segment, thus automakers try their best to produce models capable of standing out in a crowd. Alfa Romeo certainly did so with the Giulia if the sedan sales numbers are anything to go by, and we can expect an even better reception with the Stelvio.
Its exterior styling certainly helps; sporting the iconic Alfa Romeo grille, body-side crease, coupeish roofline and short overhangs, the Stelvio looks like a taller Giulia. The inside is no less lavish with a flat-bottomed steering wheel, comfortable bucket seats, standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, eight-speaker stereo and more.
Powering the base, Sport and three Ti models is a 2.0-liter direct-injected turbo-four engine with an output of 280 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque. The more powerful 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 powered Quadrifoglio should be released early next year and it’ll produce 505 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque.
Spending time in the Ti Lusso first, Wes Raynal (an AutoWeek reporter) was able to test out the Stelvio’s all-wheel drive system in pouring rain and he claims it “drove like a tallish Giulia”. Not a bad comparison as the SUV felt “firm but compliant”, had great grip on wet roads and it had lower than average body roll.
In efficiency mode, upshifts come early and the vehicle soaks up road imperfections well even though the Ti model doesn’t have the Sport trim’s beefier suspension.
Dynamic mode is where the Stelvio Ti shines, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission, the throttle response is quick and its powerband is even. Drivers are even treated to a symphony of little popping noises and a nice little growl.
Raynal "went in skeptical and came away impressed. You just might, too."