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Richard Bremner from Autocar gave the 2017 Stelvio 2.0 280 Super with AWD a score of three and a half stars out of five after test driving an early-build model around the track.

Sharing a name with the Stelvio Pass on the Italian/Swiss border, Alfa Romeo’s latest foray into the SUV segment has a large boot and if needed, the 40/20/40 rear seats can be folded down in various configurations for even more cargo room. There are plenty of cupholders, shopping hooks and a power tailgate in this five-seat family car.

But this family hauler is anything but boring with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine that’s producing 276bhp and 295lb ft of torque at 2250rpm. Sitting on the same Giorgio platform used in the Giulia saloon, the Stelvio is rich in high-strength steels, lightweight aluminium and even the propshaft is made of lightweight carbon fiber. Combined, the Stelvio weighs a competitive 1659kg with fluids.

On track, the Stelvio was able to quickly change directions with minimal body roll thanks to stiffer springs and anti-roll bars. Soon, you’ll forget that the Stelvio sits 190mm higher than its Giulia sibling and drive the SUV like a low-riding saloon.

Sure the test vehicle had a problem with wind noise and the driver’s seat had no tilt adjustment, but the high quality interior, tactile steering wheel and the sheer enjoyment derived from driving the Stelvio more than makes up for it. Perhaps these problems will be rectified in the mass produced models.
 

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Surely the Stelvio deserves more than that? Alfa Romeo pulled out all the stops and delivered an amazing segment competitor and those two listed problems are negligible. They haven't even taken it on a road test yet, just on track.
 

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3 and a half stars? What is this like a Civic or something? I really think they understated it completely. Let them get in there and we'll see how their decision changes.
 

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I think wind noise isn't that big of a problem, especially if the stelvio has a great sound system that can drown it out when I'm playing some music. Everything about the stelvio sounds like the perfect SUV, but that's on a perfectly smooth race track. Need to see how it handles over the poorly maintained city streets.
 

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Being an early build model we should just take this with a grain of salt and instead wait for more feedback to come out because a 2.8 star rating from once source is never enough. Being that low, if its really that bad, other sources are sure to talk about it as well.
 
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