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A member of The Grand Tour trio, journalist and writer who’s also known for his wicked humour and outspoken views, Jeremy Clarkson was ready to hate the new Alfa Romeo Stelvio even before he got into the driver seat.

“I loathe all the current crop of so-called SUVs, except those I dislike intensely”, he wrote on The Sunday Times. “I cannot see the point of driving around in a car that’s slower, more expensive and thirstier than a normal saloon or estate. It just seems idiotic.”

But Clarkson’s outlook started to change even before he set off on his Tuscany test drive. Placing the interior above Audi Q5, he praised the cabin’s Italian aesthetics and genuine sculpture. Even admitting that the exterior is actually quite good-looking.

Looks aside, he was still skeptical about a diesel powered Alfa Romeo SUV until he had a chance to let loose on the autostrada. It felt very powerful, but what impressed this skeptic was the Stelvio’s mid-range surge. A manufacturers claimed 0 to 62mph time of 6.6 seconds and fuel economy rating of almost 60mpg certainly doesn’t hurt.

One thing he did dislike was the Giulia-derived direct steering which was not tuned to suit the Stelvio, resulting in a large big change of direction at even the tiniest of wheel movements.

That aside, he proclaims the Stelvio as “the only SUV that’s quite tempting”, perhaps even irresistible when the 500-hp petrol V6 powered version is available.
 

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A diesel powered Alfa Romeo seems so wrong to me and they aren't all that common either. Before the Giulia and Stelvio, the last one I can remember was the Alfa Romeo 159 from years ago. I can see why a petrol-head like Clarkson would be skeptical from the get go.
 

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The new all aluminum Alfa Romeo 2.2 L4 diesel is probably the best 4 cylinder Diesel engine, is the most powerful single-turbo 4 cylinder Diesel engine and has a weight of 153kg 15,4kg less than the brand new Mercedes Benz OM654 2.0L4 diesel which is the second lightest engine in the class.
Diesel engines are very important for the European markets and all Alfa models except sport cars like 4C and 8C have diesel variants
 

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In Europe and what not, the diesels will be popular, but in NA it obviously won't. The Giulia had a good response for the diesel engine and aftermarket tuners got to it real quick as well.

Naturally though, if there's a QV option with 500hp.. why would you want to bat an eye at the diesel ;)
 

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Clarkson knows his stuff and when someone like this talks highly of a product its best to be taken seriously. What he needs to do however is a showdown of the Stelvio QV and its Porsche Cayenne equivalent. There's a lot of talk between the two and someone needs to put a spotlight on which takes the cake.
 

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In terms of drawing in more views to The Grand Tour, a showdown between the Stelvio QV and Porsche Cayenne equivalent would be a sight to see, maybe race from one point in Italy to a destination in Germany. But for the average buyer, they'd much prefer to see a comparison between the base models.
 

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Maybe Clarkson will take a crack at it, especially when it comes to the QV model. If we was already impressed by the standard model; I can't even begin to fathom the kind of praise he would give to a more powerful variation. But he could be biased when it comes to the Porsche Cayenne since he was never a fan of SUVs to begin with.
 
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