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.