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Discussion Starter #1
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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"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'.

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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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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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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Discussion Starter #6
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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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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Comparison
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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@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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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).
 

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From the test drives I think it would be reduced a lot...but it still rolls more than BMW SUV. So I'm sure it's nowhere near a Giulia.

Would be a real cool comparison.

We need a SoCal MnG at a track..or maybe out by me...head East from Joshua Tree with whoever has a radar detector in front....the orange McLaren I see every few weeks seems to love it...gas is really cheap for SoCal out here...
 

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the driving impressions from different people are always interesting - because they are always different.
perhaps a combination of what type of roads people drive on, as well as comfort level tossing about a taller/softer vehicle.

quattroroute magazine has tested a variety of AR's on the track - and the numbers show a Q4 stelvio faster than a Q2 giulia, and a Q4 giulia a bit quicker still. really not much of a difference with 280 hp gas (or diesel vs diesel).

as has been mentioned tires make a big difference in numbers and feel. it does seem that the stelvio receives "less focused" tires than an equivalent giulia, likely because AR expects stelvio owners to spend more time on rougher roads and a greater variety of conditions.
 

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the giulia/stelvio comparison is always an interesting one. I was in the market for a sports car and living in Miami I would have liked a convertible so I initially tried the BMW M4 cabrio and Merc cabrio. The BMW looks really nice, outside as well as inside. it's one of the few hard top convertibles, seats four people nicely and it's the usual BMW bare minimum old style interior which I like. problem when I test drove it was how hard and stiff the steering was and how heavy the car is. I ended the test drive with the sales person asking me what I thought and when I said it's stiff he said "well it's a BMW". When I went to Mercedes, I didn't even test drive the car. after seeing it and sitting in the car at the dealership it felt like being in a space shuttle. all those fancy dials, technology etc.. but to be fair I simply didn't like the external looks and it gave me the impression of a wanna be car, borderline redneck of someone that got rich quick and wants to show off (sorry if i'm offending some Merc owners, but this is my personal opinion and you can throw it in the garbage). Being Italian and having moved out of Italy when I was 16, I never thought too seriously of Alfa. Why on earth would someone buy an Alfa when there's BMW, Audi and Merc. I always had many discussions with my father who owned a Maserati Mistral in late 60s about Maserati vs Alfa vs Lancia... he was never a big fan of Italian products due to poor reliability. When I told him I was considering an Alfa he tried to steer me away... but he didn't succeed!
I knew I wanted to get something powerful, so the choice was between Quad Giulia vs M4. I saw the Stelvio at the dealership, liked it a lot, but thought "why do I need a SUV?". So I started my analysis between the two cars, and I ended up choosing the Giulia Quad. I then started getting quotes around, looking at 2018 models (this was 3-4 months ago), and found a couple of good offers. At the same time one dealer outside of Miami had both 2018 giulia and stelvio quads so I went to the Miami dealer to look at the Giulia one last time and tried to get the price that I wanted... but when I got there I noticed a few things that didn't stand out the previous times I looked at the Giulia. The carbon aileron, I thought, is just an extra part that doesn't look embedded with the car. to me it kinda looks like an extra part that should not be there. it's a bit "too much" for a car that is slim and snug like the Giulia. Same thing for the lateral carbon pieces under the doors. Maybe it was also the color of the car that put me off (grey), but it didn't click anymore. I then called the dealership outside of Miami and got a price on the Stelvio. I didn't even test drive the Stelvio! but I was sure 100%. I could have not been more happy with my decision and i'm now the owner of a black Stelvio Quad. Driving wise I can only compare the test drive of the Giulia vs the 2000miles on my Stelvio. I think the Q4 is a big plus hence the Stelvio is better off in acceleration from zero and in wet conditions. I'm sure on the track the Giulia will beat the Stelvio... but overall both are super fun to drive. just thinking that I was so close to getting the Giulia though... which is funny in a way. just wanted to share.
 

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Back got back...

Comparison
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.
.

The back end of the Stelvio does have some back. Not as tidy as some or it's competition. There is a benefit. For us, a main shopping consideration was if the SUV could fit my sons wheelchairs. Both are light weight (one normal, one sport) so they do not fold. We did not want to sacrifice the 2nd row and have to fold that seat. We also did not want another large SUV. (Already have one) So when shopping we took the chair. It is surprising how many SUV's are not long enough in back. (plenty wide) The chair fit like a glove in the back of the Stelvio. I need to upload a few pictures of this to show how perfect the fit is. I can't help but think someone at AR on the design group thought this through. Maybe just luck.
 

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Our company bought an 18 Stelvio Lusso for my wife - no sports seats or paddles but every other option including 19 inch hole wheels. She went into that after driving Benz MLs for years, the last one being an ML63. She loves her Stelvio- the way it looks, drives and that it’s different. It carries all her work gear (she is home organizer the Glitterati and carries all kinds of stuff with her ) and she loved that it is italian and bit quirky. She is a positive driver meaning she really drives the car and it’s so much better than the last Benz which was a beast but probably weighed half a ton more. One year in and it’s everything we expected and hoped for
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Wow, I LOVE all the response! Honestly, I can’t wait to buy some performance bits to make this thing breathe and perform like it was meant to. I really wanted the Giulia before I bought the Stelvio, but being a Wisconsin native and not needing another toy, I opted for the Q4 with more utilitarian purpose. I was, however, interested in the comparison. You never know what I might spring for in the future. That Stelvio Quad, though . . . ❤
 

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I have the Ti Sport with the performance package. Granted I now have roughly 500 miles on it so not alot, but I live in Colorado, so lots of twisties around here. I have thrown my Stelvio into corners and twisties like a nut, and honestly, it sticks to the road like glue. No tire judder, just amazing traction...even on the stock Conti's. I have felt little to no body roll. I also have a little Hyundai Veloster Turbo that is no slouch in corners, but with the AWD and perf. package on the Stelvio, I feel like it handles way better.
Also had a 2000 Grand Cherokee, which was like an 18 wheeler in comparison to the Stelvio.

@Scottlarson737 - Speaking of performance bits, I have a Supersprint exhaust on order (resonated front pipe and race rear) which should be here around the end of Aug/beginning of Sept. With Italy pretty much going on holiday for August, it has slowed delivery times down. Once it arrives, I will try to get some audio/vid of the exhaust for those that might be interested.
 

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probably right, it's just a car but, as we see it, it has a hidden potential called Alfa sportiness. when I travel around Europe with mine I am often stopped, the questions are always the same, the result is always the same, people love the Alfa brand and love this SUV, despite the problems (and I have and I had so many ) is really beautiful
 

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I see more ladies driving the Stelvio in my area than men. They are all upper class and nonchalant about their car, I on the other hand get super excited when I see another Alfa owner. I always want to geek out and talk about how fast they have driven it, if they've raced anyone, what mods are they planning on getting ect.
 
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