Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio is a giant salivating SUV – and it’s been updated for this decade.
Generally, Alfas don’t have quite the same build quality as the predictable German suspects, but the Italian brand drives as well as any BMW, Mercedes-Benz or Audi. Sure, some of the car’s interior hasn’t always been glued together brilliantly, but Alfa Romeo has rectified this for the 2020s by updating the cabin with a new layout and materials. It has also overhauled the infotainment system with a range of connected services and a redesigned human-machine interface (HMI). The new Stelvio’s HMI has evolved into a system which is user-friendly and straightforward. The 8.8-inch central display is now a touchscreen and uses widgets that can be dragged and dropped to create a customisable homepage, in which each of the SUV’s functions becomes an app. The fresh seven-inch screen in the heart of the instrument cluster is also now standard across the Stelvio line-up. The layout has been redesigned to offer data more logically.
What’s more, overall quality has been enriched with a new central console, totally restyled to house bigger, more accessible storage compartments, as well as the latest wireless charger function. The gearstick is now leather covered with a signature Italian flag at its base. At the same time, the knob that controls the infotainment system has been modernised to give the sensation of accuracy at every touch. The leather-clad steering wheel has also been redesigned to accommodate the functions for the autonomous driving system that’s now part of the car’s tech. Indeed, the debut of the “Advanced Driver Assistance System” (ADAS) enables the five-door vehicle to deliver the highest level of autonomous driving currently legal. “Level 2” autonomy is achieved when you can leave the car to control the accelerator, brakes and steering in specific conditions. Of course, you must be constantly attentive and always keep your hands on the wheel.
In addition, the new Stelvio range now includes a rear parking camera, bi-xenon headlights and electrically folding wing mirrors. As well as the modernised infotainment system and interior upgrades, the Stelvio “Sprint” grade, as driven here, is characterised by “Sprint” badging on the front wings, gloss black exterior badges, as well as 19-inch dark five-hole sport alloy wheels. Building on the “Super” entry-level model, its standard set-up is complete with heated and electrically adjustable leather seats, heated steering wheel and black brake callipers.
The 2.2-litre 190PS turbo diesel is quick, doing 0-62mph in 7.6 seconds and topping out at 130 mph. It hugs corners like no SUV has the right to, yet it’s also comfortable for five-up. This isn’t always the case when it comes to big-wheeled high-riders – and considering its heft, the Stelvio Sprint will return a decent 44 mpg.
The new Alfa Romeo Stelvio is also kitted out with “Alfa Connected Services” as standard, to deliver advanced onboard connectivity and a set of facilities to boost safety and comfort. The full suite of services incorporates everything from “My Assistant” to “My Navigation”. The “My Assistant” function offers an SOS call that enables you to send a request for assistance by pressing the SOS button or via a mobile app. In an accident, the call goes out automatically. In case of a breakdown, a request can be sent to the roadside assistance service with the Stelvio’s coordinates by pressing the “Assist” button. The “My Assistant” package also consists of a service report, which keeps you updated on the Alfa’s health via monthly email reports.
The “My Navigation” function includes applications for remote search for destination and points of interest and real-time traffic, weather and speed camera alerts. The tech also includes a “Send & Go” service, enabling you to send your destination to the navigation straight from your smartphone or web portal.
Other services to join the suite include “My Car”, which enables you to keep the car’s parameters under constant control, “My Wi-Fi”, which allows an Internet connection to be shared between up to eight onboard devices, and “My Theft Assistance”, which alerts you to any attempt to steal your Alfa.
The new Alfa Romeo Stelvio is an SUV that makes motoring on stilts fun again – but be warned, the Sprint version isn’t cheap. It’ll cost you just shy of £45,000. That’s about the cost of two Ford Focus’ or a whole bunch of family trips to Disneyland. Hmm… decisions, decisions.