Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.2 (Price, as tested, £44,610)


IT'S Alfa's entry into the crowded SUV market, offering fun, style and practicality in equal measure.


IT is said every man - and woman, for that matter - should drive an Alfa at least once in their lifetime. It's largely based on nostalgia, but now the Italian marque has delivered a car worthy of that saying and surprisingly it's an SUV.

There's no doubting the car's heritage - it couldn't be anything other than Italian, the sweeping lines and curves giving that away. Even the space saver wheel is stylish.

I took the car into the Dales and it drew admiring glances wherever we went. I heard comments such as: "It's an Alfa?" and one chap even stopped to talk to me about his love for the marque.

From that perspective, then, they are on to a winner.

There's four trim levels Stelvio, Super, Speciale and Milano Edizione - only in Italian do they sound so romantic - and two engines to choose from - a 2.2-litre 210hp diesel AWD and 2.0-litre 280hp petrol AWD.

I tested the diesel which has a top speed of 134mph and accelerates from nought to 62mph in 6.6 seconds. It's mated to an eight-speed automatic gearbox which provides smooth, harmonious changes. There are huge metallic paddle shifters should you feel the need to do the changing yourself, but to be honest there's absolutely no need.

There are three engine settings, eco, normal and dynamic which lights a fire under the Stelvio if you want an adrenaline rush.

The ride is rather firm, so it won't suit every one, but then this is a vehicle with sporty pretensions and so maybe they can be forgiven for this. For a car of its size, it's rather adept at cornering, has plenty of grip and was well capable of putting a smile on my face.


THE curvaceous theme continues inside the Stelvio, with a sculpted interior that is very easy on the eye. It's not quite as imaginative as some, but it is a pleasant environment from within which to survey the outside world. Though you don't site especially high up, the long bonnet might pose an issue for some, but thankfully parking sensors front and rear help.

It's easy to adjust the steering wheel and the seats for comfort and everything comes easy to hand. The infotainment system is controlled by a central dial, meaning you don't have to reach out to switch stations, etc.


KEY features include 18ins alloys, black rubber window surrounds, LED rear lights, front fog halogen projector on diesel model, front and rear parking sensors, double lateral chrome exhaust pipe, cloth and leather seats, two tone dashboard, leather flat bottomed Steering wheel, 8.8ins infotainment system with 3D Navigation system, 7ins TFT instrument cluster, Bluetooth/AUX multimedia connectivity, two front and rear USB ports, steering wheel controls, DAB, eight speakers, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, power boot, dusk and rain sensors, Autonomous Emergency Brake (AEB), lane departure warning, Electronic Stability Control (ESC), Hill Descent Control, tyre pressure monitoring system, theft alarm. In addition our car came with metallic paint and leather Upholstery, 19ins 10-Spoke alloys, Cold Weather Pack, Convenience Pack, Driver Assistance Pack Plus, six-way electrically adjusting seats, electrically folding door mirrors, aluminium paddle-shifters and yellow brake callipers.


YOU should have no issues with head and legroom up front as both are plentiful. Room in the rear will be fine for all but the tallest of people. I had no issues at all, despite the sloping nature of the roofline, especially as the rear seats are designed deep. There's plenty of interior storage space with room in the doors for drinks bottles etc.

The boot has 525 litres of space. While the rear seats fold, there remains a rise. The electric boot helps with access and the entry is wide enough to accommodate bulky items without too much fuss.


ALFA say it should be possible to get 58.9mpg from our car. I managed 45.6mpg. CO2 emissions are 127g/km.


Turns heads and corners in equal measure


Porsche Macan, Jaguar F-Pace, BMW X3