ITAL­IAN MAS­TER­PIECE: ALFA ROMEO’S STELVIO SUV OOZES POWER AND CLASS

The Stelvio is Alfa Romeo’s first ven­ture into the SUV mar­ket, and it’s been mak­ing quite a lot of waves. Paul Con­nolly sets out its charms

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page -

ALFA ROMEO STELVIO

WHAT’S NEW? NO PRES­SURE, Alfa Romeo. You are one of the last to the SUV party, so this had bet­ter be good.

And the good news is that it is. Alfa has re­sisted the temp­ta­tion to crib stuff from sis­ter com­pany Jeep and opted to build its own SUV based on its Gi­u­lia sa­loon plat­form.

The Gi­u­lia’s driv­ing dy­nam­ics are very good, and have been im­ported

across to the new SUV, giv­ing it good road­side man­ners.

LOOKS AND IM­AGE At first sight, the Stelvio is def­i­nitely an Alfa, with the fa­mous shield-shaped grille an­nounc­ing Ital­ian flair and pas­sion.

There are new Gi­u­lia-style head­lamps, rear spoiler and twin ex­haust tips.

The over­all feel is slim, slick and so­phis­ti­cated, with Alfa as men­tioned com­pletely ig­nor­ing all Jeep’s mus­cle-bound in­cli­na­tions. Think more Mercedes GLC than Grand Chero­kee.

The name Stelvio comes from a leg­endary and beau­ti­ful moun­tain pass link­ing Italy to Switzer­land, with 48 hair­pins in quick suc­ces­sion. IN­SIDE THE CABIN In­side, the same ded­i­ca­tion to de­sign is at work. Every­thing is well laid out from a driver’s prospec­tive, and the driv­ing po­si­tion is well thought out to give a feel for the car and also that more com­mand­ing height that SUV own­ers love.

The cabin is not shouty – rather it’s so­phis­ti­cated and stylish. Alfa boasts that hours of crafts­man­ship has cul­mi­nated in the use of premium ma­te­ri­als in­clud­ing full-grain leather, real wood and fab­rics care­fully cho­sen for their look and feel.

As is com­mon with all mar­ques these days, you can of course trade up in­side. The Stelvio of­fers a Lux­ury Pack that in­cludes full grain leather seats (in black, brown, red or beige) with elec­tri­cal ad­just­ment and heat­ing sys­tem, as well as real wood in­serts.

The Sport Pack comes with heated sports steer­ing wheel, spe­cific grip and leather wrap­ping, rac­ing-style leather seats in black, red or brown, with elec­tric ad­just­ment and heat­ing sys­tem, alu­minium in­serts and steel ped­als.

TRIM LEV­ELS

There are three trim lev­els, with the unin­spir­ing names of Stelvio, Su­per, Spe­ciale and a

lim­ited edi­tion Mi­lano Edizione (Mi­lan Edi­tion). There is also a range-top­ping and very sporty Stelvio Quadri­foglio.

Stan­dard fea­tures on the en­try trim level ‘Stelvio’ in­clude 17-inch 10-spoke al­loy wheels, a 3.5-inch TFT colour clus­ter in­stru­ment panel, and a Ucon­nect 8.8-inch dis­play in­fo­tain­ment sys­tem.

Step up to Su­per and you’ll find 18-inch 5-spoke al­loy wheels, front park­ing sen­sors, a 7-inch TFT in­stru­ment clus­ter and more.

Spe­ciale adds 19-inch 10-spoke al­loy wheels with red brake calipers, and Mi­lano Edizione adds 20-inch V-spoke al­loys and a bunch of other good­ies.

UN­DER THE BONNET

En­gines are largely shared with the Gi­u­lia too – although the 2.2-litre diesel has been given a boost, now out­putting 207bhp in its most pow­er­ful guise – and the four-wheel-drive sys­tem is the same rear-bi­ased set-up you’ll find on Alfa’s new sa­loon as well.

The main choice is a straight pick: diesel or petrol. There 2.2-litre 210hp diesel Q4 AWD and 2.0-litre 280hp petrol Q4 AWD – com­bined with an ZF eight­speed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion as stan­dard.

The 2.0-litre 280hp petrol of­fers “best in class ac­cel­er­a­tion”, go­ing from zero to 62mph in 5.7 sec­onds and onto a top speed of 143mph.

Ac­cord­ing to of­fi­cial fig­ures, it re­turns 40.4mpg on the com­bined cy­cle and a top speed of 134 mph.

The 2.2-litre 210hp diesel Q4 AWD of­fi­cially re­turns 58.9mpg and a top speed of 134mph and ac­cel­er­at­ing from zero to 62mph in 6.6 sec­onds.

Prices for the range start from £34,035.

The Quadri­foglio has its own pow­er­ful 2.9 V6 Bi-turbo unit pump­ing out 510 of horse­power.

The Quadri­foglio range starts at £69,500.

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