2018 ALFA ROMEO STELVIO TI SPORT AWD
A Strong Chassis Isn’t Always Enough
Take away the Giulia Quadrifoglio’s 505-hp engine and repackage the whole car as a crossover, and you get a much different beast. In the definite plus category, the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport didn’t break down on us once, so it certainly has that going for it over the sedan sibling we tested.
The 2.0-liter turbo-four is a solid powerplant. It sends up to 280 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque to all four wheels via a well-sorted eight-speed automatic. The suspension is tuned well, too, and the steering is sports-car quick, though some thought it felt a bit out of place. Others loved everything about how it drives and feels; it’s definitely an enthusiast’s vehicle.
“A real sleeper,” St. Antoine noted. “Didn’t see this one coming—wow is that a lot of ‘go’ from that little four-banger. The Alfa just ate up the mountain loop, no sweat.”
But then there’s the unique-to
Alfa infotainment system, which will likely infuriate the average crossover buyer. Accurately described by social media editor Billy Rehbock as “one of the slowest and least intuitive,” this is an unnecessary attempt by Alfa to separate itself from its corporate cousins given how good Fiat Chrysler Automobiles’ Uconnect system is.
The rest of the cabin didn’t exactly light our fire, either. “Too ‘cut-rate’ at this price level and doing the Alfa badge a disservice,” St. Antoine noted. The sparse all-black interior generates a broody vibe, which is not automatically a bad thing, but in this case it demonstrates that what works for a sport sedan doesn’t necessarily work for a crossover.
Contributor Basem Wasef summed up the group’s feelings about Alfa Romeo’s first crossover. “It handles well and is unusually tempting to take onto the track, for an SUV at least,” he said. “The Stelvio just doesn’t yet have quite enough to put it over the top.” — KO
PRICE: $73,595/$87,095 (base/as tested) ENGINE: 2.9L DOHC 24-valve twin-turbo V-6/505 hp @ 6,500 rpm, 443 lb-ft @ 2,500-5,500 rpm TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic LAYOUT: 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, RWD sedan EPA MILEAGE: 17/24 mpg...
PRICE: $44,990/$55,240 (base/as tested) ENGINE: 2.0L DOHC 16-valve turbo I-4/280 hp @ 5,200 rpm, 306 lb-ft @ 2,000-4,800 rpm TRANSMISSION: 8-speed automatic LAYOUT: 4-door, 5-passenger, front-engine, AWD SUV EPA MILEAGE: 22/28 mpg (city/hwy) L x W...