Stelvio is the slick new SUV that does things a lit­tle bit dif­fer­ently

Belfast Telegraph - NI Carfinder - - Front Page -

Power is driven to them via an eight-speed au­to­matic gear­box, and there’s a de­cent amount of torque gen­er­ated by the en­gine to keep the whole af­fair pushed along - 470Nm in fact, which is a good slug of push­ing power for a car of this size.

WHAT’S IT LIKE TO DRIVE? As men­tioned, the Stelvio’s been de­signed to sit on the more dy­namic end of the SUV spec­trum, and as such rides and drives in a slightly dif­fer­ent way to a con­ven­tional four-wheel-drive.

The ride suf­fers a lit­tle at low speeds, with its over­all firm­ness trans­fer­ring im­per­fec­tions on the road sur­face into the cabin. It means that when pot­ter­ing around town, the Stelvio feels a lit­tle un­set­tled.

How­ever, as you in­crease in speed, the car’s sus­pen­sion be­gins to make sense, where it man­ages body roll well and al­lows you to cor­ner con­fi­dently.

The steer­ing is, as men­tioned, quite quick too, and this gives the whole car an ea­ger­ness when turn­ing in - again, another plus point when trav­el­ling at faster speeds.

HOW DOES IT LOOK? The Stelvio has been in­fused with all of the de­sign touches you’d ex­pect from an Alfa Romeo. There’s the large tri­an­gle grille at the front, an­gled head­lights and, of course, the all-im­por­tant off­set num­ber plate.

It’s a good-look­ing de­sign, and markedly dif­fer­ent to the re­main­ing of­fer­ings in the SUV seg­ment.

Our test car also fea­tured yel­low brake calipers and 19-inch 10-spoke al­loy wheels, which aided the over­all sporty look.

Cer­tainly, against the rounded sil­hou­ettes of cars such as the Porsche Ma­can and BMW X3, the Stelvio’s edgy styling makes it stand out.

The rear end of the car is par­tic­u­larly strong, with large (re­ally quite large, in fact) ex­haust pipes giv­ing the car a par­tic­u­larly sporty ap­pear­ance.

WHAT’S IT LIKE IN­SIDE? The in­te­rior of the Stelvio cov­ers the ba­sics well; the steer­ing po­si­tion is good, the steer­ing wheel has plenty of ad­just­ment and the elec­tric front seats can be set to ex­actly the right po­si­tion with lit­tle ef­fort.

There are harsher plas­tics here, for sure - the ma­te­rial used for the gearshift sur­round is quite hard, and the gear­stick has an an­noy­ingly sharp edge to it, but for the most part it’s a com­fort­able and well-made place to be.

The rear seats of­fer plenty of space, and though the sloped roofline does cut into head­room lev­els some­what, there should more than enough for av­er­age-sized pas­sen­gers.

The Stelvio does well in terms of boot space as well, with its 525 litres of seats-up ca­pac­ity trump­ing that of the Porsche Ma­can.

WHAT’S THE SPEC LIKE? Prices for the 2.2-litre diesel-powered Gi­u­lia start at £38,490, and there’s a lot of stan­dard equip­ment in­cluded as part of this price. You get 18-inch al­loy wheels, front and rear park­ing sen­sors and a lane de­par­ture warn­ing sys­tem in­cluded, as well as a power tail­gate and an eight-speaker sound sys­tem.

Our test car fea­tured the larger, eight-inch in­fo­tain­ment screen (a smaller seven-inch unit is in­cluded in lower-spec mod­els), and this houses fea­tures such as satel­lite nav­i­ga­tion and me­dia func­tions. It’s easy to nav­i­gate thanks to a simple ro­tary con­troller, but it lacks the def­i­ni­tion of ri­val of­fer­ings - it looks just a few gen­er­a­tions be­hind other in­fo­tain­ment sys­tems cur­rently avail­able.

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