Alfa Stelvio

Why don’t more SUV buyers take the plunge with an Alfa?

- Richard Browne (@washlander)

F THE CAR INDUSTRY EVER WANTED an insight into the target audience for mid-range SUVS, then the view from the top-floor window (second treadmill from the right) of the David Lloyd gym in Peterborou­gh would be a great place to start.

Plodding aimlessly along to the soundtrack of Rocky IV, I noticed the car park below was awash with an endless sea of grey Jaguar E-paces, Range Rover Evoques, Volvo XC60S, Volkswagen Tiguans and a new invasion of Ford Pumas – all ejecting a seemingly endless conveyor belt of middle-class mums and dads struggling with children and juggling hot yoga classes.

And then, amongst them, I spotted our Stelvio. It’s easy to see as it looks completely different from its bland SUV cousins, its elegant design and bold blue hue standing out (in a good way). And then it hit me: you really don’t see many around. In fact, in the months I’ve been driving ours I don’t think I’ve seen another, and that, quite frankly, is puzzling and a massive shame.

Perhaps lease costs have something to do with it; maybe people still have reliabilit­y concerns about Alfas too. (For the record, our Stelvio Veloce has been faultless.) But my suspicion is that people are just a bit conditione­d in their views and are scared to try something different.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure the cars I named earlier are all perfectly fit for purpose for those who have chosen them, but at the end of my 5km slog I could still barely tell one from another.

Later, as I slung my kit bag into the Stelvio’s ample boot, a chap in a matt black Range Rover pulled up in the space next to me. ‘Nice car, mate,’ he said. ‘What is it? An Alfa?’

IDate acquired January 2021 Total mileage 5200 Mileage this month 723 Costs this month £0 mpg this month 24.2

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