This is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV, more specifically the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, a.k.a the fast one you really want. That’s right, Alfa is getting into the SUV/Crossover market, which is the most obvious and expected move for them. I must say, though, the Stelvio looks pretty damn good.
The Stelvio Quadrifoglio definitely seems like a serious contender with its 505hp 2.9L twin turbo V6, shared with its Guilia sedan sibling. The difference in the Stelvio is that you get all wheel drive to help put all that horsepower to the ground. I see it likely being the most fun one can have in a crossover, but with the usual Italian car frustrations.
Look, I trust Alfa Romeo to deliver an emotionally riveting driving experience in any vehicle they make. They could make a pogo stick, and I’m sure it’d get me all hot and bothered. I’m also someone who genuinely enjoys the current crop of fast SUVs, so I see no reason why the Stelvio won’t be phenomenal from a driving perspective.
The question here for me will be more the in the Utility end. Obviously it’s going to be practical in terms of space, but can the Italians really pull the functional details together enough to satisfy the daily user? SUVs are daily drivers, and everything needs to work, and stay working, day in, and day out. Fiat-Chrysler hasn’t had the best track record for that lately, and Italian cars haven’t had a great track record for that in… um… ever.
A few technical flaws in a weekend sports car come off as endearing because driving a car like that is solely for enjoyment. However, with a daily commuter, every flaw is going to annoy the owner, and that frustration will add up over time. I really hope Alfa Romeo has put in the work to make the Stelvio as reliable as can be. It doesn’t need to rival Lexus, but it does need to be on par with Audi, Jaguar and BMW.
The Stelvio’s first impressions are great as far as I’m concerned, though I don’t see any reason why it won’t be the same old Italian car story, only this time as a crossover.