Posted on February 16, 2018
Date of Release: November 2017
Number of Reviews 1
Named after the majestic and alluring Stelvio Pass in Italy, the 2017 Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.0T combines rugged ability, advanced technology and precision to bring you an alluring SUV with a lot of Italian flair.
Built on the same platform as the Giulia, the Stelvio is characterised by sharp lines, a sleek front-end pronounces its Alfa DNA.
Built to enhance the driving experience, every detail of the Stelvio’s interior is crafted with refinement. Step inside the Stelvio and you’ll find a plush interior featuring a leather upholstery with top-notch technology.
Under the bonnet of this Italian-crafted beauty is a 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine that develops 206kW at 5250 r/pm achieving a 0-100 km/h in a whopping 5.7 seconds!
In the case of an accident, the Stelvio comes standard with reactive safety features including: 6 airbags, collision warning, and other active features like ABS, EBD and Electronic Traction Control.
When you think Alfa Romeo, what comes to mind? For us, it’s: Passion, Feeling, Sound. Essentially, Alfa’s have always struck us as ‘driver-focused cars’. But now, thanks to the launch of Alfa’s brand new SUV, the whole family can appreciate your driving skill as you whisk through one of SA’s many beautiful mountain passes.
Introducing the all-new Stelvio, aptly named after Italy’s most famous mountain pass: 20Km’s of beautiful, winding black tarmac; comprising a total of 75 hairpin bends. Alfa, in their words, don’t simply want to make cars – they like to create them; a work of art as it were. And, we’re happy to confirm, when it comes to the Stelvio, they’ve nailed it once again.
For now, the range includes one awesome engine, a 2l turbo petrol and two levels of trim: the Super and the more premium First Edition. Excitement levels were high, both amongst the journo’s and with the Alfa Romeo team – it’s been a fairly busy year for them, including four launches:
The Stelvio launches with pre-orders already on the books and is now available at 26 full-service dealerships nationwide, supported by an additional 16 service-oriented dealers (42 in total). Not only is your local Alfa service centre down the road, they score the highest marks when it comes to immediate parts availability – impressive!
We headed off toward the beautiful Franschhoek town via two of the days’ four mountain passes. The main theme of Alfa’s presentation to us quickly became apparent – this car comes alive in the curves! This thanks to a number of class-leading facts:
Flick the ‘dna’ dial located near the gear knob into dynamic mode and the car’s advanced drivetrain and suspension system alters itself to take on the bends! And take them on, it did! You literally forget you and driving an SUV. The Stelvio’s all-wheel drive handling and overall performance fools you into thinking that you are driving a sports sedan, perhaps even a hatchback. The 400Nm engine provides plenty of grunt with minimal lag thanks to its twin-scroll turbo, all of which is mated to a quick-changing, intuitive 8-speed autobox. The whole experience is further sweetened by the amazing sound the twin exhausts make, especially between 4,000 and 6,500 RPM’s.
Our favourite type of gearbox is usually a semi-automatic dual-clutch box but we have to hand it to the Alfa engineers, their 8-speed auto is awesome. In our experience, auto boxes are happiest when left to themselves, but due to fashion trends, many manufactures fit their steering wheels with paddle shift levers, tempting the driver to “interfere”. We use that word, as that’s often what it feels like when you engage them – the autobox sort of reacts like “Hey! Stop interfering!” This is definitely NOT the case with the Stelvio, which is the main reason why we prefer the “First Edition” trim over the “Super”. The First Edition features two, beautifully crafted, large steering column mounted paddle shifts. The best thing about them – they are made out of metal, which is surprisingly rare. The autobox reacts quickly and smoothly to your input, especially on down changes. If you’re a “driver’s car” type of driver, then you appreciate being in full control of the vehicle. Happily, the Stelvio serves up exactly that experience - on a silver platter!
Like the Alfa Romeo badge, the Stelvio is tale of two halves (this is our twisted take on the logo and not the official meaning):
Think we are exaggerating with the “drop-dead gorgeous” bit? Think again! Multiple members of the public flashed their lights at us, showing their appreciation for this beauty throughout our drive.
Exterior styling highlights include:
Interior wise, the First Edition highlights include:
Our day concluded with a spectacular drive along the False Bay coastline before heading back to Cape Town. We thoroughly enjoyed the day, but let’s try imagine what it would be like to live with the Stelvio on a daily basis – below is how the Stelvio ranks against our SUV lifestyle criteria:
School run dice (5 out of 5): Does your car have enough ‘oomph’ to quickly get past any irritating slow coaches or misbehaving taxis? Oh yes! As awesome as the twin-turbo V6 QV is going to be, this 2l turbo is more than enough. If only your daily school commute could include a mountain pass or two!
Sticky finger proof (4 out of 5): Does your car go from clean to dumpsite in less than 10 seconds, or does it hold its own? The Stelvio’s interior is definitely premium, so you’re not going to want any chocolate covered fingers in there anytime soon! That said, there are multiple storage compartments to help maintain some order, including an aircon cooled centre compartment.
Easy access boot (5 out of 5): Is your boot easy to pack/unpack, even when your hands are tied up with other things… like your children? Thanks to the large rear section, the boot size is better than most and features a flat lip for easy loading. Things are made even easier thanks to the powered tailgate, so the Stelvio scores top marks here.
Baby seat fitment (4 out of 5): There's a good chance you are going to use one of these. Is it as easy as 1 2 3? Being a mid-sized SUV, rear space isn’t massive but it’s still definitely adequate. ISOFIX points, rear seat anchors and overall EURO NCAP rating of 5 stars, you can definitely tick the safety box.
Climate control (4 out of 5): How quickly can you cool down your car? Dual zone automatic climate control with rear passenger air vents, means that all five passengers will be comfortable.
In such a competitive market, the Stelvio has many competitors within its pricing bracket:
But! Alfa has been wise to stick with its strengths:
If the above two points are as important to you as they are to us, then the Alfa Stelvio is definitely worth a test drive! Click on the ‘enquire’ button and we will put you in touch with your nearest Alfa Romeo dealer.
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