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Stelvio 2.0T First Edition | Alfa Romeo

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.

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The Torque Rating:  

Generic:

Value
Safety
Exterior
Interior
Performance

SUV/MPV Lifestyle

School run dice
Sticky finger proof
Easy access boot
Baby seat fitment
Climate control

Design

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.

Performance

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!

Safety

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.

THE TORQUE REVIEW

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:

  • Alfa Romeo Guilia with the Quadrifoglio (QV) showcasing the epic 2.9l V6 twin-turbo engine. The good news is that a QV version of the Stelvio will be launched in SA during the first half of 2018. The Stelvio QV  broke the SUV record around the infamous Nürburgring – do yourself a favour and watch the clip below
  • Fiat Tipo – see our full review here
  • Fiat Panda – we hope to test this little legend soon
  • And now, the Stelvio


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:

  • Best power to weight ratio: 280 HP / 206kW / 400Nm against a mere weight of just 1,660Kg’s. That’s roughly 250Kg’s lighter than the Stelvio’s main rival, equating to 124kW per ton
  • Lightest SUV is segment: this is due to the Stelvio’s lightweight construction. The Stelvio shares the same aluminium platform as the Guilia and even sports a carbon-fibre drive shaft
  • Shortest ‘forward of front axle’ section and longest ‘rear of back axle’ section, aiding optimal 50:50 weight distribution for improved handling

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):

  • The windy Dragon representing the car’s impressive performance through twisty, hairpin filled mountain passes
  • The red cross, representing intersection filled city streets, where the Stelvio offers the convenience of an SUV but also, standout, drop-dead gorgeous good looks.

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:

  • That “it can only be an Alfa” front V-shaped grille
  • Two shapely Bi-Xenon headlights with large, wrap around LED Daytime Running Lights
  • Black, honeycomb filled grilles, with the lower split grille, featuring the car’s fog lamps as well a single flat section, behind which, is a radar, aiding Alfa’s sophisticated safety systems. It’s a long list of modern safety features but our favourites include:
  • Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Brake with pedestrian detection
  • Rear Cross-Path Detection (really useful when reversing out of a parking bay)
  • Active Cruise Control
  • The cars flanks are noticeably sleek thanks to the absence of any trim, roof racks and side indicator lights. Side indicators are neatly hidden within the two-tone side mirrors.
  • A shark fin aerial, integrated boot spoiler and stunning LED tail-lights combine well to make the rear end of the car look as good as the front.
  • Aggressive looking 20” ten-spoke mag wheels and your choice of colour brake callipers
  • Super aggressive, twin exhausts with massive chrome tips


Interior wise, the First Edition highlights include:

  • Sporty, horizontal slatted, grained leather electric seats complete with memory and heating functions
  • A black, red and white themed instrument cluster, on-board computer and state-of-the-art, voice-activated infotainment system which we think looks great
  • Dark wood trim that stretches horizontally across the dash and contrasts nicely against the matt silver inserts
  • A light-weight gear knob, accompanied by three textured dials: dna selector (Dynamic / Natural / Advanced Efficiency), main infotainment jog wheel and finally, a track/volume dial.
  • D-shaped, 3-spoke multi-function steering wheel
  • Sniper scope styled air vents and if that’s not enough, the Stelvio features a massive panoramic sunroof.
  • Three full, rear passenger seats complete with ISOFIX points
  • A large 525l, carpet lined boot that features a powered tailgate

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.

CONCLUSION

In such a competitive market, the Stelvio has many competitors within its pricing bracket:

  • Super | starts from R810,000.00
  • First Edition | start from R946,000.00
  • Both models include a 3 year / 100,000 km Warranty and a 6 year / 100,000km Maintenance plan as standard

But! Alfa has been wise to stick with its strengths:

  • Superb performance and handling! We love how the Q4 traction control system usually powers the rear wheels only (opposed to how many SUV’s power the front wheels) and sends up to 50% of power to the front axle. The suspension also performed remarkably well on dirt roads, especially considering the large rims.
  • Super stylish looks. The Stelvio is definitely a head turner and will stand out nicely against it key rivals who have become commonplace on our roads, thus losing a bit of their flare.

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.

Likes:

  • Next level SUV handling – absolutely superb!
  • Fantastic engine and 8-speed autobox
  • Great styling both inside and out

Dislikes:

  • Sunroof only opens halfway
  • Lumbar support felt a bit weak
  • The infotainment screen looks great, but at that price, could be a touch bigger

Do you own or regularly drive the all-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio? Tell SA what you love about your car by quickly rating it on THE TORQUERegister today!


WHAT IS ‘THE TORQUE’?

THE TORQUE is an independent platform dedicated to car reviews. Instead of judging a car based on one or two people’s opinions, the Torque allows you to see what like-minded, real people, who actually own or regularly drive the cars have to say about them.

In addition, THE TORQUE team shares their own ‘lifestyle orientated’ and easy-to-understand reviews on selected cars. Combining the two, gives one the ability to make a truly informed purchasing decision on what the best car for you is. After all, buying a car is a big decision! Register today and tell SA what you love about your car! 


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