When the Stelvio is launched in the UK, there will be the option of either a 2.0-litre petrol engine with 276bhp or a 2.2-litre diesel with 207bhp. The diesel engine is responsive from low revs and feels strong, whisking you up to motorway speeds easily. That said, it can’t match the punch of a Porsche Macan Diesel S or Audi Q5 3.0 TDI.
The petrol engine certainly feels significantly stronger but needs working quite a bit harder to show its true muscle. It’s a shame then that it doesn’t enjoy being revved hard, always preferring to shift up at under 6000rpm. It’s fine for cruising but not overly sporty.
These engines will be joined in time by a pair of entry-level engines – a 2.0-litre petrol with 197bhp and a 2.2-litre diesel with 178bhp. At the other end of the scale, there will be a 503bhp Quadrifoglio version with a turbocharged 2.9-litre V6 if you really do want a sporty SUV.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio ride comfort
With so much talk of the Stelvio being designed to out-handle the opposition, it shouldn’t be a great surprise to find that it has a rather firm ride. Although it never bangs, crashes or gets too upset by imperfect surfaces, you will feel lumps, bumps and potholes through your seat. This is most noticeable at low speeds and smooths out as you go faster. As always, we’d suggest sticking to smaller wheels for the best ride comfort and look forward to trying adaptive dampers to see if they improve things.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio handling
This is where the Stelvio really shines; it feels far more car-like in the bends than many rivals. The first thing you notice is how quick the steering is - you have to turn the wheel very little to get round even tight corners. Thankfully it isn’t too light, making it easy to place the car’s nose where you want it. Combine this with the stiff suspension, and you have an SUV that goes round corners with more enthusiasm than many saloon cars. Even so, the Stelvio feels safe and secure if you do push too hard. Is it better than the Porsche Macan? That’s a question we look forward to answering in the UK.
Alfa Romeo Stelvio refinement
The Stelvio’s engines may be pretty quick, but they aren’t particularly quiet. Even the 2.0-litre petrol sounds surprisingly coarse even when pootling along and never sounds particularly sporty. As for the 2.2-litre diesel, you’re always aware of the gritty dirge that blights cars fuelled from the black pump – an Audi Q5 2.0 TDI is far more refined.
We also noticed a fair amount of wind noise from the door seals when travelling at motorway speeds on some test cars. Hopefully this will be sorted by the time cars are sold in the UK. At least the automatic gearbox impresses with smooth shifts even in stop-start traffic.
The entry-level engine is a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine with 197bhp. This comes as standard with an eight-speed automatic gearbox and four-wheel drive.
This more powerful four-cylinder engine is also only available with four-wheel drive and an eight-speed gearbox. It’s quick, but not overly refined and much thirstier than the diesels.
The least powerful diesel also gets an eight-speed auto but can be had with rear-wheel drive for cheaper running costs and a saving on the purchase price. We’ve yet to try it, but it’s likely to be the best option for business users.
Our pick 2.2d 210
The only diesel available at launch, it too is four-wheel drive and auto only. It’s a flexible performer with low running costs but is less refined than many rivals, especially the Audi 2.0 TDI.
This 503bhp monster is only available in the Quadrifoglio and guarantees electrifying performance. You’ll pay for the privilege in tax and fuel, though.