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Used Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2017-present review

Category: Large SUV

Section:

What is it like?

Used Alfa Romeo Stelvio 17-present
  • Used Alfa Romeo Stelvio 17-present
  • Alfa Romeo Stelvio 67 right panning
  • Used Alfa Romeo Stelvio 17-present
  • Used Alfa Romeo Stelvio 17-present
  • Long-term Alfa Romeo Stelvio rear
  • Used Alfa Romeo Stelvio 17-present
  • Long-term Alfa Romeo Stelvio rear
  • Used Alfa Romeo Stelvio 17-present
  • Alfa Romeo Stelvio 67 right panning
  • Used Alfa Romeo Stelvio 17-present
  • Used Alfa Romeo Stelvio 17-present
  • Long-term Alfa Romeo Stelvio rear
  • Used Alfa Romeo Stelvio 17-present
  • Long-term Alfa Romeo Stelvio rear
Used Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2017-present review
Star rating

What's the used Alfa Romeo Stelvio estate like?

Making a sporty SUV is not as daft an idea as it initially sounds. Although the focus of these cars is very much on style and practicality, with comfort maybe taking precedence over performance and handling, evidence dating back to the 2003 Porsche Cayenne shows that they are an entirely feasible and profitable venture.

Alfa Romeo has one of the most romantic of all motoring badges, and, despite it having a long (and chequered) history of family cars and sports cars, the Stelvio is its first modern SUV.

As far as trim levels go, the entry-level Stelvio model gets plenty of kit, including 17in alloy wheels, a leather steering wheel, a 6.5in infotainment system (upped to 8.8in after 2020), automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors, a powered tailgate and automatic lights and wipers. Super models get part-leather seats, a range of interior colour choices, 18in wheels and the option of Luxury or Sport packs. Business models gain sat-nav and xenon headlights, while range-topping Speciale features 19in, 10-spoke alloy wheels with red brake calipers, xenon headlights, power-folding door mirrors and heated leather seats in the front.

From 2020 onwards, the Stelvio received a host of minor tweaks, and the trim range was simplified to just Estrema, Sprint and Veloce, with the super-sporty Quadrifoglio car getting its own bespoke trim. The range was upgraded again in 2022.

You would expect any Alfa Romeo to be competent on the road, and the Stelvio is. In fact, like the Giulia, it’s better than that: it’s really very good. Performance with any of the engines is impressive, while in higher-powered petrol and diesel forms, it’s delightfully responsive and punchy. The only thing to note is that one or two of its rivals are a little quicker, including the Porsche Macan and equivalent Audi Q5.

Meanwhile, the Quadrifoglio version is a humdinger: Alfa claim a 0-62mph time of just 3.8sec, an eye-watering top speed of 176mph and a record-setting Nürburgring lap time of 7min 51sec.  

Where the Stelvio really shines is in its handling. It steers remarkably quickly - indeed, it might take drivers a little time to get to grips with it because it’s so darty - and handles with a fluidity that's rare in the SUV class.

Inside is an excellent and multi-adjustable driving position, although rear visibility is slightly limited by the thick pillars and the small rear screen. The dashboard and its surroundings are attractively finished, with sporting touches here and there and a better choice of materials than we’re used to from Alfa Romeo. There is evidence of some cheaper plastics in one or two areas, though, so while it’s an attractive place to be, it can’t quite compete with some of its more premium rivals. The infotainment system, with its wide screen, is logical and easy to use, although it’s not as straightforward as the systems in the Q5 and X3.

There’s plenty of space for a taller driver and front-seat passenger to stretch out, but rear space is limited, especially for six-footers sitting behind a tall driver, and the sloping roofline eats into head room. At 525 litres, the Stelvio’s boot trumps the Porsche Macan’s, but it can’t quite match the X3's. The load area is a usefully square shape with no internal load lip; it’s just a shame that there aren’t more hooks for bags or eyelets to hold loads down. The standard powered tailgate is handy, though.