Alfa Romeo Stelvio long-term test review

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is the Italian brand’s first ever SUV, and a rival to models such as the Audi Q5, BMW X3 and Jaguar F-Pace. So, what’s it like to live with?...

LT Alfa Romeo Stelvio with Stelvio Quadrifoglio
  • The car: Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.2D 210 Q4 Milano Edizione
  • Run by: Steve Huntingford, editor
  • Why it’s here: To see if Alfa Romeo’s large SUV is a match for the best prestige rivals when tasked with family duties
  • Needs to: Offer a practical interior, premium build quality, sensible running costs and a good blend of fun and comfort

Price when new £43,990 Value on arrival £35,340 Mileage on arrival 18,284 Mileage now 22,218 Official economy 58.9mpg Test economy 37.2mpg Options fitted Metallic paint (£770), Driver Assistance Pack Plus (£700), Sound Theatre by Harmon Kardon (£500) and space saver spare wheel (£275)

24 January – Stelvio vs Stelvio

Anyone fancy an upgrade from business class to first? That’s effectively what I got recently, when I was given an Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio as a courtesy car while my own 2.2-litre diesel variant was away at the service centre.

As you’d expect, the high-performance Quadrifoglio is somewhat quicker than my car, makes a better noise (particularly when it’s in Race mode) and handles even better. And yet surprisingly its ride still isn’t crazy firm.

It’s undoubtedly one of the best sports SUVs on sale today, and a car I’d choose over all its arrivals – assuming I could afford the £70k purchase price and sub-25mpg economy. But the big surprise for me was discovering that it’s also more practical than my car.

Child seat in back of Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

You see, passenger space is an area where the Stelvio falls short of some of its large SUV rivals; to the extent that when my daughter’s rear-facing child seat is fitted in the back of my car, only the shortest of adults can sit comfortably in front.

However, the Quadrifoglio can be specified with Sparco Carbonshell sports front seats, which not only look and feel great, but free up a useful amount of extra leg room because they’re so much thinner than the standard alternative.

True, these Sparco seats don’t feature the adjustable lumbar support that’s included with my car, but they’re so well shaped that I didn’t find myself missing this. So, even at £3250, they’re an option I’d add.

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