Alfa Romeo Stelvio long-term test

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 infotainment screen
  • 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 23,016 Official economy 58.9mpg Test economy 37.4mpg Options fitted Metallic paint (£770), Driver Assistance Pack Plus (£700), Sound Theatre by Harman Kardon (£500) and space saver spare wheel (£275)

12 February – Imitation is the sincerest...

There’s usually a very good reason for not reinventing the wheel, and, sure enough, Alfa Romeo should be commended, not criticised, for making the Alfa Romeo Stelvio infotainment system so similar to BMW’s iDrive.

Put simply, combining a rotary control dial with a high-mounted screen, as both brands do, is the least distracting approach that anyone has come up with. And, likewise, the way each puts icons down the left side of said screen, with the various sub-menu layers sliding out from there and stacking up on the right, makes it easy to keep track of where you are and go backwards without starting from scratch.

In fact, the only thing that annoys me about the Stelvio’s infotainment is an area where it doesn’t imitate iDrive. When you select a radio station, it automatically displays what you’ve chosen in large letters, along with the song currently playing, instead of sticking with the list of available stations. As a result, you can’t just flick between stations, but instead have to reselect the radio menu each time. And the system doesn't remember where you were on the list; it always makes you start from the top.

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