2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Review: Standard Thrills

– Cleveland, Ohio

Having already launched the 4C sports car and Giulia sedan, Alfa Romeo is ready to shift its U.S. comeback into high gear with the Stelvio compact luxury crossover. With a killer combination of sultry lines and innate athleticism, the Stelvio proves Alfa Romeo can make an object of desire out of anything. It’s not perfect for every situation, nor does it win every category against its competition, but the Stelvio does something few crossovers ever dare to: stand out.

Update:

 

Pros

Real performance. Most crossovers aren’t intended to be driver’s cars, though a few have souped-up versions that force these platforms to be playful. The Stelvio, though, has performance baked into its bones. For instance, all trim levels receive the same 280-horsepower turbo four-cylinder engine (the most powerful base engines in its class) and eight-speed transmission. This pairing pulls the Stelvio along very rapidly, while the suspension and relatively low ride height (for a crossover) keep cornering flat and stable. My highest praise goes to the steering, though, which is sharp, quick, and accurate – three adjectives not often used when discussing crossovers. No doubt these qualities are amplified some by options and features available on my test car’s higher Ti Sport trim (larger wheels, sportier suspension tune, etc.), but there’s an athleticism inherent in the Stelvio that’s rare among crossovers. You can ...