When we sampled the Alfa Romeo Giulia Quadrifoglio in 2017, it was, by far, one of our favorite cars. Throughout the RACER office it was a hit, both for its bold styling and exhilarating performance – the exhaust note alone was worth the price of admission. Consequently, we couldn’t pass up the chance to see what Alfa Romeo could bring to the popular compact crossover SUV market.
Our tester, the Stelvio Ti Lusso AWD fitted with the 2.0L 280hp turbocharged I-4 engine and mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, came with an as-tested price of $53,965. Admittedly, at first we were disappointed to not be testing the Quadrifoglio variant of the Stelvio, but as it turns out, the 280hp version is plenty of motivation for this compact package.
The Stelvio’s exterior styling is unmistakably Alfa Romeo, which means it always gets noticed, but the curve of the hatch had us initially concerned. Looks proved deceiving, however, as popping the hatch greeted us with a very deep cargo bay. Rear seat legroom is also reasonable for the class, and seating materials were fantastic.
Ride quality and comfort put the Stelvio at the top of the segment in our book. Perhaps our only gripe was a little more engine noise than we would have liked during hard acceleration. Rather than a glorious exhaust note, we heard the engine busily buzzing. But this is nothing that couldn’t be fixed with a more aggressive cat-back exhaust system.
We even had the opportunity to put the all-wheel-drive system to the test thanks to some snow during our journey. Traction was excellent, even with our standard all-season tires, making for a confidence-inspiring drive. Features like remote start as well as the heated steering wheel and seats then made the cold days easier to deal with.
If you are in the market for a compact SUV but want something with stylish attitude, the Stelvio may be for you.