The Alfa Romeo Stelvio was launched four years ago and while it is a good looking car it is rather old fashioned. The world and other models seems to have moved ahead while the Stelvio seems to have been left standing still.
Alfa is known for sport oriented vehicles which have been involved in car racing since 1911. The first car produced by the company was the 1910 24 HP, designed by Giuseppe Merosi.
A.L.F.A. ventured into motor racing, with drivers Franchini and Ronzoni competing in the 1911 Targa Florio with two 24-hp models and Alfa is an acronym of its founding name, Anonima Lombarda Fabbrica Automobili.
Anonima means anonymous, which was a legal form of company at the time, as it was founded by anonymous investors. In the initial set-up phase, in order to have a building to produce cars, the company bought a factory in Milan, which was closing up and selling all assets. Alfa Romeo was owned by Fiat but this year until its operations were fully merged with those of the French PSA Group to form Stellantis in January 2021.
Motoring experts still love the Stelvio with its sharp steering and crab like handling but they don’t mention the noise on the road, the harsh relationship between the engine and the automatic gearbox with abrupt downshifts when you are switching gears.
All Stelvios have the eight speed gearbox with its 2.2 litre diesel engine and I didn’t get on it too well, to be honest.
The name Stelvio is from a National Park in Italy and also the famous Stelvio Pass which Italian motorists enjoy.
The car was Alfa’s first SUV when it came out in 2017 with strong engines and agile handling and the Stelvio has a retro theme running throughout with a black rubberised plastic trim.
Steel paddles certainly look good and since it started life there have been bags of extra safety pieces.
Prices are from around £43,000 with a maximum speed of 130mph and fuel economy of 40-50mph. There’s a 2.0-litre turbo petrol and a 2.2-litre diesel, each offered in a choice of two power outputs. The Super, Sprint and Lusso Ti trims have a 197bhp petrol unit, or a 187bhp diesel engine. The Veloce has the higher-powered 276bhp petrol, or a 207bhp diesel. But then there is the top of the range Quadrifoglio which comes in at around £70,000
The Stelvio is all-wheel drive with power only going to the front wheels as and when required.
The car is typical Italian with leather seats; sweeping lines across the dash; top-quality materials all the way round and should you forget there is even the Italian flag next to the gear selector to remind you whose car you are driving.
Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, remote start, an 8.8-inch touch screen, an eight-speaker stereo, satellite radio, Bluetooth, five USB ports, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto. Handsets are standard through a USB 2.0 port up front, and there’s a second port in the back as well.
Safety kit includes blind-spot and cross-traffic monitoring for reversing; a radar cruise control plus front collision sensor, traffic sign recognition and lane departure. There is a small tray by the arm rest for smartphone charging and a key-fob storage cubby next to the gear lever to keep your car key when driving.
There is bags of room in the car and the boot space is around 500 litres plus.