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2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Review

If you desire the performance abilities of a sport sedan in a versatile crossover SUV, the 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio may be exactly the car you’ve been looking for. Built off the excellent Giulia sedan platform, the Stelvio sits up higher, offering a more accommodating interior without compromising ride or handling.

In today’s automotive marketplace, trying to turn a profit without a crossover in the lineup is like trying to field an NFL team without a quarterback. Because creating a crossover was uncharted territory for Alfa Romeo, it did the only thing it knows how to do — build a high-performance, beautifully styled vehicle.

We can debate all day long over the public’s appetite for a stylish Italian crossover with a racing pedigree. In the end, the marketplace will provide the answer. All we can say is, for now, we’re happy it’s here.

What’s New for 2019?

The 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio gains two rear-wheel drive models, along with more features like standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Rear seat heaters and a premium alarm system are now offered across the lineup, as are a series of new Nero Edizione and carbon fiber packages. See the 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio models for sale near you

What We Like

Class-leading performance numbers; fuel economy; sedan like feel; historic front-end styling; well-appointed cabin

What We Don’t

Big honking paddle shifters on Sport and Quadrifoglio trim

How Much?

$41,590-$97,000

Fuel Economy

Most of us would never guess from simply driving the Stelvio that its jackrabbit acceleration comes from a four banger. Alfa uses the same 280-hp 2.0-liter turbocharged 4-cylinder engine and 8-speed automatic transmission in the Stelvio that it employs in the Giulia. Although the Stelvio tips the scales at roughly 400 pounds more than Giulia, it still gets up and scats with little urging. Its 306 lb-ft of peak torque provides plenty of thrust at launch. Fuel economy for the RWD models comes in at 22 miles per gallon in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. Adding all-wheel drive reduces those numbers to 22 mpg city/28 mpg hwy.

On the performance oriented Quadrifoglio, a hand-built 2.9-liter turbocharged V6 develops 505-horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque. AWD is standard, netting fuel economy figures of 17 mpg city/23 mpg hwy.

Standard Features & Options

Alfa offers the Stelvio in six trims: base, Sport, Ti, Ti Lusso, Ti Sport and Quadrifoglio. The base and Sport trims can be ordered in RWD, all others come standard with AWD.

The base Stelvio ($41,590, RWD, $43,590, AWD) comes out of the box with 18-in aluminum wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights with Adaptive Forward Lighting, LED daytime running lights and tail lamps, full power accessories, leather seating, 10-way power front seats with driver’s-seat memory, a leather-wrapped flat-bottom 3-spoke steering wheel, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, steering-wheel-mounted push-button start, Bluetooth connectivity, a 6.5-in color touchscreen, dual-zone automatic climate control, a rearview camera, rear-parking sensors, a power lift gate, four USB ports, rain-sensing wipers and an 8-speaker audio system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. Stand-alone options include a panoramic sunroof, a headlight washer, an 8.8-in display with navigation, satellite radio and a 14-speaker Harman Kardon Surround Sound audio system. Available option packages: the Sport package, with 19-in aluminum wheels, black roof rails, painted brake calipers, aluminum accents and sport pedals, steering-column-mounted paddle shifters and a sport-tuned suspension; the Driver Assistance Static package, with front-parking assist, blind spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert and auto-dimming outboard mirrors; the Driver Assistance Dynamic Plus package with adaptive cruise control with full stop, forward-collision warning, lane-departure warning and automatic high beams.

The Stelvio Sport ($43,590, RWD, $45,590, AWD) adds a sport leather steering wheel, 19-in wheels and gloss black window surrounds.

The Stelvio Ti ($45,790) builds on the base Stelvio with 19-in 10-spoke aluminum wheels, dark gray wood cabin accents, an 8.8-in color display, satellite radio capability, heated front seats, heated steering wheel and front-park assist.

The Stelvio Ti Lusso ($48,290) adds Luxury Leather trimmed seats, luxury wrapped upper dash and upper door trim, unique 19-inch wheel and a choice of Light Walnut or Dark Gray Oak wood trim.

The Stelvio Ti Sport ($48,590) adds sport leather seats, 20-in alloy wheels, colored brake calipers, gloss black trim and steering column mounted aluminum trim paddle shifters.

The Stelvio Quadrifoglio ($81,590) adds the more powerful turbocharged V6 engine, leather and Alcantara sport seats, leather wrapped dash, anodized brake calipers, 3D navigation, Harman Kardon audio, Q4 AWD with Pro Drive Mode selector, adaptive suspension and a torque-vectoring rear differential.

Option packages vary by trim and include the Ti Performance package with active suspension, a mechanical limited-slip differential and aluminum column-mounted paddle shifters; the Sport package, with 20-in aluminum wheels, black roof rails, painted brake calipers, aluminum accents and sport pedals, steering-column-mounted paddle shifters, a sport-tuned suspension, premium leather seats and 12-way power front seats. The similarly contented Driver Assistance packages available on the base grade are offered across the line.

Safety

Neither the government nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) have crash-tested the Stelvio. In addition to the usual six airbags found in most vehicles, the Stelvio also provides knee airbags for both front-seat positions. Rear-parking assist is standard in all grades and front-parking assist is standard in the Ti. Available safety technology includes adaptive cruise control with full stop, forward-collision warning, blind spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, rear cross-traffic alert and automatic high beams.

Behind the Wheel

Alfa may not have bred the Stelvio for the racetrack, but it can certainly attack a curve. Possessed of a nearly ideal 50/50 front/rear weight balance, it remains poised and stable when taking on the mountain switchbacks. The steering is quick, providing just the right amount of load as you pick up speed. Twist the DNA mode selector to Dynamic and the upshifts come so fast and hard it almost makes your head swim. You won’t be doing any hardcore off-roading, as the Stelvio’s Q4 AWD system isn’t engineered for tasks more challenging than slippery pavement, and maybe some dirt and gravel. The Brembo brakes (4-piston front/2-piston rear) are well modulated and bring the Stelvio to a controlled stop, even when braking hard.

Exactly what you would hope the cabin of an Italian luxury vehicle would be, the Stelvio’s interior is elegant and functional. Pony up the extra cash for the Ti Sport and settle into one of the best sport seats in the industry.

Other Cars to Consider

2019 BMW X3 — Offering an array of strong performing engines, the X3 is in the top tier of compact sporty luxury crossovers. Sure, it’s a bit on the expensive side, but five minutes behind the wheel and you’ll forget the price.

2019 Audi Q5 Audi demonstrates its talent for interior styling and craftsmanship in the Q5. It now rides on the A4 platform, translating into a smoother ride. There’s more driver-assist/safety technology, too.

2019 Mercedes-Benz GLC — Based on the C-Class, the GLC is sort of the middle-of-the-road or baby-bear entry in the small luxury category. It’s not too anything, but just right in most areas.

2019 Jaguar F-PACE — Three engine choices for 2019, including a 4-cylinder, give this crossover broad appeal among the compact luxury audience. A 6-trim pecking order provides plenty of choices in determining standard equipment and price.

Used Porsche Macan — With a number of high performance options and trims, the Macan delivers performance and style as only a Porsche can.

Autotrader’s Advice

We’d be pretty happy with the base Stelvio plus the two Driver Assistance packages, which would add $2,150 to the bottom line. There really isn’t a lot of daylight between the prices of the remaining grades, but if you are moving up, the Ti Sport would be our second choice. Once you get past 40 grand, does a thousand here or there make much difference? Find an Alfa Romeo Stelvio for sale

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