Car Reviews
Alpha Romeo Stelvio

WHILE LOOKS AREN'T EVERYTHING, THE COMPACT STELVIO IS A THING OF BEAUTY

Unless this winter is especially ugly, most drivers will likely spend much of the year ahead motoring along on dry pavement. That’s exactly where the Alpha Romeo Stelvio shines brightest.

While looks aren’t everything, the compact Stelvio is a thing of beauty. Staring at it from any angle, you’ll find perfect proportions and distinctive styling details that make it clear this is not your typical sport-utility vehicle.

And the key word here is “sport.” While virtually all other SUVs make at least some pretense of being rugged, the all-wheel-drive Stelvio is designed primarily for on-pavement performance. From its superbly tuned suspension to its ultra-precise steering, it’s not a stretch to say the experience is like whipping along in a two-seat Italian sports car that just happens to have room for three friends and their luggage.

Nevertheless, the Stelvio is not without flaws, including a relatively small, narrow cargo hold. That said, those looking for an SUV that’s fun to drive will find this exotic entry endearing enough to overlook its shortcomings. 

Strengths

  • Perhaps the best-handling SUV on the market
  • Distinctive looks that will turn heads at every stoplight

Weaknesses

  • Smallish cargo area limits usefulness.
  • Some SUV fans may wish for a taller driver’s seat.  

Bottom Line

How do you say “I want one” in Italian?

Pricing

Base Price: $40,295

As Tested: $94,190

Safety

NHTSA: Not yet tested 

MPG (city/highway)

22/29 (2.0L I4/automatic)

17/23 (2.9L V6/automatic

This article originally appeared in the November/December 2019 edition of AAA World.