Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.0 280bhp Review

Family SUV that really wants to be a hot hatch instead

By Shahzad Sheikh

Click below to watch my 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.0 280bhp Review

And click here for my review of its performance variant – the Stelvio Quadrifoglio.

Before you read/watch this, go and check out my review of the Quadrifoglio at the link above. Because I’ll tell you right now that, just like its saloon brother, the Giulia, if you’re going to get one of these in our market, you might as well go for the top-dog, full-force, off-the-leash and powered up QV versions. Except they’re much more expensive. But hey, you’re contemplating an Alfa Romeo in the Middle East, you’re neither logical nor sensible. You’re passionate.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.0 280bhp Review

Which is a good thing. So coming back to the car we have here – the 2.0-litre version of the Selvio… if the QV didn’t exist should you consider getting this?  Like I said, it is much cheaper at a starting price of AED200,000 ($55k), although I said ‘cheaper’ not ‘cheap’. There’s a difference, a big one in this case.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.0 280bhp Review

But forget all that for now. We’re talking a family SUV in a sexy Italian suit, with a Turboed 2.0 pumped to pump out a remarkable 280bhp, through the rear… YES, I said REAR… wheels – most of the time. It’s actually AWD and can send up to 50% of the torque to the front and sprint to 100kph from rest in just 5.7 seconds.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.0 280bhp Review

It handles too. With an ideal 50:50 weight distribution, keen steering and a firm sporty ride that gobbles up imperfections at speed and keeps the body planted. It’s not quite a lairy as the nutty QV, but it isn’t far off. Fun and entertain though? Yep definitely. When driven fast, hard and carefree.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.0 280bhp Review

Conversely, slow things down, hit traffic, crawl home in the rush hour and the Stelvio is agitated and angry. It’s hard to keep progress smooth both in terms of the ride and simply the use of the go and stop pedals, the gearshifts and the overall demeanour. It just feels like it wants to escape the confines of cumbersome commute and head onto a rally stage again – and take the family, strapped-in-baby and dog with it too.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.0 280bhp Review

It’s quite nuts and you have to be too to want one, and for that along I doff my cap at you and swing you a salute. It’s not the right choice, but it’s your choice and that makes you as special as it is!

 

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