Alfa Romeo Stelvio review - design

Actually looks better in conventional trim than it does as the range-topping Quadrifoglio. Dynamic from some angles, awkward from others.

Evo rating
Price
from £33,990
  • Lightweight chassis, direct steering and impressive engines
  • Let down by questionable quality and reliability records

We weren’t so sure about the Alfa Romeo Stelvio when first observing it spinning on a turntable at the 2016 Los Angeles auto show. That car was in full Quadrifoglio specification and wore large alloy wheels, a lower ride height and a chunky, body-colour bodykit. It looked large, bulky and a bit heavy-handed in its details - very far indeed from being an Alfa Romeo design classic.

But approaching the Stelvio for the first time in full production, non-Quadrifoglio form, we’re a lot more convinced. There are still some uncomfortable angles - the rear overhang always looks a little too long and overall it has the appearance and proportions of a jacked-up hatchback rather than a dedicated SUV, but in the right colours (metallic red and metallic blue are a good start) it’s quite a handsome vehicle.

The contrasting wheel arch and bumper elements are a good start, reducing some of the visual bulk of body-coloured equivalents, while the Stelvio’s shape works well on slightly smaller-diameter wheels and chunkier tyres, as any good SUV should.

It goes without saying that with an enormous “Scudetto” grille and slim head- and tail-lights, it’s instantly recognisable as an Alfa too. Whether it’s a good thing that a brand like Alfa Romeo has had to resort to selling SUVs in order to compete is a different matter entirely...

Most Popular

'It's saddening to see the Countach name applied to such a cynical exercise'
Dickie Meaden opinion
Lamborghini

'It's saddening to see the Countach name applied to such a cynical exercise'

Lamborghini’s ‘homage’ to the Countach sees Meaden in reflective mood
26 Oct 2021
Used car deals of the week
Used car deals Oct 20 21
Features

Used car deals of the week

Here's what caught evo’s fancy this week on the second hand car market
20 Oct 2021
2022 Range Rover previewed before reveal next week
Range Rover teaser
Land Rover Range Rover

2022 Range Rover previewed before reveal next week

A new era for the Range Rover is about to be revealed, with new engines, tech and styling
20 Oct 2021