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Alfa Romeo Stelvio review - engine and transmission

The engine lineup has been simplified for 2023, with one diesel unit and two petrols. An eight-speed auto is standard, operated by gorgeous aluminium paddles

Evo rating
Price
from £47,355
  • Agile, alert feel for an SUV; design flair; practicality
  • Cabin is decidedly last-gen; knobbly ride at times

Leaving the Quadrifoglio aside, the Stelvio is available with two four-cylinder engines. The first is a 2-litre turbocharged four-cylinder petrol developing 276bhp at 5250rpm and 295lb ft of torque from 1750rpm, while the second displaces 2.2 litres and drinks diesel. This one makes 207bhp at 3750rpm and a brawny 347lb ft, also at 1750rpm. An eight-speed torque converter automatic is the sole transmission available, just as it is on the Giulia whose Giorgio platform the Stelvio shares. 

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There's joy to be had clicking up and down the ratios via Alfa’s stunning aluminium gearshift paddles, even if the shifts aren't quite as defined as a DCT. Left to its own devices the gearbox swaps cogs smoothly and fades into the background.

The engines themselves are effective, if not overly engaging. The diesel is smooth and quiet enough at low speeds and stirs the Stelvio along at a decent pace, and it undoubtedly suits an SUV’s typical usage profile. It doesn’t feel very 'Alfa' though and gets a bit rough and noisy at higher revs. Better is the petrol. It’s far from being the smoothest unit we’ve tried (given the four-pot felt tight in the higher reaches, it may improve with miles) but the character is more befitting of an Alfa Romeo.

The Quadrifoglio version tops the tree with a 2.9-litre, twin-turbocharged V6. Even though some SUVs have caught up to and surpassed its 513bhp output, performance still feels truly explosive, with a wonderful V6 crescendo at high revs. For 2023, the Quadrifoglio gains a slight power uplift and the same design updates applied to the rest of the range. 

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