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- Highs One of the prettiest SUVs you'll see, drives with a delightful vigor, satisfying powertrain.
- Lows Some questionable cabin materials, undersized cargo area, rear seat isn't exactly roomy.
- Verdict For all of the Stelvio's flaws, it's hard to ignore the Italian's prettiness and sportiness.
Crossovers and SUVs are derided for their cookie-cutter designs, among other things, but the 2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio is one of the best-looking examples of the breed. Along with a body that most would call beautiful, Alfa Romeo imbues its compact luxury crossover with a terrific chassis that's more communicative than an Italian lover. Under the hood is a gutsy turbo-four that pairs with a well-calibrated transmission and rear- or all-wheel drive. While the Stelvio's interior has some tasteful touches, such as attractive wood trim options and lengthy column-mounted paddle shifters, it's also marred by some chintzy bits as well as a small back seat and cargo area. Sure, the BMW X3 and Porsche Macan are more well-rounded alternatives, but the 2022 Stelvio strikes a chord with people who are passionate about style and driving verve.
What's New for 2022?
For 2022, Alfa Romeo renames the Ti Sport trim the Veloce and adds a host of newly standard features. The latter includes a suite of driver assists such as adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beams, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, and front and rear parking sensors. Also now standard are an auto-dimming rearview mirror, built-in navigation, front and rear heated seats, and wireless phone charging. Every model now also has dark exterior trim on the grille, exhaust tips, roof rails, and skid plate. The Ti trim levels adds a gray body kit; inside it adds an aluminum footrest and sport pedals. The Sprint and Veloce trim come with aluminum paddle shifters mounted on the steering column.
Pricing and Which One to Buy
We think the Stelvio Ti is the one to get. It comes standard with all-wheel drive, which is a $2000 option on the entry-level Sprint trim. The Ti adds desirable standard features that include larger 19-inch wheels, built-in navigation, a dual-pane sunroof, and more available options. Most paint colors cost extra and there's a variety of wheel designs. We'd stick with the stock rims and opt for the Performance package (aluminum paddle shifters, limited-slip differential), and the Premium package (14-speaker Harman/Kardon stereo, leather dashboard and upper doors).
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Stelvio's turbocharged four-cylinder sends a hearty 280 horsepower through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Rear-wheel drive is standard on the base model, but all-wheel drive is optional and standard on the rest of the lineup. While the engine was effortlessly quick in our testing and sounded great, the Stelvio's sole setup—aside from the high-performance Quadrifoglio—eliminates choices for the buyer and limits towing to a maximum of 3000 pounds. During daily driving, we were particularly fond of its responsive throttle and smooth power delivery. Its raspy exhaust note sounded enthusiastic and appropriate for this application. In addition to its beautiful design, the Stelvio boasts athletic handling and a compliant ride. Even with its 20-inch wheels, the version we tested provided sufficient isolation from all but the harshest bumps. While its maximum cornering grip was similar to rivals, the Alfa is the alpha dog when it comes to driving engagement. The chassis, which is shared with the Giulia sedan, had damping that was composed and comfortable. Although the Stelvio's steering isn't as sharp as the Giulia's, its light effort and quick reflexes were still exceptional—especially for a crossover.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
Although the Stelvio's real-world fuel economy and highway range are unremarkable, they align with four-cylinder competitors. The rear-drive model is rated at 22 mpg city and 29 highway. Adding all-wheel drive drops that highway rating by 1 mpg. The Stelvio we ran on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route, which is part of our extensive testing regimen, returned 26 mpg on our test route. The Alfa's unrivaled performance and unique persona make this a nonissue in our minds, but alternatives such as the X3 and the Lexus RX are thriftier at the pump. For more information about the Stelvio's fuel economy, visit the EPA's website.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
Like the Giulia sedan, the Stelvio offers a stylish interior and a comfortable driving position. Sportier models can be had with carbon-fiber trim, but those seeking a more upscale appearance can choose wood inlays. In addition to a wonderful driving position, leather upholstery covers its supportive front seats, and handsome aluminum accents adorn the dash, doors, and center console. The Stelvio has some useful storage tricks up its Italian sleeve, but with a small cargo area behind the back seat, it's not the most capacious crossover among this set. Although the Alfa's other cubbies only held average amounts, we appreciated the useful smartphone slot between its cupholders and the tray near the driver's left knee. The center console also has a nifty removable tray at the bottom.
Infotainment and Connectivity
The infotainment system comes only in one size—8.8 inches—and responds to touch inputs as well as the handy rotary controller on the center console as a redundant control. Built-in navigation, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are standard. We found the infotainment system to be visually attractive, but navigation alerts occasionally occurred too late, resulting in missed turns. Using one of the two standard smartphone-integration interfaces for navigation solves this minor issue.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The Italian-bred crossover has a host of standard driver assists. For more information about the Stelvio's crash-test results, visit the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) websites. Key safety features include:
- Standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking
- Standard adaptive cruise control
- Standard blind-spot monitoring
Warranty and Maintenance Coverage
Despite the company's reputation for reliability woes, Alfa Romeo endows the Stelvio with average warranty coverage.
- Limited warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Powertrain warranty covers four years or 50,000 miles
- Complimentary maintenance is covered for one year or 10,000 miles