This is the most recent version of Alfa Romeo’s strong-selling Stelvio, which may already claim to be one among the a lot of dynamic SUVs on sale nowadays. it’s been mostly to blame for turning round the marque’s recent fortunes, aboard the Giulia compact saloon, however Alfa itself admits there’s still area for improvement in what’s a ferociously competitive class.
It’ll return as very little surprise, then, that this facelifted model focuses on up the one space prospective customers are most important of: perceived quality. Indeed, once we road tested the Stelvio in 2017, the cabin stood out as “stylish enough to impress at a look,” however was dissatisfactory in terms of materials quality on nearer review.Almost each alternative side of the automobile remains unchanged, together with the line-up of two.0-litre fuel and a pair of.2-litre diesel engines. Alfa lover falls behind alternative FCA brands within the running to receive electrified powertrains, and also the fire-breathing a pair of.9-litre Quadrifoglio V6 won’t be updated till the center of 2020. it’s tested here as a top-spec oil furnace, with 207bhp sent ANy|to any or all} four wheels through an eight-speed automatic shell and Alfa’s this autumn all-wheel drive.
This refresh additionally sees the vary simplified to Super, Sprint, Ti and Veloce models, with black badging to indicate sportier trim levels and silver for a lot of thought versions. Ti cars currently get contrastive aspect skirts, wheel arches and a rear bumper meant to invoke the Alfa 164 of the Eighties, whereas Sprint and Veloce versions receive colour-matched mudguards.Step up into the updated Stelvio expecting a whole interior transformation and you’ll be mostly disappointed: the planning team clearly had to figure inside the reach of the present layout, however the final arrangement remains an equivalent, though materials used square measure a true improvement.
Cheaper plastics square measure virtually entirely removed, with the centre console currently that includes glossier fixtures that each look and feel a lot of premium. Stowage to a lower place the central arm rest has accrued, with wireless smartphone charging extra for the primary time. The rotary film dial doesn’t feel low cost or flimsy from now on, turning swimmingly and while not the to a fault shiny plastic end of the outgoing automobile, and also the delicate Italian tricolore higher than it’s another nod to the brand’s history.
The mechanical device is currently leather-wrapped, instead of plastic, and feels all the higher for it – tho’ with the vastly satisfying metallic element shift paddles flanking the wheel, it remains second alternative for taking manual management of the shell.
The film show recessed into the dashboard stays at eight.8in, however currently recognises bit inputs for the primary time. a lot of significantly, the whole interface has been redesigned, with a customisable, widget-based layout that helps you to place the options you utilize the foremost on the most screen. It’s a significant improvement over the previous system, with trendy graphics and intuitive controls that job equally well with the physical rotary dial. Apple Carplay and humanoid car square measure each accessible, however given the size of improvement to Alfa’s own system, you will feel you’ll do while not.
Less transformative is that the instrument cluster, that still uses a central screen flanked by analogue dials. because the likes of Audi, BMW and big cat move to fully-digital clusters, this style feels slightly behind the curve, however associate updated layout will a minimum of account for the new driver assist systems. adjustive control and lane keeping assist bring the Stelvio up to par with the remainder of the category, tho’ the latter tested rather insistent on our Italian take a look at route.
On the road, the four-pot diesel delivers assured performance, and though it’s mostly done by 3500rpm, the shell is fast to produce a recent cog in every of the 3 driving modes. It’s not the foremost refined of engines, however keeps noise to a minimum whereas at cruising speeds.The Stelvio is as dynamic as ever, with a lot of handling personal magnetism than you’ll realize in several of its rivals. In avowedly damp conditions, it took very little effort to coax out oversteer once in Dynamic mode, with an equivalent fast steering rack because the Giulia and a lenient stability system, tho’ one that can’t be disengaged utterly.