The Stelvio... Alfa's Cayenne?
What's your take?
So what's everyone's take on the Stelvio? Alfa's first SUV..... is this going to do a Porsche Cayenne and make money hand over fist for the brand while being the "driver's SUV," or is it going to fall flat?
I haven't seen it in person yet, but it looks (and reads) like it's way more of an on-roader than off, which personally I don't think is a bad thing for an Alfa. If they've got the modern Alfa driving DNA (pun completely intended) built in to it to go along with the silly fast Nurburgring times that they're reporting for the Quadrifoglio version, it should remain a serious driver's.... ummmm.... truck. SUV. Crossover. Thing.
Photo: Alfa Romeo
It's definitely got the Alfa look down pat, and while it's going to come in smaller than a Cayenne or an XC90, I think Alfa's got the sizing just right. With their focus on making this the "driver's SUV," I think the enlarged hot hatch proportions are just right for the Stelvio. The first reaction that a good many of us had on seeing the Porche Macan on the show stands a couple of years ago was "this is the perfect grown-up's hot hatch," and now I think Alfa have one-upped Porche in that department.
Engine wise, the little multi-air four cylinder that they're using in the base models is no slouch, and with the right exhaust on it can actually sound really, really nice. One of the 4Cs I drove a while back had Alfa's "race exhaust" on it and that car sounded nicely burbly and poppy. I've no idea if that will be available for the Stelvio, but it would reinforce this being the driver's option for small SUVs. Of course, I'm also sure that the Quadrifoglio version will need no extra help. That biturbo V6 is a mighty, mighty engine and sounds unreal.
Photo: Alfa Romeo
I haven't seen a ton of the interior yet, but the shots that are out there have things looking pretty nice. The modern Alfa actually appears pretty good at doing interiors, as well. I've been in and out of a couple of Giulias and the fit and finish there is first class. All of the 4Cs I've driven felt very well appointed in a minimalist sort of way, but more importantly they had all held up very well to legions of journalists generally beating on them. Modern Alfa interiors are about quality in a clean, unobtrusive way rather than in-your-face luxury, which I think is spot on for the brand. It leaves you able to focus on driving while enjoying the experience of being in the car.
So what's everyone's take on the Stelvio? Is it good, or is it evil? Should Alfa have kept to cars, or is this needed presence in a big segment?