This is one of the reviews I’ve been itching to get done and this was easily one of my favorite drives during the Truck Rodeo and it doesn’t even go off-road. At the same time, it’s also probably one of the more controversial winners as I pointed out in my roundup of the winners’ article HERE.
First, let’s talk a bit about Alfa Romeo in the US market and what the Stelvio is.
Alfa Romeo jumped back into the American market with the launch of the 4c in 2013. This was their mid-engine, lightweight, rear-wheel-drive sports car. Made to compete with the Porsche Boxster and Cayman, the Corvette, and even to draw fans away from the MX5 – the 4c is still very unique in its niche.
Next, Alfa brought over their new Giulia in 2015 – a 4-door sedan that happens to be a rocket ship!
And that brings us to the 2018 Stelvio, built on the same platform as the Giulia but with a CUV stance and body.
Now, in no way is the Stelvio the better-looking vehicle but as far as CUVs go, it’s pretty great. You get that iconic Alfa Romeo grille up front and muscular curves all around. It does have a low profile, so you definitely won’t be taking this off-road but getting it out on some back, twisty country roads – this machine dominates.
And that’s precisely what I did.
Down by the ranch where the Truck Rodeo was held there were many country roads but on a specific road that I was able to really feel how planted and precise this vehicle was. It feels like a sports car when you’re behind the wheel. You instantly forget all about the bigger size and taller stance as you’re weaving in and out of the corners using the paddle shifters on the steering wheel to keep the car at the optimal RPM.
Other interior details escaped me as I didn’t spend that much in the car and was focused on driving. I can tell you that it was quite nice though and extremely comfortable.
The Stelvio that Alfa brought out to the Rodeo was their Ti Sport trim which amounts to bigger wheels and some exterior and interior bits. This is the package that gets you the aluminum paddle shifters mounted to the steering column though, so it’s definitely worth it just for that.
Under the hood is a 2.0 liter, 4-cylinder turbo engine pushing 280-hp and a whopping 306-lb.ft. of torque. That’s matched up to an 8-speed transmission which, like I said, can be manually shifted.
Now here comes the real question, how much is an Italian sports CUV going to set me back?
Well, base price is $41,995 which sounds extremely reasonable for how great this vehicle drove. That is $4k more than the Giulia though so you better really want that extra room. Of course, we’re not into buying the base model of anything around here so just for fun we spec’d the Stelvio out to the max and got an MSRP of $53,290.
So the base price is higher than that of the Mercedes GLA 250 (we reviewed earlier) but you’re getting almost 80-hp more from the engine. It’s also more expensive than the BMW X1, the Lexus NX and the Audi Q3. I would absolutely buy the Alfa over any of these cars though as it’s a unique choice and so much fun to drive. That being said, I probably wouldn’t buy it over something like a Mazda CX3 or CX5. They’re not really in the same class but you can get a fun CUV to drive every day and have room for gear as well without spending so much money. If I was going to spend that kind of money and wanted something fast that looked good or had an Alfa badge, I’d jump right on the Giulia.
That’s why I think this is a bit of a controversial choice for CUV of Texas. The whole point is to put yourself in the shoes of the average Texas consumer, not to vote on what you thought was the coolest car you drove that day. That being said, I’m only one vote at the Truck Rodeo and my colleagues obviously disagreed.
With that, I hope you enjoyed the video and liked the review. If you did, please give us a thumbs up as it really helps out and leave us a comment down below to let us know what you think about the Stelvio and the fact it was named CUV of Texas, and as always, thanks for watching!