For most Alfa purists, the notion of an Alfa Romeo SUV would have seemed like sacrilege to the Italian marque’s passionate fans. But today, two-thirds of the Italian company’s model range is made up of SUVs.
Alfa Romeo has been building beautiful automobiles for more than 100 years but hasn’t offered them in the United States for all of that time. The legendary Italian automaker took a lengthy sabbatical from the U.S. market that started in the mid-1990s and lasted until Alfa Romeo introduced its first-ever SUV in 2018, the Stelvio.
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is bringing back classic style and driving performance to the five-passenger compact luxury crossover SUV segment.
The Stelvio first arrived on the scene in 2016, and has recently undergone a facelift to keep it looking fresh. This includes new LED matrix headlights, which is inspired by the smaller AR Tonale SUV that launched last year.
Alfa Romeo is beginning to shift towards selling electric vehicles by 2027. For a company that’s famed for its internal combustion engines, this makes for an interesting yet progressive road ahead.
The 2023 Stelvio is unique in the Stellantis company’s product portfolio. The styling is pure Alfa, with the automaker’s traditional trefoil styling up front with the classic five-hole phone-dial wheel design. A range of performance levels that ensures that the Stelvio has a distinctive and irresistible Italian flavor that helps it stand out from the crowd.
Pricing and Model Options
The 2023 Stelvio comes in Sprint, Ti, Veloce, Estrema, Lusso, and Quadrifoglio trim levels with the base prices ranging from the mid-$40,000s to the mid-$80,000s, Every Stelvio comes with standard all-wheel drive (AWD) except for the base-level Sprint, which is only rear-wheel drive. (AWD is an option.)
The Stelvio is also offered in a gorgeous range of colors:
- Alfa Rosso (Red)
- Vulcano Black.
- Vesuvio Gray.
- Misano Blue.
- Ross (Red) Etna.
- Ocra GT.
- Verde (Green) Montreal.
Style and Trim Features
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio brings standout styling to an already crowded compact SUV segment. The designers incorporated features from the brand’s rich history, such as the classic triangular V-shaped scudetto (which is italian for little shield) grille that has adorned the Alfa line since the 1950’s.
The Stelvio has a powerful stance thanks to the large lower air intakes and a sculpted hood. Signature LED lights flow from the center, surrounding the LED headlights. It certainly attracts attention, especially in the bright orange model I drove with its large, stylish wheels and eye catching exhaust.
The Stelvio has an extensive feature list at all trim levels. Leather-trimmed seats with power adjustment is standard, and you can take it up a notch by adding the available red leather sports seats. The seating is impressive, as racing seats are typically not a seat choice in an SUV.
Depending on the trim level of your choice, the dashboard, doors, and center console are a dark-gray wood trim complemented by aluminum or genuine carbon fiber. Leather covers most other surfaces, and the cabin features subtle satin chrome accents. Standard ambient lighting made for a nice touch during my night driving.
All Things Infotainment
The 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system is standard on all Stelvios. The display has a larger black surround, which gives off an optical illusion that makes the screen look smaller than it is. Alfa keeps the climate controls separate from the display, while the buttons and knobs made functionality nice and easy.
Stereo volume and radio tuning uses a single knob on the center console, where you’ll also find a physical controller to use as an alternative to using the touchscreen. Both are convenient for the driver and their guests and is located near the gear selector.
The Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity is standard, and their respective digital voice assistants work as you would expect. I did notice that these platforms did require a wired connection via a USB cable when many of the other SUV competitors offer wireless connectivity. I plugged in my phone easily into the USB port at the front of the center console, and my phone fit quite nicely in the slot between the cupholders. Connection is quick and easy. Android Auto utilizes the entire display screen, but a home button next to the controller on the center console quickly returns you to the native infotainment system.
Impressive Seating and Cargo Options
The leather-trimmed sport seats in my Stelvio looked good and had a stylish pattern, contrasting stitching, and hefty side and thigh bolsters that provided excellent support for my passengers. The rear seats carried a similar pattern to those up front, and the two outboard seats were heated. While there is plenty of legroom and headroom, the back seats lacked a bit of padding, which became uncomfortable for the longer drives I took . The protruding center console reduces legroom a bit for the middle seating location, which is a space best reserved for a child.
Loading groceries and sports equipment was easy thanks to the hands-free power liftgate, and the cargo net with four tie-down hooks helped me secure all I needed to carry with me. The Stelvio carries less than its primary rivals with only 18.5 cubic-feet of cargo space, but the rear seats do fold in a 40/20/40 configuration for added versatility, which expanded my cargo capacity to around 56.5 cu-ft.
I had a great time driving the 2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio. The steering was nice and smooth and surprisingly quick and remined me a lot of race car driving in a way. It definitely checked all the luxury boxes for me and made me want to grab an expensive scarf, tie my hair in a cute bun and drive down the highway for hours on end and feel like a movie star!