WHAT DRIVES US?
By Beverly & Steve Smirnis
Alfa Romeo Stelvio TI Sport AWD– Fashion Forward, Performance-Packed
Would you consider yourself a fashionista? a trend-setter? Would you rather buy one well-tailored piece of clothing than several average pieces? If you answered YES to any of these questions, and you’re shopping for a luxury compact SUV, you might find the Alfa Romeo Stelvio to be your perfect match.
The storied Italian automaker delivers to high style expectations. Our tester was the Ti Sport AWD in Alfa White sharply accented with Miron Black sport aluminum wheels, monochromatic center wheel caps, a Miron Black rear valence panel, and the “Dark Miron” treatment on its V Scudetto Grille, exterior mirror caps and exhaust tips.
The Sport model added plenty of panache inside too, including black and red sport leather seats with power adjustable bolsters, a nice thick feel to its leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, aluminum interior trim accents, infotainment system with 8.8-inch touchscreen and dual pane sunroof. A useful smartphone slot with wireless charging in the center console and the Harman Kardon® premium audio system were nice extras.
The Stelvio is also an option If you’re torn between a sports sedan or an SUV. The Giulia sport sedan is Stelvio’s close cousin when it comes to performance and personality, sharing the same engine and underpinning. Stelvio’s turbocharged four-cylinder delivers 280 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque through a quick-shifting ZF eight-speed automatic transmission driving all four wheels–quicker than every other turbo-four SUV in its class. The Sport Performance package adds an adaptive suspension and a mechanical limited-slip rear differential.
Overall, the Stelvio TI Sport AWD was a tidy package with a lot to offer for the price. With the extras added it was still under $60K. Yeah, yeah. With a 24 MPG gas rating it’s not as thrifty as some at the gas pump, and its lack of cargo space is criticized. But Stelvio doesn’t set out to be a direct comparison to the others; its buyers relish that it’s not as commonly seen on the streets as some of the “safer choices” in its segment.
Beverly & Steve Smirnis are members of the Texas Auto Writers Association and the Texas Motor Press Association, reviewing vehicles and casting their votes at driving events where the Truck of Texas, Car of Texas and Off-Road Truck of Texas are some of the titles awarded. Follow their automotive blog on TheSavvyList.com/TheSavvyDriver