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2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti performance review

By Chris Thompson, 07 Dec 2018 Reviews

2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti performance review

Alfa’s second-in-command SUV has us keen for the Quadrifoglio

Alfa Romeo's twin-turbo V6 Stelvio Quadrifoglio hasn't quite made it to Aussie soil yet, but in the meantime we have this – the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti.

It sits a rung down from the Quadrifoglio, or Q, and it's aimed squarely at those who might buy something like an X3 30i, but could use some extra poke.

The Ti's 2.0-litre four is shared with the sedan equivalent, the Giulia Veloce, putting out 206kW and 400Nm in both instances. The Stelvio is, however, all-wheel driven.

Despite an extra near-200 kilograms over the sedan, Alfa Romeo claims the Stelvio Ti will hit 100km/h in 5.7 seconds. We'd estimate that's optimistic but not far off in prime conditions, something we were not granted during a damp week in Victoria.

The Stelvio's styling, also primarily shared with the Giulia, has cone down to personal preference among those asked during our testing. The elements from the gorgeous sedan are present, but the Stelvio’s size has separated them, and its rear hatch forms an odd shape.

As an SUV, the Ti does make a relatively sporty proposition. The engine's not lacking for eagerness, and the cornering dynamics are surprisingly easy to work with for an SUV on the lower side of $100,000.

PCOTY 2018: Giulia Quadrifoglio

It seems a slight contradiction to itself in some aspects, where the dampers can be set to a soft waft while the 20-inch wheels seem to crash big road bumps through into the cabin. Its steering can feel a little on the numb side, as can the brakes (which are by-wire), but the gearbox and throttle responses are more than adequate.

It has enough power, but doesn't quite have what it takes to manage its high centre of gravity once that power has really gotten things moving along. It does let you have some fun with mid-corner rotation though.

In the news: Mid-sized SUV surge as sports cars tumble

Thankfully, the Stelvio has plenty of other things going for it. Its interior is simple and elegant, the dash-mounted controls limited to climate settings while everything else is done via the 8.8-inch screen. The optional Harman Kardon sound system is solid for loud tunes, and you even get column-mounted aluminium paddles, just like a Quadrifoglio.

If the Stelvio Q can overcome the physics that put SUVs at a disadvantage, the pressure is suddenly off the Ti to provide proper sports car fun. And that's fine, because while the Stelvio can be a lively drive, a comfortable car for yourself and some friends, and a well-appointed place to spend a commute, wel... we'll wait for the Q.

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2019 ALFA ROMEO STELVIO TI SPECS
Engine:
 2-litre inline-4cyl, DOHC, 16v, turbo
Power: 206kW@5250rpm
Torque: 400Nm@2250rpm
0-100km/h: 5.7sec (claimed)
Kerb Weight: 1619kg
Price: $78,900