Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.0t Veloce: Elegance meets Exhiliration

Amid the competitive premium family SUV segment, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio aims to stand out. We take it for a spin to discover if it’s the dark horse among the crowd

By Juliet McGuire

There is certainly a bias toward German car brands in South Africa, especially when it comes to the hotly contested premium family SUV segment. Think BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, not to mention other strong contenders such as the Volvo XC60 (my personal favourite) and the Range Rover Evoque. So, when a brand, such as Alfa Romeo, throws their proverbial hat into the ring so to speak, they have their work cut out for them. And this shows with the sales of the Stelvio. Some months, Audi can sell as many Q5s as Alfa will sell Stelvios in an entire year. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a worthy contender.

What the Stelvio offers over its rivals is arguably a more engaging drive. This is an Alfa Romeo, after all, a brand with a storied history in motorsport, which influences the development of its road cars, ensuring they offer an engaging and emotive driving
experience – one that leans more towards excitement than your average family hauler.

Handling is another area where the Stelvio shines, boasting sharp steering and a wellbalanced chassis that encourages spirited driving. The dynamic drive of the Veloce model is egged on by the familiar 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo-petrol engine that develops 206 kW and 400 Nm of torque. If you want your hair blown back, you can opt for the Quadrifoglio variant, with its ferocious 2.9-litre V6 – a nod to Alfa Romeo’s racing heritage – spitting out 375 kW of power.

Another positive is that the Veloce model is so comprehensively specced that there is only one optional feature available and that is a sunroof, which will cost you around R20 000. Other than that you can expect all the usual suspects in terms of features including leather seats, Apple Carplay and Android Auto, USB A and USB C ports, a wireless charging pad, heated seats and steering wheel, dual-zone climate control, a powered tailgate, front and rear parking sensors, 20-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, adaptive cruise control with forward collision warning and autonomous emergency braking, and auto headlights and wipers.
pressure sensors.

Practicality is a mixed bag, however with the Stelvio offering adequate space for passengers and their belongings, but it doesn’t lead the pack in cargo capacity or interior storage solutions. This, coupled with a fuel economy that’s average at best, might deter those looking for a more utilitarian luxury SUV. Despite these criticisms, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio stands out for its ability to evoke emotion, something often lost in the segment. While it may not tick every box for every buyer, it offers a unique blend of attributes that will appeal to those looking for something beyond the conventional luxury SUV.

Priced from: R1 217 900

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