In our eyes, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is one of the biggest surprises of 2020. We were expecting a typical obese SUV with a lazy diesel engine camouflaged by attractive shapes and a seductive interior, but to our surprise, the Stelvio finally struggled with weapons completely different in appearance. The TopSpeed.sk editorial staff tested the Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.2 JTD and we didn’t have to wonder how well the Italians adjusted it.
From an optimistic introduction, it should be clear to you that we consider the Stelvio to be a good car. Maybe it’s because we didn’t expect much from him, but during the testing week we made a better impression than we expected when he took it. Let everyone evaluate the design themselves, for example, we personally started to like our car even during the week, because from the beginning it seemed a bit cumbersome and predictable, especially when we are viewed from the side.
In general, designers are dissatisfied with SUVs, because within the pre-established rules they have to create an athletic unit with “light” proportions and the DNA of the brand they are just making. And you come with a high car with massive sides and a high front on the theme of Alfa Romeo? We believe that in the case of Stelvia, they finally succeeded.
Demonstration of position
The designers also managed to design the Stelvia cabin very nicely. Feel the quality live, not only in the choice of materials, but also in the processing of their workshops. Most of us have Italian cars fixed as goods built in Schlentrian, but in the case of the tested Alpha, we did not find anything that shows a careless approach or an exaggerated economy.
I really didn’t see a major difference between it and the German premium SUV (electric heating is also missing from the steering wheel and rear seats). By the way, it really smelled nice in Stelvia, which is a very important sensation. All controls put the right resistance, nothing swirled anywhere, the position behind the wheel was good and I had no problem with the appearance and degree of use of storage space.
When it comes to infotainment control and graphics display, Alfa is making its own way. Customers familiar with the German scheme can be a little annoying, but we have certainly been offered a more intuitive and clear approach than our Japanese competitors. We were delighted with the display showing the pressure in the oil system, the turbocharger outlet pressure and the current torque.
The latter is just theater, but the first two can be a useful indicator that something is going on with the engine (if they start to show low suspicious values in the long run). The question is to what extent the displayed data can be trusted, but if we compare them with other cars, they fit. Only the proclaimed turbocharger outlet pressure of 2.1 bar and an oil pressure of almost six bar at maximum power seem quite high.
Highway on highway
I had high expectations from the driving characteristics of the car. A look at the complex kinematics of the axles and the overall sizing of the arms and their silent blocks will help a lot, but the subsequent race confirmed how well everything works in practice and how efficiently the wheel geometry works at different levels of suspension for the benefit of the car. . The very good kinematics of the rear axle has been confirmed, but at the same time that not even the best trapezoidal front axle will deceive the physics.
Stelvio has good grip, but the phenomenal rear suspension, with significant negative deviations, will not allow the driver in fast corners, so Alfa will not transfer as much weight on the front wheel as the competing SUVs (which more they will soon “leave it” on their heads). The result is a larger underground in the event of sudden changes of direction (but here Stelvio helps to stabilize quickly and easily), as well as incredible stability in curves at high speeds.
In the corners of the highway around Nova Bana (on the R1 highway), it will be difficult for this Alfa to find a faster opponent. It simply does not rest on the front wheel, but rather on the rear outer wheel (this reminds us a lot of the classic saw). While at low speeds, it seems strange, at high speeds he turns into a hot-blooded fighter, who would perhaps get rid of even Semir Gerkhan from Cobra 11.
We also like the activity of the stabilization system, it is suitable for the characteristics of the diesel engine and makes the Stelvia an ideal car for a “clean track” and safe travel on slippery and snowy roads. Otherwise, just for reasons of interest, most tests on dry surfaces Stelvio passed only with rear-wheel drive and automatically connected the front only when accelerating or in sport mode and during steep cornering exits. The 4×4 system works here without the slightest comment.
Even 190 horses are enough
The Stelvio test shows the crucial role that engine volume can play today. Of the 2.2 liters, it produces only an average of 190 horsepower, but it serves with foresight, the eight-speed automatic releases with four cylinders over 2000 rpm only exceptionally and the peaceful ride with the Stelvia makes a very calming impression.
Consumption also corresponds to this, on the highway at 110 km / h it spins only 1700 rpm. and the car takes about 6.5 liters per kilometer. Acceleration to 130 km / h means 1950 rpm. and consumption at the limit of eight liters (the disadvantages of a high body and a ground clearance of 200 mm are already presented here).
On the long-distance route, Stelvio took 5.8 liters on the Continental WinterContact TS 850P 235/55 R 19 winter tires, while in the summer Pirelli Scorpion Verde 235/55 R19 (I tested the car on two types of footwear) succeeded the same route with another more economical half liter (5.3 l / 100 km). In the hilly sections, we liked how efficiently heavy Alpha could “navigate” and efficiently manage its kinetic energy.
The question is, is Stelvio diesel worth considering? In our opinion, definitely yes. This is a sofa from Alfa Romeo and, as it is known, their beige changes to a completely different shade at right angles. And believe me, hey. Not the body design or the nicely built cab, but the chassis of this car should be an argument that will decide in the case of Stelvia.
It’s not smart in serpentines, but we don’t buy SUVs for that, do we? Stelvio excels on the highway, more in such a strong way that we dare say that in good hands he will not find an opponent in the fast corners of the highway. And for that we give Alfe a thumbs up. In our eyes, the Stelvio is currently the most comprehensive and, in detail, the most elaborate Alpha today.
Prepared in cooperation with TopSpeed.sk.