What is it?
This is the latest version of Alfa Romeo’s strong-selling Stelvio, which can already claim to be one of the more dynamic SUVs on sale today. It has been largely responsible for turning around the marque’s recent fortunes, alongside the Giulia compact saloon, but Alfa itself admits there’s still room for improvement in what is a fiercely competitive category.
It’ll come as little surprise, then, that this facelifted model focuses on improving the one area prospective customers have been most critical of: perceived quality. Indeed, when we road tested the Stelvio in 2017, the cabin stood out as “stylish enough to impress at a glance,” but was disappointing in terms of materials quality on closer inspection.
Almost every other aspect of the car remains unchanged, including the line-up of 2.0-litre petrol and 2.2-litre diesel engines. Alfa Romeo falls behind other FCA brands in the running to receive electrified powertrains, and the fire-breathing 2.9-litre Quadrifoglio V6 won’t be updated until the middle of 2020. It is tested here as a top-spec oil burner, with 207bhp sent to all four wheels through an eight-speed automatic gearbox and Alfa’s Q4 all-wheel drive.
This refresh also sees the range simplified to Super, Sprint, Ti and Veloce models, with black badging to signify sportier trim levels and silver for more mainstream versions. Ti cars now get contrasting side skirts, wheel arches and a rear bumper meant to invoke the Alfa 164 of the 1980s, while Sprint and Veloce versions receive colour-matched mudguards.