Review: Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.2D Milano Edizione

Review: Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.2D Milano Edizione
Review: Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.2D Milano Edizione

Diesel power is essential to the Stelvio. We test the range-topping variant

We’re testing the Alfa Romeo Stelvio on the very same Italian Alpine pass after which it’s named. Serendipity – or clever (if rather obvious) marketing? Whatever, the tight and twisting route isn’t an SUV’s natural habitat, but this tall, towering model tackles it with verve and style, even in this 2.2-litre diesel guise.

That’s partly thanks to the four-cylinder powerplant’s 207bhp of muscle, which propels the car from 0-62mph in 6.6 seconds – faster than many a hot hatch. More impressive still is that the Stelvio manages to achieve this while returning 58.9mpg and sub-130g/km CO2 emissions. That’s far more efficient than its petrol stablemate, the 276bhp range-topper, yet it’s priced somewhat lower, even in premium Milano Edizione trim.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.2D Milano Edizione

Price: £43,990
Engine: 2.2-litre, four-cylinder, diesel
Power: 207bhp
Torque: 346lb ft
Gearbox: Eight-speed automatic
Kerb weight: 1659kg
0-62mph: 6.6-sec
Top speed: 133mph
Economy: 58.9mpg (combined)
CO2, tax band: 127g/km, 27%

The engine reaches its peak with minimum effort, thanks to 346lb/ft of torque from only 1,750rpm and the quick, smooth and effortless standard eight-speed automatic transmission. After 3,750rpm, however, there’s not much left to give, and the engine becomes harsh and clattery. This is at odds with the impressive peace and quiet experienced to that point, and could probably be solved with the addition of a couple of extra cylinders. Unfortunately, this isn’t an option with the Alfa.

We tested the 2.0-litre petrol Stelvio previously, but it was more fun and drove more keenly than the laid-back diesel despite the models’ similar weights. You have to dig deep to reveal the oil-burner’s well-balanced and rear-led platform. When it comes to being a good SUV, however, the Stelvio ticks all the important boxes. It has a smooth ride – despite its trendy 20-inch alloys – and it remains refined even over large surface imperfections.

The cabin is highly practical; it’s spacious in both front and rear, and the boot is generous at 525 litres. Unlike some of its Italian predecessors, its seats and driving position are fine. Unfortunately, the cabin quality lets it down, as it cannot compete with that of, say, an Audi Q5, Mercedes-Benz GLC or Jaguar F-Pace. The quality short-cuts let down those smart looks, while the sat-nav simply feels cheap.

Still, the Stelvio’s price is very good news, with even this top-of-the-line Milano Edizione costing less than £44,000. With an impressive level of kit, this compares well by the standards of this sector. The Alfa should definitely be on your shortlist, but do consider the model’s cheaper petrol alternatives as well. Their keenness is more in keeping with the Alfa spirit.

Review: Jaguar E-Pace D240 R-Dynamic S AWD 2018

People buy SUVs for all manner of reasons, but one of them is that they’re looking for that high-driving, easygoing momentum that means

Review: Nissan Leaf

The first Nissan Leaf took the concept of the electric car as a normal piece of everyday transport that bit further. It didn’t seem like

Review: McLaren 570S Spider

You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, or so they say. But sometimes it’s hard not to and sometimes first impressions can be

Review: Skoda Karoq vs Seat Ateca

If it’s a winner, use it again: that’s the message Skoda has taken from the Seat Ateca for its new small SUV, the KaroqIn 2017,