Woman stood next to Alfa Romeo Stelvio

A premium SUV from the renowned Italian carmakers 

For those looking for an SUV where design and driving dynamics are the big talking points, nowadays you are spoilt for choice. Be it the BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace or budget allowing – the Porsche Macan or even the Maserati Levante.   

An Alfa Romeo Stelvio lease may or may not be on your radar, but you’ll no doubt be aware of the illustrious Italian carmaker.

The Stelvio is the first-ever SUV created by Alfa, however, the car's ethos matches that of all its famed models, 'La Meccanica delle Emozioni’ – the mechanics of emotions’. Meaning that this is an SUV built for people who love to drive. Let's see if we agree…

Note: This review has been amended to reflect model changes that took effect in March 2021.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Sprint

Ranging from just under £40,000 for the entry-level Sprint model to well over £70,000 for the performance Quadrifoglio model (which happens to be our Leasing Expert Josh’s dream car), the Stelvio can offer a premium SUV experience and, model dependent, outrageous performance.

We drove the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Sprint, which is in the middle of the model line-up, (however since this article was written the model line-up has changed and the Sprint is now the entry-level model - Typical!). That being said, here’s a bit more info on the updated Stelvio model lines and engine options available as of March 2021.

Alfa romeo stelvio side view.jpg

Model Lines


  • Alfa Connect 3D Nav 8.8" Multitouch Infotainment System (Radio, 3D Nav, Mp3, Aux-in, Bluetooth) with Apple CarPlay/Android Auto
  • 19" Dark 5-Hole Alloy Wheels
  • 230V/50HZ Auxiliary Power Outlet in Boot
  • Active Cruise Control
  • Electrically adjustable & folding door mirrors
  • Sports Leather Gearstick
  • Aluminum Kickplate
  • Dark Tinted Rear Windows
  • Sports Leather Steering Wheel
  • Bi-Xenon Lighting Pack
  • Cold Weather Pack
  • Electrically Adjustable Seats Pack
  • Parking Assistance Pack
  • Black Brake Calipers

Veloce (in addition/replacement to Sprint)

  • Sound Theatre
  • Wireless Charging Pad
  • 20" Dark V-Spoke Alloy Wheels
  • Alfa Dynamic Suspension
  • Aluminium Steering Wheel Paddles
  • Aluminum Kickplate
  • Body Colour Exterior trim
  • Monochrome Central Wheel Caps
  • Convenience Pack

Veloce Ti (in addition/replacement to Veloce)

  • Digital Audio Broadcast
  • European Map
  • 20" Dark 5-Petal Design Alloy Wheels
  • Electrically adjustable 8-way driver and passenger seats
  • Hands-free Tailgate
  • Gloss Black Mirror Covers
  • Leather Wrapped Dashboard and Upper Door
  • Monochrome Central Wheel Caps
  • Sports Leather Steering Wheel
  • Window surrounds: Black
  • Veloce Ti Carbon Pack

*Prices correct at the time of publication

Stelvio front grille

Engine Options

Now, at the time of our test drive, there were both diesel and petrol options available. However, luck would have it that Alfa have since scrapped those diesel offerings. For those interested, the car we drove had a 2.2L 190HP diesel engine with an 8-speed automatic gearbox. Which performed well enough; however the updated engine offerings are now all petrol, and as follows.

One 2.0L turbo petrol engine offers two outputs: either 200 or 280 horsepower, both all-wheel-drive with an 8-speed automatic gearbox.

If you go for the Quadrifoglio that 2.0L engine is switched out for a 2.9L V6 BI-TURBO petrol engine with all-wheel-drive and, wait for it…510 horsepower!

Stelvio engine options

The Drive

The Stelvio does not conform to norms. The ‘Start Engine’ isn’t on the dash but on the steering wheel itself, and alongside the gear selector in the centre console, it also features are a set of paddle shifters that are almost as big as the steering wheel itself! Those very shifters are part of a Driver Performance Pack which also includes Alfa SDC Suspension and a Limited Slip Differential. 

The Stelvio gets a choice of driving modes – D, N or A. ‘D’ is for ‘Dynamic’, or sports driving with more sensitive acceleration among other features. ‘N’ is ‘natural’ and is the standard driving mode for optimum comfort levels, and finally ‘A’ is for ‘Advanced Efficiency’, prioritising fuel efficiency over peak performance levels. 

The Stelvio strikes a very favourable balance between saloon and SUV (think the Alfa Romeo Giulia on stilts) with what feels like a slightly lower driving position than in its competitors and an overall sportier feel. Quite a lot of road noise, but overall this is no doubt one of the most dynamic SUVs on the market.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio


A good point is the Stelvio looks fantastic even at entry-level. Going up the model lines just allows for a lot more aluminium, chrome and gloss black finishes around the car. Its wide, rounded front is accentuated by the iconic V-shaped grille and off-centre number plate. Something that initially can cause upset, but you do get used to.

You’ll notice our car was fitted with the optional 20” petal alloy wheels as well as upgraded red brake calipers (you also have a choice of yellow), which make the wheels stand out massively. This upgrade is pricey, though, nearly £1500.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio grille and alloys

Inside, the cabin is abundantly stylish. Soft perforated leather surrounds the steering wheel and the dash blends seamlessly into the rest of the car creating a cockpit that feels similar to that in the Mercedes-Benz E-Class.

The central display reminds me of the system that we saw in the Mazda3, though on a bigger scale and in this case with added touchscreen functionality. And the centre console adds that classic Alfa touch with the Italian flag at the bottom of the gear selector. I would add that while the system no doubt looks fantastic, the infotainment dials feel a little less robust than the rotary dials in the BMW X3.

For no added cost, Sprint models and above get a selection of leather upholstery options; White, Red, Mocha or as shown in this car, Black leather. On the whole, the cabin is high quality, well designed and a pleasure to sit in.

Alfa Romeo Cabin


The 8.8-inch touchscreen is vibrant and responsive, however, it’s much easier to use the centre console dial or steering wheel controls if you’re trying to control certain aspects whilst on the move.

A Parking Pack comes as standard which features Front & Rear parking sensors as well as a rear-view camera – however, this camera is not up to the clarity of the BMW X3 camera nor the Mercedes-Benz GLC. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bi-Xenon headlights are also standard on all models.

More exciting features come with the introduction of packs. On Sprint models like ours and above, a Cold Weather pack is standard with a heated steering wheel, heated washer jets and heated front seats.

Wireless charging is available on Veloce and Veloce Ti models. The two variants also benefit from a Convenience Pack that gets you keyless entry and a few other useful comforts.

Alfa Romeo infotainment system

Space and Practicality

The Stelvio is the most practical and spacious of the Alfa Romeo range, with a 525-litre boot space that expands to up to 1600 litres with the seats down. For reference, this is just shy of what is available in the Audi Q3 but more than the space offered in a Volvo XC60. It also features an electronic tailgate as standard. 

There’s not a huge amount of legroom in the back for passengers, at least not when you compare it to other rivals. Nor is the headroom or storage anything to write home about. Passengers up front however will find a suitable amount of space to make for a comfortable journey.

There’s also those easy to use, flip cover Isofix points in the back which make installing a baby seat a doddle. Overall, most of the family will find the car appropriately comfortable – though you might come into issues if you’re long-legged.

Stelvio boot space and rear seats

Final Verdict

It would be rude to end the review without finding out why the Stelvio makes it on our Josh’s most wanted list.

Here's what he had to say, “There’s just something about this car that does it for me. Not only is the Quadrifoglio performance seriously impressive, but it also just looks the business. 

Maybe it’s the headlights or even that front grille; but the Stelvio offers something uniquely different to the likes of the VW Tiguan, Mercedes-Benz GLC or even the hugely popular Nissan Qashqai. Something that’s memorable and makes you smile. I can’t put my finger on it… all I know is I want one!”

Josh quote

For us, the Stelvio does indeed provide that unique offering to the SUV market that others don’t quite manage. This is predominantly in the fact that it neither massively looks, nor feels like an SUV to drive. 

As Alfa have intended, the Stelvio is a driver's car, and it’s a car that needs to be driven by someone that loves to drive, loves to make the car work on the road. For those that want a more relaxed affair, we’d perhaps opt for the Mercedes-Benz GLC

However, if you like the Alfa, our choice would be one of the AWD models for optimum performance on more varied road conditions.

Design-wise, it looks cracking and certainly stands out from most other SUVs on the road. We, as many would, went for the car in (and free of charge) Alfa Red. But are going to put it out there that we also think this car looks phenomenal in Visconti Green. 

If, like us, you like the look of this Stelvio, check out our latest Alfa Romeo Stelvio lease deals or get in touch with one of our leasing experts to find out more.