Review: Is the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio the Best Crossover Yet? [Video]

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio. [photo: FCA]

The Performance Crossover – Italian Style

Take a ripping fast sports sedan, say the Alfa Romeo Guilia, give it a lift kit, stretch it out, and raise its roof for more interior room. What you end up with is the all new 2018 Stelvio crossover. And like most things Italian, you either love or hate its styling. You either love the fact that it makes no pretenses about off-road capability. Or you hate it for its pure prowess on pavement.

Why? Because Americans bought 2.1 million crossovers last year. And, well, look at the Jaguar F-Pace. Jaguar’s sports-minded crossover has been Jaguar’s number one global seller since it came out last year. Not because it’s the least expensive Jag, but because the Brits made a solid and desirable vehicle. That magic is what Alfa Romeo wants.

This crossover name says it all: Named after Stelvio Pass in the Italian Alps, this vehicle implores you to drive it hard up and down mountain switchbacks — and haul all your gear and family. The 40/20/40 split rear seats speak to a number of gear/seating combos. A small detail, but one that shows the Stelvio’s utility.

Stelvio Pass
What’s a Stelvio? This is the Stelvio, the famed pass in the Italian Alps. [photo: FCA]

The Goods

The Stelvio starts at just under $42,000, but fully-loaded it’ll hit $55,000. It carries an EPA-combined number of 24 mpg.

As TFL’s Roman Mica points out in his video review below, the Stelvio is nine inches taller and 400-pounds heavier than its Guilia sister. Alfa claims that amongst its competitive set — the Porsche Macan, Jaguar F-Pace, and Audi Q5 — that the Stelvio will beat them all with a 0-60 mph time of 5.4 seconds and a top speed of 144.

The Italian ute has the engine to do it. The twin-scrolled 2.0-liter turbo pumps out 280 hp and 306 lb-ft. torque. The 8-speed transmission that lets you hold the engine at redline instead of automatically upshifting. The steering and handling, however, are what truly sets this crossover apart from the myriad crossovers out there. Check out Roman’s review to see what he means.