Italy’s Full of Surprises: Stelvio and Velar Duel On and Off-Road [Video]

We pitch Stelvio and VelarĀ  head-to-head onĀ the track and up Gold Mine Hill

Here’s the scenario: You’re shopping for premium crossovers, and you have somewhere in the region of $50-75,000 to spend. Lucky you, but which one do you buy? The new Alfa Romeo Stelvio, or the Range Rover Velar? Well, each brand is known for their performance. Although, in this instance, they go about achieving that performance in different ways. In this TFLcar video, we throw these new crossovers at Gold Mine Hill to see just how well they handle the rough stuff. To see how they fare as performance machines, we also pitch the Stelvio and Velar against each other in a sprint for glory on the track. Watch the video above to see the results!

The contenders: Alfa Romeo Stelvio

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

In this Stelvio and Velar challenge, let’s take a look at the Alfa Romeo first. This is the brand’s first SUV offering. It uses a similar platform to the Giulia sedan, and houses similar engines. Namely, it uses a 2.0-liter inline-four cylinder engine in this particular model. With that engine, the Stelvio puts out 280 horsepower and 306 lb-ft of torque. At sea level, this crossover accelerates from 0-60 in 5.4 seconds. Although, at our track a mile above sea level, it makes the sprint in 6.36 seconds.

Alfa Romeo designed this $53,640 (in this specification) crossover for the road, but how does it handle going off the beaten track? Well, despite omitting all the off-road switchgear you’d expect, the Stelvio’s all-wheel drive system handles the rough stuff fairly well. Approach and breakover angles are a concern for such a sporty crossover, but it did haul itself up stages 1 and 2 with few issues.

The contenders: Range Rover Velar

Stelvio and Velar on Gold Mine Hill
2018 Range Rover Velar

Now, in the Stelvio and Velar battleground, you’d expect the Range Rover to perform off-road. And it does, quite admirably. Sporting a 2.0-liter Ingenium turbodiesel with 180 horsepower and 317 lb-ft of torque, its no speed demon. The numbers on the track bear that out. In the 0-60 run at a mile above sea level, the Range Rover Velar ambled up to pace in 11.13 seconds. In an out-and-out drag race, the Stelvio walks away from the Velar thanks to a 100 horsepower advantage and a significant weight advantage.

However, on Gold Mine Hill, the $75,415 Range Rover Velar brings the off-road kit you’d need to trek farther off the beaten path. As evidenced in the video, the Terrain Response 2 system pulls the Velar up all three stages of the course.

These vehicles, as equipped, aren’t in the same price bracket. However, they do cross paths near the bottom of the Velar’s price range. Either way, both crossovers are capable when it comes to light off-roading. The Range Rover is more luxurious and off-road capable, while the Alfa Romeo is less expensive and a better performer on the road.

Which one would you prefer? Let us know in the comments! Subscribe to The Fast Lane Car and TFLnow for more videos on your favorite new models, including runs up Gold Mine Hill.