A second pass at Stelvio
CAR|February 2022
The original Stelvio was loved by the Alfisti, now an updated version with fresh packaging could broaden the appeal …
John Whittle

Price: R1 159 900

Engine: 2,0-litre, 4-cylinder, turbo-petrol

Transmission: 8-speed automatic

Power: 206 kW@ 5 250 r/min

Torque: 400 N.m@ 2 250 r/min

0-100 km/h: 5,7 seconds*

Top speed: 230 km/h

Fuel consumption: 7,00 L/100 km (claimed)

CO²: 161 g/km

Rivals: Audi Q5 45TFSI quattro S line; BMW X3 xDrive20d M Sport; Mercedes-Benz GLC300 4Matic AMG Line

+ steering feel; ride quality; punchy 2,0-litre turbo

- perceived quality not on par with rivals; thirsty

With Alfa Romeo's new CEO, Jean-Philippe Imparato at the helm, it would seem as though everything is going exceedingly well at the Centro Stile. There appear to be big plans on the horizon for the brand globally. Six years after the announcement of the Giulia and Stelvio, South Africa has now received the updated duo, which we recently had the chance to drive in Johannesburg.

The Stelvio rides on the FCA's Giorgio platform, designed to take the fight to the German Big Three in terms of handling, driver engagement and ride comfort. The modular platform underpins the rear-wheel-drive-only Giulia sedan, too, and in the Stelvio, it features Alfa's trick Q4 all-wheel-drive system ... but more on that in a bit.

Key to the growth of what was FCA, now Stellantis, and in particular the Alfa Romeo brand, was the Giorgio Platform, the modular chassis that was set to underpin a slew of new Alfa Romeo, Maserati, Dodge and Jeep products. Giorgio cost a whopping $1 billion to develop, so they had big plans for it.

Unfortunately, none of those plans involved electrification and thanks to a poor example of futureproofing, it was recently announced Giorgio is to be canned, having seen the light of day in only Giulia and Stelvio. Luckily, this decision doesn't affect how good or bad these two products are, and if anything it makes them unique in today's landscape of platform sharing and badge engineering.

Stelvio sales in South Africa since its local launch in 2018 have been somewhat disappointing, with many deciding on the SUV's fate before even sampling it. Add to that some pretty scary depreciation and hugely compelling rivals such as Mercedes-Benz's GLC, BMW's X3 and the Audi Q5 and it becomes apparent the Stelvio needed, and indeed still does need, a trick or two up its proverbial sleeve.

Continue reading your story on the app

Continue reading your story in the magazine