2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

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MSRP: $41,995 - 43,995

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Review

With excellent power and agility, the all-new Alfa Romeo Stelvio strives to stand out among luxury compact SUVs. Unfortunately, its unrefined interior contributes to its midpack ranking.




Critics' Rating: 8.2
Performance: 8.5
Interior: 7.3
Safety: N/A
Reliability: N/A

Pros & Cons

  • Superb handling
  • Powerful engine
  • High base price
  • Some lower-quality materials
  • Below-average cargo space

Is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio a Good SUV?

For a first try, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio isn't half bad. In a highly competitive class, the Stelvio delivers one of the best performances. It handles much like a car, allowing this SUV to carve corners with ease. Likewise, its standard engine has plenty of power, and heavy-footed drivers will love the high-performance Stelvio Quadrifoglio and its 505-horsepower engine.

That said, the Stelvio lacks qualities that you'd expect from a luxury compact SUV. Although it has a well-made cabin, it features some low-rent materials. In addition, many class rivals have more in the way of features, passenger room, and cargo space.

Should I Buy the Alfa Romeo Stelvio?

You can get a fully loaded Stelvio for less money than many other luxury compact SUVs. That makes it very enticing. However, price isn't the only factor when shopping for a vehicle. While the Stelvio has some good qualities, there are many worthwhile competitors worth considering.

The Audi Q5 is the total package; it has excellent interior quality, great performance, and a lengthy standard features list. Even better, its base price is nearly identical to the Stelvio's. Like the Alfa, the Jaguar F-Pace has outstanding performance and a similar starting price, but it edges out the Stelvio with more interior and cargo room. Not only is the Mercedes-Benz GLC cheaper than the Stelvio, but it also has a nicer interior and more standard safety features.

Compare the Stelvio, Q5, and F-Pace »

Should I Buy a New or Used Alfa Romeo Stelvio?

The Stelvio is a brand-new model for the 2018 model year, so there are no previous models to choose from.

We Did the Research for You: 15 Reviews Analyzed

Our car reviews include everything you need to know before heading to the dealership. We combine the opinions of the automotive press with quantifiable data like crash test results and reliability ratings to form a complete picture of every vehicle we rank. For the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio, we looked at 15 reviews.

Why You Can Trust Us

U.S. News & World Report has been ranking the best cars, trucks, and SUVs since 2007, and our staff has more than 75 years’ worth of auto industry experience combined. To keep our reviews unbiased, we don’t accept expensive gifts or trips from car companies, and an outside company manages our advertising.

How Much Does the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Cost?

This Alfa Romeo has a base price of just under $42,000. That’s higher than the starting prices of most other luxury compact SUVs. There are three higher trims for this Alfa Romeo. The Stelvio Sport and the Stelvio Ti both cost between $43,500 and $44,000. The highest trim (the Stelvio Ti Sport) has a starting price of around $46,500. There is also a high-performance Stelvio model known as the Quadrifoglio, which starts at around $80,000.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Alfa Romeo dealer.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Versus the Competition

Which Is Better: Alfa Romeo Stelvio or Audi Q5?

The Audi Q5 sets the standard for the luxury compact SUV class. In recent years, it ranked near the top of the class, and the redesigned 2018 model follows suit. The Q5 lives up to its luxury title with roomy, comfortable seats and a lavish interior. It also has more cargo space than the Stelvio. In terms of performance, these two are close. Both have standard all-wheel drive, potent engines, and roughly equal fuel economy ratings. Choose the Stelvio over the Q5 if you're looking for the type of blistering acceleration found in the 505-horsepower Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Otherwise, there isn't much competition between these two cars. The Audi is a better, more-well-rounded option.

Which Is Better: Alfa Romeo Stelvio or Jaguar F-Pace?

Like the Stelvio, the Jaguar F-Pace prioritizes performance more than most rivals. Both cars have sporty driving dynamics and standard all-wheel drive. Both also cost about the same. However, a key difference between the two is the Jaguar’s standard turbodiesel engine, which yields much better fuel economy than anything in the Stelvio lineup. While the Stelvio only has one optional V6 engine, the F-Pace offers multiple V6 engines with excellent acceleration.

There's plenty of legroom and cargo space inside the F-Pace. With more than 63 cubic feet overall, the F-Pace has one of the largest cargo capacities in the class. That said, the F-Pace rates poorly for predicted reliability. Both of these SUVs are fun-to-drive options in this class.

Which Is Better: Alfa Romeo Stelvio or Mercedes-Benz GLC?

The Mercedes-Benz GLC has one of the nicest interiors in the class. It has high-quality materials, supportive seats, and ample passenger space in both rows. The GLC offers several technology features that the Stelvio doesn't – like a Wi-Fi hot spot – and many more standard safety features, such as forward collision alert. On the performance front, the Mercedes has good acceleration and decent handling reflexes, but the Alfa Romeo is slightly more athletic. Still, the GLC has more engine choices, and both models get similar fuel economy estimates in their base engines. Not only that, but the GLC does all of this at a lower starting price. Go with the Mercedes.

Compare the Stelvio, Q5, and F-Pace »

Stelvio Interior

How Many People Does the Stelvio Seat?

The Stelvio seats five people on leather seats. Both rows of seats have a decent – but not great – amount of space. Headroom will be tight for taller passengers because of the roofline, and legroom also dwindles rapidly as the front seats are pushed farther back.

Stelvio and Car Seats

There are two full sets of LATCH car-seat connectors in the rear outboard seats.

Stelvio Interior Quality

There's no reason to complain about this Alfa Romeo's interior style, but the quality of materials may be another matter. While the Stelvio is quite nice inside, German competitors have noticeably nicer cabins.

Stelvio Cargo Space

With the rear seats up, the Stelvio has 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space. That’s enough room for a few sets of golf clubs or a cooler and a couple of tailgate chairs. Fold the rear seats down, and you’ll have over 56 cubic feet of space – enough room for larger items like a bicycle or a snowboard. A power liftgate comes standard, and you can activate it from the key fob. While the cargo space is fairly usable, the Stelvio offers less capacity than many rivals.

Stelvio Infotainment, Bluetooth, and Navigation

Standard features in the Stelvio include dual-zone automatic climate control, HD Radio, Bluetooth, three USB ports, an eight-speaker audio system, and an infotainment system with a 6.5-inch display screen. Available features include a dual-pane sunroof, navigation, satellite radio, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and an upgraded infotainment system with an 8.8-inch screen.

One of the first things you'll notice about the Stelvio is the knob in the dash. That's how you control the infotainment system, and opinions about its utility are varied. At best, it takes some getting used to, and at worst, it's distracting and requires you to look down for long periods at a time to change settings.

For more information, read What Is Apple CarPlay? and What Is Android Auto? Then, see the Best Cars With Apple CarPlay and Best Cars With Android Auto.

Read more about interior »

Stelvio Performance

Stelvio Engine: Fast and Loud

The Stelvio comes standard with a 280-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s as quick as – or quicker than – many rivals with their base engines, but it also makes plenty of noise (and not in a satisfying, hear-it-roar kind of way).

There’s also a high-performance Stelvio: the Quadrifoglio. It features a twin-turbo V6 that puts out 505 horsepower. Alfa Romeo claims it’ll go from zero to 60 mph in under 4 seconds.

Stelvio Gas Mileage: Solidly Efficient

This Alfa Romeo earns 22 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Those are above-average ratings for the class, especially since the Stelvio – unlike some competitors – comes standard with all-wheel drive. These ratings drop substantially, however, in the Quadrifoglio model, which earns just 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway.

By driving the standard Stelvio model, you’ll save about $200 on gas each year compared to the Porsche Macan. These ratings are similar to those of the Volvo XC60, but the Volvo will save you gas money because it’s one of the few vehicles in this class that doesn’t require premium fuel.

Stelvio Ride and Handling: Putting the "Sport" in Sport Utility

There are four driving modes to choose from (Natural, Dynamic, Advanced Efficiency, and Race Mode) that alter throttle response and handling to fit your driving style. Flip between them as you take full advantage of the Stelvio’s considerable athleticism; some argue it drives more like a sports car than an SUV. Standard all-wheel drive provides dependable road grip.

Read more about performance »

Stelvio Reliability

Is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Reliable?

J.D. Power hasn’t yet given the Stelvio a predicted reliability rating.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Warranty

Alfa Romeo covers the Stelvio with a four-year/50,000-mile warranty. Many other luxury vehicles (cars and SUVs) have similar warranty terms.

Read more about reliability »

Stelvio Safety

Stelvio Crash Test Results

The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio hasn’t yet been put through crash tests by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.

Stelvio Safety Features

Standard features include a rearview camera and rear parking sensors. Available driver assistance features include adaptive cruise control, front parking sensors, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, an infrared windshield, forward collision warning, rear cross traffic alert, and automatic emergency braking.

Read more about safety »

Which Alfa Romeo Stelvio Model Is Right for Me?

There are four main Stelvio trims, all of which feature the same engine and all-wheel drive. While there is some difference in the number of standard features between the trims, most of the significant tech and convenience features are available as options in every trim, including the base. In other words, the base trim is the best choice for this Alfa Romeo because it costs the least and allows you to only pay for the features you want.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio

This Alfa Romeo’s base trim is known only as the Stelvio. It has a starting price of $41,995. There are several optional features, including a sunroof, navigation, forward collision warning, and an upgraded infotainment system. Some features are added as part of a package, while others can be added individually. Prices for the extra features and packages range from $200 to more than $1,500.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Sport

The Stelvio Sport starts at $43,795. It comes with the same engine and standard features as the base model, but it also has larger wheels and some other styling differences. The available features and packages are the same as in the base model.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti

The Stelvio Ti has a starting price of $43,995. In addition to the standard features found in lower trims, the Stelvio Ti comes with front parking sensors, heated front seats, satellite radio, and an infotainment system with an 8.8-inch display screen. The available packages and features are generally the same as in the lower trims.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport

The Stelvio Ti Sport is the highest trim. It starts at $46,495. The Ti Sport comes with all of the Ti’s standard features plus larger wheels and some styling differences. It offers the same optional features and packages.

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

The Stelvio Quadrifoglio is a performance-oriented model that starts at $79,995. Instead of a four-cylinder engine, the Quadrifoglio has a twin-turbocharged V6 that makes 505 horsepower. This high-performance model shares most of its tech and convenience features with the Ti trim but also adds navigation, an adaptive suspension, larger brakes, forward collision warning, blind spot monitoring, and unique upholstery and seat upgrades.

Check out our U.S. News Best Price Program for great savings at your local Alfa Romeo dealer.

See 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio specs and trims »

The Final Call

The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio is a brand-new model and a pretty good SUV. It's fun to drive, and it has powerful engines. Unfortunately, the Stelvio falls short in some key areas. It has subpar cargo space and somewhat low-quality materials by luxury vehicle standards.

Still, it’s worth noting that the luxury compact SUV class is one of the more competitive segments. Factor that in, and the midpack Stelvio looks like a solid SUV in a class full of great options. If you like the Stelvio, you'll probably like some of its classmates even better.

Don’t just take our word for it. Check out comments from some of the reviews that drive our rankings and analysis.

  • "The Stelvio also recalls the Giulia when you compare it with its competitors: It provides above-average performance without many of the typically associated shortcomings, though it does fall behind somewhat due to its styling." -- Cars.com
  • "Overall, the Stelvio is a strong effort, but comes squarely in the middle of the competition in terms of features and quality." -- New York Daily News
  • "A first-effort SUV from an Italian startup? You might have been expecting over-ambitious flamboyance and a certain flakiness. Instead, you get the solid basics. There might be unnecessary romance in the name Stelvio, but the vehicle is well grounded." -- Motor Trend
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