2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Interior Review

Scorecard

Interior: 7.3

Italian vehicles have a reputation for being stylish, and the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio lives up to that billing. Unfortunately, the effect is somewhat spoiled by the presence of some lower-grade materials. Nothing in the Stelvio looks bad, but luxury rivals – particularly German brands – have noticeably nicer interiors.

The front seats are comfortable, but the rear seats are short on head- and legroom for taller passengers. Cargo space is subpar for the class as well. There are a fair number of features in the Stelvio, but the lack of a touch-screen infotainment system will frustrate some buyers.

  • "While the Stelvio suffers none of the parts bin sharing that new Maseratis can be accused of, the squishy soft-touch plastic on the dashboard and paper-thin plastic in the center console feel decidedly cheap, and not necessarily befitting of a 'hand-crafted' Italian SUV. Of course, economies of scale dictate Alfa's need to keep cost down in the first years of its resurgence, but I wish this practice hadn't manifested itself in such obvious ways. A new luxury vehicle buyer may not mind or be able to tell the difference, but those coming from a recent Audi, BMW, or Mercedes-Benz may cry foul immediately." -- New York Daily News
  • While Maserati's remake has been assembled partially with Chrysler leftovers, Alfa gets its own premium-feeling switchgear and a new infotainment system that is, at least for now, exclusive to the brand. The clean interior design can be accented with real aluminum, wood, or carbon fiber. At the same time, the designers didn't attempt to dress up some of the plastics, such as the untextured, flat-finish trim that surrounds the unfortunate, ambiguous electronic shifter. And the coarse-grain dashtop might have been pilfered from the Ford Taurus assembly plant. In the Stelvio, the highs are high and the lows are low." -- Car and Driver
  • "It's a rather beautiful cabin, too. The styling inside, as outside, is curvier and more finely elegant then most rivals." -- Motor Trend

Seating

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio seats five and comes standard with leather upholstery and power-adjustable front seats. Heated front seats and a heated steering wheel are available. The front seats are comfortable, and drivers will appreciate the good forward visibility. The rear seats can accommodate most adults, but the sloping roofline cuts into headroom, and legroom gets tight when the front seats are pushed back. There are two full sets of LATCH connectors for installing child safety seats.

  • The Stelvio's measurements suggest tighter rear-seat and cargo space than its competitors, although neither feels especially cramped." -- Car and Driver
  • You sit on reasonably comfortable chairs in the eye of a black plastic wonderland which isn't particularly kind to the eye or the touch. Visibility is a little better than in the Giulia thanks to its elevated H-point, the recalibrated instruments are more easily legible, and some materials are of a higher standard. The rear seats fold, but they don't recline or slide back and forth." -- Automobile Magazine
  • There's good (rather than great) head and leg room up front, while the rear seat only has enough headroom for those up to about 5'11 or so, and legroom gets very tight if the seat ahead is pushed all the way back." -- Consumer Guide

Interior Features

Standard features in the all-new Stelvio include dual-zone automatic climate control, HD Radio, Bluetooth, three USB ports, a rearview camera, rear parking sensors, and an infotainment system with a 6.5-inch display screen.

Available features include a dual-pane sunroof, navigation system, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, a 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, and an upgraded infotainment system with an 8.8-inch screen. Available active safety features include adaptive cruise control, front parking sensors, lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring, forward collision warning, rear cross traffic alert, automatic emergency braking, and an infrared windshield that reflects infrared light waves in sunlight, keeping the vehicle cooler on a hot summer day.

The Stelvio's infotainment system doesn't have a touch screen (not even the available version). Instead, you control it with a rotary knob in the center of the dash. While some say the system is relatively easy to use, others argue that it's complicated and requires too much attention, making it tough to use the system unless you're parked.

See 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio specs »

  • For technology, the infotainment system's 6.5-inch screen comes ready for Apple CarPlay and Android Auto-although the user interface is from Magneti Marelli rather than the FCA Uconnect parts bin. I found the system relatively intuitive, though the screen graphics seemed to lack a certain sharpness compared to the Audi or BMW systems. It's a very basic layout with a paucity of buttons and knobs in the center console, which made me wonder about wasted space when the center cubby barely fit two wallets. " -- Motor Trend
  • "Beyond the sub-par materials, though, the Stelvio lacks some features that are now becoming commonplace even on high trim economy cars, like ventilated seats and a head up display. There's also only a small, rectangular driver information display available with minimal menus … from the lackluster infotainment system." -- New York Daily News
  • "As with most vehicles in the premium classes, control clarity isn't a Stelvio strong point. Instead of a touchscreen, Stelvio has a console controller whose actions are displayed on a dashboard screen (6.5 inch on the base model, 8.8 on the Ti), with the controller being flanked by a volume knob and 'Menu' and 'Option' buttons. Like most such systems, it takes some acclimation (and some long looks from the road) to get where you want to go, but it no doubt gets easier with practice. Climate controls consist of rotary temperature and fan-speed knobs with a repetitive-step pushbutton for mode, and the controls are mounted a bit low, out of easy reach." -- Consumer Guide

Cargo

With the rear seats up, the Stelvio has 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space. That expands to 56.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Both estimates are lower than what many other luxury compact SUVs provide. On the bright side, the cargo floor is flat and there is some storage under the cargo floor, so it’s easy to load and organize your belongings. A power liftgate comes standard.

  • "Folding the rear seat backs creates a long, flat load floor, and there's a good amount of hidden storage beneath the rear of it. The cargo space in back is more versatile. One test vehicle had a large speaker (likely part of the optional Harman Kardon audio system) taking up what would otherwise be a pocket on the left, with a similar one on the right allowing fairly wide items to be carried at the rear. The rear seat backs fold level with the cargo floor (via either levers at the base of the seat cushion or levers in the cargo area), and there's quite of bit of hidden storage under the cargo floor." -- Consumer Guide
  • What's more, this is an SUV, so practicality comes into play, even for the Italians. There's 18.5 cubic feet of cargo space behind the rear seats which is on the lower end of the segment … and the trunk floor is long and flat, making it easy to get wider items inside." -- New York Daily News
  • Cargo capacity is adequate, with 18.5 cubic feet of space with the rear seats up and 56.5 with them down." -- Kelley Blue Book

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