First Drive

First Drive: Alfa Romeo Stelvio

The story:
Alfa Romeo has revised its Stelvio SUV, with interior tweaks including a new infotainment system, new tech and cabin tweaks.
Key rival:BMW X3
On sale:Now

Although no different to look at – which is no bad thing when it’s styled like this – the Alfa Romeo Stelvio has been given a significant update.

Originally announced in late 2019, the update was delayed by the pandemic, but the revised SUV is now in the UK, boasting a new infotainment system, tweaks to the cabin, new technology and improved connectivity.

First Drive - April 2021 - Alfa Romeo Stelvio - Image 3Much needed improvements to the infotainment are the big news, with an 8.8-inch touchscreen system introduced which features draggable widgets to customise the home screen of three tiles. There’s still a rotary knob as well as the touchscreen control, and it is joined by a new 7.0-inch TFT dash display. The infotainment system is certainly a step up from what was a weak point of the pre-revision model, and a lot more straightforward to use than the dated previous system.

The cabin is also lifted by a new centre consul that, depending on trim, houses a neatly placed wireless charging pad, and the gear lever is now leather, and features an Italian flag at the base.

Alfa Romeo has introduced new safety technology, which includes lane keeping assist, blind spot assist, adaptive cruise control with traffic jam assist and driver drowsiness detection, while kit including bi-Xenon lights, rear parking camera and electric folding wing mirrors are now standard across the range. That range has been changed slightly to feature Super, Spring, Lusso Ti and Veloce trim levels.

The Stelvio, driven here with the range-topping and rapid 280hp petrol engine (190hp and 210hp diesel and 200hp petrol are also available), is one of the most competitive cars against its premium rivals that Alfa has produced in many years, and these tweaks increase its appeal against some big-selling and excellent competitors.

paul barker

The verdict

Possibly the prettiest SUV, and one with a lovely cabin and excellent driving experience, although running costs aren’t quite a match for the best German premium SUVs.