On the inside…
The Stelvio Milano Edizione has a smart black sports leather interior, and the standard specification in the cabin is comprehensive. Up front, the Alfa logo-embossed and grooved heated seats have six-way power adjustment and a power bolster for ultimate comfort. A retro black and white Alfa Romeo badge equally takes centre stage on the heated steering wheel, and lying next to this is where you will find the engine start/stop button for the keyless ignition system, which has been smartly tagged on to the wheel. In addition, chrome paddles lie within reach of your fingertips to change gear when in manual mode.
The design of the Stelvio Milano Edizione dashboard is the same as that which is found in the Giulia, and is clearly laid out, with the speedo and rev counter sheltered from bright sunlight. To the left of this, is the seven-inch colour TFT instrument cluster, which is confusingly home to the 8.8-inch Alfa Connect system (i.e. the interface for the audio entertainment and the-not-so-user-friendly satellite navigation). All interfaces can be easily controlled via the largest of the three nicely-machined circular dials which sit just in front of the central padded leather armrest housing a couple of USB ports (there’s also a 12V socket underneath the ventilation dials).
The other two control the volume and to switch between the radio stations, whilst the one on the right is for Alfa’s DNA driving mode selector to transform the car’s performance via adjustments of the engine’s torque curve, brakes, transmission logic, accelerator response, stability control system (ESC) and traction control (ASR).
Even though the Stelvio Milano Edizione has a sloping roofline, there’s still plenty of space in the rear, where passengers can recline on the chunky headrests. Those in the back have also not been forgotten, as there are a couple of USB ports underneath the dual circular vents which lie between the floor wells, whilst the central armrest also folds down to reveal a couple of cup holders.
In terms of storage across the cabin, there is a pop-up compartment in front of the gear shifter to accommodate two small water bottles, and the pockets in the doors are also nice and deep.
The boot has plenty of space at 525 litres, and the rear seats fold down in a 40:20:40 configuration for even more capacity. To make life easier, there’s a couple of shopping hooks and an electronic tailgate button to open and close the boot lid.
Being an SUV, you have a relatively elevated driving position, and the sporty seats delivered plenty of comfort, even on longer stints. Built entirely from aluminium with a carbon fibre driveshaft, the 2.0-litre turbocharged powerplant (hence 2.0Tb in the name of the model) is nice and responsive. Although the sound is not overly meaty (you would need the Quadrifoglio for the added acoustics), the turbo gives it sufficient oomph to catapult you from nought to 62 in 5.7 seconds, and the power delivery comes in handy when overtaking.
We also flicked between the different driving modes (Dynamic, Normal and Advanced Efficiency – for maximum fuel savings) during our time with the car, but Normal proved more than adequate for a regular cruise. The combined WLTP mpg is quoted at 30.4, and we managed a respectable average of 32.1 mpg for our 436-mile round trip to the Jurassic Coast, which took in a variety of roads, spanning Dartmoor’s single country lanes to London’s busy M25.
The sportscar-worthy handling and balanced weight distribution is also particularly noticeable, as the car felt stable in the corners, and combined with the direct steering, the Stelvio was a pleasure to drive. Our particular loan vehicle came with the £1,700 Performance Pack.
Having this extra gives you a limited-slip differential and Alfa’s Synaptic Dynamic Control suspension which regulates the level of the damping forces, according to road conditions and driving style. This means that the ride was generally very smooth, even when encountering rougher surfaces.