Customers have been abandoning traditional choices, such as mid-size sedans, and flocking to SUVs of all sizes for quite some time now, and automakers are more than happy to accommodate them.
Most of them, anyway, as Alfa Romeo was remarkable by its absence in that segment, despite having displayed an SUV concept, the Kamal, as early as 2003 at the Geneva Auto Show.
Well, the powers that be at FCA probably got their priorities wrong, which explains why Lancia was, practically, killed off, Fiat ending up relying mostly on the 500 and its offsprings and Alfa… Well, Alfa didn’t even have a full range to begin with, as the MiTo and Giulietta simply weren’t enough, and the much lauded 4C was a low-volume sports car that wouldn’t yield significant profits.
After a considerable amount of time, due to CEO Sergio Marchionne changing his mind quite often, it finally rolled out the Giulia, its first rear-wheel drive saloon since the 75. The thing is, the gestation period was simply too long, and by the time it hit the market SUVs were all the rage.
At long last, Alfa did reveal its first-ever SUV, the Stelvio, which shared many components with the Giulia, to the point that one could say that, essentially, it is a Giulia on stilts. Given the praise that the latter has received, though, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing.
The 505HP Quadrifoglio was released first and, naturally, received plenty of praise in reviews. Carfection, though, got hold of a Stelvio powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four that puts out 280PS and, let’s face it, will account for a large number of the sales, as the QV is acting as a halo car for the rest of the range.
Now, the question both the reviewer and ourselves are asking is whether the Stelvio remains true to Alfa’s sporty DNA or if it’s just another SUV devoid of any true Italian flair. After driving it in the Alps, they delivered their verdict, which you can watch in the following video.