2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce review

Can Alfa Romeo’s updated 2024 Stelvio hold its own against strong competition not only from the BMW X3, Audi Q5 and Mercedes-Benz GLC, but also the value-leading Genesis GV70 and box-fresh Lexus NX?

2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce

There’s no understating how important a mid-size SUV is to the success of a brand in Australia.

All the major players have one – ranging from MG in the form of its HS to Porsche with its Macan – and each one is either the brand’s best-selling or one of the best-selling models.

So, for Alfa Romeo to make inroads into the competitive Australian market, the Stelvio needs to be nothing short of a standout.

Since launching in 2018, with a new update under its belt, does the Stelvio still have what it takes to compete against newer rivals like the Mercedes-Benz GLC and Lexus NX?

How much is an Alfa Romeo Stelvio?

The 2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio line-up kicks off at $77,950 before on-road costs for the base Ti, moves up to $84,450 for the Veloce I have on test, and tops out with the tarmac-munching Quadrifoglio for $162,700.

Powering the entry-level and mid-tier grades is a 2.0-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder engine outputting 206kW and 400Nm to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The flagship Quadrifoglio features a potent 375kW/600Nm 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 that is aimed at taking down the best SUVs from AMG and M.

However, even the Ti and my Veloce offer plenty of pep in their step when stacked up to rivals.

For example, an Audi Q5 45 TFSI will set you back $89,400 and has a 183kW/370Nm output, while the BMW X3 xDrive 30i is just $2100 shy of $100,000 and packs an adequate 185kW/350Nm punch.

Mercedes comes closer to matching the Stelvio with its 190kW/400Nm GLC300, but now offered in a single, high-spec grade means pricing swells to $103,370.

However, two forgotten contenders in the luxury SUV space might be the biggest reasons not to look at a Stelvio Veloce, as the 205kW/430Nm Lexus NX350 F Sport can be had for $80,061 and the Genesis GV70 3.5T Sport pushes out 279kW/530Nm for just $85,100.

Standard equipment includes an aggressive bodykit, 20-inch alloy wheels, gloss-black window surrounds, rear privacy glass, red-painted brake calipers and adaptive LED matrix headlights.

The headlights are new in the Stelvio facelift and also pair with a revised bumper and tweaked tail-lights, but that’s about all that differentiates the 2024 Stelvio from last year’s model.

Key details 2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce
Price $84,450 plus on-road costs
Colour of test car Alfa Red
Options Dual-pane sunroof – $2700
Price as tested $87,150 plus on-road costs
Drive-away price (Estimated) $96,008 (Victoria)
Rivals Mercedes-Benz GLC | BMW X3 | Audi Q5

How big is an Alfa Romeo Stelvio?

Measuring 4687mm long, 1903mm wide, 1648mm tall and with a 2818mm wheelbase, the Stelvio sizes up nicely against premium mid-size SUV offerings. However, in person, the proportions and styling make it look much more like a hatchback that’s bulked up for summer rather than a family hauler.

And while that’s great to stand out from the sea of black, white, and silver high-riders parked on every street, it does not translate to heaps of interior space.

From the front, passengers are ensconced in well-bolstered seats that hug and support in all the right places.

It’s also nice to have electronic seat adjustment with memory, so if you and a partner tag team on the school run, you can get into your desired position at the touch of a button.

Drivers are also treated to a new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster in the updated Stelvio, which offers a small degree of customisation but is nonetheless clear with relaying driving information. This replaces the 7.0-inch screen of older models that also featured analogue dials for speed and revs.

I did find that you cannot seem to reset the average fuel consumption figure shown on the dashboard, which appears to be an average of the life of the vehicle.

You can reset averages in a menu on the infotainment screen, but that does not carry over to the instrument cluster, and will only show short-term data.

There are also great touches like the oversized paddle shifters finished in aluminium, which is always cool to touch even on hot days.

Storage is also a strong point of the Stelvio, as it offers door pockets big enough for bottles, cupholders ahead of the shifter, a decent glovebox and a modest underarm cubby.

Of note, the wireless smartphone charging solution is a great one, as your phone just slides vertically into a slot securely without any fear of movement during sudden changes of direction.

All good in the front, then, but how about the back?

Things get a little more cramped in the second row, unfortunately, and it’s here where that shortish wheelbase will be noticed.

The Stelvio has a shorter wheelbase compared to the Merc GLC (2888mm), Genesis GV70 (2875mm), and Audi Q5 (2832mm) but longer than a Lexus NX (2690mm).

What this means is that while head and shoulder room are good for someone like me with a six-foot-tall (183cm) frame, leg room is an area where the Stelvio could do better.

Maybe it’s the thickly bolstered front seats, but it’s a tight fit behind my driving position.

Even trickier is when you install car seats like I did, which leaves just about enough room to manoeuvre small kids into position.

What’s not helped here is the easy access setting that will push the driver’s seat back for easy ingress/egress, eating into valuable rear-seat space – but at least this feature can be disabled.

Opening the boot reveals a generous cavity, though, with a 499-litre volume rating.

The powered tailgate is almost a necessity for families still lugging around a pram like me, and there’s more than enough room to get a big stroller, a swim bag and groceries in there.

And fold the seats down and that volume figure swells to a massive 1600L.

2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce
Seats Five
Boot volume 499L seats up
1600L seats folded
Length 4687mm
Width 1903mm
Height 1648mm
Wheelbase 2818mm

Does the Alfa Romeo Stelvio have Apple CarPlay and Android Auto?

The 2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio features an 8.8-inch infotainment touchscreen with functionality for wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

Helping facilitate that connection is a wireless smartphone charger that will keep your device topped up while streaming music, Google Maps or your latest podcast fixation.

The system also outputs audio through a 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system that, to my non-audiophile ears, sounds excellent.

Alfa Romeo does not offer a smartphone companion app that can remotely monitor vehicle data, but there is non-fungible token (NFT) technology built in to ensure vehicle history and service data can be validated.

Is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio a safe car?

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio was first ANCAP crash-tested in 2017 and scored a maximum five stars. However, this rating expired last year, and from January 1, 2024, the Stelvio is officially unrated.

Why has the rating expired? ANCAP has implemented a six-year expiration date on tests going forward, so consumers can better assess like-for-like results as testing criteria are often made more stringent or equipment is deemed mandatory for a five-star score.

For reference, the Mercedes-Benz GLC has a maximum safety rating from testing in 2022, as does the Lexus NX and Genesis GV70 (tested in 2021), but the BMW X3 and Audi Q5 are now also unrated.

2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
ANCAP rating Unrated

What safety technology does the Alfa Romeo Stelvio have?

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is fitted with a wide array of advanced safety systems, including autonomous emergency braking (AEB), forward collision warning, traffic sign recognition, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, automatic high beams, lane-keep assist, and a reverse-view camera.

Buyers also get a tyre pressure monitor, hill descent control, and automatic headlights and wipers, as well as six airbags.

The Stelvio also comes with ISOFIX mounting points for child seats in the second-row outboard seats, and three top-tether anchorage points for each position.

Autonomous Emergency Braking (AEB) Yes Includes pedestrian detection
Adaptive Cruise Control Yes Includes traffic jam assist
Blind Spot Alert Yes Alert only
Rear Cross-Traffic Alert Yes Alert and assist functions
Lane Assistance Yes Lane-departure warning, lane-keep assist
Road Sign Recognition Yes Includes speed limit assist
Driver Attention Warning Yes Includes fatigue monitor
Cameras & Sensors Yes Front and rear sensors, reverse camera

How much does the Alfa Romeo Stelvio cost to run?

Alfa Romeo Australia is yet to update its service pricing for the 2024 Stelvio, but Drive understands it to mirror the pre-facelift 2023 car.

This means scheduled service intervals are every 12 months or 15,000km, whichever occurs first.

The first five years of servicing totals $2990, with service number four at 48 months/60,000km being particularly expensive at $1090.

This service cost means the Stelvio is more expensive to maintain than the BMW X3 ($2675), but more affordable than an Audi Q5 ($3520) and Mercedes-Benz GLC ($6455).

Like all new Alfa Romeos, the Stelvio comes with a five-year/unlimited-kilometre warranty.

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce costs $2209 to comprehensively insure for 12 months based on a comparative quote for a 35-year-old male driver living in Chatswood, NSW. Insurance estimates may vary based on your location, driving history, and personal circumstances.

This places it below the Mercedes-Benz GLC’s insurance quote of about $2787, the BMW X3 xDrive 30i of $2412, and the Audi Q5 45 TFSI of $2270.

At a glance 2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce
Warranty Five years, unlimited km
Service intervals 12 months or 15,000km
Servicing costs $1530 (3 years)
$2990 (5 years)

Is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio fuel-efficient?

Officially, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce claims a combined fuel consumption figure of 7.0 litres per 100 kilometres, and I have no idea how it did in my week with the car.

This is because I could not work out how to reset the trip computer in my time with the car.

There is an efficiency meter in the infotainment screen, but it only shows short-term trip data, while the overall average found in the digital instrument cluster appears to be over the life of the vehicle.

For reference, when I picked up the car it was showing 15L/100km, and in my time with the car, the overall average went down to 13.2L/100km.

Fuel efficiency 2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce
Fuel cons. (claimed) 7.0L/100km
Fuel type 95-octane premium unleaded
Fuel tank size 64L

What is the Alfa Romeo Stelvio like to drive?

How do you distinguish yourself in the already established premium mid-size SUV space against the German juggernauts?

For Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio, that unique selling point is undeniably the way it handles. This is one of the best-steering mid-size SUVs on the market – it feels sharp, direct and communicative.

And the chassis and suspension are up to task too, deftly able to handle the twisties and dynamic sections of the road as well as the daily commute in peak-hour traffic.

It is a genuine delight to steer the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce.

The trade-off with all that is the suspension can stray towards the firmer side of things when the road gets bumpy, and the 20-inch wheels with low-profile 255/45 tyres don’t help matters much.

I wouldn’t go so far as to say the ride ever gets uncomfortable in the Stelvio, only that there are noticeable jolts into the cabin on occasion when Melbourne’s less-than-ideal roads catch you out.

Backing up this is a potent 206kW/400Nm 2.0-litre turbo petrol four-cylinder engine, which sends drive to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. This allows for a 0–100km/h run in 5.7 seconds, which is about on par with some pretty special hot hatches.

However, in reality, the powertrain just feels adequate rather than fast or special.

To me, it comes down to how the Stelvio builds that speed, and in Veloce form, there isn’t enough good aural sensation from the engine and exhaust to be all that engaging.

The transmission can also hang onto gears a touch too long, which is particularly noticeable when on a downhill – and guess who lives on a hill?

This is alleviated a little by the excellent paddle shifters and a manual driving mode, but I feel the transmission needs to be half a step quicker to better fade into the background.

And when you do dial it down, helped by the drive-mode selector that Alfa calls DNA (Dynamic, Natural and Advanced for sporty driving, balanced settings and customisable options, respectively), the Stelvio settles into its role as a grocery getter, commuter and childcare chauffeur very well – just watch those potholes.

In a relaxed setting, you can easily rack up the kilometres in a Stelvio with little fuss, and with a smooth open road in front of you, there are very few SUVs out there that would induce as many smiles.

Key details 2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce
Engine 2.0-litre four-cylinder turbo petrol
Power 206kW @ 5250rpm
Torque 400Nm @ 2250rpm
Drive type All-wheel drive
Transmission 8-speed torque converter automatic
Power-to-weight ratio 127.2kW/t
Weight 1619kg
Spare tyre type Space-saver
Payload 640kg
Tow rating 2300kg braked
750kg unbraked
Turning circle 12.0m

How much weight can an Alfa Romeo Stelvio tow?

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio features a braked towing capacity of 2300kg and an unbraked towing capacity of 750kg.

Whether you would tow with the luxury Italian mid-size SUV is another question, but the Stelvio can cope with a small trailer.

The peppy 206kW/400Nm suggests the Stelvio Veloce would quite capable hauling a load too, though keep in mind that diesel-powered rivals do offer similar levels of torque, and are more suited to towing.

Regardless, the payload capacity is 640kg, which should be plenty for four adults plus gear, or a small family including baby-related items.

Should I buy an Alfa Romeo Stelvio?

Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio Veloce might not be the first choice for premium SUV buyers, but those after great handling and a handsome high rider should check one out.

The base Ti doesn’t look as aggressive as the Veloce, while the top-spec Quadrifoglio will be out of the budget of most families, so the mid-spec Stelvio sits perfectly in the Goldilocks zone.

The ride can get a bit harsh and crashy sometimes, and the interior space might not be as capacious as competitors, but is this a worthwhile trade-off for its handling prowess, though?

I’d say so, especially if you want an SUV that is more ‘sports’ than ‘utility vehicle’.

How do I buy an Alfa Romeo Stelvio? The next steps.

Potential buyers of an Alfa Romeo Stelvio should definitely test-drive one before putting down their hard-earned as the Italian SUV offers something unexpected in a premium high rider.

If you can live with the sharp handling dynamics and smaller-than-expected interior space, the Stelvio could be the model to go for.

The next step on your Stelvio journey is to find your nearest dealer here, and you can also find Alfa Romeos for sale here.

If you want to stay updated with everything Alfa Romeo, check out all the latest news here.

The post 2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce review appeared first on Drive.

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