Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.0 Petrol Q4 review
The new petrol powered Stelvio SUV feels every bit an Alfa Romeo.
Dave Humphreys
Dave Humphreys

Published on April 4, 2017

What are you driving?

This is the petrol-powered version of Alfa Romeo's new SUV, the Stelvio. Until the altogether silly range-topping Quadrifoglio version comes along, this is the most potent variant of Alfa's first SUV offered. Visually there is nothing to distinguish this from the diesel Stelvio; both cars even have the same twin exhausts at the rear.

Although it has a smaller capacity engine at 2.0 litres, it is also turbocharged and produces a total output of 280hp, good enough to propel the Stelvio to 100km/h from rest in just 5.7 seconds. It comes only with an eight-speed automatic transmission, a ZF unit that is used in a variety of cars and regarded as one of the best gearboxes around today. Alfa's engineers have done a good job in tuning both to suit the Stelvio. Compared to the diesel it feels far sportier and shows off the car's chassis well.

Name its best bits

Testing this petrol version of the Stelvio back-to-back with the diesel reveals just how much fun it is. Even though the turbocharged four-cylinder engine doesn't have as much torque as the diesel, its 280hp makes it feel much livelier. Both cars use the same transmission, but it feels better suited to the petrol car somehow. It also features oversized metal paddle shifters behind the steering wheel that feel great to use. The rear-biased four-wheel-drive transmission, combined with the more responsive petrol engine, makes for a driving experience that is more involving and more tailored towards driving enthusiasts than most other SUVs on the market. Flicking between the three drives modes of the DNA system adjusts the performance of the Stelvio just enough for you to notice the difference. The obvious choice would be to leave it in Dynamic mode, but the Normal setting is fine for everyday use.

Anything that bugs you?

Considering that this is the company's first SUV model, Alfa Romeo has done an impressive job to make it handle as well as it does. It hides its mass well through bends and during the switchback-strewn driving route near the Stelvio Pass one of the only annoyances was that the paddle shifters are column- rather than wheel-mounted. We think smaller paddles fixed to the wheel would be a better solution. Design-wise, there isn't a great deal to criticise the Stelvio for the inside, but some of the plastics used don't come close to matching those seen in the like of the Audi Q5, one of the cars that Alfa is targeting as a rival.

And why have you given it this rating?

Unlike many new SUVs, Alfa Romeo has kept the Stelvio still very much a driver's car. The chassis and engine combo, as well as its handling characteristics, make this one of the more exciting SUVs to drive. It isn't a clear leader in any particular area, but is more a case of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts.

I want to know more

As this petrol version is likely to have only limited appeal, we've gone into more detail about how the diesel Stelvio drives in our test drive. If there's something more specific that you would like to know about either car, please go to our Ask Us Anything page and send us a question.

Further reading

Alfa Romeo 2.2 Diesel Stelvio review


Tech Specs

Model testedAlfa Romeo Stelvio 2.0 Petrol AT8 Q4
Pricingto be confirmed
Engine2.0-litre four-cylinder turbocharged petrol
Transmissioneight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Body stylefive-door, five-seat SUV
CO2 emissions161g/km (Band D, €570 per annum)
Combined economy40.3mpg (7.0 litres/100km)
Top speed230km/h
0-100km/h5.7 seconds
Power280hp at 5,250rpm
Torque400Nm at 2,250rpm
Boot space525 litres
Euro NCAP ratingnot yet tested
Rivals to the Stelvio 2.0 Petrol Q4