Refresh sweetens 2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio’s allure


The ’80s were a rich source of Americana. A vignette from that era that’s stayed with me all these years unfolded in Silicon Valley as I watched a preppily attired young man wheel a large flat-screen TV out of a San Jose electronics superstore and across the blacktopped parking lot.

In an instant, my mild case of tech-envy vanished as I watched, amazed and amused, as he rolled his cart up to his ride and stopped in his tracks as it dawned on him that he had to figure out how to get the flat-screen into (or onto?) his vehicle: a Ferrari 308.

I’ll never know whether the gent got the flat-screen home that day. But what I am sure of is that today there’s a peppy, Italian machine that corners con brio while delivering grins and plenty of space for a generous 4K flat-screen.

That one-stop solution is the 2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio. The upscale European compact crossover reached our shores in 2018 and two years later has been treated to an industrial-strength refresh that befits its $42,695 starting price (that MSRP includes destination).


The cabin, for example, gets the console it should have sported from the beginning, with improved ergonomics, wood grain, chrome-trimmed shifter and better-looking control dials. The center console re-do also incorporates a modern electric-parking brake switch.

Other upgrades include the restyled steering wheel, which is thicker and benefits from softer leather grain, and the 8.8-inch center display, which is standard across the lineup and is finally a touchscreen, which streamlines operation of the vehicle’s entertainment, communications and information features. As any luxury brand should, Alfa Romeo also throws in a year’s subscription to SiriusXM satellite radio.

TYPE: Luxury compact SUV

BASE PRICE: $45,800


MAJOR OPTIONS: Active driver assist package, $3,400; dual-pane sunroof, $1,350; Ti Sport performance package, $1,350; Harman Kardon audio, $900; hands-free power liftgate, $300

DRIVETRAIN: 2.0-liter turbocharged inline 4; 8-speed automatic; AWD

HORSEPOWER and TORQUE: 280 hp @ 5,200 rpm / 306 lb.-ft. @ 2,000 rpm

FUEL: premium gas, 91 octane; 16.9-gallon tank

EPA ESTIMATED MPG: 22 city / 28 highway / 24 combined

CURB WEIGHT: 4,007 lbs.


What makes the Stelvio a hoot to drive is the alchemy of its 280-horsepower turbocharged engine, 8-speed automatic and sporty suspension. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder’s 306 lb.-ft. of peak torque never ceases to entertain.

The platform is solid, balanced and the brakes are excellent. For 2020 Stelvios, forward collision is standard, as is a one-year subscription to Alfa Connect, a mobile app that lets you remotely lock or unlock the doors or start or shut down the engine.

My tester was the all-wheel-drive Stelvio TI Sport, which starts at $49,595 but may come with spiffs totaling $2,500. Standard equipment includes Brembo front brakes, 19 x 8.0-inch spoked aluminum wheels, 235/55 all-season tires, 8-way power leather-covered sport seats, power-folding and heated rear-view mirrors, power liftgate, FM HD radio with navigation, Bi-Xenon headlights, LED taillights and interior lighting. The Ti Sport also gets blacked out grille, window molding and rear valence panel.

If the latest driver-assistance features are a must, you’ll want to consider the Stelvio’s $3,400 active assist package for the TI Sport which is among the best systems currently out there with spot-on software and hardware integration. Among the bundle’s features are blind-spot assist, adaptive cruise control with braking, lane-keep, traffic-jam and highway assist as well as traffic sign recognition and outside mirrors that automatically dim. For other Stevlio models, the driver-assistance packages’ content and prices vary.

One option we’d pass on is the $1,350 dual-pane sunroof. Instead of a solid panel to block out the sun, it has a black shade made of thin fabric that creates a layer of heat over the driver and front passenger’s heads.

The Stelvio is available in seven flavors ranging from the basic rear-wheel-drive Stelvio, at $42,695 to the top-of-the-line 505-horsepower Quadrifoglio that lists at $82,095.

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