Alfa Romeo Stelvio Sprint review: We test drive the 2.2-litre turbo diesel with a top speed of 130mph


YES, 2030 is coming. But we are not there yet – and many of us still need a good, clean mile-munching diesel to get about, without having to settle for overpriced coffee at the services two or three times a day.

You will be wanting an SUV as well, so how about a Stelvio? Perhaps not the obvious go-to . . . but indulge me.

There are two power choices from Alfa’s 2.2-litre diesel engine – 190 or 210 Italian horses

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There are two power choices from Alfa’s 2.2-litre diesel engine – 190 or 210 Italian horses

You have two power choices from Alfa’s 2.2-litre diesel engine – 190 or 210 Italian horses.

But 190 is all you need.

The punching power from the volcano of torque makes this engine shine.

Overtaking is easy.

Towing is easy. I averaged a real-world 43mpg.

From the moment you climb aboard and press the start button on the steering wheel you know it’s something special

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From the moment you climb aboard and press the start button on the steering wheel you know it’s something special

Other SUV reviews often say “drives well . . . for an SUV”.

Stelvio drives well, period.

The only reminder you are in a car like this is when you look out the window and DOWN over Mr and Mrs 3 Series.

From the moment you climb aboard, press the start button on the steering wheel and get those 19in alloys rolling, you know it’s something special.

The Stelvio is all-wheel drive but power only goes to the front wheels when the car detects the need.

The Stelvio is all-wheel drive but power only goes to the front wheels when the car detects the need

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The Stelvio is all-wheel drive but power only goes to the front wheels when the car detects the needCredit: simon thompson

It is basically a rear-wheel drive car that can climb the mountains to Base Top at ZipWorld.

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The interior is pure Italian craftsmanship – leather seats; sweeping lines across the dash; actual metal flappy paddles; top-quality materials all screwed together well.

There is even a pressed Italian flag by the gear selector to remind you, plus a configurable touchscreen that blends cleanly into the dash.

Choose from red or brown – sorry, “Mocha” – leather seats for a touch more of La Dolce Vita.

Safety kit includes blind-spot and cross-traffic monitoring for reversing out of Sainsbury’s, radar cruise control, front collision sensor, traffic sign recognition and lane departure.

(Extra brownie points for the lane departure you only need to turn off once and never think about again.)

The interior is pure Italian craftsmanship with leather seats and sweeping lines across the dash

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The interior is pure Italian craftsmanship with leather seats and sweeping lines across the dash

And then you have the looks.

Watching people watch you as you glide by is all you need to know it passes that test.

Annoyances? More like observations, really.

The fuel-saving coasting needs tweaking.

At low speeds, the engine re-engages in a gear too lo

The steering is beautiful but takes getting used to.

The Stelvio is basically a rear-wheel drive car that can climb the mountains to Base Top at ZipWorld

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The Stelvio is basically a rear-wheel drive car that can climb the mountains to Base Top at ZipWorld

The smallest adjustment to the wheel will see you change direction more than expected, and faster.

If you can, opt for the sports seats.

They are comfier, look better and you sit a little lower.

Alfa will give you a deposit contribution and zero per cent APR on a PCP deal right now.

Name me another SUV that drives as well, looks this good inside and out, is basically rear-wheel drive, has the option of diesel, the badge to pull the heart strings, all the kit and tech you could want . . . and the price starts with a four.

You can’t.

Key facts: Alfa Romeo Stelvio Sprint

Price: £44,510

Engine: 2.2-litre turbo diesel

Power: 190hp, 450Nm

0-62mph: 7.6 secs

Top speed: 130mph

Economy: 47 mpg

CO2:157g/km

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