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Tuesday, November 30, 2021

Nearly-new buying guide: Alfa Romeo Stelvio

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However, while the Quadrifoglio undoubtedly the most impressive, you’ll enjoy crisp handling from any Stelvio. It steers remarkably well with a typically quick and accurate rack and handles with a fluidity that’s rare for an SUV.

The downside is a fairly firm ride, which some may genuinely find too firm, along with poor refinement.

Another reason the Stelvio has never quite stood beside the Audi Q5 and BMW X3 is its interior. The dashboard and its surroundings are attractively finished, but the materials that you’ll regularly touch feel particularly low-rent. An upside shared with those rivals, mind, is infotainment controlled by a dial on the centre console, not your fingers.

Rear space is slightly limited and that attractive roofline eats into head room, but the boot is reasonably big.

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Need to know

Alfa Romeo and dependability historically went together like chocolate and a summer’s day, but its newer cars seem to fare better. Even so, Alfa finished 25th out of 31 brands in the latest What Car? Reliability Survey. A three-year, unlimited-mileage warranty from new is standard for the Stelvio.

All models are four-wheel-drive apart from the entry-level diesel, which is rear-wheel drive. But if you want a diesel, go for the more impressive 207bhp model, which is also the most efficient Stelvio.

A facelift this year changed the trim levels to Super, Sprint, Lusso Ti and Veloce, but won’t find many of these on the used market yet.

Our pick

2.0 Turbo 280 Speciale: This has crisp handling, zingy performance and loads of kit. The truth is that all of the Stelvio’s engines are impressive, but the miracle of used prices starting at this punchy petrol makes it a no-brainer.

Wild card

Quadrifoglio: If the 2.0 Turbo 280 is a jalfrezi, this is a nameless, special-order-only dish that only locals are allowed: 0-62mph in 3.8sec, a 176mph top speed and a formerly record-setting Nürburgring time.

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