Alfa Romeo, one of the more intriguing divisions of Fiat Chrysler, arrived in the United States during the 2017 model year. Its Giulia sedan and Stelvio sport-utility vehicle compete with premium Japanese brands Lexus, Infiniti and Acura, as well as European stalwarts Mercedes-Benz, Jaguar, BMW, Audi and Porsche. The Alfa Romeos are loaded with sex appeal, performance and Italian style. It remains to be seen whether they can thrive in a very crowded U.S. market — especially the one where the Stelvio seeks a niche.
Having driven a number of high-end compact SUVs, as well as the Giulia, we had high expectations for the $61,090 Stelvio. It delivered. If there’s a compact SUV out there that’s as engaging to drive as the Stelvio is, we haven’t driven it yet. Frankly, we didn’t know an SUV that performs the way the Stelvio does was even possible, and certainly, most automakers don’t even try.