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Driving report: Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.2 Diesel: Exciting finale

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Alfa Romeo also wants to become electric step by step in the coming years. However, those who want to enjoy the beautiful mid-range crossover Stelvio can still do so for one more product cycle. The latest facelift gives the diesel engine one last chance, combining driving pleasure and economy.

It was only a few years ago that nothing was possible without a suitable diesel engine, especially with SUVs like the Stelvio. How times can change, because today many brands want nothing more to do with the efficient self-igniting technology, at least officially. Quite different with Alfa Romeo, because the northern Italians still play a significant role in the high-torque common rail diesels – also because hybrid and electric models like those offered by the competitors – are missing in their own portfolio for the time being. The latest facelift makes the well-known chic Stelvio a little better and gives diesel fans one last chance for the high-torque engine.

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Unfortunately, 2.2 liters of displacement means only four combustion chambers and not a magnificent half dozen as available on the Audi Q5 or BMW X3 / X4. However, this is particularly annoying at higher speeds on country roads and highways, because then it gets quite thin for the 4.69 meter long Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.2 diesel. Anyone who presses the starter button on the non-slip leather steering wheel will feel the diesel immediately, because the cylinder quartet is anything but a quiet stroller. Acoustically present – with cold and warm engine. The engine is mandatory combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission from ZF and all-wheel drive, which prefers to deliver its power to the rear axle and only engages the two front wheels when driving dynamics and the underbody require it. The engine is a bit too loud, especially under load, but it is also powerful enough to keep the 1.8-ton all-wheel drive SUV moving quickly.

The maximum torque of 470 Nm is available from 1,750 rpm. There is no need to intervene in the switching operations of the eight-stage converter. Thanks to the best traction, it goes from a standing start to 100 km/h in 6.6 seconds. However, one would have expected a little more from the top speed, but a top speed of 215 km/h is okay, but can hardly impress in view of the 210 hp. This also applies to the standard consumption, while 6.1 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers are always little enough to dreamily wish the old diesel boom back. One strength of the Stelvio 2.2 diesel, which costs at least 57,650 euros, has remained through the facelift: the chassis and adaptive dampers. Because the weight distribution fits, the curb weight is not opulent in this league either, so the Italo SUV drives more dynamically and better than some of its competitors. The steering works well in the hands of the driver, especially at low and medium speeds, and the chassis tuning still offers enough residual comfort even with the optional 20-inch wheels. The space is okay, although it could be a bit more lavish in the rear.

The Stelvio presented in 2017 was not particularly convincing with its displays and controls. Finally there are contemporary animated digital clocks that only come to life in the two half-cavities when entering the car and an enlarged central display for navigation, sound system and operation. That’s bigger and better than before, but still not at the level of many a competitor. Admittedly, not everything can be completely redesigned with a facelift. At least it’s better than before. This also applies to the headlight eyes, which illuminate the area in front of the Alfa long overdue adaptive LED technology. The Alfa SUV not only leaves a radiant impression with the new lights.

Source: Stern

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