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Distinct style makes Alfa Romeo Stelvio superb SUV option

Alfa Romeo made a bold and impressive reentry into the U.S. market when it introduced the Guilia sedan. Now, with the 2018 Stelvio crossover available in Chicagoland, there’s a steady buzz building as the sleek SUV starts appearing on roads throughout the region.

The Stelvio crossover, based on the incredibly quick Guilia, enters the hottest market segment in the U.S. with great expectations that a superbly engineered mid-size SUV from the Italian-based manufacturer can win over Americans and gain just a slice of the enormously popular market.

Stunning Exterior

The Stelvio delivers the expected aesthetic reaction with a beautiful, flowing exterior style that is both stunning in stance and sophistication. Just the Stelvio’s visual appeal makes it worth the effort to seek out one of the regional dealership outlets in Chicago and suburban markets. Making it even more worth the effort is an attention-getting base model starting at $41,995, with an extra-equipped Ti version landing at $43,995.

Alfa Romeo understands the effects of its design efforts on the buying public and Stelvio does not disappoint. There’s nothing subtle here – nothing but power paired with elegance. The exterior design is an overall signature Italian blend of statement bulges, flowing curves, slender LEDs and an aggressive stance on standard 18-inch aluminum rims.

In front, the familiar, bold Alfa grille, with flat black crosshairs wrapped by an elegant metallic outline, demands attention among a slew of attention-grabbing front end design elements. The layered look of the grille dipping into the lower air intakes creates a visual from the apex of the sloping hood down to the pavement. On either side of the grille, and streaking out into the front wells, are distinctly styled headlamp treatments that provide LED illumination beneath the clear, chiseled lenses.

Powerhouse Performance

An aluminum 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine, delivering 280 horsepower with 306 pound-feet of torque, paired with a standard 8-speed automatic transmission, is available on both trim levels. Alfa says Stelvio offers a 0-60 mph in 5.4 seconds. All wheel drive is also standard.

If you plan to compare Stelvio to some of its segment competitors, it will no doubt come down to comparing performance output – but a bit of context should also be considered (besides base prices). The Stelvio’s turbo-four powerplant may not be comparable to the V6s offered by BMW X5, Mercedes-Benz GLE and Porsche Cayenne, which may deliver close to 300 hp each, but offer fewer pound-feet of torque that Stelvio provides.

Impressive Equipment

All Stelvio models come with forward collision warning with exquisite leather upholstery, a remote starter, push-button entry/start, power liftgate, auto-braking, bi-xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights and tail lamps, as well as rear parking proximity sensors. Upgrade to the higher-end Ti trim and you get sporty 19-inch rims, heated front seats and a heated steering wheel, wood interior trim, 8.8-inch dash display and front parking sensors.

There are two Sport Packages, $1,800 and $2,500, adding a sport suspension, larger wheels and tires, steering wheel paddle shifters, and specific trim items.

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is without doubt one of the most identifiable mid-sized crossovers on the road, which is hard to say for most in this crowded segment. Find your regional dealership and step into this SUV that provides all the Alfa DNA you could want in the Midwest.