We Drive It: The 2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce AWD – Proof That The Italian Driving Soul Comes In Many Forms

We Drive It: The 2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce AWD – Proof That The Italian Driving Soul Comes In Many Forms

I’ve never been shy on sharing my feelings about the many vehicles that occupy the CUV category of automobile which now represents the largest segment of the American buyers market for new cars. There have been some notable exceptions and fun surprises like the Ford Escape ST, but the majority of these vehicles fail to entertain or even entice me to recommend them to people. Why? In so many cases, other styles perform better in almost every measurable way from comfort to storage, to even driving dynamics, but, and this is a fun but, I’ll always enter any driving experience with an open mind. The 2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce AWD is the reason for this. By far and away the most comfortable, best performing CUV we have ever gotten our hands on, let’s dive into what makes this Italian important so much better than the rest.

It all starts on the outside and the first impression that the Stelvio Veloce gives off is one that no other CUV can match. Our test model had a base price of $49,725 and an as-tested price of $59,045. Yes, some $10,000 in optional equipment was added on top of the sticker and the vast majority of it elevated the experience for us as it would for an owner. The Alfa Rosso paint was a $500 up-charge and the red leather sport seats, which were very, very good, were an additional $750. The Veloce AWD package ($1,800) added the gloss black body kit, power adjustable seat bolsters, a limited slip differential, power passenger seat, blacked out grille, and the large aluminum paddle shifters behind the wheel. A $2,225 premium interior and sound package was added which added a leather dash and upper doors along with a Harman and Kardon 14-speaker sound system. A $700 Active assist plus package brought on a host of river supplement and aids like lane keeping assist, blind spot assist, the Alfa-Connect service, an anti-theft system and more. The upgraded 21-inch, signature Alfa five-hole wheels were shod in 255/40/R21 all season tires for $1,750, and this also included the pleasing gloss red brake calipers.

So that’s how the $59,000 price as achieved, but does the car live up to the price tag?

In short? Yes. Part of the reason I feel so definitive about this is the fact that I typically lament the lack of any sort of payoff from vehicles priced within $10-$15k of the Stelvio Veloce AWD. The styling of the Stelvio is very nice. It has aggressive lines that also flow very well, the signature grille is an attention getter, and the very nice stance and overall look of this vehicle stand up to the asking price. But it has to go beyond that. The 280hp 2.0L turbocharged four-cylinder engine, especially when engaged in sport mode is a perfectly feisty little beast. Backed by an eight speed transmission that is responsive and instantly reactive to inputs from the paddle shifters, you can literally drive this car like a little short wheelbase sports car and completely lose the fact you are in a CUV, it is that fun. Performance? The Stelvio Velove AWD will run the quarter-mile in 14.0-seconds and given the right conditions it will run into the 13s for sure. The torque band of the engine is very, very flat as should be expected in a turbocharged application, which means there’s a well of power to stick your foot into through the entire sweep of the tach.

Lastly, unlike so many four cylinder CUV entries, the engine is a willing partner in your pursuits. It is not moaning, screaming, or otherwise making noise and providing nothing back for all the racket. The engine sings through the rev range and sounds properly Italian. There’s enough sound dampening to know that the little mill is working but not so much that people will be wondering what all the fuss is about.

As I have said so many times before, if there is one place where you need to feel like your money is being spent wisely in this market, it’s the interior. Here, the Stelvio Veloce shines and shines again. The red leather seats up front were bolstered very well and were adjustable in all the ways to make drivers of any size comfortable. The screen is on on the small side for a vehicle of this price range but it is tastefully located in the dash and does not appear to be an afterthought as in so many other examples. The interface for using the screen is good with a rotating wheel that’s intuitive and easy to use. The steering wheel is thick and the steering is weighted suitably to allow a good performance feedback to the driver. HVAC and things like the seat heater control were easy to use and simply to reach. A normal shifter as a fine sight to see in the center console.

If there’s one pinch we have to give the Stelvio it is in the spaciousness of the back seat area. Yes, the driver and passenger can snug up to provide more room but with the sloping roofline and compact nature of the passenger compartment, this can get tight for larger passengers. Kids, car seats, and all of that action would be content as the day is long, but larger or older adults may not love this element of the Stelvio. If you regularly are hauling larger people, make sure you have them along on your test drive and get them into the back of the car to insure comfort and fitment.

The Stelvio has plenty of cargo room behind the rear seat, so much in fact that it almost seems a shame the rear seat could not be back an additional 2″ to free up more leg room. As you can see from this photo, it seems that the wheelbase/wheel wells prevented any more rearward expansion of the rear seating. The good news is that all the groceries, sports gear, and holiday gifts you can dream up will land back here with ease.

If there is a single element we loved the most about the Stelvio Veloce AWD it was this 2.0L 280hp engine. The tight gearing of the eight speed and the 306 pound-feet of torque that’s on top instantly, seemingly, takes your “normal” CUV and makes it fun. Pair this engine with perhaps the single best tuned suspension system in the whole class of cars it competes in and now you’ve got perhaps the first CUV I ever found myself leaving the house to drive for driving’s sake. Clearly the team at Alfa Romeo who was on this project has the enthusiasm for driving that we all share here and it showed. This car, unlike so many in the class, is not a commodity, it is an experience and a very good one at that.

Final verdict. If you are looking into a CUV as your next means of family or personal propulsion and you do not shop the 2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Veloce AWD you are cheating yourself out of perhaps the best example you can buy today. Passengers, friends, and of course those of us who spent the week in the machine were highly impressed with every aspect of the experience. it turns heads, can plant your backside in the seat, and can make you lean into apexing corners for fun…in a CUV. We’ve never driven another one like it.

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