It’s roomy, too; there’s enough head- and legroom in the second row to ensure two adults will be able to sit in comfort over a longer journey, while it’s 525-litre boot is larger than a Porsche Macan’s (500 litres) and only marginally smaller than an Audi Q5’s (550 litres).
So as a premium offering, the Stelvio Speciale is a bit hit and miss. The likes of BMW, Porsche and Audi all have it licked as far as perceived and realised quality and finish are concerned.
Out on the road, though, it remains a very compelling thing indeed. Knock the DNA drive mode selector into ‘Dynamic’, and and the Stelvio’s already prevalent sense of urgency will be amplified.
Doing so will add a bit more heft to the steering rack, which, at 2.25 turns lock-to-lock, lends the Stelvio a front end that’s incredibly keen on the idea of changing directions quickly, throttle response will become more immediate, and gear changes much snappier. As adaptive dampers aren’t a standard feature here, the ride won’t be affected; which is a good thing, as there’s a noticeable fidgetiness at town speeds. But get the Stelvio out on a faster, stretch of B-road, where more energy can through the suspension as the car interacts with the topography of the road, and the Stelvio will start to shine.
With a fair lick on, the inherent stiffness of the Stelvio’s set-up makes for closely-controlled vertical movements over undulating surfaces, but equally doesn’t give way to any uncouth crashing over cats-eyes or pock-marks. The restrained fashion in which lateral roll is doled out makes for impressive composure through quick-fire directional changes, too.
The 2.0-litre petrol engine, meanwhile, is impressively enthusiastic, if a little lacking on an outright sense of theatre. But for a degree of lag, it’ll pull tenaciously from about 2000rpm, and will continue to do so right until the point it hits its limiter at 6000rpm. And you’ll tease that limiter time and time again, too; this engine certainly isn’t averse to being thrashed.
Left to its own devices, the eight-speed ZF transmission will swap cogs out with an impressive sense of fluency, but opting to change ratios yourself via the beautifully tactile paddleshifters is far more preferable. The Stelvio isn’t afraid to show off the rear-drive bias of its Q4 all-wheel-drive system either; with little in the way of coaxing required to see the back end step out of line.