Alfa Romeo is not the first marque beloved by purists to fall for the financial temptations of the rampant SUV segment. BMW, Jaguar and Porsche were all quicker on the draw and have benefited significantly as a result.

However, we’d suggest that none of those companies has been as successful as Alfa Romeo in translating its brand values to an elevated platform – and certainly not at the first attempt.

Spry-handling SUV is likeable, if short of the class’s usual refinements

The Stelvio is unusually attractive among its vanilla peers and unusually rewarding to drive. Its interior quality needs work but its powertrain is compelling and it undercuts premium rivals on price too. It will find numerous buyers, and rightly so, but in the future, the question is likely to be whether it could have found many more.

Alfa Romeo has achieved a rare dynamic feat in tuning the way its first SUV handles, but this has come at the cost of ride refinement, which is a price that many potential customers may be unwilling to pay. Subsequent iterations will need to address this before the Stelvio challenges for class honours.

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Explore the Alfa Romeo range

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Explore the Alfa Romeo range