By Stewart Smith on 2017-02-27 - Stewart was the former motoring editor of the Coventry Telegraph and is now a freelance contributor to Eurekar. He is based in Scotland and specialises in First Drive reviews.
First Alfa Romeo SUV
ALFA ROMEO has launched the Stelvio, its first SUV and premiered last November at the Los Angeles Auto Show.
Its Euroepean debut comes just days before the Geneva Motor Show and in the UK the model will be available in three trim levels - Stelvio, Super and Tecnica.
Even the entry level Stelvio version will be well equipped with 17-inch alloy wheels, an 8.8-inch Alfa Connect 3D navigation system, eight-speaker audio system, sliding, reclining and height adjustable seats, integrated brake system, lane departure warning, forward collision warning with autonomous emergency brake and pedestrian detection.
It also includes parking sensors, cruise control, electric tailgate and dusk and rain sensors.
With a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine it offers 280bhp and the four-cylinder unit combines an automatic eight-speed transmission and Alfa's Q4 all-wheel drive system.
The engine gives acceleration claimed at zero to 62mph in just 5.7 seconds and on to a top speed of 143mph. CO2 emissions are rated at 161g/km which equates to 40.1mpg.
The Stelvio will also be available with a 2.2-litre diesel engine with two power outputs: 210bhp at launch and 180bhp following shortly after.
It is the first diesel engine in Alfa Romeo's history to be constructed entirely in aluminium and has just made its debut in the Giulia sports saloon.
The 210bhp 2.2-litre version reaches a top speed of 133mph and accelerates from zero to 62mph in 6.6 seconds. Official fuel economy is 58.9mpg with emissions of 127g/km.
The Stelvio features a lot of high tech equipment and the Alfa Connect system - developed in partnership with Magneti Marelli - has the latest-generation HMI interface controlled from a rotary pad on the centre console.
The infotainment system controls the DAB digital radio and also provides a Bluetooth system for hands-free communication and playing audio from USB and smartphones devices.
The entire Stelvio range is supplied as standard with an 8.8-in display with optional Connect 3D Nav which supplies navigation with high-resolution maps and high-speed route calculation.
An audio system featuring four woofers and four tweeters is alsp standard across the range.
Prices and a precise on sale date for the new Italian luxury SUV are still to be announced.
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