Parkers overall rating: 3.7 out of 5 3.7

Should you buy an Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV?

Alfa Romeo's Stelvio is an SUV that those with a keener interest in driving should definitely look at. We would seriously consider choosing one over a Jaguar F-Pace for the way it drives, although perhaps not over a Porsche Macan

The Stelvio’s driving experience is good, but doesn’t quite get under your skin in the same way as the brilliant Porsche, which also manages to blend comfort and handling slightly better. Nevertheless, the Alfa is a touch more practical than the Porsche thanks to its more generous interior space and bigger boot. 

Interior quality was initially away from the best of its rivals, and most competitors offered a greater number of high-tech options. But you may find the design inside and out attractive enough to forgive this – and an update in 2020 certainly improved things in this regard, although not entirely fixing the problem.

However, what's not easy to ignore is the all-round talents of the BMW X3 and Audi Q5, or the Volvo XC60 for that matter. All three offer high-quality interiors with space for a family, practical boots and a wide range of engine and trim options that the Stelvio can't quite replicate. 

It's mainly the technological side where the Stelvio falls down. Even after the updates, the infotainment system feels a little behind its direct rivals with its dull touchscreen, dated graphics and cheap-feeling controls - especially when you line it up next Volvo's portrait touchscreen, BMW and Audi's highly-connected systems and Porsche's lovely widescreen display in the Macan.

But it is a very likeable vehicle overall, with a distinctive character and plenty of performance from most of its engines. It doesn't quite offer the refinement of its rivals, nor the interior quality, but it offers much more character. It's one for people who buy with their heart and not their head. But the good news is it's not as much of a compromise as you might think. It's more that the competition is incredibly accomplished.

Further reading:

>> How good is Alfa Romeo's Giulia sports saloon? Read our verdict

>> Would you trade sportiness for ruggedness? Here's Land Rover's Defender

>> Our Parkers star ratings explained