Find out what makes the Stelvio the perfect SUV for a family trip in the mountains…
We’ve just returned from a fabulous weekend away in the mountains with friends and family, armed with Alfa Romeo’s first SUV, the Stelvio Q4!
As we journeyed out of Cape Town, off the tar and onto gravel, right through the Ouberg Pass, we found ourselves quite at home, despite landing up at our destination, which quite literally happened to be in the middle of nowhere.
I was accompanied by a friend of mine and her two-year-old, and when you’re travelling long distances off the beaten track, your vehicle of choice has a lot to do with the success of a such a trip. Thankfully, the Stelvio proved to be many of the things that Alfa Romeo claims it to be: comfortable, spacious, enjoyably driver-friendly and its premium styling makes it look good, even after a good run through the dirt roads.
After a successful weekend away with the Stelvio, my ‘mommy-friend’ and I have noted five things that we think women will love about the Stelio…
1. Boot space for days
If you’re anything like my friend, you practically bring the entire house with you when travelling with your little ones. “Don’t freak out when you see how much luggage we have,” she warned. I sure did freak out. Camp cots, prams, bedding and what looked like the whole of Baby City needed to come with us. Also important was that our supply of Chenin Blanc needed to remain in tact in their boxes. What a relief that the Stelvio’s boot capacity of 525 litres competes with the best in its segment, so we could easily transport our precious cargo. Its electronic tailgate makes it even more convenient while we were loading and offloading various heavy items.
2. Top class safety systems
It’s not an easy thing to let someone else take control of the wheel when your little one is onboard, but innovative engineering for unbeatable safety meant that my friend felt more than comfortable with me behind the wheel. It also put her mind at ease when I mentioned that the Stelvio boasts world-class safety systems and that it achieved a Euro NCAP 5-star rating. Some of these safety systems include an Integrated Brake System, Forward Collision Warning and Autonomous Emergency Brake with pedestrian detection, Lane Departure Warning, Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross-Path Detection and Active Cruise Control.
Despite the numerous and unexpected roadworks, traffic jams and some scary looking road accident scenes that we encountered along the way, we felt very protected for the duration of the trip and reached our destination safely and comfortably.
3. It’s like driving on air
Extensive use of lightweight materials like carbon fibre and aluminum, balanced weight distribution, state-of-the-art suspension and direct steering ratio, makes you feel like you’re driving on air when you’re in the Stelvio. It’s light and quick, making Alfa Romeo’s element of ‘Italian fun’ easily achievable if you want it. On the highways, it offers efficient drivability that makes it effortless to overtake slow-moving vehicles. Off-road is where the Stelvio really impressed us. Despite an extremely uneven surface and rough gravel terrain for extended periods, we very comfortably managed to keep our two-year-old passenger in the depths of his peaceful slumber.
4. Identifiably Alfa
Women love an SUV that looks as good as it feels to drive, and it’s not always easy to find one that offers both. The Stelvio pulls both of these desirables off and presents itself as a sporty yet sophisticated SUV that is identifiably Alfa Romeo, despite it being Alfa’s first SUV. Its Italian flair is strong both outside and inside, and seeing it in its best-suited environment while on driving through the Ouberg Pass had me stopping every ten minutes for some photos to capture its looks.
5. Comfortable, no matter the distance
The Stelvio presents a refined and lush interior that offers oodles of space and comfort, from soft and supportive leather seats to loads of storage compartments such as big door bins, cup holders and other hidden compartments.
Also read: Car Review: The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Q4
It’s swopping dashboard elegantly brings everything together to make it not only a visually appealing place to be, but a generously spacious one too. At the back, leg and headroom isn’t limited, while we easily managed to fit a large baby seat, as well as two adults, without any complaints (for 20 km’s of gravel too!)