Alfa Romeo’s Stelvio SUV and Giulia sports sedan are related products here in the U.S. They’re both a lot of fun to drive, but a little bit cramped, hard to see out of, not particularly easy to use in terms of the multimedia, and hit-or-miss on interior quality. Those are things the Giulia can get away with because driving fun is really important for a sedan, but that’s less so for an SUV, where people expect more usability and practicality. To that end, Alfa Romeo has made a bunch of updates to the Stelvio, and we checked them out at the 2020 Chicago Auto Show.
Related: More 2020 Chicago Auto Show Coverage
Styling changes are light, and the chassis and powertrains carry over, Alfa Romeo says, culminating in the 505-horsepower Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Inside, the big news is with the multimedia system: Gone are the 2019 model’s 6.5- or 8.8-inch non-touch displays that only operated through a knob controller at armrest level. In their place is an 8.8-inch touchscreen that Alfa Romeo says works a lot faster thanks to quicker processing than before. It also can split the screen into three different sections of content versus the one section before. Some of the information, like the map, can be displayed on the full screen as opposed to just a hemmed-in portion. Apple CarPlay, in our experience, also worked across the full screen, which is always nice to see on something that’s a little larger than normal. In general, everything seemed to work reasonably quickly.
In the Giulia, Alfa Romeo carved a new bin ahead of the cupholders that added some much-needed cargo storage. That’s arguably even more important in an SUV; unfortunately, the Stelvio only gets a little new nook to the right of the gear selector, which has a new leather wrapping around it. There are also new materials around the steering wheel that Alfa Romeo says have a richer feel than before. Still, there are some rickety controls and hit-or-miss cabin materials, but the changes that were made are welcome ones.
The updated 2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio is on sale now. Get the rest of my thoughts about it by watching the video below.
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