Climbing into the cabin, the revisions are immediately obvious. Even compared to our long-term Stelvio Quadrifoglio, the improvement in interior build quality is tangible, with tactile materials and soft close catches on the glovebox and centre console.
Sitting behind the steering wheel is a new 7-inch instrument cluster, while in the middle of the dash is the new, now-standard 8.8-inch TFT multi-touch display. The screen is not only larger but also more accessible, with the standard list graphics replaced by interactive widgets, more similar to those of a smart phone. Equally, the maps are no longer vertically stunted by menu bars along the bottom of the screen, allowing for a more comprehensive view of the landscape. The touchscreen is certainly useful at a stop, but for on the move, Alfa has retained the centre console mounted dial, which offers a soft but discernible click as you scroll through the options.
As well as a reversing camera, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, you now get Alfa Romeo’s ‘Connected Services’. Included in this suite is the ‘my assistant’ emergency function, which automatically contacts the emergency services in case of accident, the ‘my remote’ app, allowing drivers to unlock their car or activate the lights from a distance, and the ‘my Wi-Fi’ service, allowing the onboard Wi-Fi to be shared with eight devices. Joining these functions in 2020 will be ‘my theft assistance’, which alerts the owner of any attempt to steal the car, and ‘my navigation’, which will search for and navigate to a destination, using real-time traffic, weather and speed camera alerts.
Alcantara leather with contrast stitching adorns the seats, dash and automatic gear shift – all variants of the Stelvio are mated to a smooth eight-speed automatic gearbox, controlled by a centralised shift and flappy paddles behind the wheel. While the auto box does a marvellous job left to its own devices right, the paddles offer an immediate and engaging shift – you can’t help but use them.