2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Episode 3704 , Episode 3717
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

While the Giulia did a lot to cement Alfa Romeo’s place in the euro luxury-sport market here, these days no brand can really compete stateside without an SUV. And indeed, the Stelvio was always a part of Alfa’s return strategy to America. So, let’s take a look at this upstart utility and find out why more familiar European brands should be getting a little nervous. 

The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio is indeed the right vehicle at the right time, as even with luxury-sport brands, utility vehicles continue to take sales away from sedans. So it’s not just a good idea for this re-emerging Italian brand, it’s really a necessity. 

And while no one may have seen that coming 20-years ago, it almost makes sense at this point; as car makers have been able to infuse utilities with the same amount of performance, comfort, style, and even efficiency as their 4-door siblings, while giving buyers more flexibility for carrying cargo.

Behind the wheel of this Italian two-row ute, things are very quiet and luxurious. It’s very stable; and like most of its competitors, drives more like a tall hatchback than a crossover-style utility.   

Seats are more than comfortable, but if you don’t mind a sportier ride, upgrading to the Ti Sport will get you some phenomenal sport seats. 

For now, all Stelvio’s come with a smooth-running 2.0-liter turbo I4 engine. It offers best in class standard horsepower at 280, accompanied by 306 lb-ft. of torque. At full song, it sounds more like an exotic 6 or even 8. In opposite fashion from the Giulia sedan that the Stelvio is based on, we’ll have to wait a little while longer for the high-performance Quadrifoglio version to arrive. 

Huge column-mounted paddle shifters are available to control the 8-speed automatic transmission with great precision; and if you ask for manual control, that’s what you get. All Stelvios are all-wheel-drive. 

It doesn’t feel leaps and bounds more spirited than the competition, at least without having the opportunity to drive them back to back; but it sure does feel hellaciously fast and super capable. 0-60 is 5.4-seconds, and only a few ticks behind the Giulia 2.0. 

Like Giulia, there’s a DNA drive mode selector. Leave it in Dynamic for the best results, and you won’t find the ride harsh at all.

Steering is quick, it feels planted and just right; with loads of grip for cornering. 

With Alfa’s Q4 all-wheel-drive system, the front wheels only are fed power when necessary, otherwise it operates as a rear-wheel-drive sportster. 

Now, Stelvio performs just fine in all other drive modes as well, it just kind of gives you the impression that’s not where it wants to be. 

At 111.0-inches, wheelbase is exactly the same as the Giulia, but with a little more material outbound, overall length comes in about two inches longer.

For the most part it shares the same aggressive face, but lines are a little more pronounced, especially down the sides. 

There are 9-different tire and wheel packages, ranging from standard 18s to 20s. 

Even the back end treatment is gorgeous. We almost whish Alfa would have just called it a Giulia wagon, even though we all know to most Americans that would kill it.

Base Stelvios come fairly well equipped, but most buyers will either travel down the Lusso or Sport road for upgrades that match their priorities; wood and nicer leather for the luxury-minded, aluminum trim for the sport-minded.

Like the Giulia, there are only minor traces of any Fiat-Chrysler lineage; materials and fit and finish are on par with European alternatives. It’s a very inviting space, with only a fussy electronic shifter to detract from the serenity. 

Rear seat room is not plentiful, but certainly doable for two adults. Capacity in the cargo hold, at 18.5 cubic-ft. is decent, but short of most rivals. Folding the rear seatback will expand the space to 56.5 cubic-ft.

Also like the Giulia sedan, the Stelvio is technically mid-size, but lies more in the middle ground between compact and middle-weight SUVs.    

Government Fuel Economy Ratings are 22-City, 28-Highway, and 24-Combined. For a reasonable Energy Impact Score of 13.7-barrels of yearly oil use with 6.0-tons of CO2 emissions. 

Stelvio base pricing is a very reasonable $42,990, though options are many and costly.  We figure most Stelvio’s will go for low to mid 50’s. 

According to the folks at Alfa, there was no point in adding yet another utility vehicle into a congested pool full of very nice import and domestic-branded luxury crossovers; unless it was the most powerful, highest-performing vehicle in its class. The 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio is just that.  It’s a fabulous effort. So, Alfa’s biggest challenge will be getting butts in seats to try it out. Once they do, Stelvio will sell itself. 


  • Engine: 2.0 liter
  • Horsepower: 280
  • Torque: 306 lb-ft.
  • 0-60 mph: 5.4 seconds
  • EPA: 22 mpg city / 28 mpg highway
  • Energy Impact: 13.7 barrels of oil/yr
  • CO2 Emissions: 6.0 tons/yr
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35

Goldilocks Approved: It Does Everything Just Right

Episode 4332
Auto Value and Bumper to BumperTire Rack "The Way Tire Buying Should Be"

These days, you don’t have to spend a ridiculous amount of money to get some real-deal AMG performance from Mercedes-Benz, as they’ve spread their high-performance love throughout their lineup. So, let’s go for some high-speed bargain hunting in the Mercedes-AMG CLA 35.

You may think of big cars and bigger horsepower when you hear AMG, but this updated 2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 4-door Coupe is certainly not a big car, yet there’s no doubt it packs a serious performance punch. The CLA is not the least expensive Mercedes you can currently buy in the U.S., but it is their lowest priced car, and it feels more right-size than small-size behind the wheel.

It’s a fun, enjoyable ride that lets you know what you’re in for right away with a nice raspy exhaust note at start up. Standard engine in the base CLA 250 is of course a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo, but it is ‘Benz’s latest with mild-hybrid assistance and a rating of 221-horsepower.

This CLA 35 is one of two AMG versions which cranks the turbo up to boost output to 302 horsepower and 295 lb-ft. of torque; the CLA 45 S, goes even further with a full rebuild to crank it up to 416 horsepower and 369 lb-ft. of torque. The CLA is front-wheel-drive based but is sending power to all four wheels by the time it leaves the AMG shop with performance-tuned AMG 4MATIC.

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Grille
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Profile
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Wheel
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Rear
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Rear
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge 2
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Grille2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Profile2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Wheel2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dead Rear2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 3/4 Rear2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Badge 2

AMG has done serious suspension tuning as well, and the great feedback that it provides through the AMG Performance steering wheel is a big part of this car’s fun-factor. But our test car came equipped with winter tires, which did hold us back a little bit through the cones at our Mason Dixon test track. Still, it felt both agile and fun and body roll was minimal. Not until we pushed hard could we really feel the lack of dry pavement grip from those tires. On the other hand, a few days after track day, we actually did have some winter weather to drive through and then we were very appreciative of the grip those winter tires provided.

With some assistance from AMG’s sweet launch control, which not only allowed us to launch at 3500 RPM with no wheel slip at all, but made sure the turbos were feeding full power, as we felt no turbo lag whatsoever on our quick 4.5-second trip to 60. AMG’s Speedshift eight-speed DCT lived up to its name, delivering quick and hard hits throughout the 13.1-second, 104 mph quarter-mile.

It’s a fun, enjoyable ride that lets you know what you’re in for right away with a nice raspy exhaust note at start up.

When it came time to remove speed in a hurry in our panic runs from 60 mph, those winter tires again played a factor, as the brakes felt very strong and there was very little nosedive but stops took a longer than expected 125 feet.

Now this 2nd generation CLA arrived for 2020, and for ’24 gets a subtle restyling at both ends. At the front, the grille has been redesigned, AMGs getting their own unique version with big vertical slats, prominent Mercedes star and subtle AMG badge. LED headlights are new, now labeled as High-Performance headlights, joined by upgraded rear taillights and a very aggressive looking AMG diffuser with big exhaust outlets. The back-up camera is smoothly hidden in a flip-out Mercedes badge. Multiple new wheel designs are available with sizes up to 19-inches.

2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Passenger Side Front
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dashboard
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Center Display 2
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Rear Seat
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Trunk
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Engine
2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Passenger Side Front2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Dashboard2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Center Display 22024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Rear Seat2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Trunk2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 Engine

Inside the CLA’s cabin, additional standard content includes a leather steering wheel and 10-inch media display. Both of which were already part of the AMG transformation, though AMG Line buyers can now add some heat elements to their sport steering wheel.

As we’ve seen with most Mercedes updates, both the virtual gauge cluster and the central touchscreen reside in a single housing mounted on top of the dash, upgraded with the latest MBUX software.

Pricing for the CLA 35 starts at $56,100, with the more powerful 45 S coming in at $66,550.

Bottom line, the folks in Stuttgart have given us a 2024 Mercedes-AMG CLA 35 that’s clearly better without messing it up. That’s certainly good news to us, as these days we seem to be getting less and paying more for just about everything. So, while you might not think the new CLA 35 sounds like a bargain, there is no better gateway into the amazing world of AMG performance.


  • Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder turbo
  • Horsepower: 416
  • 0-60 mph: 4.5 seconds
  • 60-0 Braking: 125 feet (avg)
  • MW Fuel Economy: 28.2 MPG (Premium)
  • Transmission: 8-speed dual-clutch automatic
  • Torque: 369 lb-ft.
  • 1/4 Mile: 13.1 seconds at 104 mph
  • EPA: 22 City / 29 Highway / 25 Combined