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Environmental photo of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport, a white vehicle in a garage setting


2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport Test Drive Review

By Derek Shiekhi | September 10, 2020

When I was a kid, I learned about evolution in school and at home. Neither one of my parents were scientists, but my dad was constantly reconfiguring and adding on to our house. Our open patio soon became enclosed and sprouted a full bathroom. What was once our greenhouse quickly turned into an exercise room. Evolution at the Shiekhi household occurred in months, not millennia.

I've seen the Alfa Romeo Stelvio evolve at the same rapid pace. It entered the North American market as a 2018 model. Now, just two years later, it sports a variety of cosmetic updates and technological upgrades. Anodized Blue Metallic and Lunare White Metallic join the palette of colors available on the 2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport, which starts at $41,400. An array of standard and optional exterior appearance packages set it apart from its 2019 predecessor.

Alfa Romeo has refreshed the interior with new hardware as well as enhanced infotainment and safety features. I spent a week behind the wheel of a 2020 Ti Sport model ($59,745 as tested) learning more about how quickly the Stelvio has changed in such a short time.


2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport Exterior

View of the exterior of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport

Instead of giving the 2020 Stelvio a facelift with restyled headlights, taillights and front and rear bumpers, Alfa Romeo’s designers tweaked its accessories. The Sport, Ti, Ti Sport, Ti Sport Carbon and Ti Lusso trim levels come standard with body-color (which, in my case, was Alfa White) fender flares, side sills and rear fascia.

My test vehicle was dressed in the Nero Edizione Sport kit, which darkened the grille frame, mirror caps, badges, rear fascia trim panel and exhaust finishers. A set of equally dark 20-inch aluminum wheels surrounded by 255/45 Continental CrossContact tires completed my tester’s high-contrast ensemble. I’m not a Star Wars fan, but the words “Stormtrooper Couture” popped into my head every time I looked at my Stelvio press loaner.

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2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport Interior

Interior view of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport

It’s easier to spot the revisions Alfa Romeo made the 2020 Stelvio after you take a seat inside of it. Two of the major touchpoints have been redesigned. There’s a new three-spoke steering wheel with revised brightwork and grip sections starting at the nine and three o’clock positions and a new leather-wrapped shift lever. That sits in the middle of a visually overhauled center console that offers more storage space and an available wireless charging pad just ahead of the center armrest. That, along with the new Wi-Fi hotspot, made the new Stelvio’s cabin more convenient than ever.

The seven-inch thin-film transistor (TFT) multi-information screen between the tachometer and speedometer remains the same size, but Alfa Romeo has altered its graphics, design and layout for 2020. The 8.8-inch center touchscreen that used to be an option on some Stelvio models is now standard across the trim range. In addition to new graphics, it also gets new performance readouts and a larger navigation system display.

My tester put all of that useful tech in an attractive package. The bright red leather seats with eight-way power adjustability, manual thigh bolster and heating in the front row contrasted beautifully with the stark black and white exterior. A sculpted piece of aluminum trim stretched across most of the dashboard. Alfa Romeo’s generous box-ticking covered that and the upper door panels in leather with red stitching. Legroom was plentiful in the second row; headroom was abundant and only seemed to increase when I had the shade for the optional dual-pane sunroof open.

Loading my gear into the back of the Stelvio and securing it there was easy thanks to a hands-free power liftgate and the Security and Convenience Pack’s adjustable cargo rail system and net.

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2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport Powertrain

View of the engine block of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport

Before the Stelvio Ti Sport arrived in my driveway, I largely knew what to expect from it. I was aware that its turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine was carryover and routed its 280 horsepower and 306 lb-ft of torque through an eight-speed automatic transmission, carbon fiber driveshaft and standard all-wheel drive.

One thing I didn’t know was whether or not I would notice any significant performance difference between the 2020 Ti Sport and the more luxury-focused 2019 Ti Lusso model I tested last year. I was hoping that the newer Stelvio’s sport-tuned front suspension would feel sharper, more dialed in. To find out, I put my tester into Dynamic mode and took it out for a shakedown drive on Lime Creek Road, a serpentine stretch of asphalt that winds through Austin, Texas and is frequently populated with sports car drivers and motorcycle riders out to discover what their machines can do. I’m happy to report that the Ti Sport’s recalibrated front dampers and the Ti Sport Performance Package’s active suspension performed just how I hoped they would. The Stelvio handled with a welcome precision and directness. During certain transitions, I could clearly sense it shifting its weight from corner to corner.

Ample power was never out of reach, especially when I pulled back on the massive aluminum shift paddles behind the steering wheel. I only wish Alfa Romeo had gone even further and given the Ti Sport a more distinctive exhaust note and a brake pedal with a more pronounced initial bite.

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2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport Safety

View of the safety equipment in the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport

The combination of the Ti Sport’s standard safety equipment and the technologies bundled into the new Active Driver Assist Package gave me comprehensive protection.

Front and rear parking sensors, rain-sensing wipers and full-speed forward collision warning were no-cost features. My tester’s well-named options package added peace of mind in the form of automatic high beams, active blind spot assist, adaptive cruise control with stop, lane keep assist and other electronic safety nets.

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2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport Overall

Exterior view of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is still as curvaceous and beautiful as it was when it first came out, but in the two years since its debut, it’s evolved into a more technologically sophisticated machine. You can experience the new and improved 2020 Stelvio at an AutoNation Alfa Romeo dealership.

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2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport Specs

Layout

4-door, 5-passenger, AWD

Engine/Transmission

Turbocharged 2.0L I4, 280 hp, 306 lb-ft
eight-speed automatic

Mileage

17/23 mpg (city/hwy)

NHTSA Safety Rating

N/A


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