Reviews

LAST UPDATED:  March 16, 2021

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Reliability

Fire, thankfully, isn’t one of the Stelvio’s issues.

Entering our 7th season of /DRIVE on NBC Sports, and with millions of YouTube and Facebook followers, The Drive is a leading authority of all things automotive.

The Drive on NBC The Drive on YouTube The Drive on Facebook

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

PUBLISHED ON March 16, 2021

2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
FCA US LLC—Copyright © 2019 FCA US LLC. All Rights Reserved.

The Drive and its partners may earn a commission if you purchase a product through one of our links. Read more.

Alfa Romeo’s return to the United States was one of initial pomp and circumstance, followed by fizzling sales. Definitely not the way Fiat Chrysler, now Stellantis, envisioned. Rhyme or reason to the lower-than-expected public acceptance of the brand isn’t yet understood, but lingering notions of poor reliability from the brand’s pre-return could be a factor.

Today, The Drive’s looking at the reliability of one of Alfa Romeo’s new offerings, the Stelvio SUV. More compact than its American counterparts, the Stelvio is a four-door, coupe-like SUV that features both frugal and righteous engines, Italian styling, competitive pricing, and a nice interior. 

How it fairs in reliability is the question, though, and we’re going to get into the nitty-gritty right now. Let’s dive in. 

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

Endurance

Save $350 on an Endurance warranty plan with coupon code: DRIVE350

Going with a factory extended warranty is a good option for basic protection, but you can get more and save more with Endurance, ranked the top extended warranty provider by Consumer Advocates, Consumer Affairs, and Retirement Living.

Get a Free Quote

Save $350 with coupon code: DRIVE350

<br>

CarShield

CarShield — USA’s #1 Auto Protection Provider

CarShield pays claims directly to a US or Canadian ASE-Certified® repair facility of your choice. Our contracts have low or no deductibles to prevent stress to your wallet at a critical time. Never worry about being stranded somewhere after a breakdown. All of our vehicle repair contracts include towing services to transport you and your vehicle to a safe repair facility.

Get a Free Quote

<br>

Carchex

Nationwide coverage for cars new and old

CARCHEX has something for everyone. Have an old car? No problem. Live in California? Not an issue. CARCHEX 's plethora of warranty plans includes options for cars up to twenty years old with up to 250,000 miles, regardless of any existing or expired warranties. Click below or call 1-877-207-3304 for a free quote.

Get a Free Quote

What Makes a Reliable Brand?

Reliability depends on a host of variables, but the two biggest structural supports are the development and manufacturing of a vehicle. When auto manufacturers spend the time and money developing a car and its manufacturing line, a car tends to last longer. Hastily designed, poorly manufactured, and cheaply constructed materials will all reduce a car’s longevity and reliability.

There’s also a work ethic variable that cannot be ignored. Honda and Toyota’s cultures of reliability-over-all embody that ethic and have thus kept each’s legendary reliability in the minds of consumers for decades. Lexus spent 15 years creating the perfect paint, for goodness’ sake. Add longer-than-normal warranties and good customer service, and it’s easy to see why these Japanese companies have enjoyed their strong standings for so long.

Yet, once a car leaves the dealership lot, outside factors impact a car’s durability.

What Impacts a Car’s Reliability

Short answer: you. The longer answer is a car’s reliability and longevity are inextricably tied to how you take care of your vehicle, your maintenance schedule (if you have one), your conservative or brash driving habits, and whether or not you live in climates where extreme weather could affect the car’s construction.

Preemptive maintenance like regular oil changes, fluid flushes, tire rotation, and fuel system cleaners, along with keeping the exterior and underside of your car clean, will all increase the life expectancy of your car. Keeping it out of the harsh desert or tropical sun, as well as away from the rust-inducing salted roadways of winter, will also extend its life.

And lastly, keeping the Mario Andretti driving antics to a minimum will keep your brakes, engine, tires, and chassis under-stressed and happy for far longer compared to hitting every trip to the grocery store like it’s the Indy 500. 

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Specs

Vehicle Type: SUV

Doors: 4

Engine options: 2.0 L TBI-M T4 Multiair turbo I4 petrol, 2.9 L F154 twin turbo V6 petrol

Total internal combustion range: 287-388 miles

Is The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Reliable?

As detailed above, reliability is generally something that depends on the person, the car, and the situation, so we can’t make a definitive statement that the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is reliable or unreliable. 

To better assess its reliability, however, we’ve assembled several data points from numerous sources to present you with as much information as possible. Let’s start with common problems, as told by comments listed in the Stelvio’s National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) archives.

The Stelvio’s NHTSA History

As collected by the NHTSA, these are the Stelvio’s issues throughout the years.

2020

Recall: 0

Complaints: 0

2019

Recall: Fuel Gauge May Read Higher Than Actual Level, Adaptive Cruise Control May Fail To Deactivate, Coolant Hose may Leak Causing Stall

Complaints: 4

2018

Recall: Fuel Gauge May Read Higher Than Actual Level, Adaptive Cruise Control May Fail To Deactivate, Coolant Hose may Leak Causing Stall, Engine Misfire May Cause Heat Damage, Water Leak at Front of Vehicle, Rear Liftgate May Open Unexpectedly, Windshield Wipers Limited to Low Speed/FMVSS 104, Contaminated Brake Fluid may Affect Braking

Complaints: 27

Common Alfa Romeo Stelvio Problems and Repair Costs

As with other car brands, not all Stelvio’s are built to the same exacting standards. Here’s a quick rundown of problematic issues, customer complaints, and repair costs that will help you make the best decision when purchasing your next car.

Fuel System Issues

Repair Costs: Unknown, according to NHTSA.

Customer Complaint:

“The contact owns a 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio. The contact stated that occasionally the vehicle suddenly loss motive power and failed to accelerate. The failure occurred intermittently however, the failure mostly occurred while starting the vehicle. The contact stated that he learned of a known issue with the direct injection within the engine. The contact contacted Fullerton Alfa Romeo (1034 us-22, Somerville, NJ 08876, (877)463-1821) who stated that the mechanic was unable to identify the cause of the failure. The dealer was unable to duplicate the failure and cleared some unknown diagnostic trouble codes. The failure persisted. The manufacturer was made aware of the issue and opened a case. The manufacturer recommended that a complaint be filed with NHTSA. The approximate failure mileage was 20,000.” 

Acceleration and Electrical Issues

Repair Costs: Unknown, according to NHTSA.

Customer Complaint:

“With only 11,000 miles the vehicle has received four major repairs, two incidents could have resulted in an accident.

  1. Blind-spot monitoring system; one day in repair shop.
  2. No radio or navigation system; one day in repair shop.
  3. Seizing-up or locking off right-rear brake pad that grinder into brake rotor. This made steering difficult. Vehicle was in repair shop for one week.
  4. Malfunction of start & stop system, and electronic throttle control while driving in rush hour interstate traffic; nearly disabling vehicle in traffic. Speed limited was reduced to 25mph in a 65mph highway. Car was disabled for a few hours but errors mysteriously went away. During this event we discovered the Alfa Romeo in our residence closed with no notification. If vehicle remained disabled the next option will be too tow the vehicle to Omaha, NE.”

Brake Issues

Repair Costs: Unknown, according to NHTSA.

Customer Complaint:

“Alfa Romeo Stelvio when driving in heavy traffic at highway speeds, accelerating and braking occur together and often, the engine will cut off and all systems become inoperable. Stop/start system failure symbol appears on screen. This will occur when stop/start system despite having disengaged by pressing button on dashboard.

It takes several seconds for the engine to come back on. During this interval, the car can not be controlled. Car is moving but can’t be controlled by driver.

Alfa Romeo customer center is aware of problem but says there is no fix available at this although they have known about it for some time. In my opinion is this an extremely dangerous situation and an immediate recall is needed to prevent serious injury/damage. Recall is necessary to fit this problem immediately. This has happened more than once.”

JD Power Consumer Reliability Score

According to JD Power, this score, “Measures the level of defects, malfunctions and design flaws experienced by vehicle owners. Covers the entire vehicle from engine to infotainment system. A higher rating means fewer problems.” 

2021: NA/100

2020: NA/100

2019: 73/100

2018: NA/100

FAQs About the Alfa Romeo Stelvio

You’ve got questions, The Drive has answers!

Q: Is The Stelvio Expensive To Maintain?

A: It can be. With any and all new models, there are birthing issues, and that’s especially true with Alfa Romeo. It will depend on a variety of factors, though, so your individual experience may vary.

Q: How Many Miles Does a Stelvio Last?

A: As the SUV is still somewhat new to the market, it’s unclear how long it will last. That said, modern automobiles are designed to last for over 200,000 miles as a baseline.

Q: Are Repairs Expensive on the Stelvio?

A: They can be. As the car is built in Italy, with all its parts being sourced from Europe and the smaller than average footprint of Alfa Romeo in the United States, parts and repairs can be expensive depending on what needs to be repaired. Supply chain issues can also abound, unlike that of larger manufacturers. 

Video

EXTENDED WARRANTY COVERAGE MORE … FOR LESS

Endurance

Save $350 on an Endurance warranty plan with coupon code: DRIVE350

Going with a factory extended warranty is a good option for basic protection, but you can get more and save more with Endurance, ranked the top extended warranty provider by Consumer Advocates, Consumer Affairs, and Retirement Living.

Get a Free Quote

Save $350 with coupon code: DRIVE350

<br>

CarShield

CarShield — USA’s #1 Auto Protection Provider

CarShield pays claims directly to a US or Canadian ASE-Certified® repair facility of your choice. Our contracts have low or no deductibles to prevent stress to your wallet at a critical time. Never worry about being stranded somewhere after a breakdown. All of our vehicle repair contracts include towing services to transport you and your vehicle to a safe repair facility.

Get a Free Quote

<br>

Carchex

Nationwide coverage for cars new and old

CARCHEX has something for everyone. Have an old car? No problem. Live in California? Not an issue. CARCHEX 's plethora of warranty plans includes options for cars up to twenty years old with up to 250,000 miles, regardless of any existing or expired warranties. Click below or call 1-877-207-3304 for a free quote.

Get a Free Quote