Car review roundup: reviews for Alfa Romeo and Kia
by Helen Jackson |
posted 27 June 2018
If you’ve noticed the elegant Alfa Romeo advert on ice featuring the Alfa Romeo Stelvio and wondered what it’s like to drive, run and generally maintain – then this roundup post is for you.
We’ve included the five-minute video review from our YouTube channel below. We’ve also included our most recent video review of the Kia Sorento. You can view our more in-depth reviews of all car models in our car review section.
This Stelvio model is, according to its maker, very much an Alfa Romeo first and an SUV second. That sounds promising, as does the fact that most of the engineering here is shared with the brand's well-regarded Giulia saloon. The result should be a premium mid-sized SUV well able to mix it with class favourites.
Will any brand be able to resist the allure of the growing SUV market? It doesn't appear so. We live in a time when even Bentley and Rolls Royce feel the need to produce such a thing, so it is perhaps surprising that it's taken Alfa Romeo quite so long to join this lucrative bandwagon. Still, join it they have with this car, the Stelvio, named after the famous European mountain pass. It's the car that the Milanese marque hopes will give it an important foothold in the profitable segment for premium mid-sized SUVs currently dominated by cars like BMW's X3, Jaguar's F-PACE, Audi's Q5, Volvo's XC60 and the Mercedes GLC.
The Kia Sorento has ambition. What started life as an agricultural cheapie has been fettled and polished into something far more refined. This improved third generation model looks to have the finish and engineering to put the frighteners on the SUV-class high fliers.
Kia doesn't really adhere to the normal conventions of car manufacture. The South Korean company wants to get places fast, so its product planning is accelerated, compressed into 'Matrix-style' bullet time. Cars are launched, facelifted and replaced in half the time of many manufacturers. Take the Sorento. It first appeared way back in 2002 and hung around for seven years. Upon introduction it was probably the best car Kia made, but that wasn't too hard when the range included models like the original Rio and the Shuma. The second-generation car got with the programme, being a far slicker thing. Introduced in 2010, it got straight onto the fast track; facelifted in 2012 and replaced in 2015 with this third-generation car, which was facelifted in the Autumn of 2017 to create the product we're going to look at here. The SUV market has evolved rapidly in that time and car makers can either invest to innovate or react. Kia's chosen the latter route with its Sorento.