2019 BMW X5 vs. 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

The X5’s pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Stelvio doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

The X5 has standard Active Protection, which automatically apply the brakes in the event of a crash to help prevent secondary collisions and prevent further injuries. The Stelvio doesn’t offer a post collision braking system: in the event of a collision that triggers the airbags, more collisions are possible without the protection of airbags that may have already deployed.

To provide maximum traction and stability on all roads, All-Wheel Drive is standard on the X5. But it costs extra on the Stelvio.

A passive infrared night vision system optional on the X5 helps the driver to more easily detect people, animals or other objects in front of the vehicle at night. Using an infrared camera to detect heat, the system then displays the image on a monitor in the dashboard. The Stelvio doesn’t offer a night vision system.

The X5 offers an optional Surround View to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Stelvio only offers a rear monitor and front and rear parking sensors that beep or flash a light. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the sides.

The X5’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Stelvio doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

The X5 has standard BMW Assist, which uses a global positioning satellite (GPS) receiver and a cellular system to remotely unlock your doors if you lock your keys in, help track down your vehicle if it’s stolen or send emergency personnel to the scene if any airbags deploy. The Stelvio doesn’t offer a GPS response system, only a navigation computer with no live response for emergencies, so if you’re involved in an accident and you’re incapacitated help may not come as quickly.

Both the X5 and the Stelvio have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

The BMW X5 weighs 769 to 1285 pounds more than the Alfa Romeo Stelvio. The NHTSA advises that heavier vehicles are much safer in collisions than their significantly lighter counterparts.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the X5 its highest rating: “Top Pick Plus” for 2019, a rating granted to only 47 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Stelvio has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

The X5’s corrosion warranty is 8 years longer than the Stelvio’s (12 vs. 4 years).

BMW pays for scheduled maintenance on the X5 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. BMW will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Alfa Romeo only pays for the first scheduled maintenance visit on the Stelvio.

There are almost 2 times as many BMW dealers as there are Alfa Romeo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the X5’s warranty.

Reliability

A reliable vehicle saves its owner time, money and trouble. Nobody wants to be stranded or have to be without a vehicle while it’s being repaired. Consumer Reports rates the X5’s reliability 40 points higher than the Stelvio.

Engine

The X5 xDrive40i’s standard 3.0 turbo 6 cyl. produces 55 more horsepower (335 vs. 280) and 24 lbs.-ft. more torque (330 vs. 306) than the Stelvio’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. The X5 xDrive50i’s standard 4.4 turbo V8 produces 176 more horsepower (456 vs. 280) and 173 lbs.-ft. more torque (479 vs. 306) than the Stelvio’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl.

As tested in Consumer Reports the BMW X5 is faster than the Alfa Romeo Stelvio 2.0T:

X5 xDrive40i

X5 xDrive50i

Stelvio

Zero to 30 MPH

2.4 sec

n/a

3.1 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

6 sec

4.2 sec

7 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

3 sec

n/a

4.4 sec

Quarter Mile

14.5 sec

12.7 sec

15.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

100 MPH

109 MPH

96 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

Regenerative brakes improve the X5’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Stelvio doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The X5 has 5 gallons more fuel capacity than the Stelvio (21.9 vs. 16.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups.

Transmission

The X5’s launch control uses engine electronics to hold engine RPM’s precisely in order to provide the most stable and rapid acceleration possible, using all of the available traction. The Stelvio doesn’t offer launch control.

Brakes and Stopping

For better stopping power the X5’s brake rotors are larger than those on the Stelvio:

X5 xDrive40i

X5 M Sport

Stelvio

Front Rotors

13.7 inches

15.6 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

13.6 inches

14.6 inches

12.5 inches

The X5 stops much shorter than the Stelvio:

X5

Stelvio

70 to 0 MPH

158 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

129 feet

132 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the X5 has larger standard tires than the Stelvio (265/50R19 vs. 235/60R18). The X5’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Stelvio (F:275/40R21 & R:315/35R21 vs. 255/45R20).

The X5’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Stelvio’s standard 60 series tires. The X5’s optional 275/35R22 front and 315/30R22 rear tires have a lower 35 series front and 30 series rear profile than the Stelvio’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the X5 has standard 19-inch wheels. Smaller 18-inch wheels are standard on the Stelvio. The X5’s optional 22-inch wheels are larger than the 20-inch wheels optional on the Stelvio.

Changing a flat tire near traffic can be dangerous and inconvenient. The run-flat tires available on the X5 can be driven up to 50 miles without any air pressure, allowing you to drive to a service station for a repair. The Stelvio doesn’t offer run-flat tires.

Suspension and Handling

The X5 offers active sway bars, which help keep it flat and controlled during cornering, but disconnect at lower speeds to smooth the ride and offer greater off-road suspension articulation. This helps keep the tires glued to the road on-road and off. The Stelvio doesn’t offer an active sway bar system.

The X5 offers an available adjustable active suspension system, which counteracts cornering forces actively, limiting body roll and improving handling and stability. Alfa Romeo doesn’t offer an active suspension on the Stelvio.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the X5’s wheelbase is 6.1 inches longer than on the Stelvio (117.1 inches vs. 111 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the X5 is 2.6 inches wider in the front and 1.9 inches wider in the rear than on the Stelvio.

The X5 xDrive40i handles at .89 G’s, while the Stelvio AWD pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For greater off-road capability the X5 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Stelvio (8.7 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the X5 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

The front grille of the X5 uses electronically controlled shutters to close off airflow and reduce drag when less engine cooling is needed. This helps improve highway fuel economy. The Stelvio doesn’t offer active grille shutters.

Passenger Space

The X5 offers optional seating for 7 passengers; the Stelvio can only carry 5.

The X5 has .6 inches more front headroom, 3.2 inches more front legroom, 2.5 inches more front shoulder room, 5.5 inches more rear legroom and 2.1 inches more rear shoulder room than the Stelvio.

Cargo Capacity

The X5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Stelvio with its rear seat up (33.9 vs. 18.5 cubic feet). The X5 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Stelvio with its rear seat folded (72.3 vs. 56.5 cubic feet).

The X5’s cargo area is larger than the Stelvio’s in almost every dimension:

X5

Stelvio

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

40.7”/70”

39.4”/72.5”

Max Width

49”

46.5”

Min Width

44”

36.7”

Height

31.5”

28”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the X5’s optional second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Stelvio doesn’t offer automatic folding second row seats.

The X5’s rear cargo window opens separately from the rest of the tailgate door to allow quicker loading of small packages. The Stelvio’s rear cargo window doesn’t open.

Towing

The X5’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Stelvio’s (6603 vs. 3000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is only 3000 pounds. The X5 offers up to a 7209 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Stelvio, the X5 xDrive50i has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat, steering wheel position, outside mirror angle, climate settings and radio stations and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The X5 offers an optional heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Stelvio doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

If the windows are left open on the X5 the driver can close them all at the outside door handle or from a distance using the remote. On a hot day the driver can lower the windows from a distance using the keyless remote. The driver of the Stelvio can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

When the X5 is put in reverse, the passenger rearview mirror tilts from its original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirror into its original position. The Stelvio’s mirror doesn’t automatically adjust for backing.

Optional air-conditioned seats in the X5 keep the driver and front passenger comfortable and take the sting out of hot seats in summer. The Stelvio doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats.

To quickly and conveniently keep personal devices charged without cables tangling and wearing out, the BMW X5 offers an optional wireless phone charging system (Qi) in the center console. The Stelvio doesn’t offer wireless personal charging.

The X5’s optional Parking Assistant can parallel park or back into a parking spot by itself, with the driver only controlling speed with the brake pedal. The Stelvio doesn’t offer an automated parking system.

Recommendations

Consumer Reports® recommends the BMW X5, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the X5 third among midsize premium SUVs in owner reported satisfaction. This includes how well the vehicle performs and satisfies its owner’s expectations. The Stelvio isn’t in the top three.

The BMW X5 outsold the Alfa Romeo Stelvio by almost four to one during 2018.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

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