2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio vs. 2019 Subaru Outback

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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The Stelvio Ti’s optional 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 Outback doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Stelvio and the Outback have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, lane departure warning systems, blind spot warning systems, front parking sensors and rear cross-path warning.

Warranty

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The Stelvio comes with a full 4-year/50,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Outback’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 1 year and 14,000 miles sooner.

Reliability

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The engine in the Stelvio has a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engines in the Outback have dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

The Outback’s redline is at 6600 to 7000 RPM, which causes more engine wear, and a greater chance of a catastrophic engine failure. The Stelvio has a 5500 RPM redline.

The battery on the Stelvio is in the trunk, which protects it from hot underhood temperatures that can degrade battery life. By keeping the Stelvio’s battery 20 to 30 degrees cooler, its life is increased by years. The Outback’s battery is in the hot engine compartment.

Engine

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The Stelvio’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 105 more horsepower (280 vs. 175) and 132 lbs.-ft. more torque (306 vs. 174) than the Outback 2.5i’s standard 2.5 DOHC 4 cyl. The Stelvio’s 2.0 turbo 4 cyl. produces 24 more horsepower (280 vs. 256) and 59 lbs.-ft. more torque (306 vs. 247) than the Outback 3.6R’s standard 3.6 DOHC 6 cyl.

As tested in Motor Trend the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is faster than the Subaru Outback:

Stelvio

Outback 2.5i

Outback 3.6R

Zero to 30 MPH

1.7 sec

3.7 sec

n/a

Zero to 60 MPH

5.4 sec

9.5 sec

7.3 sec

Zero to 80 MPH

9.2 sec

16.5 sec

n/a

Passing 45 to 65 MPH

2.9 sec

4.7 sec

n/a

Quarter Mile

14 sec

17.4 sec

15.7 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

97.3 MPH

82.1 MPH

91.2 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Stelvio AWD gets better fuel mileage than the Outback 3.6R CVT 6 cyl. (22 city/28 hwy vs. 20 city/27 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Stelvio’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Outback doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Stelvio

Outback

Front Rotors

13 inches

12.4 inches

Rear Rotors

12.5 inches

11.8 inches

The Stelvio stops shorter than the Outback:

Stelvio

Outback

70 to 0 MPH

176 feet

180 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

127 feet

129 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

138 feet

147 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the Stelvio has larger standard tires than the Outback (235/60R18 vs. 225/65R17). The Stelvio’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Outback (255/45R20 vs. 225/65R17).

The Stelvio’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 60 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Outback 2.5i/2.5i Premium’s standard 65 series tires. The Stelvio’s optional tires have a lower 45 series profile than the Outback Limited/Touring’s 60 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Stelvio has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Outback 2.5i/2.5i Premium. The Stelvio’s optional 20-inch wheels are larger than the 18-inch wheels on the Outback Limited/Touring.

Suspension and Handling

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The Stelvio offers an optional driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Outback’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Stelvio’s wheelbase is 2.8 inches longer than on the Outback (110.9 inches vs. 108.1 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Stelvio is 1.7 inches wider in the front and 2.8 inches wider in the rear than on the Outback.

The Stelvio’s front to rear weight distribution is more even (50% to 50%) than the Outback’s (56.2% to 43.8%). This gives the Stelvio more stable handling and braking.

The Stelvio AWD handles at .84 G’s, while the Outback 3.6R Limited pulls only .79 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

The Stelvio Ti AWD executes Motor Trend’s “Figure Eight” maneuver 1.5 seconds quicker than the Outback 2.5i Limited (26.9 seconds @ .67 average G’s vs. 28.4 seconds @ .57 average G’s).

Chassis

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The Stelvio is 5.3 inches shorter than the Outback, making the Stelvio easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

As tested by Car and Driver while under full throttle, the interior of the Stelvio AWD is quieter than the Outback 3.6R Limited (72 vs. 73 dB).

Passenger Space

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The front step up height for the Stelvio is 2 inches lower than the Outback (17” vs. 19”). The Stelvio’s rear step up height is 1 inches lower than the Outback’s (18” vs. 19”).

Cargo Capacity

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To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Stelvio’s available liftgate can be opened and closed just by kicking your foot under the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Outback doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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The Stelvio’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Outback’s (3000 vs. 2700 pounds).

Servicing Ease

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The Stelvio has a maintenance free battery for long life without checking the battery’s water level. The Outback doesn’t have a maintenance free battery, so the water level in the battery’s cells must be checked often to prevent damage.

Ergonomics

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The Stelvio’s standard easy entry system glides the driver’s seat back, making it easier for the driver to get in and out. The Outback doesn’t offer an easy entry system.

The power windows standard on both the Stelvio and the Outback have locks to prevent small children from operating them. When the lock on the Stelvio is engaged the driver can still operate all of the windows, for instance to close one opened by a child. The Outback prevents the driver from operating the rear windows just as it does the other passengers.

The Stelvio’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Outback’s standard passenger windows don’t open or close automatically.

The Stelvio’s power window, power lock, power mirror and cruise control switches are lit from behind, making them plainly visible and easier to operate at night. The Outback’s passenger power window switches are unlit, making them difficult to find at night and operate safely.

The Stelvio’s rain-sensitive wipers adjust their speed and turn on and off automatically based on the amount of rainfall on the windshield. This allows the driver to concentrate on driving without constantly adjusting the wipers. The Outback’s manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

Heated windshield washer nozzles are optional on the Stelvio to prevent washer fluid and nozzles from freezing and help continue to keep the windshield clear in sub-freezing temperatures. The Outback doesn’t offer heated windshield washer nozzles.

In poor weather, headlights can lose their effectiveness as grime builds up on their lenses. This can reduce visibility without the driver realizing. The Stelvio offers available headlight washers to keep headlight output high. The Outback doesn’t offer headlight washers.

The Stelvio’s standard outside mirrors include heating elements to clear off the mirrors for better visibility. Subaru only offers heated mirrors on the Outback Premium/Limited/Touring.

The Stelvio has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Outback Premium/Limited/Touring.

Both the Stelvio and the Outback offer rear vents. For greater rear passenger comfort, the Stelvio has standard rear air conditioning vents to keep rear occupants cool in summer or warm in winter. The Outback Base/Premium doesn’t offer rear air conditioning vents, only heat vents.

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

The Stelvio offers an optional 115-volt a/c outlet in the cargo area, allowing you to recharge a laptop or run small household appliances without special adapters that can break or get misplaced. The Outback doesn’t offer a house-current electrical outlet.

Model Availability

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The Stelvio is available in both rear-wheel drive and four-wheel drive configurations. The Outback doesn’t offer a two-wheel drive configuration.

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