2021 Volvo XC40 vs. 2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC40 have pretensioners to tighten the seatbelts and eliminate dangerous slack in the event of a collision and force limiters to limit the pressure the belts will exert on the passengers. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio doesn’t offer pretensioners for the rear seat belts.

The XC40’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.

Both the XC40 and Stelvio have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC40 has power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Stelvio’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

The XC40 has a standard Whiplash Protection System (WHIPS), which use a specially designed seat to protect the driver and front passenger from whiplash. During a rear-end collision, the WHIPS allows the backrest to travel backwards to cushion the occupants and the headrests move forward to prevent neck and spine injuries. At the same time the pretensioning seatbelts fire, removing slack from the belts. The Stelvio doesn’t offer a whiplash protection system.

The XC40 has standard Automatic Braking After Collision, 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.

Over 200 people are killed each year when backed over by motor vehicles. The XC40 offers an optional CTA Auto Brake that use rear sensors to monitor and automatically apply the brakes to prevent a rear collision. The Stelvio doesn’t offer backup collision prevention brakes.

The XC40 offers an optional 360-Degree Surround View Camera 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.

Both the XC40 and the Stelvio have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, height adjustable front shoulder belts, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights and rearview cameras.

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 vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, its standard vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC40 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 32 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Stelvio has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The XC40’s corrosion warranty is 8 years longer than the Stelvio’s (12 vs. 4 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC40 for 3 years and 36,000 miles. Volvo 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 over 79 percent more Volvo dealers than there are Alfa Romeo dealers, which makes it much easier should you ever need service under the XC40’s warranty.

Reliability

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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 XC40’s reliability 23 points higher than the Stelvio.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Volvo vehicles are more reliable than Alfa Romeo vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Volvo 5 places higher in reliability than Alfa Romeo.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the XC40 gets better fuel mileage than the Stelvio:

MPG

XC40

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

23 city/32 hwy

4WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/30 hwy

Stelvio

2WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/29 hwy

4WD

2.0 Turbo 4-cyl.

22 city/28 hwy

The XC40 has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Stelvio doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Volvo XC40 higher (5 out of 10) than the Alfa Romeo Stelvio (3). This means the XC40 produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Stelvio every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the XC40’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Stelvio:

XC40

Stelvio

Front Rotors

13.6 inches

13 inches

The XC40 stops shorter than the Stelvio:

XC40

Stelvio

70 to 0 MPH

173 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

125 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

135 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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The XC40’s standard tires provide better handling because they have a lower 55 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Stelvio’s standard 60 series tires.

Suspension and Handling

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The XC40 T5 R-Design AWD handles at .85 G’s, while the Stelvio AWD pulls only .84 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the XC40’s turning circle is 1.1 feet tighter than the Stelvio’s (37.4 feet vs. 38.5 feet).

For greater off-road capability the XC40 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Stelvio (8.3 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the XC40 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Chassis

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The XC40 is 10.4 inches shorter than the Stelvio, making the XC40 easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

Passenger Space

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The XC40 has 4.3 inches more front legroom, .2 inches more rear headroom, 4.2 inches more rear legroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Stelvio.

Cargo Capacity

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The XC40 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Stelvio with its rear seat up (20.7 vs. 18.5 cubic feet). The XC40 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Stelvio with its rear seat folded (57.5 vs. 56.5 cubic feet).

The XC40’s cargo area is larger than the Stelvio’s in almost every dimension:

XC40

Stelvio

Length to seat (2nd/1st)

34.9”/65.7”

39.4”/72.5”

Max Width

47.8”

46.5”

Min Width

39.5”

36.7”

Height

29.4”

28”

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the XC40’s optional rear seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Stelvio doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

Towing

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The XC40’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Stelvio’s (3500 vs. 3000 pounds). Maximum trailer towing in the Alfa Romeo Stelvio is only 3000 pounds. The XC40 offers up to a 4630 lbs. towing capacity.

Ergonomics

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If the windows are left open on the XC40 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 also lower the windows the same way. The driver of the Stelvio can only operate the windows from inside the vehicle, with the ignition on.

When the XC40 is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Stelvio’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

The XC40 R-Design/Inscription’s optional Park Assist Pilot 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.

Economic Advantages

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Insurance will cost less for the XC40 owner. The Complete Car Cost Guide estimates that insurance for the XC40 will cost $985 less than the Stelvio over a five-year period.

The XC40 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the XC40 will retain 46.39% to 55.1% of its original price after five years, while the Stelvio only retains 41.71% to 42.82%.

IntelliChoice estimates that five-year ownership costs (depreciation, financing, insurance, fuel, fees, repairs and maintenance) for the Volvo XC40 will be $10742 to $17517 less than for the Alfa Romeo Stelvio.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/10/30

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volvo XC40, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio isn't recommended.

The Volvo XC40 outsold the Alfa Romeo Stelvio by 87% during 2019.

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

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