2021 Volvo XC60 vs. 2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 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 2020/10/21

For enhanced safety, the front and rear seat shoulder belts of the Volvo XC60 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 XC60’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 XC60 and Stelvio have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The XC60 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 Volvo XC60 offers optional built in child booster seats. They’re more crash worthy than an added child seat because of their direct attachment to the seat. Alfa Romeo doesn’t offer the convenience and security of a built-in child booster seat in the Stelvio. Their owners must carry a heavy booster seat in and out of the vehicle; XC60 owners can just fold their built-in child seat up or down.

The XC60 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 XC60 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.

The XC60 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 XC60 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, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, rearview cameras and available all wheel drive.

For its top level performance in IIHS driver-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, its “Good” rating in the new passenger-side small overlap crash test, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the XC60 the rating of “Top Pick” for 2019, a rating granted to only 132 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Stelvio has not been tested, yet.

Warranty

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The XC60’s corrosion warranty is 8 years longer than the Stelvio’s (12 vs. 4 years).

Volvo pays for scheduled maintenance on the XC60 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 XC60’s warranty.

Reliability

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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.

Engine

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The XC60 T6’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder produces 36 more horsepower (316 vs. 280) than the Stelvio’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The XC60 T8’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 120 more horsepower (400 vs. 280) and 166 lbs.-ft. more torque (472 vs. 306) than the Stelvio’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder. The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s standard 2.0 turbo/supercharged 4-cylinder hybrid produces 135 more horsepower (415 vs. 280) and 188 lbs.-ft. more torque (494 vs. 306) than the Stelvio’s 2.0 turbo 4-cylinder.

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the XC60 T8 running on electricity gets better fuel mileage than the Stelvio AWD (56 city/57 hwy MPGe vs. 22 city/28 hwy).

The XC60 T8 can drive on battery power alone for up to 19 miles. The Stelvio must run its internal combustion engine to move.

Regenerative brakes improve the XC60 T8’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Stelvio doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

The XC60 Hybrid’s standard fuel tank has 1.6 gallons more fuel capacity than the Stelvio (18.5 vs. 16.9 gallons), for longer range between fill-ups. The XC60’s standard fuel tank has 1.9 gallons more fuel capacity than the Stelvio (18.8 vs. 16.9 gallons).

The XC60 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 XC60 higher (5 to 7 out of 10) than the Alfa Romeo Stelvio (3). This means the XC60 produces up to 24.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Stelvio every 15,000 miles.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Stelvio:

XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered

Stelvio

Front Rotors

14.6 inches

13 inches

Rear Rotors

12.6 inches

12.5 inches

The XC60 stops much shorter than the Stelvio:

XC60

Stelvio

70 to 0 MPH

169 feet

176 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

115 feet

127 feet

Motor Trend

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

129 feet

138 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

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For better traction, the XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Stelvio (265/35R22 vs. 255/45R20).

The XC60 T8 Polestar Engineered’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 35 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Stelvio’s optional 45 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the XC60 offers optional 21-inch wheels. The Stelvio’s largest wheels are only 20-inches.

Suspension and Handling

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The XC60 T6/T8 has a standard automatic front and rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The XC60’s height leveling suspension allows the driver to raise ride height for better off-road clearance and then lower it again for easier entering and exiting and better on-road handling. The Stelvio doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the XC60’s wheelbase is 1.9 inches longer than on the Stelvio (112.8 inches vs. 110.9 inches).

For better handling and stability, the average track (width between the wheels) on the XC60 is 1.6 inches wider in the front and .2 inches wider in the rear than the track on the Stelvio.

The XC60 T6 AWD R-Design handles at .88 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 XC60’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 XC60 has a greater minimum ground clearance than the Stelvio (8.5 vs. 8.1 inches), allowing the XC60 to travel over rougher terrain without being stopped or damaged.

Passenger Space

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The XC60 has 5.4 cubic feet more passenger volume than the Stelvio (103 vs. 97.6).

The XC60 has 4.9 inches more front legroom, .7 inches more front shoulder room, 6.1 inches more rear legroom and .3 inches more rear shoulder room than the Stelvio.

Cargo Capacity

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The XC60 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat up than the Stelvio with its rear seat up (30.2 vs. 18.5 cubic feet). The XC60 has a much larger cargo volume with its rear seat folded than the Stelvio with its rear seat folded (63.3 vs. 56.5 cubic feet).

A low lift-over cargo hatch design makes loading and unloading the XC60 easier. The XC60’s cargo hatch lift-over height is 26 inches, while the Stelvio’s liftover is 28.5 inches.

Towing

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The XC60’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Stelvio’s (3500 vs. 3000 pounds).

Ergonomics

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Unlike the driver-only memory seat and mirrors in the Stelvio, the XC60 R-Design/Inscription has a passenger memory, so that when drivers switch, the memory setting adjusts the driver’s seat and outside mirror angle and the front passenger seat also adjusts to the new passenger’s preset preferences.

The XC60 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 XC60 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 XC60 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.

Standard air-conditioned seats in the XC60 Inscription 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.

The XC60 Inscription offers optional massaging front seats in order to maximize comfort and eliminate fatigue on long trips. Massaging seats aren’t available in the Stelvio.

The XC60 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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The XC60 will cost the buyer less in the long run because of its superior resale value. The IntelliChoice estimates that the XC60 will retain 45.65% to 49.07% of its original price after five years, while the Stelvio only retains 41.71% to 42.82%.

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 2020/10/21

Consumer Reports® recommends the Volvo XC60, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Alfa Romeo Stelvio isn't recommended.

J.D. Power and Associates rated the XC60 third among compact 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 Volvo XC60 outsold the Alfa Romeo Stelvio by over three to one during 2019.

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

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