To say that Jeremy Clarkson is opinionated would be an understatement; after all, we’re talking about the man who has managed to cause diplomatic incidents – in a car show!
Although the public seems to disagree with him, as they flock to buy SUVs, Clarkson is not a fan of the genre and thinks they are a waste of money.
“I loathe all the current crop of so-called SUVs, except those I dislike intensely”, he wrote on his latest article on The Sunday Times. “I cannot see the point of driving around in a car that’s slower, more expensive and thirstier than a normal saloon or estate. It just seems idiotic.”
So when he was invited by Alfa Romeo to Tuscany to test drive the new Stelvio, he was already negatively predisposed, not least because it was an SUV made by Alfa, which he compared to Armani making carrier bags.
But then he got to like the design, both inside and out, and when he drove it had a change of heart in spite of it being a diesel – and yes, he hates diesels, too, but he did appreciate the mid-range surge provided by the engine. As he piled on the miles, he found more positive things to say, though he didn’t like the Giulia-derived direct steering which, unlike the suspension, wasn’t tweaked specifically for the Stelvio, resulting in it being too sharp.
At the end, though, he proclaimed the Stelvio “the only SUV that’s quite tempting”, adding that the QV version, with its petrol 500 hp V6, “might even be irresistible”.