It’s no secret that Alfa Romeo hasn’t exactly seen its models fly off dealerships recently. The company’s reputation for poor reliability and the fact that it’s focused on primarily sports coupes and sedans has kept the automaker from striking gold. If things continue on this path, we fear the future for Alfa could be dark in theU.S. Still, there’s a light, a hope, in the Stelvio.

The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is the company’s crossover and it could be a big deal for the brand. The Stelvio has the equipment and looks to be a major force in the luxury CUV segment. While its future hasn’t yet become clear, the model shows promise that the brand's other vehicles don’t. Here are some reasons why the Stelvio could keep Alfa alive here in the States.

1. It Panders to the Crossover Craze

stelvio

The crossover craze is still reaching its peak and Alfa Romeo may have joined in at just the right time. The Stelvio jumps into the luxury crossover fray with the BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC, and the Porsche Macan, among others. If it can offer the same kind of practical package with an Italian Alfa Romeo signature twist, we wouldn’t be surprised to see this model sell like gangbusters. While we haven’t had the chance to drive the Stelvio yet, from our close-up look at auto shows and the reports of other fine publications, the Stelvio fits the crossover mold well and in some cases better than the competition.

2. It Doesn’t Look Like Any Other Crossover Out There

Stelvio

Despite the fact that the Stelvio has placed Alfa on the crossover bandwagon, the vehicle is unlike most other crossovers. It’s more of a tall standing sport wagon than a boring crossover. The vehicle stands out thanks to an attractive Giulia-like front end, some interesting lines down the side, and curvy haunches. Inside, the vehicle is definitely Italian featuring a well-tailored interior with an attractive dash and infotainment system layout. Its standard leather seats and unique interior styling set it apart. It’s a vehicle that’s anything but derivative and that means it’ll never be mistaken for anything but an Alfa.

3. It Will Offer Sporty Driving And Practicality

Stelvio

The only thing we can imagine will come close to the Stelvio’s capabilities on a fun road is the Porsche Macan. The 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder in the base Stelvio gives you 280 horses and 306 lb-ft of torque (the best in its class). Pair that with the available helical limited-slip differential in the rear, the sporty suspension, what we expect to be excellent steering and you have a vehicle that’s ready for some fun. Jump up to the Stelvio Quadrifoglio, and you get a vehicle that comes equipped with a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 that puts out 505 hp and 443 lb-ft of torque, Brembo brakes and some additional sporty equipment like standard paddle shifters.

stelvio interior

The fact that the vehicle dominates most of the competition in terms of driving fun wouldn’t matter if it weren’t also practical, but it is. The Stelvio offers seating for five, a towing capacity of 3,000 lbs, and a cargo capacity of about 18.5 cubic feet with the seats all in place, which beats the Porsche Macan but doesn’t quite beat the BMW X3. Overall, the Stelvio gives driver’s the best of both worlds, and that seems to be what most American car buyers want.