Jump to content
  • William Maley
    William Maley

    Review: 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti

      When an Italian does a compact luxury crossover

    Trying to review an Alfa Romeo vehicle is difficult as I found out with the Giulia Quadrifoglio. There were parts of model that I found to be quite amazing and worthy of putting it on my year-end favorites list. But other traits and details left a very sour taste in my mouth. I ended my review with this line,

    “To some, that is the charm of an Alfa Romeo. Within all of those flaws is a brilliant automobile. For others, it is something that should be avoided at all costs.”

    Now I find myself in the same difficult position with another Alfa Romeo, the Stelvio. My fingers were crossed that the Stelvio would avoid some of the pitfalls from the Giulia.

    If you were to ask me to describe the Stelvio’s design, I would say it is a tall riding Giulia hatchback. The shared DNA is made quite clear in the front as there is a three-leaf design for the grille, narrow headlights set at a slight angle, and there are deep cuts in the hood. More of the Giulia can be seen in the side profile with flowing curves and noticeable fender bulges. One design trait that sets the Stelvio apart from other luxury crossovers is the sharply raked d-pillar that gives it a sporty edge.

    The Stelvio’s interior mirrors the Giulia with the same modern design and mixture of high-quality and very cheap materials. I also had an odd build quality issue where the button for the driver’s heated seat would get stuck. I would have to press the button a few times to dislodge it. This is a bit worrying for a brand with a very questionable reliability history.

    A set of leather sport seats that are part of an optional sport package came equipped. With increased side bolstering, the seats do an excellent job of holding you in during an enthusiastic drive. It is a shame that the seats aren’t comfortable for long trips. After an hour or so, I found that my thighs were becoming sore. A little bit more seat padding would do some wonders. In the back, there is adequate head and legroom for an average sized adult. Taller passengers will notice headroom is very much at a premium due to the sloping roofline. Cargo space slightly trails competitors with 18.5 cubic feet of space with the seats up and 56.5 when folded.

    For infotainment, the base Stelvio comes with a 6.5-inch screen. The Ti makes do with a larger 8.8-inch screen. Both systems use a controller knob on the center console and voice commands to move around the system. If you read our Giulia Quadrifoglio review, then you know I had a number of problems with the infotainment system: Odd design choices, issues with USB and Bluetooth connectivity, and a number of crashes to name a few. I was hoping the Stelvio’s system would have ironed some of the issues. But sadly, the Stelvio experienced the same issues as the Giulia.

    Alfa Romeo should have just used the UConnect infotainment system like Maserati does. Just put a different coat of paint and call something different.

    Under the hood of the Stelvio lies a turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder producing 280 horsepower and 306 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and all-wheel drive. There is also the high-performance Quadrifoglio with a 505 horsepower, twin-turbo V6 engine. 

    Some turbo lag makes an appearance when the vehicle begins to accelerate. But once the turbocharger spools up, the Stelvio moves at a surprising rate. This comes down to a broad and flat torque curve. The eight-speed automatic mirrors what I found in the Giulia Quadrifoglio I drove earlier in the year - stumbles with gear changes at lower speeds, but becomes smoother as speed increases.

    Handling is where the Stelvio really pulls ahead of the competition. On a winding road, the crossover exhibits excellent control of body motions. Steering provides decent weight and feel needed for an enthusiastic drive. I had to remind myself this isn’t a Giulia sedan, this is a compact crossover. But there is one item that will make you think twice about driving the Stelvio with gusto and that is brakes. The pedal feel was very inconsistent - lightly press on the pedal and the vehicle didn’t feel like it was slowing down, press a little bit further and it felt like the vehicle was going into a panic stop. The issue deals with the brake-by-wire system which uses sensors to measure the amount of force and speed applied to the pedal. This information is then transmitted to a controller which applies the appropriate amount of braking force. This is a problem a few other reviews have noted and one Alfa Romeo needs to address.

    The ride is compliant with a fair number of bumps making their way inside. If you’re looking for a somewhat smoother ride, dropping to the smaller 18-inch wheels is recommended. Road and wind noise are kept to average levels for the class. But engine noise is very noticeable inside, sounding like an old diesel truck. Be prepared to keep the volume for the audio system up.

    Like the Giulia Quadrifoglio, the Stelvio has me torn. The crossover has a lot going for it such as the sharp exterior, a very punchy turbo-four, and impressive handling. But then I look at the list of issues such as the problematic infotainment system, confused transmission, and a braking system that is very inconsistent. This isn’t including the dark cloud of Alfa Romeo’s reliability. During my week, I had a ‘Service Alarm’ light that would pop up when I started the vehicle. I wasn’t sure what that meant until I accidentally pressed the panic button and the alarm went off for five minutes. I was about ready to break out the wrenches and remove the battery to shut up the alarm, but then it stopped. It needs to be noted that FCA has issued four recalls on the Stelvio at the time of this writing.

    If you really have your heart set on a Stelvio, be aware of what you’re getting yourself into. There are moments of brilliance mixed in with the perils. Everyone else should look at the competition.

    Disclaimer: Alfa Romeo Provided the Stelvio, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas

    Year: 2018
    Make: Alfa Romeo
    Model: Stelvio
    Trim: Ti
    Engine: Turbocharged 2.0L MultiAir2 SOHC Four-Cylinder
    Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, All-Wheel Drive
    Horsepower @ RPM: 280 @ 5,200
    Torque @ RPM: 306 @ 2,000 - 4,800
    Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 22/28/24
    Curb Weight: 4,044 lbs
    Location of Manufacture: Cassino, Italy
    Base Price: $43,995
    As Tested Price: $54,090 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)

    Options:
    Ti Sport Package 22S - $2,500
    Driver Assist Dynamic Plus Package - $1,500
    Dual-Pane Sunroof - $1,350
    8.8-inch AM/FM Bluetooth Radio with 3D Navigation - $950.00
    Harman Kardon Premium Audio - $900.00
    Driver Assistance Static Package - $650.00
    Vesuvio Grey Metallic - $600.00
    Compact Spare Tire - $450.00
    Convenience Package - $200.00

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    What an ugly auto with a terrible dash. It is like they decided to pick pieces from everyone and throw it into the dash and call it good. You have the circle vents on the outside of the dash by the windows which remind me of Mercedes-benz, cheap rectangle vents in the center stack, the heat control section under the center vents says Ford to me but I cannot seem to remember which specific model I seen that control panel on.

    Weird, but it really is just a mess or design types with no flow and terrible quality.

    Bill is right on in that the Alfa line is a PASS for everyone as there are far superior products out there.

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    For once I have to agree with @dfelt, I am not a fan of the new Alfa's exterior design.  Interior looks ok to me.  Also, way too many stories about really questionable build quality puts me off them also.

    • Thanks 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    On 6/15/2018 at 9:18 AM, Drew Dowdell said:

    (Slightly) Better looking than a Jaguar, but not as good reliability.   I really want to be impressed with these new Alfas... I was in love with the 159s.... but these just fail to impress me.

     

    I second that,

     

    if I wanted an exotic design in this class it’s the Jaguar F-Pace every time, and that’s also because they have the mid level R-Dynamic with the supercharged V6.

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 1
    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Join the conversation

    You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.




  • Similar Content

    • By William Maley
      Do you need a V8 engine in your flagship luxury sedan? That's a question I posed myself when a Genesis G90 equipped with a 5.0L V8 engine was dropped off for a week. The standard G90 with the twin-turbo V6 offers an impressive amount of performance and refinement. But the V8 offers much more power, along with some extra goodies you cannot get with the V6. 
      Since our last visit with the G90, Genesis has given a bit of a facelift. The front end prominently features a new diamond-shape. I found myself growing to like it, even if I thought it was a tad too large. But I can see this becoming a point of contention. Other changes include new wheels and a restyled rear end that makes the G90 look a bit cleaner. No changes of note for the interior. It still is very luxurious to sit in and the controls are logically laid out. The only item I'm sad not to see is the new 12.3-inch digital cluster that is found in the all-new G80 and GV80. Opting for the Ultimate means back seat passengers get their own screens mounted behind the front seats. This allows you to tap into the G90's infotainment system to play audio, check various information, and look at the navigation system. Ultimate models come with the larger 5.0L V8 producing 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available as an option. The V8 is a bit of a tough sell when compared to the twin-turbo 3.3L V6 as it slower off the line and not as flexible whenever you need to accelerate quickly. Both engines also are similar in terms of refinement, offer a muted engine note. The only place I found the V8 to be slightly better than the V6 was in my average fuel economy. The V8 returned 24.7 mpg, while the V6 only got 20.3 mpg. A combination of the V8 G90 being rear-wheel and not all-wheel, along with more miles being done on the highway likely contributed to the better fuel economy figures. Ride quality is still on the hallmarks of the G90. With the adaptive suspension in either SMART or Comfort, the G90 glides along any road surface with nary a bump or pothole coming inside.  Around bends, the G90 doesn't feel at home with a fair amount of body roll. There is a Sport model to help reduce this, along with adding more weight to the steering. For the as-tested price of $76,695, you are getting quite a lot of equipment. There are LED headlights, Nappa leather upholstery, three-zone climate control, 17-speaker Lexicon audio system, power sunshades, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, memory settings for seats, and much more. The only way I could recommend the G90 Ultimate is either if you're operating a livery service or just want a V8 engine no matter what. Otherwise, you'll be happy with the G90 Premium and its twin-turbo V6. That said, the current G90 is starting to show its age, especially when compared to some of the new Genesis models such as the G80 and GV80. A new model is coming down the pipeline and if the recent models are any indication, the G90 has a real shot of becoming one of the best luxury sedans. Disclaimer: Genesis Provided the G90, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Genesis
      Model: G90
      Trim: 5.0 Ultimate
      Engine: 5.0L GDI V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 420 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 383 @ 5,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/24/19
      Curb Weight: 4,817 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, Korea
      Base Price: $75,700
      As Tested Price: $76,695 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A
    • By William Maley
      Do you need a V8 engine in your flagship luxury sedan? That's a question I posed myself when a Genesis G90 equipped with a 5.0L V8 engine was dropped off for a week. The standard G90 with the twin-turbo V6 offers an impressive amount of performance and refinement. But the V8 offers much more power, along with some extra goodies you cannot get with the V6. 
      Since our last visit with the G90, Genesis has given a bit of a facelift. The front end prominently features a new diamond-shape. I found myself growing to like it, even if I thought it was a tad too large. But I can see this becoming a point of contention. Other changes include new wheels and a restyled rear end that makes the G90 look a bit cleaner. No changes of note for the interior. It still is very luxurious to sit in and the controls are logically laid out. The only item I'm sad not to see is the new 12.3-inch digital cluster that is found in the all-new G80 and GV80. Opting for the Ultimate means back seat passengers get their own screens mounted behind the front seats. This allows you to tap into the G90's infotainment system to play audio, check various information, and look at the navigation system. Ultimate models come with the larger 5.0L V8 producing 420 horsepower and 460 pound-feet of torque. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive. All-wheel drive is available as an option. The V8 is a bit of a tough sell when compared to the twin-turbo 3.3L V6 as it slower off the line and not as flexible whenever you need to accelerate quickly. Both engines also are similar in terms of refinement, offer a muted engine note. The only place I found the V8 to be slightly better than the V6 was in my average fuel economy. The V8 returned 24.7 mpg, while the V6 only got 20.3 mpg. A combination of the V8 G90 being rear-wheel and not all-wheel, along with more miles being done on the highway likely contributed to the better fuel economy figures. Ride quality is still on the hallmarks of the G90. With the adaptive suspension in either SMART or Comfort, the G90 glides along any road surface with nary a bump or pothole coming inside.  Around bends, the G90 doesn't feel at home with a fair amount of body roll. There is a Sport model to help reduce this, along with adding more weight to the steering. For the as-tested price of $76,695, you are getting quite a lot of equipment. There are LED headlights, Nappa leather upholstery, three-zone climate control, 17-speaker Lexicon audio system, power sunshades, adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, memory settings for seats, and much more. The only way I could recommend the G90 Ultimate is either if you're operating a livery service or just want a V8 engine no matter what. Otherwise, you'll be happy with the G90 Premium and its twin-turbo V6. That said, the current G90 is starting to show its age, especially when compared to some of the new Genesis models such as the G80 and GV80. A new model is coming down the pipeline and if the recent models are any indication, the G90 has a real shot of becoming one of the best luxury sedans. Disclaimer: Genesis Provided the G90, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Genesis
      Model: G90
      Trim: 5.0 Ultimate
      Engine: 5.0L GDI V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 420 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 383 @ 5,000
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/24/19
      Curb Weight: 4,817 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, Korea
      Base Price: $75,700
      As Tested Price: $76,695 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options: N/A

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Genesis has come a long way since it was spun off to its own brand back in 2015. We have heaped praise on the G80 and G90 sedans, but it needs to be noted that these were badged as Hyundais before becoming Genesis models. The real test would be seeing how an original model stacked up. Our chance came in the fall when a 2020 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport was dropped off for a week. This new entrant into the compact sport luxury sedan appears on paper to have the goods, but how would fare in the real world?
      The Heart & Bones
      Power in this G70 is the optional twin-turbo 3.3L V6 engine providing 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. This is mated with an eight-speed automatic which routes power to the rear wheels. All-wheel drive is an option. Having some experience with this engine in the Genesis G80 Sport and Kia Stinger GT, I knew this engine would pack quite the punch. Step on the accelerator and the V6 provides a massive wallop of power for any situation needed. The eight-speed automatic delivers rapid and smooth gear changes.
      Where the V6 falls apart is in fuel economy. EPA figures for the G70 3.3T RWD are 17 City/26 Highway/20 Combined. My average for the week landed at a disappointing 19.2 mpg. The standard turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder is better at 22/25/30 with the automatic.
      Handling is where the G70 shines. My 3.3T Sport comes with a couple of extra goodies - an electronically controlled suspension and a set of Michelin Pilot Sport summer tires. On the test route I use to evaluate handling, the G70 felt nicely balanced and provides the driver a big grin when going into a corner. The steering provides the right amount of weight and feels needed for enthusiastic driving. 
      When it comes time to do the daily commute, the G70 surprises here. Turn the drive mode knob into either Comfort or Smart, and the suspension softens up to provide a mostly smooth ride. I do wish the Pilot Sports had a slightly taller sidewall as some bumps do make their way inside. Also, barely any outside noise comes inside.
      Outside In
      While it may share the same bones as the Kia Stinger, I find the G70 a little bit easier on the eyes. Some of this comes down to the G70 being shorter in overall length (about a foot), and wheelbase (around three inches). Details that will catch your eye are gloss black wheels which come as part of the Sport package; the large front grille, and slim headlights.
      The G70's interior is very well done. Genesis' designers were able to craft an interior that not only looks nice but is also very functional. Many of the materials used are some of the best in the class with leather, aluminum, and soft-touch plastics. I also appreciate that the center stack is angled slightly towards the driver, allowing for easier access to the various controls. Speaking of that, there are a fair number of them for the audio, climate control, and other systems - primarily made up of large knobs and buttons. It may lack the minimalist look many are trending towards, but the ease of use cannot be beaten.
      For those sitting up front, Genesis provides a set of supportive sport seats with adjustable bolsters. I found the seats to do an excellent job of holding you in place while driving aggressively, but also providing the support and comfort needed on long trips. The back seat is a different story as there is barely any head and legroom available. The limited legroom also makes entry and exit difficult.
      Another issue with the G70 is the infotainment system. It's the same eight-inch system you'll find in several Hyundai vehicles such as the Kona and Venue, not the one seen in the G80 and G90 sedans. While the system is very easy to use and snappy, it doesn't fit the luxury image that the G70 is portraying. The good news is that the G70 will get a new infotainment system more fitting of its image as part of a refresh for 2022.
      A Threat?
      For a first attempt at the highly competitive luxury sport sedan class, Genesis knocked it out of the park. The G70 provides a triple threat of excellent performance, sharp handling, and a design that stands out. But now comes the big challenge for Genesis; luring buyers from the old guard. If they can do that, then the G70 can lay its mark.
      Cheers:
      Potent Twin-Turbo V6
      Crisp Handling
      Premium Interior
      Jeers:
      Infotainment System Hampers Luxury Ideal
      Cramped Rear Seats
      Fuel Economy Trailing the Pack
      How I Would Order a G70: Basically I would order the vehicle seen here, but in blue. That brings the as-tested price to $51,245.
      Alternatives:
      Kia Stinger GT: The sister model to the G70, the Stinger is more daring in its design with a hatchback shape. This also makes it slightly more practical than the Genesis. Where the G70 clobbers it is in the interior as the Stinger lacks the design and quality of materials. Performance and handling is a dead heat. Alfa Romeo Giulia: The G70's closest competitor when it comes to driving fun. No matter which version you choose, the handling is sublime and the steering is slightly better. I also find the Giulia's looks to be towards the top of the class with an elegant shape. But being an Alfa Romeo, the Giulia's reliability is very questionable.  Disclaimer: Genesis Provided the G70, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Genesis
      Model: G70
      Trim: 3.3T Sport
      Engine: 3.3L Twin-Turbo GDI V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 365 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 376 @ 1,300
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 17/26/20
      Curb Weight: 3,774 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, Korea
      Base Price: $44,650.00
      As Tested Price: $51,245.00 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Prestige Package: $2,850.00
      Elite Package: $1,450.00
      Sport Package: $1,300.00

      View full article
    • By William Maley
      Genesis has come a long way since it was spun off to its own brand back in 2015. We have heaped praise on the G80 and G90 sedans, but it needs to be noted that these were badged as Hyundais before becoming Genesis models. The real test would be seeing how an original model stacked up. Our chance came in the fall when a 2020 Genesis G70 3.3T Sport was dropped off for a week. This new entrant into the compact sport luxury sedan appears on paper to have the goods, but how would fare in the real world?
      The Heart & Bones
      Power in this G70 is the optional twin-turbo 3.3L V6 engine providing 365 horsepower and 376 pound-feet of torque. This is mated with an eight-speed automatic which routes power to the rear wheels. All-wheel drive is an option. Having some experience with this engine in the Genesis G80 Sport and Kia Stinger GT, I knew this engine would pack quite the punch. Step on the accelerator and the V6 provides a massive wallop of power for any situation needed. The eight-speed automatic delivers rapid and smooth gear changes.
      Where the V6 falls apart is in fuel economy. EPA figures for the G70 3.3T RWD are 17 City/26 Highway/20 Combined. My average for the week landed at a disappointing 19.2 mpg. The standard turbocharged 2.0L four-cylinder is better at 22/25/30 with the automatic.
      Handling is where the G70 shines. My 3.3T Sport comes with a couple of extra goodies - an electronically controlled suspension and a set of Michelin Pilot Sport summer tires. On the test route I use to evaluate handling, the G70 felt nicely balanced and provides the driver a big grin when going into a corner. The steering provides the right amount of weight and feels needed for enthusiastic driving. 
      When it comes time to do the daily commute, the G70 surprises here. Turn the drive mode knob into either Comfort or Smart, and the suspension softens up to provide a mostly smooth ride. I do wish the Pilot Sports had a slightly taller sidewall as some bumps do make their way inside. Also, barely any outside noise comes inside.
      Outside In
      While it may share the same bones as the Kia Stinger, I find the G70 a little bit easier on the eyes. Some of this comes down to the G70 being shorter in overall length (about a foot), and wheelbase (around three inches). Details that will catch your eye are gloss black wheels which come as part of the Sport package; the large front grille, and slim headlights.
      The G70's interior is very well done. Genesis' designers were able to craft an interior that not only looks nice but is also very functional. Many of the materials used are some of the best in the class with leather, aluminum, and soft-touch plastics. I also appreciate that the center stack is angled slightly towards the driver, allowing for easier access to the various controls. Speaking of that, there are a fair number of them for the audio, climate control, and other systems - primarily made up of large knobs and buttons. It may lack the minimalist look many are trending towards, but the ease of use cannot be beaten.
      For those sitting up front, Genesis provides a set of supportive sport seats with adjustable bolsters. I found the seats to do an excellent job of holding you in place while driving aggressively, but also providing the support and comfort needed on long trips. The back seat is a different story as there is barely any head and legroom available. The limited legroom also makes entry and exit difficult.
      Another issue with the G70 is the infotainment system. It's the same eight-inch system you'll find in several Hyundai vehicles such as the Kona and Venue, not the one seen in the G80 and G90 sedans. While the system is very easy to use and snappy, it doesn't fit the luxury image that the G70 is portraying. The good news is that the G70 will get a new infotainment system more fitting of its image as part of a refresh for 2022.
      A Threat?
      For a first attempt at the highly competitive luxury sport sedan class, Genesis knocked it out of the park. The G70 provides a triple threat of excellent performance, sharp handling, and a design that stands out. But now comes the big challenge for Genesis; luring buyers from the old guard. If they can do that, then the G70 can lay its mark.
      Cheers:
      Potent Twin-Turbo V6
      Crisp Handling
      Premium Interior
      Jeers:
      Infotainment System Hampers Luxury Ideal
      Cramped Rear Seats
      Fuel Economy Trailing the Pack
      How I Would Order a G70: Basically I would order the vehicle seen here, but in blue. That brings the as-tested price to $51,245.
      Alternatives:
      Kia Stinger GT: The sister model to the G70, the Stinger is more daring in its design with a hatchback shape. This also makes it slightly more practical than the Genesis. Where the G70 clobbers it is in the interior as the Stinger lacks the design and quality of materials. Performance and handling is a dead heat. Alfa Romeo Giulia: The G70's closest competitor when it comes to driving fun. No matter which version you choose, the handling is sublime and the steering is slightly better. I also find the Giulia's looks to be towards the top of the class with an elegant shape. But being an Alfa Romeo, the Giulia's reliability is very questionable.  Disclaimer: Genesis Provided the G70, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Genesis
      Model: G70
      Trim: 3.3T Sport
      Engine: 3.3L Twin-Turbo GDI V6
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 365 @ 6,000
      Torque @ RPM: 376 @ 1,300
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 17/26/20
      Curb Weight: 3,774 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Ulsan, Korea
      Base Price: $44,650.00
      As Tested Price: $51,245.00 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Prestige Package: $2,850.00
      Elite Package: $1,450.00
      Sport Package: $1,300.00
    • By William Maley
      Considering the number of Lexus RC coupes I have driven over the years, there has been a significant hole - the V8 RC F. Whenever I have asked for one, the vehicle either wasn't in the press fleet or someone else was driving it during the dates I had available. But I was able to finally get my hands on one for a week in early fall. It was good timing as I was feeling the effects of being home for the past six months due to COVID-19. Maybe this coupe could give me a bit of joy.
      The RC F is not a shrinking violet. From its bright yellow paint, blacked-out 20-inch wheels, and optional carbon fiber package that includes a retractable rear spoiler, this coupe is very brash and proud of it. I'll admit that I was worried about scraping or cracking the carbon fiber front splitter if I took a steep entrance ramp or bump a bit too aggressively. It looks cool on the car, but the existential dread of an expensive repair bill does sour the appeal.  Not much changes on the inside for the RC F except for carbon fiber trim and a set of racing-style seats. Usually, I have a lot of trepidation on this type of seat because I don't fully fit in due to my slightly wide shoulders. But the seats conformed to my body within a day or so and I found them to offer the balance of support during hard-driving, and comfort for day-to-day - something I find to be hit and miss on seats from other automakers. Lexus Enform is still a frustrating infotainment system to use on daily basis. With a touchy control pad, it is easy to find yourself changing the song or end up in a different section of the system. This means you need to pay close attention to any change being made, which becomes a distraction hazard. Apple CarPlay is standard and does make using the system a bit more bearable. But I do wish Lexus would roll out their touchscreen system which makes it much more intuitive. Though, that likely will not come until a redesign, possibly in the next year or two. The main event for the RC F is under the hood. A 5.0L V8 engine with 467 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque - figures that slightly pale when compared to the BMW M4 or Mercedes-AMG C63. This is paired with an eight-speed automatic which routes the power to the rear wheels. The initial acceleration is a slight disappointment as the throttle response feels a bit sleepy. I'm not sure if this was due to improve fuel economy or throttle feel higher in the rev band. Thankfully, this sleepiness goes away as the car climbs up in speed and the V8 reveals its party trick. The noise that comes out of this engine sounds like a muscle car and you find yourself stepping the accelerator to enjoy it. Not much to say about the eight-speed automatic. It goes about its business smoothly and quickly. Fuel economy was surprising in the least, as I got an average of 18 mpg in mostly city and suburb driving. A set of adaptive dampers comes standard for the RC-F and gives it a split personality. Turn the drive mode knob to Sport+ and the dampers tighten up to make the coupe feel more agile than its weight of 4,017 pounds would suggest. Also helping in the handling are a set of Michelin Pilot Sport 4S summer tires, providing tenacious grip. But switch the drive mode into normal and RC F becomes a very comfortable and refined grand tourer. Ride quality is very good with only a few bumps making their way inside. A minimal amount of road and wind noise is present. One area where the RC F holds a distinct advantage over the completion is the base price of $65,925 - undercutting most by a few grand. The danger is going through the option list and deciding to go crazy, which explains the as-tested price of $89,654. You can chop off over $11,000 by skipping the Performance package which brings all of the carbon fiber bits. The RC F lacks the outright performance as those from Germany. But I'm willing to overlook it because sometimes you want a car that just shouts to the world and the RC F does that very well. During my week, I found myself reveling in the engine and the grand touring characteristics of the suspension. It brought me the joy which sometimes is all you need a car to do. Disclaimer: Lexus Provided the RC F, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
      Year: 2020
      Make: Lexus
      Model: RC F
      Trim: -
      Engine: 5.0L DOHC 32-Valve V8
      Driveline: Eight-Speed Automatic, Rear-Wheel Drive
      Horsepower @ RPM: 467 @ 7,100
      Torque @ RPM: 389 @ 4,800 - 5,600
      Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 16/24/19
      Curb Weight: 3,958 lbs
      Location of Manufacture: Tahara, Aichi, Japan
      Base Price: $64,900
      As Tested Price: $89,654 (Includes $1,025.00 Destination Charge)
      Options:
      Performance Package - $11,400.00
      Premium Package - $5,350.00
      Navigation System w/Mark Levinson Audio - $2,725.00
      Torque Vectoring Differential - $1,250.00
      Premium Triple Beam LED Headlamps - $1,160.00
      Flare Yellow Premium Paint - $595.00
      Intuitive Parking Assist - $500.00
      Illuminated Door Sills - $449.00
      Orange Metallic Brembo Brake Calipers - $300.00

      View full article
  • Posts

  • Social Stream

  • Today's Birthdays

    1. FireStorm
      FireStorm
      (39 years old)
    2. MGZ06
      MGZ06
      (39 years old)
  • Who's Online (See full list)

  • My Clubs

About us

CheersandGears.com - Founded 2001

We ♥ Cars

Get in touch

Follow us

Recent tweets

facebook

×
×
  • Create New...