ROMEO, Romeo, wherefore art thou, Romeo? Shakespeare’s immortal lines are probably the one bit of the Bard’s dramatic output that everyone can recite, even though they have never seen the play about the star-crossed lovers.

The words ran through my head as I first pressed the ‘start’ button on Weekend Wheels’ latest road test car, an Alfa Romeo Stelvio. Well, there always has been something romantic about the Italian marque’s motors so it does seem apt.

This stylish and imposing car is Alfa’s first SUV and it finds itself in the same territory as the Mercedes GLC, BMW X3, Jaguar F-Pace and Volvo XC60.

Our model was a 2.2 Turbo Diesel Q4 AWD Super. The ‘Q4’ bit signifies it has the company’s four-wheel-drive system, which is standard on all bar the entry-level diesels.

This is rear-wheel-drive-only in normal conditions, but if the electronic control unit detects any wheelspin it can send up to half of the power to the front wheels to improve grip.

An eight-speed automatic gearbox is standard across the range and with 210bhp on tap, the Stelvio reaches 62mph in 6.6 seconds, with a top speed of 134mph while returning 59mpg on the combined cycle (maker’s figures).

Handling feels assured and the driving experience has a sporty edge to it, with selectable drive modes, dubbed DNA - dynamic, normal and all-weather. The first of these sharpens the car’s responses and holds gears for longer under acceleration.

There is a wealth of features, including 19in ten-spoke alloy wheels, LED rear lights, halogen projector spotlights, rear parking sensors, double lateral chrome exhaust pipes, front parking sensors, leather upholstery, two-tone dashboard, leather-trimmed flat-bottomed steering wheel, 8.8in infotainment system with 3D satellite navigation system, Bluetooth/aux multimedia connectivity, two front and rear USB ports, steering wheel controls, DAB eight-speaker sound system, dual-zone automatic air conditioning, power tailgate, and dusk and rain sensors for lights and wipers.

Our car also had some options fitted including heated electrically-adjustable seats, and reversing camera. On the safety front you will find the likes of autonomous emergency brake, lane departure warning, electronic stability control, and hill descent control.

With power, pace, comfort and delicious style, the Stelvio looks to be a winner in the SUV stakes. Price: £44,610 inc options.