This is not just a green Alfa Romeo Stelvio – this is a Visconti Green Stelvio Milano Edizione.

And fabulously elegant it looks too.

Style, of course, sits at the very heart of the appeal of Alfa Romeo but the Italian carmaker’s attraction is equally about performance.

So how does a Stelvio powered by an unfashionable diesel engine sit alongside a range of sparky, sporty petrol models? The answer is very comfortably indeed.

The car driven here was powered by the peppy 210 horsepower, turbocharged four-cylinder engine in Q4 four-wheel-drive specification, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The engine is all-aluminium and actually weighs a fraction less than the 2.0-litre petrol version, with extensive use of aluminium body panels and suspension components and a carbon fibre prop shaft all helping to make the Stelvio a seriously slimline competitor in the full-size sports utility vehicle sector.

The beauty of diesel power is the huge cruising range offered by a full tank of fuel and the Stelvio is made for long distance travel, happily munching motorway miles, while also delivering a surprising amount of feel when pressing on along country roads.

The Stelvio shares much of its chassis with the hugely impressive Giulia saloon and once off the straight and narrow, it works seamlessly with the four-wheel-drive system to deliver impressively sure-footed cornering and firm control of body roll.

The Q4 system normally sends all drive to the rear axle but a multi-plate clutch can automatically divert up to half the drive forward as required.

Sharp steering is not something you normally associate with a large SUV, but the Stelvio’s neat flat-bottomed steering wheel delivers both a crisp and well-weighted reaction.

If you feel the need to alter the gearbox response, it can be electronically tweaked at the flick of a rotary selector, from its normal setting to dynamic which brings more rapid up and downshifts from a pair of large steering column-mounted paddle shifters. Another flick of the central controller to an eco-setting works equally well by calming everything down.

While the Stelvio’s pull to buyers is clearly focused on its classy appearance and agile performance, the cabin with its quality materials, excellent switchgear layout and high driving position make it a refined place to travel.

All Stelvio models include 8.8-inch Alfa Connect with satellite navigation, operated by a central controller, with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard allowing seamless integration with a smartphone. The tailgate is power operated and the car comes with front and rear parking sensors and a rear-view camera.

As well as being well equipped, the package is properly practical too, with plenty of space for five people and their luggage and split/fold rear seats that open at the pull of a handle to open up a vast luggage area, complete with useful touches such as a 12-volt power socket.

The standard content of the Stelvio range has also been bolstered with the Super trim level now including Michelin CrossClimate Winter tyres to its standard equipment list, while the Speciale also adds rear privacy glass, aluminium kick plates and black brake callipers.

The Milano Edizione driven here came with rear privacy glass, aluminium kick plates, red anodised brake callipers and, like the top-of-the-range Quadrifoglio model, 20-inch, black and silver, five-hole alloy wheels to complete the look.

And if green is not to your taste, other colours are available.

Auto facts

Model: Alfa Romeo Stelvio Milano Edizione 2.2 AWD

Price: £45,605

Insurance group: 33 (1-50)

Fuel consumption (combined): 49.5mpg

Top speed: 130mph

Length: 468.7cm/184in

Width: 190.3cm/74.7in

Luggage capacity: 525 litres/18.5 cu ft

Fuel tank capacity: 11.4 gallons/52 litres

CO2 emissions: 147 g/km

Warranty: Five years/ 75,000 miles