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Driven: 2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.

Driven: 2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
A few long years have passed since the go-faster Stelvio was updated, so how does it compare with the current crop of performance SUVs?

   



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Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

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The Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio has had more than its fair share of praise in the automotive press, especially since its update in 2020. However, with the game moving on and a plethora of new and improved rivals to choose from, is the Alfa really still up there with the best in the business? We went to find out.

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
Price: From £79,619
Engine: 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
Power: 510hp
Torque: 600Nm
Emissions: 267g/km
Economy: 23.9mpg
0-62mph: 3.8 seconds
Top speed: 176mph
Boot space: 525 litres

Styling

Externally, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio looks much as it ever did. The basically sound Stelvio shape is complemented by a few high-performance additions, including some black trim, massive wheels and air vents in the bonnet, while there are four exhaust outlets at the back. And there's a range of appealing colours. The traditional red is joined by a gorgeous green and a striking metallic blue, and all three make sure the Stelvio looks as dramatic as it feels.

Interior

When it was first launched, the Stelvio took some flak for its interior, and rightly so. The cabin plastics weren't up to snuff, and the overall sense of quality didn't really befit an £80,000 car. Thankfully, the update saw that cabin improve noticeably, with better materials and build quality, as well as an improved infotainment system. That said, the touchscreen already looks out of date, with a functional but uninspiring design, fiddly menus and some below-par graphics. It isn't terrible, and you might not complain about it in a mainstream, mass-market car, but it's sub-optimal in something this expensive. More impressive, however, are the standard seats, which offer a good mixture of comfort and security, holding you in place while still proving comfortable on longer drives.

Practicality

The whole point of the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is to offer customers something more practical than the Giulia Quadrifoglio performance saloon, and it certainly delivers on that front. Not only will the cabin take four adults in comfort, but the boot measures a substantial 525 litres, putting it on a par with other premium SUVs of comparable size. And while the Giulia might be a bit cramped for taller rear-seat passengers, the Stelvio feels much more like it, with ample room for four six-foot adults.

Performance

Under the Stelvioís louvred bonnet is a heart of gold. Not literally, of course. The 2.9-litre V6 is made from aluminium, and it was developed with more than a smattering of help from Ferrari. As a result, it pumps out 510hp and 600Nm of torque, which heads to all four wheels via the eight-speed automatic gearbox. That combination allows the car to produce a substantial shove in the derriere, getting you from 0-62mph in a frankly preposterous 3.8 seconds. And it sounds stunning while it does it. Naturally, it isnít that efficient Ė youíre looking at about 25mpg or so on a run and slightly less on average Ė but who really cares? This is a stonking engine.

Ride & Handling

Alfa hasnít really changed the way the Stelvio Quadrifoglio drives, and thatís because it really hasnít needed to. This is one of the most exciting and most enjoyable high-performance SUVs on the market, providing stern competition for even the Porsche Macan GTS when you find a good country road. Of course, itís slightly less comfortable than the Porsche around town, but itís far from unpleasant Ė you just feel the bumps more than you might like. But any discomfort fades into the background when you open the taps. The all-wheel-drive system enables you to use that power more of the time, and though refinement isnít perfect, the howl of the engine and the stellar performance more than makes up for that.

Value

With prices starting at just under £80,000, nobody could accuse the Stelvio Quadrifoglio of being cheap. Even alongside competitors such as the BMW X3 M Competition and the Jaguar F-Pace SVR it hardly represents great value. Particularly when you take the so-so touchscreen into account. But then it is noticeably cheaper than the Maserati Grecale Trofeo, which uses a modified version of the same platform and has slightly less sense of fun about it.

Verdict

The Stelvio Quadrifoglio is not what you might call subtle, and alongside more serious contenders it feels increasingly like a toy. That said, it's still a useful toy, capable of carrying a family in relative comfort and happy to bumble its way down a farm track or through a craggy car park. Yet when the mood takes you, it can be enormously good fun.



James Fossdyke - 30 Jan 2023



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2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.

2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.







 

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