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First drive: Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio (2024MY). Image by Alfa Romeo.

First drive: Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio (2024MY)
Modest styling and interior updates, some big mechanical changes and even more power for Alfa’s hottest SUV.


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Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio (2024MY)

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Alfa Romeo ensures that its range-topping Stelvio Quadrifoglio high-performance model is brought into line with the rest of the SUV's family, by giving it a facelift revolving around a new set of lights. However, the company has also taken the opportunity to enact some chassis updates, in the form of a mechanical limited-slip diff and tweaks to the suspension to cope. Along with a tiny increase in power, does all of this add up to the best Stelvio Quadrifoglio yet?

Test Car Specifications

Model: 2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio
Price: Stelvio from £45,595, Quadrifoglio from £87,195
Engine: 2.9-litre twin-turbocharged V6 petrol
Transmission: eight-speed automatic, Q4 all-wheel drive with mechanical limited-slip differential
Power: 520hp at 6,500rpm
Torque: 600Nm at 2,500-5,000rpm
Emissions: 267/km
Economy: 23.9mpg
0-62mph: 3.8 seconds
Top speed: 177mph
Boot space: 499-1,600 litres


Fulfilling an aesthetic and practicality brief in the Alfa product portfolio because the Italian firm has never done the decent thing and given us a Giulia Sportwagon, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio remains a good-looking creation. As standard, it sits on larger 20-inch wheels than the related Giulia Quadrifoglio, but even with that detail there can still be quite a bit of 'gapping' in the arches. This is presumably why you can option the SUV up with 21s if you want them, the largest wheels ever fitted to a production Alfa. Nevertheless, with quad exhausts, enhanced body styling and the option of finishing the thing in sumptuous Montreal Green paint, the Stelvio remains a handsome thing, even though it has been around for a while now.

The only physical change for the 2024 model year, then, is the adoption of the '3+3' Matrix LED headlights up front. Not only do these pay homage to the SZ and RZ Alfas of the late 1980s and early '90s, but they complete the corporate look of all new models from the Milanese outfit, a family 'face' that was first worn by the junior crossover in the line-up, the newer Tonale. These triple-signature clusters do enough to keep the big Stelvio looking fresh, especially useful given all of its main rivals have had (or are about to have) all-new models since the Alfa launched.


As both the Stelvio and the Giulia sit on 'Giorgio', the doomed (but brilliant) platform that was supposed to be Alfa's long-term saviour and the basis of eight distinct model lines, the changes wrought on the Quadrifoglio SUV closely follow those of the saloon. This means that the cabin is generally carried over from the 2020MY-on cars, so the good points are that material quality is high, the look of it is attractively and stylishly Italianate, and the ambience has now been enhanced by real, open-weave carbon-fibre interior trim, as well as the new 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster (again lifted from the Tonale, and 'lesser' Stelvio and Giulia models too). The bad news is that the 8.8-inch infotainment system continues, which is OK and perfectly passable, but that's about as far as we can 'praise' it. At least Alfa persists with physical buttons, we suppose, as per the climate controls and so on, rather than loading everything onto one massive, dominating, distracting digital display as in many more modern rivals.


There's a good amount of room in the back of the Stelvio Quadrifoglio for passengers to get comfortable, without it being particularly noteworthy in terms of excessive leg- and headroom. The boot is also decent if not spectacular, a figure of almost 500 litres with all seats in use being OK and nothing more in this day and age. Various interior storage cubbies, a great driving position and impressive visibility out of the cabin are all further boons to the Alfa's practicality score.


There's been a minor change under the bonnet as the spectacular 2.9-litre twin-turbo V6 petrol powering the Stelvio Quadrifoglio has been given a circa two per cent power hike for a new headline figure of 520hp (previously 510hp). It does nothing drastic to the official stats for the car, although it's now said to go 1mph faster flat out (at 177mph) where legal and applicable, while it remains the fastest-accelerating Alfa road car of them all - 0-62mph is done with in 3.8 seconds, courtesy of the Stelvio's standard-fit Q4 all-wheel-drive system.

One of the Alfa's hidden strengths is its kerb weight of 1,850kg. While we're not about to say that something 1.85 tonnes is a superlight special or anything, in the context of high-performance SUVs with a premium bent, keeping the mass so significantly beneath the two-tonne marker is nothing short of extraordinary.

This leanness permeates everything the Alfa does, in a good way, but then you could say this facet has always been a part of the Stelvio's innate character - the 2024MY changes do nothing to alter that. However, that's not to diminish the effectiveness and delight of this powertrain. Hooked up to a slick-shifting eight-speed auto, the performance the Stelvio Quadrifoglio serves up is sensational. It's quick off the mark, it's quick in the midrange, it's quick if you rev it out to the 7,000rpm limiter, it's quick if you try and rely on the two turbos to torque-haul you out of a low-revs/high-gear hole... it is, in short, chuffing quick everywhere.

And it sounds amazing too. There's a lovely, rasping grumble to the 2.9 until you get to about a third of the way around the dial, whereupon it really starts to clear its lungs and sing its crisp, snarling V6 aria. At the redline, it's a proper howl emanating from the Alfa, aided by a set of exhaust pipes which are nicely judged in terms of the thuds and rumbles they add to proceedings. So in terms of sheer speed and noise, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio remains what it has always been - one of the finest high-performance SUVs available.

Ride & Handling

The Stelvio Quadrifoglio has been privy to the same chassis changes as its 520hp Giulia relation. This means the big SUV gains a mechanical limited-slip differential, despite the fact it is Q4 and not rear-wheel drive, while the Synaptic Dynamic Control (SDC) adjustable dampers have been retuned to cope with this.

And we have always gone on the record as saying that the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is one of our favourite fast SUVs to drive. Short of one of the more potent versions of the Porsche Macan, there's very little else that's high-riding which can hold a candle to the Alfa dynamically.

This still holds true, but the effect of fitting the mechanical diff and revised SDCs here has not been as beneficial as it has with the Giulia Q. The Stelvio V6 has always had a rear-biased feel, yet there's less of a sensation of it being as stance-adjustable on the throttle with these latest changes. Driven around a short and not massively challenging track, the Alfa SUV is highly capable, yet doesn't come across as being as playful as it was when we first enjoyed its talents. It feels more foursquare in its attitude, dare we say even displaying a hint of understeer?

There's also another problem that manifests itself when you're out on the UK's pockmarked roads, which is a lumpy low-speed ride. As standard, the Stelvio runs on larger 20-inch wheels than the Giulia Q with its 19s, and we're just vaguely wondering if the dampers and chassis tuning have all been optimised for the smaller alloys and/or lighter saloon. There are times, even with the Stelvio Q in Normal or Advanced Efficiency, where it starts to pogo up and down abruptly when it encounters a series of closely spaced bumps in the road. It's not terrible, and it's not something unique to the Alfa - plenty of hot SUVs can do the same - but we don't remember this rapid Stelvio exhibiting such behaviour previously.

That said, there's still a heck of a lot to like about the grip, about the poise and about the refinement this Stelvio Quadrifoglio can serve up, and if the speeds are higher and the road surface is in your favour, then it's a deeply likeable thing to travel in. It also has superb steering, impressive body control and a genuine sense of being light on its feet, all of which means we remain devoted fans of the ultimate Stelvio - and why we reckon it should win more fans in showrooms than, sadly, we fear it probably will do.


Previously retailing at around the £70,000 mark when it first arrived on these shores, nowadays the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is knocking on the door of 90 grand. Nevertheless, in mitigation the standard equipment list includes things like a 14-speaker Harman/Kardon sound system, a heated steering wheel and front seats, radar cruise control, leather upholstery, keyless entry and go, a powered tailgate, wireless smartphone charging, dual-zone climate control, parking sensors all round with a reversing camera, and a whole heap of advanced driver assist safety features, among much more, that all serve to justify its price. Further, SUVs of similar potency and talent are the same sort of money as this, so the Alfa doesn't feel too expensive for what it is.


Carefully considered updates do enough to keep the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Qaudrifoglio relevant into 2024 and beyond, despite the fact it is seven years old and counting now. It remains a rapid SUV with a superb chassis, a fantastic soundtrack, a quality interior (infotainment aside) and handsome looks, and while there are a few grumbles regarding the sometimes-brittle ride quality and the feeling that it's a little less tail-happy than it once was, it nevertheless continues to be one of our favourite fast SUVs of them all. Just make sure you get it in Montreal Green if you take a punt on the exceptional 2024 Stelvio Q, please.

Matt Robinson - 12 Mar 2024    - Alfa Romeo road tests
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2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.

2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.2024 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Image by Alfa Romeo.


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