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Car Review

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio review

£84,535
710
Published: 13 Mar 2024
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Looks horny, goes like stink and sounds rude, but the ultimate Stelvio’s flawed cabin is a let-down

Good stuff

Actually quite pretty, as super-SUVs go. Lovely gearshift paddles

Bad stuff

Long leg / short arm driving position designed for a tyrannosaurus rex. Cheap materials and dated infotainment

Overview

What is it?

It’s Alfa Romeo’s first ever performance SUV… and still the only one. There’s no hot version of the smaller Tonale, and Alfa doesn’t build a bigger crossover than this to fight yer BMW X5s and Range Rover Sports. But look at it another way: this is the second most expensive Alfa Romeo money can buy, after the 1-of-33, um, 33 Stradale supercar. It’s an £87,000 machine.

And for 2024, Alfa has given this eight year-old contender a facelift. Not a very big one either: you’ll spot the triple-element LED headlights… and that’s about it. Underneath there’s 10 more horsepower from the 2.9-litre V6: with 513bhp on tap it’s now just 20bhp shy of the Giulia GTA.

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Also concealed within is a mechanical limited-slip differential, in place of the older car’s electric LSD. You still get an amusingly rear-biased all-wheel drive system as standard.

Alfa claims 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds and a top speed of 177mph (and unlike the Germans there’s no extra charge to bypass a 155mph limiter). It’s difficult to understand why anyone would need a faster family car than this, so don’t bemoan the lack of a more substantial power hike.

Anything new inside?

Digital dials, via a 12.3inch screen, take the place of the attractive physical clockfaces in the deep binnacles behind the slender steering wheel. Alfa has made the carbon fibre trim uglier inside, and left everything else alone. We’d wished for upgraded infotainment, but luckily phone mirroring arrived a couple of years ago, so you can largely ignore the clunky Alfa interface and just use Apple or Android instead.

There’s also been no change to the driving position, which is oddly perched, with too little seat height and steering wheel reach adjustments. That’s a bit of an open goal in a class full of talent – you don’t have to be shaped like an orang-utan to enjoy a BMW X3 M Competition, for example. Or a Porsche Macan GTS. Or a Mercedes-AMG GLC63. But that does require an IT degree, and ear defenders. So we’ll be ignoring it.

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How much is the Alfa?

A mighty £87,195, and that’s very serious money. Luckily, it’s still an enjoyable drive, relatively practical, and among the best-looking fast SUVs ever made.

What's the verdict?

Tiny power bump and new details for Alfa’s super-SUV don’t solve its inner issues

Quite by accident, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio currently finds itself without too many rivals to worry about. The Porsche Macan GTS, an aged but very fine car, is now off sale in much of the world and not long for the chop in the UK, as an all-electric version replaces Porsche’s best-selling small SUV. We suspect that doesn’t appeal to the hot-rod Alfa set. AMG is amid a four-cylinder hybrid identity crisis.

So what does the Alfa fight? Chiefly it’s the BMW X3 M, which is far too stiffly sprung to be recommendable, and the oft-overlooked Jaguar F-Pace SVR, which now costs from £87k. Coincidence, eh? We’d go for the Jag, because it’s a blood’n’thunder V8 not long for this world, and the interior is more upmarket than the Alfa’s, but if you were wooed by the Italian, we’d understand. Just make sure you can get along with the interior before you buy.

The Rivals

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