2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio review: Happiest when driven hard

Maria J. Danford

The Stelvio is as fast as it is quite. Steven Ewing/Roadshow I can not consider of an SUV which is additional interesting to generate than the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. It is not the fastest, the speediest or even the sharpest crossover you can acquire. But with its uncooked, raucous […]

The Stelvio is as fast as it is quite.


Steven Ewing/Roadshow

I can not consider of an SUV which is additional interesting to generate than the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. It is not the fastest, the speediest or even the sharpest crossover you can acquire. But with its uncooked, raucous demeanor, the Alfa is a full thrill.

Like

  • Ferrari-sourced motor is a heart of gold
  • Superb chassis tuning
  • Strong suite of driver-guidance tech

Really don’t Like

  • Interior is even now sub-par for the class
  • Infotainment tech is improved, but even now not terrific
  • Questionable trustworthiness

The entire Stelvio lineup gets a few noteworthy updates for 2020, significantly like the ones observed in the Giulia sedan. Alfa’s goal is to smooth out some of the SUV’s tough spots without having away from the Stelvio’s efficiency-centered demeanor. And to that finish, the organization has mostly succeeded.

All of the Stelvio’s main updates can be observed inside the cabin. A new, eight.eight-inch touchscreen is housed in the dashboard, operating redesigned infotainment software with reconfigurable displays. Alfa Romeo says the process is more quickly to reply to inputs, while it is even now a single of the laggiest multimedia setups I’ve analyzed in latest memory, but at minimum the graphics are cleaner and the menu composition is less difficult to navigate. Just about every Stelvio arrives with Apple CarPlay and Android Vehicle, as effectively as a WiFi hotspot, and wireless cellular phone charging is optional. I favor to just contact the display screen to interact with Alfa’s interface, but I value that redundant controls are housed on the console, for individuals who favor to go that route.

Even now, even with this enhanced onboard tech, Alfa’s software pales in comparison to what other luxury automakers give. Audi’s MMI and Mercedes’ MBUX setups give a richer set of attributes, and can be had with customizable digital gauge clusters, way too. Hell, even parent organization Fiat Chrysler’s Uconnect suite is improved to use.

Though the interior’s overall design has not adjusted, a great deal of the elements and switchgear have. The steering wheel and gear selector are wrapped in better-top quality leather-based, and the buttons and knobs on the middle console are additional gratifying to use.

Numerous of the interior elements are nicer, and the infotainment tech is enhanced, way too.


Steven Ewing/Roadshow

Regrettably, the Stelvio continues to path its rivals in terms of consolation and refinement. The Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Course and Porsche Macan are all much additional plush inside, with richer leathers and additional gorgeous wood and metal trim items. Most of these opponents give additional space for passengers and cargo, as effectively.

What has not adjusted for 2020 is what is actually underneath the hood. In the situation of the selection-topping Stelvio Quadrifoglio, electric power arrives from a Ferrari-sourced, twin-turbocharged, 2.9-liter V6, excellent for 505 horsepower and 443 pound-toes of torque. This powertrain is the Quadrifoglio’s single best attribute. Passionate and powerful, the Stelvio is a single of the raciest SUVs close to.

The greatest way to encounter the Quadrifoglio is in its Dynamic or Race generate modes, in which the motor and transmission are on entire attack. It normally takes just 3.six seconds for the Stelvio to accelerate to 60 mph, and the Quadrifoglio launches tough. The eight-velocity computerized transmission improvements gears with the urgency of a earth-class dual-clutch ‘box, and it is endlessly pleasurable to function via the significant, metal, column-mounted paddle shfiters, which are some of the greatest in the biz.

The Stelvio sounds incredible, way too, the wailing V6 and throaty exhaust superbly complementing a single another. Every single upshift is achieved with an assertive braap from the 4 significant tailpipes out back, and the burble on overrun is so intoxicating you’ll be revving the hell out of this motor just so you can carry off the throttle ideal prior to redline.

These sporting activities motor vehicle antics are felt in each and every section of the Stelvio. The steering quickly response to inputs, and the action of the wheel by itself is beautifully weighted. The suspension is company, indeed, but properly tuned to cut down pitch and roll while cornering. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio attacks winding roads with a stage of composure you would not expect from a compact SUV, and judged exclusively on higher-velocity shenanigans, the Alfa is a superstar.

Alfa looks to have sussed out some of the concerns with its brake-by-wire process — thank god. I even now really don’t like the numbness of the pedal by itself, but at minimum the brakes are less difficult to modulate than they have been prior to, especially at reduced speeds. My tester has the $eight,000 carbon-ceramic Brembo brake update, with 6-piston calipers up front and fourteen.2-inch discs with 4-piston calipers at the rear. Certainly, these better-efficiency brakes scrub velocity at a moment’s see, but they are a tiny significantly for everyday driving, and which is without thinking of the price tag.

It may possibly be underneath the hood of an Alfa, but that motor is all Ferrari.


Nick Miotke/Roadshow

The trade-off for this superlative efficiency is that the Stelvio QF is way way too harsh for everyday driving. In its normal driving method, the twin-turbo V6 isn’t going to genuinely want to enjoy ball — you just get the perception that it is been muzzled, waiting around to be unleashed. Good as the chassis is on a smooth canyon street, it helps make for a brittle journey about broken pavement.

I can forgive this higher-strung mother nature in the Quadrifoglio additional than I can in foundation Stelvio models — just after all, when you acquire a 505-hp SUV, you aren’t necessarily prioritizing docility. But when it is time to settle down and just be a luxury crossover — which, let’s be sincere, is 95% of the time — I would significantly alternatively run to the grocery retail outlet or commute down the freeway in a Mercedes-AMG GLC63.

That claimed, the Stelvio is at minimum technologically equipped to make working day-to-working day everyday living less difficult, with points like adaptive cruise control, lane-preserving help, blind-location monitoring and website traffic sign recognition all bundled into a $2,000 driver-guidance package deal. The 2020 Stelvio even has Alfa’s website traffic jam help, which brings together the adaptive cruise control and lane-preserving tech to make slow slogs on the freeway a breeze.

The Stelvio QF is an unbelievable performer, but a compromised everyday driver.


Steven Ewing/Roadshow

At $82,040 to begin, like $one,595 for destination, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is priced better than the BMW X3 M Competitors ($77,895) and Mercedes-AMG GLC63 ($74,745), but a little bit down below the Porsche Macan Turbo ($eighty four,950). All loaded up like my Rosso Competizione check motor vehicle, nevertheless, a Stelvio Quadrifoglio can almost contact $98,000. Yikes. For that revenue, I expect much improved infotainment tech and a significantly additional premium interior.

I am happy the Stelvio Quadrifoglio encourages you to generate its doorways off as typically as possible. But it is an less difficult market in something like the Giulia Quadrifoglio sedan. With an SUV physique fashion, buyers are inherently prioritizing points like passenger consolation and overall utility, and each and every a single of the Stelvio’s opponents do this things improved.

The 2020 Stelvio Quadrifoglio is a goddamn rocket, and I will hardly ever switch down the possibility to rip a single up my preferred mountain pass. But while Alfa’s created terrific strides to make the Stelvio nicer to dwell with, it is the essential flaws that’ll constantly make it a tricky market.

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