2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Review - Italian Hustle

Tim Healey
by Tim Healey
Fast Facts

2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio Fast Facts

2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 (505 horsepower @ 6,500 rpm; 443 lb-ft @ 2,500 -5,500 rpm)
Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive
17 city / 23 highway / 19 combined (EPA Rating, MPG)
13.9 city, 10.3 highway, 12.3 combined. (NRCan Rating, L/100km)
Base Price
$80,445 (U.S) / $84,200(Canada)
As Tested
$96,540 (U.S.) / $100,590 (Canada)
Prices include $1,595 destination charge in the United States and $1,995 to $2,695 for freight, PDI, and A/C tax in Canada and, because of cross-border equipment differences, can't be directly compared.

Following up on my previous review of the 2020 BMW X5 M Competition, I’ve got another luxurious “sporty” crossover in my crosshairs. Today’s target: The 2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio.

Except this one has at least some Italian heritage, instead of German. Trading schnitzel for stringozzi, so to speak.

This one also handles just a bit differently. Which I’ll get to.

Like the BMW, the Stelvio QV is quick. Like the German, it handles well, especially for a luxury crossover. Unlike the Bimmer, it turns in more sharply.

The ride is perhaps a smidge stiffer, too.

The biggest difference, however, is the price. Unlike the BMW, this Stelvio can be yours for under six figures.

Unlike the V8-powered BMW, the Stelvio uses six pistons to power the action – a 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 that puts out 505 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque is on hand here. An eight-speed automatic gets the power to ground via an all-wheel-drive system.

It can accelerate with gusto, just like its Bavarian rival, though both have more power than can be easily tapped in real-world driving. Suburbia is speed-limited, after all.

As noted above, the biggest on-road dynamic difference between the BMW and the Alfa is that sharper turn-in and somewhat stiffer ride offered by the latter.

Inside, the cabin is well designed, with fewer nods to the corporate parts bin than the Maserati Levante GTS. Alfa put its own touches to work here. The infotainment system is no harder to use than iDrive, and perhaps easier. Rear legroom is tight at just over 31 inches – six inches or so less than the Bimmer.

Comparisons to BMW aside, the Stelvio offers up a fun-to-drive experience.

It also felt quite lively, not just compared to the heavier BMW (there’s a 1,000-pound difference), but overall. Yeah, the ride is on the stiff side. But the Stelvio QV just feels ready to play.

Fun doesn’t come cheap, though, and it will cost you 80 big ones just to say hey. That does get you the drive-mode system (dynamic, natural, all-weather, and race), an active suspension, torque vectoring, carbon-fiber driveshaft, full-speed forward-collision warning plus, blind-spot and cross-path detection, rear backup camera, front and rear parking-assist sensors, remote keyless entry, push-button start, remote start, headlamp washers, power liftgate, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio, navigation, Harmon Kardon audio system, carbon-fiber interior trim, heated front seats, heated steering wheel, and aluminum pedals.

Whew. Now we start ticking options boxes. The Misano Blue metallic exterior paint was $600. An Active Driver Assist package is $2K and adds highway-assist, traffic-jam assist, lane-keep assist, active blind-spot assist, traffic-sign recognition, adaptive cruise control with stop, automatic high beams, and infrared windshield. The Security and Convenience package ($400) adds an alarm, adjustable rails for the cargo area, cargo net, and 115-volt auxiliary outlet.

A Nero Edizione Quadrifoglio option ($850) brings forth 20-inch wheels and Dark Miron grille, mirror caps, and badging. Brembo brakes cost $8,000 (not a typo!), and the dual-pane sunroof and shark-fin antenna cost $1,350. Heated second-row seats are $350, wireless charging pad $200, and the carbon-fiber steering wheel and leather shift knob cost $400. Finally, painted brake calipers (yellow in this case) cost $350. With $1,595 in destination, the total came to $96,540.

That may not be six figures, but it’s still a lot of dough. There are, of course, people who have that kind of dough and the will to spend it.

Those who choose to spend it on this Alfa will find their desire for the sport in sport utility to be sated.

It’s a playful people hauler, though a bit short on rear passenger space, and there are always reliability concerns with an Alfa. If you like Italian spice, this is your ride.

[Images © 2021 Tim Healey/TTAC]

Tim Healey
Tim Healey

Tim Healey grew up around the auto-parts business and has always had a love for cars — his parents joke his first word was “‘Vette”. Despite this, he wanted to pursue a career in sports writing but he ended up falling semi-accidentally into the automotive-journalism industry, first at Consumer Guide Automotive and later at Web2Carz.com. He also worked as an industry analyst at Mintel Group and freelanced for About.com, CarFax, Vehix.com, High Gear Media, Torque News, FutureCar.com, Cars.com, among others, and of course Vertical Scope sites such as AutoGuide.com, Off-Road.com, and HybridCars.com. He’s an urbanite and as such, doesn’t need a daily driver, but if he had one, it would be compact, sporty, and have a manual transmission.

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5 of 47 comments
  • VoGhost Fantastic work by Honda design. When I first saw the pictures, I thought "Is that a second gen Acura NSX?"
  • V16 2025 VW GLI...or 2025 Honda Civic SI? Same target audience, similar price points. Both are rays of sun in the gray world of SUV'S.
  • FreedMike Said this before and I'll say it again: I'm not that exercised about this whole "pay for a subscription" thing, as long as the deal's reasonable. And here's how you make it reasonable: offer it a monthly charge. Let's say that adaptive headlights are a $500 option on this vehicle, and the subscription is $15 a month, or $540 over a three year lease. So you try the feature for a month, and if you like it, you keep it; if you don't, then you discontinue it, like a Netflix subscription. In any case, you didn't get charged $500 up front the feature. That's not a bad deal.In my case, let's say VW offers an over the air chip reflash that gives me another 25 hp. The total price of the upgrade is $1,000 (which is what a reflash would cost you in the aftermarket). If they offered me a one time monthly subscription for $50 to try it out, I'd take it. In other words, maybe the news isn't all bad.
  • 2ACL A good car, but - at least in this configuration -not one that should command a premium. Its qualities just aren't as enduring as those of Honda's contemporary sports cars. For better or worse, this is a formula they remain able to replicate.
  • Jalop1991 I just read that Tesla's profits are WAY down "as the electric vehicle company has faced both more EV competition from established automakers and a slowing of overall EV sales growth." This Cadillac wouldn't help Tesla at all, but the slowing market of EV sales overall means this should be a halo/boutique car. Regardless, yes, they should make it.