2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio review: Happiest when driven hard

    The Stelvio is as quick as it’s fairly.
    Steven Ewing/Roadshow
    I am unable to consider an SUV that is extra thrilling to drive than the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. It’s not the quickest, the quickest and even the sharpest crossover you should buy. But with its uncooked, raucous demeanor, the Alfa is a complete thrill.

    LikeFerrari-sourced engine is a coronary heart of goldFantastic chassis tuningRobust suite of driver-assistance tech

    Don’t LikeInterior continues to be sub-par for the categoryInfotainment tech is healthier, however nonetheless not greatQuestionable reliability

    The total Stelvio lineup will get a number of notable updates for 2020, very similar to those seen within the Giulia sedan. Alfa’s objective is to clean out among the SUV’s tough spots with out taking away from the Stelvio’s performance-focused demeanor. And to that finish, the corporate has principally succeeded.All of the Stelvio’s main updates may be discovered contained in the cabin. A brand new, 8.8-inch touchscreen is housed within the dashboard, working redesigned infotainment software program with reconfigurable shows. Alfa Romeo says the system is faster to answer inputs, although it is nonetheless one of many laggiest multimedia setups I’ve examined in latest reminiscence, however no less than the graphics are cleaner and the menu construction is simpler to navigate. Every Stelvio comes with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, in addition to a WiFi hotspot, and wi-fi telephone charging is non-obligatory. I favor to only contact the display screen to work together with Alfa’s interface, however I respect that redundant controls are housed on the console, for people preferring to go that route.

    Still, regardless of this improved onboard tech, Alfa’s software program pales compared to what different luxurious automakers provide. Audi’s MMI and Mercedes’ MBUX setups provide a richer set of options, and may be had with customizable digital gauge clusters, too. Hell, even guardian firm Fiat Chrysler’s Uconnect suite is healthier to make use of.While the inside’s general design hasn’t modified, numerous the supplies and switchgear have. The steering wheel and kit selector are wrapped in higher-quality leather-based, and the buttons and knobs on the middle console are extra satisfying to make use of.

    Many of the inside supplies are nicer, and the infotainment tech is improved, too.
    Steven Ewing/Roadshow
    Unfortunately, the Stelvio continues to path its rivals by way of consolation and refinement. The Audi Q5, BMW X3, Mercedes-Benz GLC-Class and Porsche Macan are all much more plush inside, with richer leathers and extra stunning wooden and steel trim items. Most of those rivals provide extra space for passengers and cargo, as nicely.

    What hasn’t modified for 2020 is what’s beneath the hood. In the case of the range-topping Stelvio Quadrifoglio, energy comes from a Ferrari-sourced, twin-turbocharged, 2.9-liter V6, good for 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. This powertrain is the Quadrifoglio’s single biggest attribute. Passionate and highly effective, the Stelvio is likely one of the raciest SUVs round.The greatest solution to expertise the Quadrifoglio is in its Dynamic or Race drive modes, the place the engine and transmission are on full assault. It takes simply 3.6 seconds for the Stelvio to speed up to 60 mph, and the Quadrifoglio launches onerous. The eight-speed computerized transmission modifications gears with the urgency of a world-class dual-clutch ‘field, and it is endlessly enjoyable to work through the large, steel, column-mounted paddle shfiters, that are among the greatest within the biz.
    2020 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is a red-hot compact SUV
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    The Stelvio sounds superb, too, the wailing V6 and throaty exhaust fantastically complementing each other. Each upshift is met with an assertive braap from the 4 large tailpipes out again, and the burble on overrun is so intoxicating you may be revving the hell out of this engine simply so you may raise off the throttle proper earlier than redline.These sports activities automotive antics are felt in each a part of the Stelvio. The steering rapidly response to inputs, and the motion of the wheel itself is completely weighted. The suspension is agency, sure, however properly tuned to scale back pitch and roll whereas cornering. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio assaults winding roads with a stage of composure you would not anticipate from a compact SUV, and judged solely on high-speed shenanigans, the Alfa is a celebrity.Alfa appears to have sussed out among the points with its brake-by-wire system — thank god. I nonetheless do not just like the numbness of the pedal itself, however no less than the brakes are simpler to modulate than they have been earlier than, particularly at decrease speeds. My tester has the $8,000 carbon-ceramic Brembo brake improve, with six-piston calipers up entrance and 14.2-inch discs with four-piston calipers on the rear. Yes, these higher-performance brakes scrub pace at a second’s discover, however they’re slightly a lot for each day driving, and that is with out contemplating the value tag.It could also be beneath the hood of an Alfa, however that engine is all Ferrari.
    Nick Miotke/Roadshow
    The trade-off for this superlative efficiency is that the Stelvio QF is method too harsh for each day driving. In its commonplace driving mode, the twin-turbo V6 would not actually need to play ball — you simply get the sense that it has been muzzled, ready to be unleashed. Great because the chassis is on a clean canyon street, it makes for a brittle journey over damaged pavement.I can forgive this high-strung nature within the Quadrifoglio greater than I can in base Stelvio fashions — in spite of everything, while you purchase a 505-hp SUV, you are not essentially prioritizing docility. But when it’s time to cool down and simply be a luxurious crossover — which, let’s be sincere, is 95% of the time — I might a lot quite run to the grocery retailer or commute down the freeway in a Mercedes-AMG GLC63.That mentioned, the Stelvio is no less than technologically geared up to make day-to-day life simpler, with issues like adaptive cruise management, lane-keeping help, blind-spot monitoring and visitors signal recognition all bundled right into a $2,000 driver-assistance bundle. The 2020 Stelvio even has Alfa’s visitors jam help, which mixes the adaptive cruise management and lane-keeping tech to make sluggish slogs on the freeway a breeze.The Stelvio QF is an unbelievable performer, however a compromised each day driver.
    Steven Ewing/Roadshow
    At $82,040 to start out, together with $1,595 for vacation spot, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is priced larger than the BMW X3 M Competition ($77,895) and Mercedes-AMG GLC63 ($74,745), however barely under the Porsche Macan Turbo ($84,950). All loaded up like my Rosso Competizione check automotive, nevertheless, a Stelvio Quadrifoglio can virtually contact $98,000. Yikes. For that cash, I anticipate much better infotainment tech and a way more premium inside.I’m glad the Stelvio Quadrifoglio encourages you to drive its doorways off as usually as potential. But it is a neater promote in one thing just like the Giulia Quadrifoglio sedan. With an SUV physique type, clients are inherently prioritizing issues like passenger consolation and general utility, and each one of many Stelvio’s rivals do that stuff higher.The 2020 Stelvio Quadrifoglio is a goddamn rocket, and I’ll by no means flip down the possibility to tear one up my favourite mountain cross. But whereas Alfa’s made nice strides to make the Stelvio nicer to reside with, it is the basic flaws that’ll all the time make it a troublesome promote.

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