Thank God for the Italians. They’ve got style, culinary greatness, and have built some of the most coveted cars in history. But what about SUVs? I mean sure, there was that crazy Lamborghini LM002 back in the 80s, and now we’ve got the Urus — but its looks have proven polarizing.
Other than that though, there hasn’t been anything on the pasta radar until the release of this, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Not only is it wicked fast and comfortable, but if you beat it like it owes you money, it’ll reward you with the handling manners of a hardcore sports-sedan.
2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD Exterior
As SUVs go, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is pretty sexy. From the staggered 20×9 and 20×10 five-hole aluminum wheels and the V Scudetto grille, to that little four-leaf clover that graces the front fenders, the designers at Alfa Romeo need to be commended. They’ve managed to make the Stelvio stand out in today’s sea of SUVs.
But if you walk quickly by the Quadrifoglio, you’ll likely miss many of the performance and styling cues that make it great. The sculpted hood, for instance, employs vents that aid with heat extraction. Then, there are the air intakes in the lower front fascia that direct airflow over some of the Stelvios’ many internal coolers. There are also Bi-Xenon headlamps with LED daytime running lights that help to frame Alfa’s signature grille.
Tucked neatly in the wheel wells are those aforementioned five-hole alloys that wear a 255/40-Pirelli P Zero tire up front and 285/40-series in the rear. Bright red six-piston Brembo calipers on steel rotors can be seen underneath. But if you want to splurge, for an extra $8k, you can get track-ready carbon ceramics. Overall, the body lines are soft and organic, and focus on the use of smooth contours that help with the vehicle aerodynamics. There are also free roof rails available (although they are an option), along with an integrated roof spoiler, LED taillights, polished quad-tipped exhaust ports, and a blacked-out lower diffusor that incorporates a mesh grille.
Overall, the Montecarlo Blue Metallic paint and the optional black wheels, made my Stelvio tester quite stunning in person.
2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD Interior
Let’s see… Carbon fiber steering wheel and dash inserts, check. Alcantara and leather seating surfaces with heat, check. Both analog gauges and a digital readout screen that will tell you when you’re going to jail for speeding, double check! These ladies and gentlemen, are the very nice, and sport-oriented interior goodies that you’ll find in the cabin of the 2019 Stelvio Quadrifoglio. There’s also an awesome 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system, and a great infotainment system with an 8.8-inch widescreen color display that will give you access to all in-car settings, media, navigation, phone and audio stations.
In and of itself, the center console is underwhelming, even with its carbon fiber inserts. There is, however, simplicity to it that folks will appreciate. Located at the base of the gear selector are three rotary knobs that allow one to toggle between suspension settings, the infotainment system, and media center volume. Then, situated directly in front are the basic (and intuitive) HVAC controls, along with a standard 12v and USB power ports.
Having an interior that’s centered on the driver in a vehicle that’s meant to haul the family is a bit odd. Then again, there aren’t too many family haulers that will lap the Nürburgring in 7:51.7. For those unaware, this is where the DNA of Alfa Romeo comes into play. Because even though the Stelvio offers up to 56.5 cubic-feet of cargo and will tow up to 3,000 pounds, it was first and foremost meant to be driven, and driven hard. Is it luxurious? Sure, but with a confident emphasis on sport. Is it useful? Absolutely, however, this is not an SUV that’s meant to go camping.
Instead, the 2019 Stelvio Quadrifoglio has a cabin that’s better suited to being flogged around at your favorite raceway or twisty road, rather than on an off-tarmac excursion.
2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD Performance
So let’s talk stats: zero to 60 mph takes just 3.4 seconds. Zero to 100 mph takes just 8.8. It’ll run the quarter mile in 12 seconds flat at 115 mph, and will hit a top speed of 176 mph. All of this is thanks to a an all-aluminum 2.9-liter twin-turbocharged V6 that makes 505 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque.
Folks, this thing is fast!
The reason the Stelvio is so good is that it shares much of its underpinnings with the Giulia Quadrifoglio, it’s sedan sibling, a car that’s downright glorious to drive. This is partly due to the carryover of the chassis control system with its four different drive modes (Advanced Efficiency, Natural, Dynamic, and Race) along with the eight-speed automatic transmission with manual shift capability. In regards to that, the Stelvio employs aluminum paddle shifters that are mounted to the steering column.
On the road, the Stelvio feels just like a sports sedan, but with more girth, give its 4,350 curb weight. The ride, even in Natural Mode is somewhat stiff, but in no way harsh. Dynamic and Race do stiffen things up a bit, with Race shutting off all the electronic nannies. Power delivery is linear in the way it builds and rewards one with a satisfying “BRAAAP” when upshifting. The steering is arguably the best in the business, as is the chassis, and after a few minutes of ripping down your favorite twisty roads, you’ll be yearning for a racetrack, because yup, it’s that much fun to drive.
It’s also extremely well suited for road trips, as I found when I did a 754-mile day driving from San Francisco to Los Angeles and back. On the highway, the Quadrifoglio is quiet, composed and confidence inspiring. And with the power to pass anyone at any time, the only thing one needs to worry about is the speed you’re traveling at after the pass is executed.
What boggles my mind is why there aren’t more of these on the road, as it really is one of the best performance SUVs currently on the market.
2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD Safety
With airbags throughout the cabin, a backup camera, Q4 all-wheel drive, anti-lock brakes, stability control, torque vectoring, and a host of other safety features, the 2019 Stelvio Quadrifoglio ensures that you will arrive to your destination safe and sound.
To read about the safety features on the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD, click here.
2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio AWD Overall
With blistering acceleration, superb handling and braking manners, and substantial cargo space, the 2019 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is one of the best performance SUVs currently on sale. From a “fun” perspective it’s tough to top, and with an as-tested price of $82,790 it’s still less than a similarly equipped Porsche Macan Turbo or BMW X6 M. So if you’re in the market for a hot rod SUV that will haul more than the mail, you’d best check this thing out — pronto!
Drop by your local AutoNation-affiliated Alfa Romeo dealer today to check one out!
*Fuel economy values (mpg) of 17-mpg city, 23-mpg highway and 19-mpg in combined driving are EPA estimates. Actual mileage will vary and depends on several factors including driving habits and vehicle condition.
**Vehicle MSRP of $82,790.00 excludes taxes, title, transportation, options, and dealer fees.