2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio
2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Rear View Driving
2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Dashboard

2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Review: To Drive It Is To Love It

Alfa Romeo's superb Giorgio platform has only ever underpinned two vehicles - the Giulia and Stelvio. With the Giulia's superb road manners well documented, Alfa Romeo sought to endow the high-riding Stelvio SUV with the same class-leading driving dynamics. The Stelvio was meant to put the "sport" in sport utility vehicle and to underscore its intentions, it was named after the Stelvio pass, the highest mountain pass in Italy, known for its 48 hairpin bends. But a quick review of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio's competitors spells trouble, because it produces a varied list of tough rivals that includes the BMW X3, Audi Q5, and Mercedes-Benz GLC. In comparison, the Stelvio has a few black marks on its report card, but Alfa Romeo has whittled away at the Stelvio's faults, and the 2023 iteration is the best one yet. It hardly feels its age to drive, even today, and razor-sharp steering and suspension give it a hardcore edge - even in base form - that makes its rivals feel dumbed down for mass consumption. The base 280-horsepower turbo-four provides V6-like thrust, and it looks like a movie star. Yet, Alfa Romeo struggles to move more than 10,000 a year in the US, whereas most of these rivals do at least five times that, demonstrating how tough the premium compact SUV class is.

Read in this review:

  • Exterior Design 10 /10
  • Performance 8 /10
  • Fuel Economy 8 /10
  • Interior & Cargo 8 /10
  • Infotainment & Features 7 /10
  • Reliability 7 /10
  • Safety 7 /10
  • Value For Money 8 /10
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2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Changes: What’s The Difference vs The 2022 Stelvio?

The existing trims of the new 2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio SUV stay the same for the new model year. The only changes are the addition of two limited-run special editions. The first is the Lusso, based on the Ti. It comes with a 14-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, Cannelloni-design Crema leather upholstery, and leather trim on the dashboard and upper door panels.

The Estrema is based on the Veloce trim ands adds the limited-slip differential from the Quadrifoglio, adaptive suspension, gloss-black 21-inch alloys, and carbon-fiber side mirrors. It is optionally offered with staggered wheel sizes. The Estrema is only available in Alfa Rosso, Alfa White, Vulcano Black, and Misano Blue. The 2023 Stelvio goes on sale in the USA at a price just shy of $50,000.

Pros and Cons

  • Beautiful styling
  • Powerful engine
  • Best-in-class handling and driving dynamics
  • Comfortable ride
  • Pin-sharp steering
  • Short on cabin and cargo space
  • Sharp brakes
  • Missing a few tech and safety features
  • 3,000-pound towing capacity

What's the Price of the 2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio?

So you want to get your hands on a new Alfa Romeo Stelvio? The base model Sprint retails for somewhere in the mid-$40,000 area or close to $50k if you want it with AWD. The Ti will cost you around $52,000, but if you want the special edition Lusso, you'll need to put aside more than $60k. The Veloce is only a few grand more than the Ti, and its special edition variant is the Estrema, which will still cost you just shy of $60,000. These prices do not include the $1,595 destination charge.

Best Deals on 2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Trims

See trim levels and configurations:

Trim Engine Transmission Drivetrain Price (MSRP)
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
Rear-Wheel Drive
All-Wheel Drive
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
2.0L Turbo Inline-4 Gas
8-Speed Automatic
All-Wheel Drive
See All 2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Trims and Specs

2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Handling and Driving Impressions

Although with us since 2018, the Stelvio still sits right at the top of the class in terms of handling and there is still no SUV that's this much fun to throw around. No wonder they've named it after a famous Italian mountain pass. Riding on the same platform, this Giulia on stilts benefits from everything that makes the sedan great, but adds the security of optional AWD. The steering is sharp and responsive and it changes direction with an alacrity simply not expected in this class. Yet it does all of this while still retaining the suspension compliance expected of a family car and the ride is never harsh. Instead, you're merely aware of the buttoned-down damping and excellent body control. While many four-pots are dull and characterless, the truly excellent turbocharged 2.0-liter fitted to the Stelvio develops a potent 280 hp and 306 lb-ft of torque and even sounds good doing it. It's surprisingly rapid as well, punting the Stelvio to 60 mph in 5.5 seconds. The only available transmission is an eight-speed automatic and its quick and smooth shifts suit the Stelvio's character.

Verdict: Is The 2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio A Good SUV?

In its moments of brilliance, the Stelvio surprises and delights like nothing in its class. The arresting looks are the first drawcard and the way it drives is the second. If you want a compact premium SUV capable of being an obliging dance partner on a winding road and darting from corner to corner in a natural, inertia-free rhythm, there is nothing to touch the Stelvio. It really makes the rest seem as if they're trying too hard with all their fancy chassis tech. The steering and engine contribute to making this a truly exceptional driver's crossover SUV. But in an infuriatingly Alfa way, the Stelvio simply doesn't quite have what it takes to pull everything together into a cohesive whole. The interior build is not up to the class standard, the infotainment screen is still too small, it lags on passenger and cargo space, and quality and reliability have been patchy. These flaws have steered buyers towards the safe choices, which is a shame, because to drive the Stelvio is to fall in love all over again.

What Alfa Romeo Stelvio Model Should I Buy?

The entry-level Sprint in rear-wheel-drive format offers the best value for money, and it has quite a lot of toys to play with. You don't get access to packages this year, but with the good standard of driver-assistance features it comes with this year, this is less of an issue. Unfortunately, you cannot upgrade the audio system anymore.

Last year we would have said go for the Ti, for one very good reason. The Stelvio is an SUV aimed at drivers, and the Driver Package with the mechanical limited-slip differential, and the stunning aluminum paddles behind the wheels was an option on the Ti and well worth having. Sadly, this package is no longer offered and while the pedals are still standard on the Ti, the diff is no longer available and standard on the Veloce only. All the performance goodies are standard on the Veloce and you'll actually be happy with it in terms of luxury, safety, and sportiness without having to add any extras. The result is a Stelvio that costs $52,000 which, considering that the Sprint now costs over $45,000 and the gap between the Ti and Veloce is less than $1,800 this year, makes it the best model for the discerning driver. If you're happy with the handling of the Ti and you don't need the trick diff, that model is the perfect luxury-orientated choice. If you add the Active Assist Plus and Premium Interior and Sound packages, you end up with a very well-equipped sporty SUV that loses out nothing of importance to the Veloce except the LS diff and bigger wheels.

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