by Michael Butler
Alfa Romeo used to be synonymous with leaky, unreliable, yet ultimately fantastic sports cars but has re-emerged from a gloomy few decades with a shiny new disposition and a range of excellent vehicles, the 2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio being one of them. No one would have believed you a few years back if you told them that Alfa Romeo would be building an SUV that drives better than some sports cars in 2023, yet here we are. The Stelvio Quadrifoglio is a 505-horsepower sports SUV monster with superb driving dynamics thanks to a sweetly tuned chassis. It will tear its way from 0 to 60 mph in a mere 3.6 seconds, and the top speed only arrives at 176 mph. The exterior is beautifully styled, and the interior boasts nicer materials than the standard Stelvio. On the downside, it isn't as practical as other SUVs such as the BMW X3 M, and the technology isn't as impressive either. But as a truly soulful high-performance SUV that thrills its driver, it's almost unmatched.
In the USA, the new Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV remains unchanged for the 2023 model year.
In most reviews of premium vehicles, we're used to seeing the likes of BMW and Mercedes-Benz charge a premium for their vehicles over all other rivals, but the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio reverses this trend. It carries a hefty starting MSRP of $85,675 in the USA, and that excludes a destination charge of $1,595. By comparison, the BMW X3 M starts at $72,900 in the US market. Loaded up with options, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio carries a price tag that's perilously close to six figures including destination.
See trim levels and configurations:
2.9L Twin-Turbo V6 Gas
For the way it drives, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio deserves a glowing review.
Like its main rival, the BMW X3 M, the 2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio handles like it's on rails and doesn't feel like a sizable SUV behind the wheel; in fact, it's a riot. The agile chassis and excellent suspension setup, tied in with a telepathic steering rack, deliver an exhilarating driving experience that will put a smile on anyone's face. The Q4 all-wheel-drive system offers just enough playfulness and adds a touch of confidence when pushing hard through the corners. The DNA Pro drive system allows the driver to select from chilled Advanced Efficiency (which doesn't mean much) all the way to Race mode, which stiffens things up for fast driving but makes slow-speed bumps more than noticeable. The spicy exhaust note, massive dose of torque, and nimble chassis equate to big-time fun. What's more, the Alfa doesn't have the bone-jarring ride of its BMW rival and filters out just enough bumps and surface imperfections to stay comfortable.
The 505-hp 2.9-liter twin-turbo V6 engine is one of the stars of the show. It makes a wonderful noise and will launch this SUV past slower traffic in a flash. As far as driver-focused SUVs go, it simply doesn't get better than this.
The 2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio doesn't make a ton of sense as a practical daily SUV; it's not that big, doesn't offer as much cargo space as its rivals, and is pretty thirsty, thanks to that stonking V6 engine, but none of that matters when you get behind the wheel. We appreciate the Italian styling inside and outside, and that turbocharged V6 engine delivers a soundtrack and standard of performance that is hard to forget. But the chassis may just be the most impressive aspect of all, delivering poised, athletic handling. And, unlike some of the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio's competitors, the steering isn't overly sanitized. Sure, BMW and Mercedes-AMG offer just as much performance and even more practicality and features, but the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio feels more alive and delivers a driving experience you won't soon forget.
If you already have $85,000 or so to spend on a new SUV, a few options shouldn't be too much of an issue. For that reason, we'd tick the box for the $1,495 Active Assist Plus Package, as we believe a premium SUV should be equipped with many of the safety items it contains. We'd skip the 21-inch alloys, as they just add an unnecessary edge to the well-balanced ride. Finally, while the Stelvio Quadrifoglio SUV looks good in pretty much any color, it looks great in the cheapest one: Alfa Rosso red.
The most popular competitors of 2023 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio: