The Alfa is ready to battle the Porsche Macan Turbo for the performance SUV sector, but is it any good? 503bhp from the twin turbo V6 ensures the performance is sorted, however this is an SUV that can’t be fitted with a tow bar.
The world has gone SUV mad, and every manufacturer is taking advantage, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is Alfa’s take on the performance SUV and from initial reports, it’s very good. Performance is exceptional, passenger room is adequate, although the boot is far from the biggest on the market. A clever four-wheel drive system allows the Stelvio to sprint from 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds, a tenth of a second faster than the saloon version; this is down to the excellent four-wheel drive system supplying ample traction.
The interior is no different to the Giulia Quadrifoglio, everything from the green and white stitching to black faced dials. It has to be said though, the quality of the materials used isn’t on par with the Germans. The Alfa definitely has a split personality, on one hand it’s surprising capable when it comes to off-roading, but find it a clear stretch of tarmac and it’ll embarrass pretty much any vehicle you put next to it.
With any performance vehicle, you expect there to be some sacrifice in the comfort department, so obviously this feels much harder than the standard Stelvio, it also feels harder than the Giulia Quadrifoglio; even in its comfort setting. Dynamic mode doesn’t make it that much harder, but does eliminate body roll and pitch; race mode on the other hand should definitely not be used anywhere other than a track, the rock-hard suspension is enough to send your head into the roof liner with every bump.
The car hustles on twisting back roads in a way no high-riding SUV has any right to be driven, the feeling is completely natural, much like any normal performance saloon. You’re filled with confidence as you get on the throttle earlier and earlier, as the steering input makes it so easy to apply opposite lock to correct any misbehaving from the back. With many other cars in this sector, you accept their limitations, they may have ample power, but their large frames mean they don’t have that malleable nature.
“I’ve never really been a fan of SUVs, whenever I’ve wanted a practical car I’ve just bought an estate. The Stelvio has thrown up a major issue for me, it feels so much like a saloon when you’re really pushing I might have to invest when I come to change my car!” Robert Michaels, Ashington Autos.
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