2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

by Delinda Bjornson

Overview
Most SUVs aren’t machines that pull at our heartstrings, but the 2022 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio isn’t most SUVs. It’s a high-riding, Italian-bred heartthrob with a 505-hp twin-turbo V-6 and a soundtrack that stirs the soul like a power ballad. Engage its sportiest drive-mode setting, grip its delicate steering wheel, and prepare to be thoroughly entertained. Whether it’s charging in a straight line or screeching to a halt, the Stelvio QF feels more like a sports sedan than the compact luxury crossover it is. While its ride height and bulbous rear hatch can’t hide its true identity, Alfa Romeo makes it look beautiful. Despite a small back seat and the brand’s spotty reliability record—and the fact the Giulia Quadrifoglio sedan is lighter, lower, and at least as visceral—the 2022 Stelvio QF does what few SUVs can: deliver a truly dramatic driving experience.

What’s New for 2022?
The only changes to the 2022 Stelvio Quadrifoglio involve newly standard features. These include a suite of previously optional driver assists such as adaptive cruise control, automatic high-beam headlights, blind-spot monitoring, lane-departure warning, and front and rear parking sensors. It also now comes standard with an auto-dimming rearview mirror, built-in navigation, front and rear heated seats, and wireless phone charging.

Pricing and Which One to Buy
Alfa has raised the starting price of the Stelvio QF a few thousand dollars to account for the addition of various newly standard features. The version we’d choose would forgo the optional Sparco racing seats due to their restrictive qualities and lack of heating elements. However, we’d add the Carbon package that dresses the exterior mirrors, V-shaped grille, and steering wheel with carbon fiber and includes a leather-wrapped shift knob.

Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The sole engine is a hypnotic twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6 that makes 505 horsepower and 443 pound-feet of torque. It pairs exclusively with a paddle-shifted eight-speed automatic transmission that sends power to all four wheels. One version we tested rocketed to 60 mph in 3.3 seconds, making it one of the quickest SUVs we’ve ever tested. The most impressive trait of this hot crossover—along with its stunning body—is an ethereal chassis that rides as well as it turns. The Stelvio QF corners with remarkable poise and rewards the driver with communicative steering feedback. The sticky performance tires and beefy brakes on our test vehicle helped haul the QF from 70 mph to zero in 157 feet, performance befitting that of a sports car.

Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
The 2022 Stelvio Quadrifoglio is rated at 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Those numbers are slightly higher than the similarly powerful AMG GLC63 S (15 mpg city/22 highway) and considerably better than the X3 M (15 mpg city/20 highway). The last Stelvio QF we ran on our 75-mph highway fuel-economy route—part of our extensive testing regimen—fell short of expectations with a result of 21 mpg. For more information about Stelvio’s fuel economy, visit the EPA’s website.

Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
The Stelvio QF’s interior has some build-quality flaws, but its leather-covered and contrast-stitched surfaces are much improved versus the materials found on the regular Stelvio. The QF’s supportive front seats, nearly perfect driving position, and enormous column-mounted paddle shifters ensure the driver never feels too far from the racetrack. It also has many desirable standard features such as 14-way power-adjustable front seats, ambient interior lighting, a heated steering wheel and front-seat cushions, and more. The Stelvio has a comfortable back seat, but headroom and interior cubby storage are unremarkable. Still, we managed to fit eight carry-on suitcases behind its back row and another 11 bags with the seats folded.

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