2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

There are several other hot-rodded compact crossovers, but none is as ravishing as the 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. Thankfully, the Italian stunner is as fun to drive as its curvy body is to look at, which earned it an Editors' Choice award. Alfa Romeo supplies the zestiest Stelvio (the rest of the lineup is reviewed separately) with a 505-hp twin-turbo V-6 that slings from a stop and sings at WOT (read: wide-open throttle). It is worth mentioning that Alfa is known for its reliability issues.

Still, the enthralling six-pot sends power to all wheels via a prudent eight-speed automatic that can be shifted with prominent column mounted paddles. Encounter a snaking mountain pass like the one the Stelvio is named after and the Quadrifoglio (QF for short) will showcase its surprising athleticism and immersive controls. Sure, the 2021 Stelvio QF's interior volume is smaller and its price higher than luxury rivals, but its attractiveness and exclusiveness are more apparent.

The 505-hp Stelvio Quadrifoglio is more expensive than both the 503-hp version of the BMW X3 M and the 503-hp Mercedes-AMG GLC63 S coupe. However, the extra coin rewards shoppers with the best-looking SUV in its class and Alfa's Italian-built exclusivity. The version we'd choose would forgo the optional Sparco racing seats due 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 Performance

The sole engine is a hypnotic twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6 that makes 505 horsepower and 443 lb-ft 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 from zero to 60 mph in 3.4 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.

A set of standard adaptive dampers allows you to select the firmness of the ride, but only the bumpiest roads diminish the ride quality. Otherwise, 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

The EPA estimates the 2021 Stelvio Quadrifoglio will earn 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 (14 mpg city/19 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.

Interior Design

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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