Alfa Romeo jumped into the rapidly growing luxury compact SUV market for the 2018 model year with the launch of the sporty, handsome Stelvio. Aimed at buyers looking for a bit of Italian style and performance as an alternative to more mainstream European competitors, the Stelvio arrived to positive reviews. But updates have been slow in coming, and five years is a long time in the automotive world — particularly toward the higher end of the market.
For 2023, Alfa Romeo has added a new Estrema trim that slots in between lower trims and the hyperactive, performance-focused, 505-horsepower Quadrifoglio. The Estrema gets the Quadrifoglio’s adaptive suspension along with cosmetic upgrades for a distinct look, but under the hood is the same 280-hp, turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine used in all other trims. While the Estrema succeeds in providing a bit more visual excitement, the bottom line is that the updates can’t conceal that the Stelvio has not aged all that well. It has an interior that’s showing its age and a powertrain that can’t match the smoothness or performance of its primary competitors.
Cars.com’s Aaron Bragman recently spent a week with a 2023 Stelvio Estrema and came away with some positive impressions, but he found it may take more than a freshening to keep it competitive. Hit the link above to read Bragman’s complete review; for a quicker look, below are four things we like about the latest Stelvio and four things we don’t: