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2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio

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$41,995

starting MSRP

Key specs

Base trim shown

SUV

Body style

24

Combined MPG

5

Seating capacity

184.6” x 66”

Dimensions

All-wheel drive

Drivetrain

Overview

The good:

  • Quick acceleration, even with base engine
  • Responsive eight-speed automatic
  • Handling
  • Optional giant shift paddles
  • Drive-mode knob
  • Key-fob-based remote engine start

The bad:

  • Multimedia system operation
  • Outward visibility
  • Brake feel
  • Some interior materials look or feel cheap
  • Body roll with non-Sport suspension
  • Spring-back turn-signal stalk
  • Adaptive suspension not yet available

6 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio trim comparison will help you decide.

See also: Find the best SUVs for 2024

Notable features

  • All-new five-passenger mid-size SUV
  • Standard all-wheel drive
  • Eight-speed automatic transmission
  • Four USB ports standard
  • Standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto to come
  • 505-hp Quadrifoglio performance model to come

2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio review: Our expert's take

By Aaron Bragman

CARS.COM — We could start with a discussion about whether or not a racetrack is a suitable place to use an SUV, I suppose. Why would anyone turn a vehicle meant to transport several people in high-riding comfort, ostensibly off-road, into a hairy-chested, high-performance, lighting-fast track machine? Is such a trick really even possible given the nature of what an SUV inherently is?

Put your doubts aside for a moment and simply take in the loveliness that is the 2018 Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio. That’s a mouthful of vowels, to be sure, but what it represents is a twin-turbocharged, all-wheel-drive, Italian-styled performance machine that has run the German Nurburgring racetrack’s famed Nordschleife circuit faster than any other SUV on the planet (so far). This fact won’t matter to anyone planning on using an SUV for a grocery getter or a soccer shuttle, but for gearheads and enthusiasts, it’s definitely an attention grabber.

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What Makes a Quadrifoglio?

It’s no secret as to how Alfa Romeo got the Stelvio Quadrifoglio to supercar levels of performance. Like the Quadrifoglio (Italian for “four-leaf clover” and representing the highest-performance trim of any Alfa Romeo model) version of the Giulia sedan on which the Stelvio SUV is based, it features a twin-turbocharged 2.9-liter V-6 making 505 horsepower and 443 pounds-feet of torque. Like the Giulia, it’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission with paddle shifters. But the Stelvio Quadrifoglio adds something more — standard all-wheel drive, a feature you can’t get on the Giulia Quadrifoglio. The torque-vectoring rear differential remains, but the all-wheel drive brings the additional traction of driven front wheels, which receive up to 60 percent of the engine torque when needed.

On the Street

In connection with a national media program, I drove the new Stelvio Quadrifoglio around the back roads of the Texas Hill Country outside Austin, and around the famed Circuit of the Americas Formula One racetrack, to see just what it could do. (Per company policy, Cars.com pays for its airfare and lodging to such automaker events.) Out on the street, the Stelvio is docile when left in Natural mode — one of four you can choose using the “DNA” mode selector. The others are Advanced, for advanced eco modes, designed to save you some fuel; Dynamic, which ramps up the performance responses and tightens up the steering; and Race, which turns off most of the electronic safety systems and opens up the performance exhaust. You have further control over the suspension stiffness with a button that allows you to soften up the dampers in Dynamic mode, allowing you a combination of sporty, quick responses from the steering, engine, throttle and transmission, but giving a more compliant ride out on choppy streets.

Regardless of which mode you’re in, the Stelvio Quadrifoglio rides stiffly, tossing its cabin occupants around on bumpy roads. On glassy-smooth twisty bits through the hills around Austin, it’s acceptable — but try rolling calmly down the access roads to Circuit of the Americas, and the nature of the tightly tuned suspension and 20-inch wheels with low-profile tires reveals itself. Even with the shocks set to soft, it’s still a rough ride, but this is the tradeoff one must accept if you want the 505 hp under the Alfa Romeo’s hood.

The steering is wonderful, however, with a direct feel and excellent communication. The quick, 12.0:1 ratio makes for quick work of corners, and the adjustable firmness means you can enjoy lighter around-town efforts or ramp up the effort required for spirited driving. The brakes are also exceptionally powerful. The Quadrifoglio has Brembo aluminum six-piston front and four-piston rear calipers with a choice of steel or optional carbon-ceramic discs for heavy-duty track work. The steel rotors are the proper choice here; overused as status symbols, carbon ceramics tend to be awful in the real world with noise and vibration that aren’t worth their excessive cost in daily use. Unless your Stelvio will be on a track every weekend, stick with the standard steel rotors.

On the Track

The Stelvio Quadrifoglio may be the first “performance SUV” I’ve ever actually enjoyed flinging around a racetrack, and I’ve tried several different ones now. Mercedes-Benz’s AMG models, BMW’s X5 M, even the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trackhawk — all of them feel big, piggy, tippy and out of place on a racetrack. Not so the Stelvio.

First, it feels more compact that its dimensions would suggest. Despite its classification as a mid-size SUV, it’s on the small side of that category. It also doesn’t sit terribly high, so it doesn’t feel like you’re trying to flog a barn around a racetrack — it feels properly fun-sized. The backseat is a bit more snug than some competitors as well, but it’s still bigger than a Giulia back there, with more leg and toe room.

Second, its balance is exceptional. While it is about 500 pounds heavier than a Giulia Quadrifoglio due to the additional sheet metal and all-wheel drive as well as lacking the sedan’s carbon-fiber hood and roof, it still feels tossable and light, without the top-heavy tippyness that just about every SUV exhibits. It does understeer more than the tail-happy Giulia, but it feels far more connected than a Jaguar F-Pace, and that understeer can be corrected with a little extra throttle input to get the all-wheel-drive system to pull you through the corner.

Third, and the star of the Stelvio Quadrifoglio show, is the powertrain. The 2.9-liter twin-turbo V-6 started life sharing some similarities with the V-8 you find under the hood of the Ferrari 488 GTB, but it’s undergone some pretty significant changes to transform into an Alfa engine. It retains a characteristic Italian snarl under throttle that you crave hearing over and over again. The transmission is beautifully tuned to match the engine’s performance, always keeping it on boil under track conditions, never hunting or getting confused and putting you in the wrong gear. You can shift it yourself if you like, using the flappy-paddle shifters, but it does so well on its own that I preferred to let it do that job and focused instead on trying to go faster.

Style Costs

Don’t think of the Stelvio as an SUV on performance-enhancing drugs — think of it as the already wonderful Giulia Quadrifoglio with a lot of extra room and usefulness, but with only a minor penalty in weight and cost. The launch drive of the Stelvio Quadrifoglio is one of the only times these monsters will ever be driven around a track in anger, but that’s okay — owners will be happy to know that their crazy fast SUV can perform amazing feats of strength, even if they’re almost never likely to call up those abilities. With an initial price of just less than $82,000 and stickers often reaching well into the mid-$90,000 range, it seems more likely that these will see duty as classy conveyances rather than track toys.

But if you should pick one up, do yourself a favor — after you’ve done the grocery shopping and picked the kids up from school, take it to your local track day and have some fun with it. Because fun you most definitely will have, and the Alfa Romeo guys will feel better knowing their efforts to make the world’s quickest, most athletic SUV haven’t gone to waste.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Aaron Bragman
Detroit Bureau Chief Aaron Bragman has had over 25 years of experience in the auto industry as a journalist, analyst, purchasing agent and program manager. Bragman grew up around his father’s classic Triumph sports cars (which were all sold and gone when he turned 16, much to his frustration) and comes from a Detroit family where cars put food on tables as much as smiles on faces. Today, he’s a member of the Automotive Press Association and the Midwest Automotive Media Association. His pronouns are he/him, but his adjectives are fat/sassy. Email Aaron Bragman

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.7
  • Interior 4.5
  • Performance 4.9
  • Value 4.5
  • Exterior 4.8
  • Reliability 4.6
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Most recent consumer reviews

5.0

great comfort and luxury for the price

Bought a used 2018 loaded Lusso Ti for a good price coming off a lease, in late 2021, for all the luxury and performance, it was a great deal, have had no issues, car looks great, is comfortable, and I just use Apple car play, and prefer knobs to touch screens ( it was funny to watch my son try to use it as a touch screen) can get 30 MPG on the hwy easy, but it's easy to go faster and get less. the DNA is Dynamic, Normal and Anemic, you do have to get used to the car not taking off instantly, D is OK, A not good for folks taking lefts on flashing yellows. Great ride and comfort for longer trips. and the backup warning works great!

5.0

Very reliable

The vehicle has exceeded my daughter expectations. Very sporty on the outside and the interior is modern. Great vehicle and would work nicely for a small family as well

5.0

Great customer service

I just bought a Monte Carlo blue Stelvio and I love it. Excellent suspension... overall great truck. Love the red calibers.. that makes the truck stand out even more.

See all 73 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Alfa Romeo
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
48 months/50,000 miles
Corrosion
60 months/unlimited distance
Powertrain
48 months/50,000 miles
Maintenance
12 months/10,000 miles
Roadside assistance
48 months/unlimited distance
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/less than 50,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
5 years/100,000 miles
Powertrain
5 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
169-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

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