Here is a vehicle with something of a dual personality.

In normal mode, the Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio is capable of cruising along urban streets in a smooth, relaxed and refined manner - pretending to be just like a normal SUV and quietly doing the family thing.

But switch to dynamic mode and there’s a beast of a performance car bursting to kick into action – a car with a throaty growl that offers a massive 510hp and can go from 0-62mph in just 3.8 seconds.

Now that’s fast for any type of vehicle - but the blistering acceleration is all the more remarkable in a large SUV.

As my father-in-law remarked, it’s also ‘not a bad looker’ – and the amount of heads that turned as I drove past was evidence that he wasn’t wrong.

Indeed, the Alfa’s distinctive lines - enhanced by the vivid red paintwork - stood out a treat in wintry West Yorkshire surroundings.

Those looks have been tweaked slightly for the latest model year, with the visual upgrades including new LED rear light clusters with dark lenses and glossy black finish at both the front and rear.

Of course, the defining feature of this handsome beast is Alfa’s signature V-shaped grille. On this model, the grille’s visual impact is accentuated by the eye-catching creases flowing towards it through the heavily sculpted bonnet.

With the number plate offset to the side, it’s an instantly recognisable ‘face’ for anyone who happens to spot it in their rear view mirror.

The back end is also distinctive, with sharp and angular lines. But the eye and ear is drawn to those purposeful double twin exhaust pipes, which omit a wonderful raspy sound as the engine note becomes more urgent.

the finishing touch in terms of the car’s aesthetics comes in the form of 20” five-hole alloy wheels.

Behind the wheel, the really striking thing isn’t so much the car’s pace - mighty impressive though that is - but more the way the Quadrifoglio puts its power down on the road.

Never was this more in evidence than during the recent heavy snowfalls that hit West Yorkshire, when I was glad of the vehicle’s sure-footed four wheel drive capabilities.

When cornering, it’s a car that feels agile and nimble - partly thanks to the fact it is light for a big vehicle, due to the use of aluminium and carbon fibre.

The steering is quick, accurate and weighty and the handling is accomplished.

Impressive levels of torque – 600Nm at 2500rpm – make the performance feel all the more dynamic when emerging from corners.

Steering wheel paddles allow the driver to take control over the eight-speed automatic box, which certainly feels like the natural thing to do when driving progressively on B-roads.

On the inside, comfort levels and practicality are high.

The black leather Alcantara sports seats offer great support, while there’s no shortage of space, front and back.

The latest model benefits from a redesigned centre console with more storage space, as well as a rather nice new steering wheel wrapped in leather.

Perhaps the most important improvement internally is the addition of a new infotainment system. The intuitive 8.8-inch Alfa Connect 3D central touchscreen is undoubtedly a smart bit of kit.

On the the technical side, recent improvements include new Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. The system offers the highest level of autonomous driving currently allowed, meaning the driver can give the car control of the accelerator, brakes and steering when in traffic.

As you might expect from a car in this price range, other standard kit is generous.

In conclusion, it’s hard not to like the Quadrifoglio. It’s great to look at, fantastic to drive and offers plenty of practicality for families.

Will's Ratings




SPACE: *****



VALUE: ****

OVERALL: *****

The lowdown

Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio

PRICE: £73,195.00 on the road

ENGINE: 2.9-litre V6 bi-turbo 510hp

ACCELERATION: 0-62mph in 3.8 seconds

TRANSMISSION: ZF 8 Speed Automatic - 8

TOP SPEED: 176mph

ECONOMY: 24.6mpg on WLTP