Buying a Stelvio means stepping outside the typical SUV-box. Let’s see if it makes sense to buy a new or used Alfa Romeo Stelvio.
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio is a sharp-dressed SUV, stacked with Italian pizazz and looking like nothing else on the market. When you fill the engine bay with a twin-turbo, 505 horse V6 – as in the Quadrifoglio model – the Stelvio takes on a new, more intense demeanor. Quadrifoglio (QF) is to Alfa what M is to BMW or AMG is to Mercedes, the wild child option. If you’re considering an Italian bred SUV, you would be hard pressed not to at least look at the Stelvio Quadrifoglio given its performance bona fides. However, a new one is not cheap, so is it worth considering a used model?
The aggressive, beating heart of an Alpha Romeo Stelvio QF is its lusty six-cylinder engine making 505 horsepower and 443 lb-ft of torque thanks to dual turbos. With standard all-wheel-drive (AWD) and an 8-speed automatic transmission, the QF can hit 60 mph in under 4 seconds on to a top speed of 176 mph. Not too shabby for a 2 ½ ton SUV. A model exclusive, two-mode performance exhaust with an active bypass valve and quad tips helps identify the QF – in case the four-leaf clover badging doesn’t tip you off. It also wakes the neighbors. All this goodness comes baked in, whether you buy a new 2021 Stelvio or a used 2018 model.
Specifically, a used Montecarlo Blue Metallic QF from 2018 with about 13,000 miles on it. On sale for $65,000, it is outfitted with the optional Brembo Ultra-High Performance Carbon Ceramic brake package. An $8000 option at the time, it is no longer available. Fuel economy hasn’t changed though, with the EPA estimating 17 mpg in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Considering Alfa Romeo has something of a question reputation for reliability, it is worth noting the vehicle and powertrain warranty covers the first 4 years or 50,000 miles for new purchases.
A 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio QF still has upgraded Brembo brakes over base trim, just not the track-ready carbon ceramic units. 21-inch wheels are a new option, but like in 2018, 20-inch is the standard size. Spun via the torque vectoring Q4 AWD system, a Stelvio has near perfect 50-50 weight distribution. Turn the DNA Pro Drive knob to select from Advanced Efficiency, Natural, and Dynamic modes. Or fly off the handle in Race mode and flick the paddle shifters like you’re Lewis Hamilton. Thanks to an adaptive suspension with double wishbones up front, carbon fiber driveshaft, and meaty 255 mm summer tires, it is the rare SUV with critically acclaimed handling.
Low speed maneuvering is made easier by a backup camera with distance sensors while a slew of optional driver aids that lend a hand at higher velocities. In 2018, the Driver Assist Dynamic package featured adaptive cruise control with automated emergency braking, automatic high beams, and lane departure warning. For 2021, the package is renamed and adds traffic jam assist, a driver attention monitor, and lane keeping for $2200. As well, some of the systems like adaptive cruise with auto-braking that were previously options, are standard equipment today.
The Stelvio QF interior is a lovely place to be, which is to be expected considering the $80,000 entry point. One of the few changes from 2018 to 2021 was upgraded switchgear and changing the plastic shifter to a leather wrap. Front seats are 14-way adjustable including lumbar, upholstered in leather with Alcantara inserts, and heated.
As in the used Alfa Romeo Stelvio QF model, a panoramic roof is a $1350 option on the Quadrifoglio. The same goes for the Convenience package, which has a 115-volt outlet, adjustable rail system in the cargo hold, and heated outboard second row seats for $995. That second row will split and fold in a 40/20/40 configuration and can swallow a bit more than 56 cubic feet of your stuff. Dual zone automatic climate control, a heated steering wheel, and auto-dim rearview mirror fill out the interior amenity list for new and used Stelvio SUVs.
The Alfa Romeo Stelvio does come in trims aside from Quadrifoglio. Sprint, Ti, and Ti Sport models start at about half that of the QF. The upside to the 500-horse variety is that nearly all the bells and whistles are included. An 8.8-inch touchscreen handles infotainment duties with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto included. If the capacitive tech is being fussy, a control knob can navigate the menus as well. The main difference on this system from a used model is that it was not touch-capable at the time.
Harman-Kardon’s hard hitting stereo is included and features an amp, sub, and 14 speakers. Qi wireless charging is a $300 extra, but navigation, remote start, and a 7-inch thin-film-transistor instrument panel is standard equipment on the QF. Convenience features like rain-sensing windshield wipers, heated exterior mirrors, and a power liftgate are also part of the deal. However, you’ll have to pony up for the motion-activated rear hatch.
Given the limited changes between a 2018 and 2021 Alfa Romeo Stelvio, you can get a pretty close comparison on buying new versus used. The $65,000 used Alfa Romeo Stelvio example from above has features that are nearly all available on a new Stelvio. When you consider the depreciation over just 13,000 miles in three years, it’s hard not to consider the used market.
Our used example’s Montecarlo Blue Metallic paint job is a $660 option in 2021. The dual-pane sunroof is a more than thousand dollar option. The driver-aid package that was added on our 2018 example has improved since then, adding more systems and $2200 to the sticker. Listed on the used Stelvio is the Convenience package, which is a $995 item on new models and adds heated second row seats for 2021.
Putting that all together brings our new 2021 Stelvio Quadrifoglio to $87,550, a whopping $22,550 more than the used Alfa Romeo Stelvio option. The New option also does not include the $8000 carbon-ceramic brake option, as it’s no longer available. Adding that would net a $30,000 premium over a comparably equipped, lightly used Stelvio. Sure, it would have a few more amenities, but the fire breathing, 505 horsepower twin-turbo power plant, svelte styling, and segment-busting dynamics is why you buy an Alfa Romeo Stelvio Quadrifoglio in the first place. Whether it’s new or used, the powertrain is exactly the same, so let your wallet decide.