Alfa Romeo’s first venture into the world of SUVs back in 2017 proved a successful one, with the Italian brand launching a stylish and entertaining choice capable of rivalling some long-standing opposition with the Stelvio.
Several years later it’s still proving popular, and aiming to build on the Stelvio further, Alfa Romeo is now launching a new special edition. Known as the Estrema, it’s the firm’s first ‘global special series’ model, and aims to bring some extra involvement from the flagship Quadrifoglio performance model, but at a lower price and with more affordable running costs. It’s worth noting the grade has also been applied to the Giulia saloon.
Sitting above the Veloce, the Estrema comes with adaptive dampers as standard, as well as a limited-slip differential to enhance its appeal. In terms of design changes, it gains new carbon-fibre trim to enhance its sportiness, as well as larger 21-inch alloy wheels. Let’s get behind the wheel to see what it’s like.
With the Estrema, there’s a choice of two engines on offer – one petrol and one diesel. Both come with four-wheel-drive and an eight-speed automatic gearbox too.
Starting with the petrol, it’s a 276bhp 2.0-litre turbocharged unit that can get the Stelvio from 0-60mph in 5.5 seconds, and head on to a top speed of 143mph. It’s not the best on fuel, however, with Alfa Romeo claiming just 32.5mpg, and CO2 emissions of 197g/km.
Drivers doing plenty of miles might be better off with the 207bhp 2.2-litre turbo diesel, which can still get the Stelvio up to 60mph in 6.4 seconds, though is noticeably better on fuel – Alfa Romeo claiming 45.6mpg, and CO2 emissions of 164g/km.
Ride and handling
Given the Stevlio, even in regular form, is already one of the best-driving SUVs on the market, this Estrema model is already well setup. The addition of the adaptive dampers (previously an option on the Veloce, but no longer offered there) means you can stiffen or soften the ride, though only if the car is put into sport mode, confusingly. You can also feel the differential doing its job through the corners, helping to make it feel more agile than a typical vehicle of this size.
It’s generally a superb choice behind the wheel, helped by the strong petrol engine in our test car, which allows for swift progress to be made through the corners, yet it’s also a comfortable choice at a cruise too.
The changes for the Estrema’s interior aren’t huge, but they are certainly welcome. There’s race-inspired stitching throughout, plenty of Alcantara and carbon fibre around the centre console, all helping to give this SUV a sportier feel than the standard car.
The seats fitted here are fantastic too, providing plenty of support and helping to add to the sportiness, but not at the expense of comfort. Though the Stelvio isn’t the most spacious SUV on the market, there’s still plenty of room to use it as an everyday family car.
With the Estrema sitting at the top of the regular Stelvio line-up, it’s no surprise it comes with plenty of equipment.
Even the entry-level Sprint model gets plenty of kit, including 19-inch alloy wheels, a wireless smartphone charging pad and adaptive cruise control, with the Veloce adding sports leather seats, a heated steering wheel and 20-inch alloy wheels.
The Estrema brings bigger 21-inch rims, along with a 14-speaker Harman Kardon sound system and smart Alcantara and leather seats, along with the adaptive dampers we’ve already touched on.
Prices for the Stelvio have risen over the years, with Sprint and Veloce models starting from £45,999 and £51,699 respectively.
The Estrema is quite a lot more expensive than those, costing from £57,999 if you go for the diesel and £59,999 for the petrol. The options list is quite limited, though. You can add a panoramic sunroof for £1,250 or a Driver Assistance Pack for £1,000. It is still a good £20,000 less than the Quadrifoglio model, though.
If you want to bridge the gap between the regular Stelvio and the top-end Quadrifoglio model, this Estrema model might just fit the bill nicely. It drives brilliantly, while the additional sporty elements to the interior and exterior add to its appeal too.
Though it’s quite expensive in this top-spec form, a generous amount of standard equipment does help to justify that.Enquire on a new Alfa Romeo Stelvio