Mahindra Alturas G4
by- Nitin Sharma
The full size family SUV segment is not one which witness launches quite oftenly. But whenever there are, they are big. Now we have the Toyota Fortuner which is also the leader of the segment, then there is the Ford Endeavour which also gets sold in quite good numbers. After these we have some other options also like the Skoda Kodiaq, Mitsubishi Pajero and Isuzu MUX. Now the pajero is nearly at its declining phase and the Endeavour is also a 3 years old design now. The need of an all new product is very much there in the market. Now people working at Mahindra thought of this need in very well in advance and were ready with the product and were just waiting for the right time. And here they are, back with the Rexton. Oops! Sorry. It’s not the Rexton this time but is named as Mahindra Alturas G4 and here is my short drive review of how I feel about this big brute from Mahindra’s stable.
First impressions? This is huge. Not just huge but it is Humongous. This is butch looking SUV and it actually shows by its proportions. The front gets a new Mahindra grill with black and chrome accents and then is nicely swayed off into the headlamps. The headlamps are LED projector units with LED daytime running lights and fog lamps. Bumper is also massive and chunky and has some sharp lines running across. To the side there is nice thick black plastic cladding which make the car look rugged. Now here is a thing which some might find cool and to some it could be sore to eye. There are creases above the wheel arches which seems like the shoulder line of a cheetah when it’s in crouched position. Now they could have been better if they were just a little bit less bold. Now at the back, here we’ve got full LED tail lights and a thick bumper with black cladding as well. The Alturas G4 branding is at the middle of the tailgate so that no one will ever gets confused of its name, alongside with the four wheel drive branding.
All in all the design is a conservative one, Mahindra hasn’t done something radical here. It has played it safe and made a car that ensures that when you’re on the move, you’ve got the eyeballs. This car is so huge that if it is behind your car, the Alturas will eat up most of your space in the rear view mirror.
Inside is something really really special. Open the driver’s door and the car will greet you by automatically making the driver’s seat go as back as possible to help you settle in. The quality of materials used here is top notch. This interior feels like it is from a class above and no doubt is the best one in its class. There is this quilted leather on the lower parts of dashboard, door pads and also the seats which really exudes luxury. Centre of the dashboard is dominated by a 8 inch touchscreen multimedia display which also have 360 camera feature in it which is first in the segment, though I feel like that the camera’s could be of better resolution. Still it is a very nifty feature while parking or maneuvering this huge vehicle. Another feature that is very useful in our country’s weather is that the front seats are ventilated. On a hot summer day this can be very very useful to cool you down fast. The seats itself are very well contoured and hugs from sides. The cushioning is also neither too much soft not firm but just perfect. The back seats are quite very well balanced and this is a wide car means three abreast can sit quite comfortably for longer journeys. Also here the passenger’s have got their own AC mounts and controls. The glass area is also quite big and thanks to the light interiors and presence of a sunroof, passengers won’t feel claustrophobic. The way the seats are bolstered and the quilted leather pattern wants you to spend more time inside the car.
The third row of seats is kinda mixed affair. First there are no windows here which is a big bummer because it makes it feel even more squeezed and tight. And like all other cars of this segment, this one too is just adequate for kids or short adults.
Alturas is also packed with goodies like the HID headlamps with DRLs, 18 inch diamond cut alloy wheels, dual zone climate control so that the driver and the co passenger can have their own set of temperature, ventilated front seats, electric sunroof, Android Auto and Apple Carplay, powered tailgate and many more.
The Alturas is powered by a 2.2L Diesel engine with a total output of around 178 hp @ 4000 rpm power and 420 Nm torque between 1600-2600 rpm. Now this is a very small power band and the power fades off very quickly after the mid range. That is the only negative about this motor. The power delivery is extremely linear and the motor is also very refined. At normal speeds, one will barely hear the motor revving. It is only when you push the car hard, you’ll start to feel that it is a diesel motor. The power is fed to the wheels via a 8 speed transmission sourced for Mercedes Benz. Now this gearbox is quite very smooth in it job and does it effortlessly. It upshifts on time and will hold till redline if you are in need of power. The only area where it significantly lags is in downshifts. It gets confused quite a often on which gear to pick when you brake and then continue. It is quite slow to respond there and it sometimes ruins to the driving pleasure. But one thing this car will be very happy to do is highway cruising.
One area where the car lacks in term of driving pleasure is the feedback from the steering wheel. The steering wheel is just extra light and lacks the feel. For a this much heavy car, it is preferable to have a heavy steering. The suspension is a bit in cushiony side. And that is very ideal for Indian road conditions. It soaks up bumps very well and rather it is like it just adds a layer of tarmac over the bumps and then glides over it. It is just so very much smooth. And by being soft didn’t mean here that it is wallowy at high speeds. Mahindra engineers have done amazing job here and you’ll be surprised by how much speed can you carry over corners with this car. This is the most sure footed SUV in its class. Throw it at some corners and it will handle them leaving you amazed. Just only is let down by the steering wheel.
If you’re the one who wants to be chauffeured around instead of being driving, then it is also everything pleasant here because first the NVH levels inside the cabin are amazingly well means you’ll be completely cut from the world when you are sitting inside and secondly even at good speeds, you won’t get tossed around. Put on the sun blind and then nothing going happen outside will get you bothered.
Mahindra launched the Alturas at an introductory price of 26.95 lakhs ex showroom for the 4×2 variant and 29.95 lakhs for the 4×4 variant. At this price it is more 3 lakhs cheaper than both the top spec Endeavour and Fortuner and this is the main reason why it makes this car the best value to money purchase of this segment.