Ride and handling is average. It’s a tall vehicle so there is the expected body-roll. But what makes the Alturas G4 stand apart is the overall package you get for the price—and a cabin so opulent that you place it inside a Mercedes-Benz and it won’t feel out of place
Its cabin is opulent, it has decent road presence, it has a good gearbox, and it doesn’t entirely come across as a traditional Mahindra vehicle. So, what exactly is the new Alturas G4, launched last week? We drive it near Aamby Valley in Maharashtra.
What does Alturas G4 mean?
‘Alturas’ is a Spanish word that means ‘heights’ in English, and that’s what Mahindra is aiming to achieve in the Indian premium SUV segment with its new SUV of the same name. The Alturas G4 is unlike any Mahindra vehicle you have seen, because it’s not entirely a Mahindra—it is essentially the rebranded SsangYong Rexton fourth-generation SUV (SsangYong is a South Korean automobile manufacturer and a subsidiary of Mahindra). In India, it will primarily compete with Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour.
What defines its design?
All SUVs in this segment have a similar design language—bold and imposing—but the Alturas G4 does manage to stand out to an extent. The reasons are its best-in-class width, height and wheelbase, the chrome front grille, HID headlamps with LED DRLs, 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, LED tail-lamps, and chrome window surrounds. Overall, it’s not a head-turner, but has good road presence.
Is the cabin luxurious?
The cabin is unlike you’d have seen in this segment earlier. In fact, it’s so opulent that you place it inside a Mercedes-Benz and it won’t feel out of place. Features such as quilted Nappa* leather upholstery, ventilated front seats (first in segment), eight-way adjustable powered driver seat, dual-zone auto AC, electric sunroof and ambient mood lighting are usually seen in top-end German luxury cars, but here is a Mahindra that is offering these features in a car that costs almost half.
(*Nappa is a dyed leather noted for its softness.)
Is it loaded with tech?
Yes, there are features that will surprise you, to say the least. Sample this: first-in-class 3D around-view camera, tailgate that opens automatically provided the key is in your pocket and you stand at the rear of the vehicle for three seconds, 7-inch LCD cluster, 8-inch infotainment touchscreen, electronic parking brake with auto-hold, cruise control, steering-mounted controls, auto-tilting ORVMs when you are reversing the car, and more.
Which engines power it?
It gets the 2.2-litre diesel engine that produces peak power of 133.1kW (178bhp) power and 420Nm of torque. It’s smaller than the 2.8-litre of the Fortuner, but produces more power courtesy the electrical variable geometry turbocharger (E-VGT). It is mated to the Mercedes-Benz 7-speed automatic transmission, which is clearly the best in segment. There is no manual gearbox option.
How does it drive?
It doesn’t have side footboards, so getting inside can be a difficult for persons of short stature. Ride and handling is average—quite like how its competitors perform—as is initial acceleration. It’s a tall vehicle so there is the expected body-roll. On the positive side, NVH levels are low.
Should you buy it?
The Alturas is available in two variants: 2WD for Rs 26.95 lakh and 4WD for Rs 29.95 lakh, ex-showroom, which makes it about Rs 4 lakh cheaper than the Fortuner. Where the Alturas G4 stands out is the equipment Mahindra is offering for the price and a cabin quality that none of its competitors have. If you buy one, you will also become member of an exclusive club Mahindra has started: Purple Club+. It’s a loyalty scheme that enables customers to earn and redeem points based on engagements with the Mahindra brand.
(Before you buy a big car, ask yourself if you really need one, especially if you’re the only one who’ll drive it most of the time? As compared to small cars, they are expensive to maintain and difficult to park, and leave a relatively bigger carbon footprint. Decide wisely.)