Open the door of the Alturas and you are in for a big surprise. The heft with which the doors open is reminiscent of old Mercs. And the solid thunk that one hears every time somebody shuts them points to a car that is well built. But getting inside this tall SUV isn’t the easiest as there is no side step to climb in, which its rivals offer. Inside the cabin, the dashboard feels generations younger as compared to the old one. The design is modern and almost all materials in here look and feel premium. The middle portion of the dash is wrapped in quilted Nappa leather and all the touch points like the steering, armrest, controls stalks and gear selector feels of high quality. A large 8-inch infotainment system is placed high up on the centre console. For the most part, it feels modern and gets features like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto as standard. Here, the physical buttons to scroll through frequently used menus is a big plus as you don’t have to take your eyes off the road to operate them. On the downside, the system is a bit laggy, as it pauses for a second before responding to driver inputs.
The front seats on the Alturas are large, draped in quality leather and they also feature seat ventilation which is great for our hot weather. The seats are well contoured and there is good space on offer too. The rear seat is at a good height and this reclining bench offers enough thigh and back support to keep you comfortable over long journeys. It also offers best in class space, with 50mm and 80mm more knee room as compared to the Endeavour and the Fortuner. Thanks to the scooped out roof lining, it offers much more headroom as well (30mm and 50mm more than the Endeavour and the Fortuner).
The third-row is disappointing though. As the middle-row doesn’t adjust for length, one ends up with fixed knee room in the third-row which is cramped for large adults and the low seat gives it an uncomfortable knees-up seating. Headroom too is in short supply and its best to use them only over short distances. Boot space is quite big with the third-row folded but the loading lip is quite high which makes loading big bags a chore.
As far as equipment goes the Alturas comes well loaded. It might miss out on features like auto park, electric folding third-row seat and panoramic sunroof which the Endeavour offers, but the Alturas gets its own set of unique features like 360 degree parking camera and smart powered tailgate. It also has segment leading safety features like 9 airbags, tyre pressure monitoring, active roll-over protection, ESP, ABS and EBD.