Home / Reviews / 2020 MG Gloster vs Toyota Fortuner vs Ford Endeavour vs Mahindra Alturas G4 comparison

2020 MG Gloster vs Toyota Fortuner vs Ford Endeavour vs Mahindra Alturas G4 comparison

SUVs might come in all shapes and sizes today, but the big, three-row, body-on-frame type still holds special place in the hearts of Indian buyers. The arrival of the MG Gloster presents a fitting opportunity to bring all members of the tribe back together.

Giving the Gloster company is Mahindra’s Alturas G4 that was recently updated to Bharat Stage 6 (BS6) emission norms-spec. Ford’s Endeavour, which got an all-new engine and gearbox earlier this year, is also here in a new ‘Sport’ guise, and, of course, we had to have the people’s champ, Toyota’s Fortuner, too. The Isuzu MU-X would have completed the line-up but the Japanese SUV specialist has held the BS6 version’s launch for the time being.

The SUVs in consideration are in their fully-loaded, automatic transmission and 4×4 guises. What we’re curious to know is how the new Gloster stacks up against its established rivals, and if it has the ammo to shake up the segment.

BIG, BIGGER, BIGGEST

All these SUVs are huge in every dimension and will immediately appeal to the ‘bigger is better’ crowd. The MG Gloster is the longest SUV here, stretching the tape to nearly 5m. But as enormous as it is, it’s also a bit anonymous. The big SUV doesn’t stand out for design and there isn’t a clear visual link to the Hector that established the MG brand in India. Really, the MG badge and familiar ‘Internet Inside’ logo are your biggest giveaways that the two models are related. There is, however, a premium air about the Gloster, with a tasteful use of silver accents and chrome on the grille, window line and even the 19-inch wheels (they look smaller than they are).

You won’t find much brightwork on the recently-launched Ford Endeavour Sport. Think of it as a blacked-out version of the Endy. All that glittered is gone, with black replacing the chrome and silver elements on the macho Ford. Smoked-look headlights and black 18-inch wheels are unique to this version too. The butch and muscular Endeavour always looked like it had some amount of armour protection. The Sport just amplifies the impression.

The Alturas G4, in contrast, doesn’t quite have the road presence of the others and that’s despite being the widest of the lot. It’s smart and well turned-out, no doubt, but the SsangYong, make that Mahindra, is down on visual drama. The 18-inch wheels also look small amidst the vast body, while the chunky D-pillar restricts visibility for those seated in the last row. More on that in a bit.

It’s the Toyota Fortuner with the most distinctive styling of these four SUVs. The slim headlights and kinked window line are a break from the norm while the general high-riding stance helps camouflage the fact that the Fortuner is actually marginally smaller than rivals. Do note, the facelifted Fortuner with tightened-up styling comes to India in 2021.

Dimensions
MG Gloster Savvy 4×4 AT Mahindra Alturas G4 4×4 AT Ford Endeavour Sport 4×4 AT Toyota Fortuner 2.8 4×4 AT
Length 4985mm 4850mm 4903mm 4795mm
Width 1926mm 1960mm 1869mm 1855mm
Height 1865mm 1845mm 1837mm 1835mm
Wheelbase 2950mm 2865mm 2850mm 2745mm
Tyre size 255/55 R19 255/60 R18 265/60 R18 265/65 R17

FROM THE FLIGHT DECK

Have a cursory look inside their cabins and you’ll register the Gloster and Alturas as the more premium SUVs of the quartet. Their tan leather upholstery, premium quilted stitching and inviting gestures in the form of drivers’ seats that automatically slide back to ease ingress help with this impression.

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The Gloster’s dashboard is very BMW-like in look. Materials appear rich but detailing isn’t as good.

Again, the Gloster’s cabin has little in common with other MGs and there’s actually more than a passing resemblance to new-age BMWs in the general look and layout of the dash. To put it less politely, the design is almost a copy. Quality though isn’t German car good; a close look will reveal some lack of finesse in the stitching and there are quite a few ordinary buttons too. The low dash cowl does equal excellent frontal visibility while the horizontally-oriented, (and not portrait-oriented like in other MGs) touchscreen also sits in clear sight. Drivers also get all essential information via the high-res 8.0- inch display that occupies prime real estate in the instrument binnacle. Unfortunately, the front seats aren’t as comfy as they look, with excessive lower back support literally hurting the experience.

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With Nappa leather and quilted stitching, the Mahindra Alturas G4’s cabin looks and feels premium.

The Alturas’ well-cushioned driver’s seat is far nicer, but prepare for a bit of a trek to get to it. The Mahindra does not get a footboard as standard, though you can, and must, pick one off the accessories menu. Once inside, you’ll like what you see. Sure, the dashboard doesn’t break new ground for design but there is an upmarket look to the space, with great attention to detail being a highlight. Expensive-looking window buttons and the knurled-metal effect on the control knobs are some of the smaller bits that make a big impact in the Alturas. The crisp multi-info display with its selectable themes is a nice touch too.

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Endeavour dash is neatly laid-out but doesn’t wow you. The Ford does feel the most solid.

If the Alturas is best on perceived quality, the Endeavour scores most for build quality. That reassuring thunk on door shut is something you won’t tire of even years down the line. You’ll also like the commanding view from the Endy’s driver seat but the surprising absence of steering reach adjust limits flexibility in driving position. Even so, the touchscreen and other controls are in easy reach and the general layout is quite user-friendly. Soft-touch surfaces help the ambience but the cabin is down on space and sparkle to the Gloster and Alturas. Also, shouldn’t the blacked-out Endy Sport also have sported an all-black interior too?

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There’s a long-lasting look to everything but the Fortuner cabin isn’t premium enough.

You’ll have to ignore our test Fortuner’s chocolate brown and black interior combo. 2020 model year diesel Fortuners get a new chamois and black theme and also perforated leather seats. The mods should help uplift the Toyota’s cabin that simply never felt special enough for an SUV at this price. Everything is built to last, yes, but many of the buttons also feel plucked from a much cheaper car. Front seat comfort is really good though, even if the seats themselves appear quite basic in look.

MIDDLE ORDER

If you’ll be the one sitting at the back, you’ll take readily to the Gloster. Because in the MG, the best seats in the house are in the middle row. Glosters in top-spec Savvy trim get large (but again firmly cushioned) captain’s chairs in row two that are actually comfier than the seats up front. The reclinable backrests and ample fore-aft seat movement also mean there’s a lot of adjustability built into these seats. At full extension, you can really sprawl out at the back of a Gloster and even when you are traveling with a full house, there’s enough legroom to manage a happy compromise with the third-row occupant.

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Gloster uniquely offered with captain’s chairs. Cabin room is superb.

The Alturas is the only SUV with a fixed middle-seat bench, but even in the stock setting, there’s loads of legroom. Shoulder room is good too and overall space is second only to the Gloster. The Alturas’ seats are also well padded but their relatively low-set position results in a slightly knees-up seating position.

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Alturas is roomy despite fixed seats. Seating position, not best, though.

You’ll like the Endy’s second-row seat for comfort but where the Ford trails the others is in sense of space. Shoulder room is the least here and legroom is also down on the others. The seats do move fore and aft, and the backrest is reclinable, too, however, the range of motion is relatively limited.

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Ford’s middle row is comfortable, but space is less than in the others.

The Fortuner offers more legroom than an Endy but taller passengers will find their heads brushing the basic non-woven roof lining. On the plus side, the Fortuner’s reclinable and movable seats are comfier than they look and the seating position is actually very good.

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The Fortuner’s middle-row seats are comfier than they look.

BACK BENCHERS

Outings with the entire clan are comfiest in the Gloster. Sliding the middle-row seats forward gives a large enough clearing to the third row and you can also make your way through the passage between the captain’s chairs. But what elevates the Gloster in this area is the space at the back. There’s sufficient knee and headroom for tall adults to be comfy here and that’s saying something. Okay, foot room is a bit compromised, the tags for the recline adjust aren’t premium, and the roof-mounted vents feel like they’ve been taken from a Maruti but the experience is still head and shoulders above what you get in the others.

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Even full-sized adults can sit in comfort at the very back of the big MG.

The Fortuner is the best of the rest. Its single-lever middle-row flip mechanism is convenient, and the resulting large aperture allows comfy access to the back. The rearmost seats are also useable and what’s nice is that backrest recline has been packaged in too.

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Reasonable space at the back means it works as a 7-seater.

An awkward seating position marks the Endy’s third row down, but the bigger issue is access to the back. You’ll have to contort your way in because the middle seats don’t tumble, leaving a small opening to enter through. The Alturas’ two-step middle-seat flip is easy enough to execute but the Mahindra’s third row itself feels like a punishment posting. The knees-up seating is uncomfortable, space is in short supply and what amplifies the cooped-in feeling are the tiny rear windows .

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Cumbersome access and awkward seating limit last row’s usability.

When it’s time to load up, it’s the Gloster that offers that crucial bit more luggage space than the others with all seats up, though the MG does have the highest loading lip. All these SUVs do offer the flexibility of a 50:50 split third row. But where the Gloster, Endeavour and Alturas’ seats fold flat to sit flush with the floor, the Fortuner’s seats swipe upwards and sideways via a slightly rudimentary mechanism. Powered tailgates are the norm but the Endy goes a step further with a convenient powered rear-seat lift/ fold function.

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Alturas’ third-row seat is uncomfortable and feels claustrophobic too.

FEATURE CREATURES

You’d want your Rs 30 lakh-plus SUV to be well-equipped, so in ascending order of the length of their features lists, we have the Fortuner, Alturas, Endeavour and Gloster.

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MG’s 8.0-inch multi-info display is big on data.

The Gloster is the only SUV with an onboard air purifier, three-zone climate control, front seat heating and a driver seat massage function, though the latter is less relaxing touch and more deep tissue therapy for your back. Ford’s Endeavour matches the Gloster, with a panoramic sunroof, hands-free tailgate and semi-auto parking  (it’ll steer the SUV into a detected slot), though the MG’s system does a better job of finding suitably-sized parkings. The Mahindra Alturas is the only one here with ventilation for both front seats, going one up on the Gloster that offers the function on the driver’s seat. The Mahindra gets a single-pane sunroof, which is a key feature missing altogether on the Fortuner.

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The seat ventilation for front seats of the Mahindra Alturas is a cool touch.

In the battle of the infotainment systems, it’s the Gloster that has bragging rights, with its class-leading 12.3-inch touchscreen. The screen is large but requires a semi-firm prod to register an entry; the Endeavour and Alturas’ 8.0-inch units are slicker in this respect. The Fortuner’s 7.0-inch unit is the smallest and looks like an aftermarket add-on. Again, it’s the MG and Ford that stand out for their connected-car tech, allowing remote control of certain vehicle functions such as remote ignition and pre-cooling.

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The MG’s augmented reality camera isn’t great.

In terms of safety kit, all models get ABS and ESC, but it’s the Alturas with the most airbags (9 to the Endy and Fortuner’s 7, and Gloster’s 6). Only the Alturas and Gloster get you 360-degree view. The MG’s cameras are disappointingly low-res, and as cool as its BMW-like augmented reality parking display is, it seems pixelated. The big talking points on the Gloster are its ADAS or advanced driver assist systems but they’re a bit of a mixed bag. The driver fatigue reminder, lane departure warning and blind spot detection features work well. Adaptive cruise control, which automatically alters speed to maintain a preset distance to the vehicle ahead, has its idiosyncrasies, it’s not as smooth as it should be in speed variation. Also, while it’s great to have the safety net of automatic emergency braking, it’s hard to trust the system on chaotic Indian roads.

What you get for your money
MG Gloster Savvy 4×4 AT Mahindra Alturas G4 4×4 AT Ford Endeavour Sport 4×4 AT Toyota Fortuner 2.8 4×4 AT
Price (ex-showroom, Delhi) Rs 35.38 lakh Rs 31.73 lakh Rs 35.10 lakh Rs 34.43 lakh
Airbags 6 9 7 7
ESC Yes Yes Yes Yes
Hill descent control Yes Yes Yes Yes
ADAS Yes NA NA NA
Headlamps LED HID LED LED
Easy access driver sea Yes Yes NA NA
Driver seat massage function Yes NA NA NA
Seat ventilation/heating Driver/front seats Front seats/NA NA/NA NA/NA
Electric parking brake Yes Yes NA NA
Camera 360-degree 360-degree Rear Rear
Auto park Yes NA Yes NA
Paddle shifters Yes NA NA Yes
Drive/off-road modes Yes/Yes NA/NA NA/Yes Yes/NA
EDL Yes NA Yes NA
Climate control 3-zone 2-zone 2-zone 2-zone
Sunroof Panoramic Single Panoramic NA
Connected tech Yes NA Yes NA
Touchscreen 12.3-inch 8.0-inch 8.0-inch 7.0-inch
Wireless charging Yes NA NA NA
Android Auto/ Apple CarPlay Yes/Yes Yes/Yes Yes/Yes NA
Power fold third row NA NA Yes NA
Handsfree tailgate Yes NA Yes NA

FOUR SQUARE

Four-cylinder diesel engines are the norm but there’s quite a range in engine size and power outputs. The Gloster and Endeavour come powered by relatively small 1,996cc engines (there’s no relation between the two units, in case you are wondering), but a segment-unique twin-turbo arrangement helps the MG top the power and torque charts; its 218hp and 480Nm are the most here. Impressively, the big and heavy Gloster also makes good on its power advantage, with the quickest 0-100kph and kickdown acceleration times. The thing is, the stats only tell part of the story. The MG engine feels quite humdrum under 2,000rpm and to compound matters, the 8-speed gearbox also takes its time to shift down when you need instant power. This can be frustrating in town. Paddle shifters and manual shifts via the gear lever do give some more control but the fact is that you still have to work around the engine’s characteristics. Shifting the drive mode dial to Sport also only helps so much. Relaxed highway drives are more the Gloster’s forte where the linear build of power and deep reserve of torque make the MG a pleasant cruiser. Excellent sound insulation also helps to this end.

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The Alturas is just as quiet as a Gloster on the move while also being the quietest at idle. The Mahindra’s 2.2-litre engine also groans the least under load and this is something that won’t be lost on buyers. There’s more to like about the Alturas’ updated-for-BS6 engine too. Power delivery is genteel but the 181hp and 420Nm unit delivers peppy performance. In all-out and kickdown acceleration too, the Alturas proved deceivingly fast, registering times second only to the Gloster’s. Even so, this is an SUV that you’d naturally drive a notch down. A laid-back 7-speed gearbox with its fiddly +/- switches for manual control are part of the reason why.

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You can’t talk gearboxes and simply gloss over the Endeavour’s new 10-speed torque converter unit. In theory, there’s a ratio for every situation, with gears 7-10 being overdrive ratios. To its credit, the gearbox is quick to shift and will go up or down multiple gears at a time when needed. However, the gearbox does feel a bit too reactive to accelerator inputs and this is something that takes getting used to. Modulate inputs precisely and the gearbox will keep the engine spinning in its comfort zone. Performance from the 170hp and 420Nm engine is sufficient but that encompassing feeling of power that the Endy’s old 3.2-litre, five-cylinder engine provided is missing here. The Ford’s new 2.0-litre engine is also quite grumbly.

It’s a pity Toyota didn’t have a BS6-spec Fortuner for us to sample because it would be interesting to see if and by how much the engine has quietened down with the incorporation of emission control hardware. The Fortuner’s engine is easily the loudest at idle and there’s also a gruff note that raises decibel levels every time you weigh down on the accelerator pedal. For all the noise, the Toyota’s 2.8-litre engine, the largest here, is otherwise quite likeable. The 177hp and 450Nm engine is quick to respond (especially in Power mode) and makes the heavy Fortuner feel surprisingly light on its feet. Gearshifts on the 6-speed gearbox are smooth and timely, and you’ll also be tempted to take the reins via the paddle shifters every now and then.

Engine and performance
MG Gloster Savvy 4×4 AT Mahindra Alturas G4 4×4 AT Ford Endeavour Sport 4×4 AT Toyota Fortuner 2.8 4×4 AT
Engine 4-cyls, 1996cc, twin-turbo diesel 4-cyls, 2157cc, turbo-diesel 4-cyls, 1996cc, turbo-diesel 4-cyls, 2755cc, turbo-diesel
Power 218hp at 4000rpm 181hp 3800rpm 170hp at 3500rpm 177hp at 3400rpm
Torque 480Nm at 1500-2400rpm 420Nm at 1600-2600rpm 420Nm at 2000-2500rpm 450Nm at 1600-2400rpm
Gearbox 8-speed auto 7-speed auto 10-speed auto 6-speed auto
PERFORMANCE In Sec In Sec In Sec In Sec
0-20kph 0.94 0.88 1.04 0.98
0-40kph 2.48 2.40 2.60 2.59
0-60kph 4.67 4.64 4.92 4.85
0-80kph 7.40 7.62 8.05 7.94
0-100kph 11.21 11.68 12.52 12.02
0-120kph 16.55 18.31 16.90
0-140kph 23.17 26.81 24.26
PERFORMANCE IN GEAR
20-80kph (in thrid) 6.57 6.95 7.09 7.49
40-100kph (in fourth) 8.77 9.16 9.25 9.06

GOT THE MOVES

Buying a large, heavy, body-on-frame SUV entails living with some compromises on the dynamics and comfort fronts. In that sense, it’s the Gloster that demands least of you. Yes, there is some low-speed lumpiness typical of SUVs of this type but the harsh judders and steering kickback that you’d expect on broken patches of roads taken at speed are minimal. The Gloster also feels well-damped on smooth highways, while the fluid steering allows changes of direction with a reassuring feel at the helm. Fact is, in ride and handling, the Gloster feels the most accomplished SUV here. Interesting, given that there’s a Ford in the mix.

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The Endy’s suspension has been softened over the years and this has taken some joy out of the driving experience. There’s now a bit of up and down movement at high speeds and, sadly, the steering is also not as slick as it once was. The Ford is, however, an ace in bump absorption, with the chunky tyres and suspension making light work of poorly paved surfaces. That being said, the Endy can’t filter out road shock as effectively as the Gloster manages too.

The Alturas rides well enough at high speeds but should the surface suddenly deteriorate, you’ll realise the Mahindra isn’t quite as tough as the others. More weight at the steering would also make highway excursions that crucial bit more enjoyable. In town, the Alturas does deliver with a pleasant ride and easy-to-twirl steering.

Quite to the contrary is the Fortuner. It’s got the heaviest steering, the clunkiest low-speed ride and will move you about the most on a pothole-laden road. It’s when you pick up the pace that you’ll see the Toyota in a more positive light. Body movements are kept well in check and the steering feels quite direct too.

ON THE BEATEN TRACK

That’s that for the on-road experience. What are these SUVs like off-road? A quick background check will tell you that all four models get hill-descent control and four-wheel drive. The Gloster is the only one without low-range but the super short first gear should suffice for all but the most hardcore buyers.

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All the SUVs made it through our slushy and boulder-laden off-road course but there were differences in how they went about it. The Fortuner felt the most sure-footed and rugged, crawling up rocks with surprising ease. Mahindra’s Alturas did well for itself, too, though past experience tells us the fitment of an optional foot board would severely compromise the ramp breakover angle.

We didn’t need to summon the Endeavour or Gloster’s electric rear differential locks but we did use their off-road modes (both being features exclusive to the Ford and MG) that primed the SUVs for the environment. The Endy didn’t break a sweat on the obstacle course but the soft suspension did have the Ford rock about on the boulders, which is not optimal. The Gloster proved to be capable, too, though the staccato low-end responses did require very precise metering of the throttle. Also, with so much SUV to manage, Gloster drivers will need a trustworthy spotter or two at hand.

THE BIG FIGHT

The Fortuner is the most popular SUV here and, to many, it’s simply the default choice in the segment. The Toyota has its strengths in its eager performance and genuine off-road ability. But as a product it simply doesn’t feel as sophisticated as a Rs 34.43 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi) SUV should. View the package in its entirety though, giving due weightage to the Fortuner’s proven reliability, ease of ownership and promise of good resale value, and you will overlook many of the Fortuner’s lesser points.

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The Rs 35.1 lakh Endeavour Sport is the more likeable SUV. That strong build remains central to the Ford’s appeal, while the absorbent ride makes it feel like it’s just engineered to take a beating. What’s missing is that wow factor on the inside and space is down on rivals too. And pleasant as it is, the new 2.0 diesel engine isn’t quite as characterful as the old 3.2 either.

If you’ll be putting the third row to use often, the Alturas is not the model for you. That the Mahindra doesn’t feel as hardcore as the other SUVs could be a deal breaker for some too. On the plus side, it’s quiet and comfy, and that well-appointed cabin just makes you feel like your money’s gone far. It only helps that at Rs 31.73 lakh, the Alturas is also the most affordable SUV here. Spend some time in one, and you’ll wonder why the likeable Mahindra hasn’t sold to potential.

MG, on the other hand, might have an easier job finding buyers for the Gloster. ‘Best in class’ and ‘first in segment’ are phrases you’ll hear repeatedly in the sales pitch and fact is, the Gloster is the largest, comfiest and best-equipped SUV here. Sure, the engine isn’t the friendliest in town and attention to detail could be better, but look at the big picture and the Gloster is the one SUV that does it all. Prices weren’t out at the time of going to press but buzz is the top-spec Gloster Savvy will come in at about Rs 37 lakh. Foregoing the ADAS features (they aren’t worth the money to be honest) will drop the sticker price to Fortuner territory, which changes the equation. MG’s ownership packages will sweeten the deal further.

Big on substance, the Gloster seems poised to upset the established order.

Verdict
MG Gloster Savvy 4×4 AT Mahindra Alturas G4 4×4 AT Ford Endeavour Sport 4×4 AT Toyota Fortuner 2.8 4×4 AT
Verdict Big MG, best-in-class in many areas. Offers a whole lot more than others. Plush, hushed and likeable. Doesn’t feel rugged enough though. Built like a tank and as capable too but has lost sparkle with time. Doesn’t feel sophisticated enough but you can buy it with your eyes closed.
Rating 8/10 8/10 8/10 7/10
Price (ex-showroom, Delhi) Rs 35.38 lakh Rs 31.73 lakh Rs 35.10 lakh Rs 34.43 lakh

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