Need an automatic SUV under 30L: Not interested in Thar, XUV700, etc

I have the Scorpio N in my mind. I am also pondering upon pre-owned options – Ford Endeavour 3.2 and Mahindra Alturas G4.

BHPian vredesbyrd recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Hi Members!

I finally have the means to get myself something nice for once. My budget is a max of 30L on road (10-15L will have to be financed). Have been speaking to some nice forum members and got some valuable advice (thank you so much!). However, I still cannot make up my mind. So, here’s the catch.

My requirements

  • Responsive engine + transmission combo
  • Decent handling (Fortuner is decent)
  • 4WD is a priority but RWD will do too
  • Highway stability is highly desirable
  • Reliable and can take some abuse (even though I treat my vehicles with kid gloves)
  • Basic features will do but Android Auto/Carplay + 360 Camera is a must. If not then at least should have provisions to have it done aftermarket
  • Road presence/Goon effect is highly desirable
  • Vehicle has to be at least 2018 or newer (2017 is acceptable for Fortuner)
  • 5-7 seater (3rd row will be removed and used at home)
  • Strictly not looking for a Thar, Jimny, D-Max, MU-X or XUV700. Glucose is not even in my budget (sorry, Gloster)
  • Efficiency can go eat a bag of potatoes. Just kidding, 11+km/l on highways at 80-120kph is acceptable. Of course the more, the merrier
  • Should be big and bad enough to bother the dirty and rule-breaking neighbors and their misbehaving son’s new poop-colored Safari

The Scorpio-N Paradox

I have driven the 2.2 mHawk in different vehicles (Rectangle Scorpio, XUV500/700, Scorpio-N) and it is a really fun engine, in the 700 and N, it sounds great too and is refined. However, I was totally smitten by the way the mStallion drives and sounds. It is just insane and I think I am in love.

A big SUV moving this fast and sounding this good does things to your head.

So the question is, can a RWD Scorpio N do the following places?

  • Sandakhphu
  • Tawang
  • Chandratal
  • Mandalpatti
  • Deep north east interior places
  • Jungles and wild places, likes of what BHPian nilanjanray travels to (cause I decided to get a 150-600mm)

If I somehow manage to get snow chains on, will a winter trip with snow work out?

The Endeavour Paradox

I really like the 3.2L. I think only Alturas comes close to the quality of the interior. Also, have spoken to two owners of 3.2L and got positive feedback.

Issues are

  • When will the torque converter flex plate break if I go for a 2016-2017 model?
  • I know they have signed service agreements for a decade but what if there’s a breakdown in a remote place?
  • Knowing that Ford has left India (completely due to the fault of their own) makes me uneasy in the least
  • Not that I care about resale value but I’ll probably get nothing 5 years down the line

This is once in a lifetime opportunity to get a top-notch vehicle that our country never valued as much as the Fortuner but only dealers are (to make more money from our emotions).

The Alturas Rexton G4 Paradox

As much as I dislike Korea, I love the G4 (and their food). This is one vehicle that has absolutely everything from the get-go.

360 Camera, AA/Carplay, Ventilated seats, more than 6 gears. According to Gagan bhaiya, it is fairly capable off the road too (climbing Hatu peak on snow).

The handling is a little lousy from what I hear (have never driven one) and 2019-20 models are going really cheap (23-25L).

Now, I’d love to know about the spare parts and service situation for the next 5-7 years. A little downtime at the workshop is acceptable but not too much. That aside, it is an international model, so parts availability should be decent, no?

So, do I consider it?

For those interested in the geography, I’ll mostly be based out of Lucknow with occasional work trips to Gurgaon through the back alley (Sohna road) just to avoid Delhi and NGT.

The vehicle will be made to travel the entire country based on trips.

I would love ideas, inputs and suggestions.

I must have the vehicle delivered between November and December this year.

Here’s what GTO had to say about the matter:

Go brand-new and get yourself the Scorpio-N Diesel AT.

  • It’s way more user-friendly & comfortable than the Fortuner (heavy steering, bumpy ride).
  • The Scorpio-N is vastly improved over the older Scorpio. It’s a fantastic SUV.
  • Diesel only for your kind of usage. The petrol is a guzzler. I am seeing merely 6 kmpl from the same engine & AT in the city.

Here’s what BHPian Kosfactor had to say about the matter:

It is nearly impossible to drive a ScorpioN in search of FE, so if you have a regular highway running – get the diesel and make sure it gets its share of highway running (DPF). Usually, a vehicle like this will increase your monthly running, it’s just so easy to get to places, even if it’s a crowded city road.

Which variant?

Z8L-D-AT-4WD

Here’s what BHPian Ace F355 had to say about the matter:

Look, I will be quite honest having spent some time with Scorpio N. For the current value – nothing beats it, Z8L D 4×4 should be your first pick. mStallion will kill you every time you go to the fuel bunk, so unless your heart is hell-bent on that option and you are ready for that slow and sunken feeling every time you go for a tankful, drop it.

Fortuner – I see you are in NCR, all that Toyota badge and reliability goes out of the window as soon as you see a hard cutoff of 10 years of usable age. Forget the issues of a bumpy ride and stale interiors, 2017-18 are older engine tunes and aren’t the same that you have checked in Legender’s 205 bhp 500 Nm one. Practically speaking, you are buying a 2017-18 car today for a 3-year use case only… the sooner you accept it the better. 25+ Lakhs for a 3-year use case – you decide. I personally won’t touch it as an NCR resident. One can argue that you could sell it later but high resale coming for the cost of high initial purchase value would mean the cash flow differences at the end of the day would still be relatively negligible (strictly my opinion).

Endeavour – Superior vehicle to Fortuner in every sense. Because Ford is gone, meaning you could potentially find sweet deals for the same 2017-2018 cars, practically 5L or lesser in price compared to an equivalent Fortuner. Plus you get to experience a better vehicle. Possible resale woes or YOLO – you pick. One can argue that the cost of maintenance could be high for Ford – the truth is that for a once-in-a-blue-moon issues where Ford service would want to rip your pocket, I believe the FNG market in NCR will surely come in handy to bring it down to some extent. My Endeavour still goes to Ford 100% of the time and the maintenance has been painless and surprisingly affordable, to be honest. So except for that fear of AT flex plate that you mentioned – an Endeavour at Ford service will be as competitive as Toyota for that matter and I can vouch for it because of my personal experience.

All in all, it’s you who would have the pick the final contender. If new, it has to be Scorpio N D Z8L 4×4… if used, my recommendation would be an Endeavour, ideally bought directly from an owner.

Here’s what BHPian AYP had to say about the matter:

My personal suggestion would be either to go for a new Scorpio or a used Fortuner.

I’d avoid the Endeavour since Ford has left India and while they may support their cars for a long time, there shall always be a question mark at the back of your (or anyone’s) mind. As far as the Rexton is concerned, you can go for it as long you are fine with Mahindra’s technician doing trial and error experiments on your car.

Fortuner

As long as you don’t mind a ‘used car’, the Fortuner is simply the best choice here. Toyota reliability, a big diesel without BS6 gremlins, 4*4 etc. Just get a better infotainment system, a remap (figures are 210 BHP and 520NM torque) and you are all set. Let’s not forget that it has the best goon effect, sorry, road presence I mean.

If it has to be a new car, Scorpio is the default choice. It is going to be tough deciding between the 4*4 diesel and the RWD petrol. You need to think of your use case and determine how important that 4*4 hardware is gonna be for you. The petrol will definitely be quicker and be devoid of the DPF gremlins but will suck a lot of fuel (though it should meet your minimum criterion). To sum it up, if fuel efficiency didn’t matter to me, I would have gone for the turbo petrol. A bonus with the petrol is that you might get early delivery, much in line with your requirements.

Overall, I’d say, Fortuner> Scorpio Petrol> Scorpio diesel> Endeavour> Alturas.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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