You would think that an SUV with 244mm of ground clearance is going to be a bit of a handful to drive on a racetrack, but the Alturas G4 surprised us with its commendable body control despite its size, height, and weight. This SUV has surprisingly nice driving dynamics – despite some initial body roll, it felt quite stable around the fast chicanes in the back half of the BIC.
And even around the long right-hander, known as the parabolica, the Alturas had this elegant way of leaning into turns and powering out of them. The steering offers a lot of feel and is direct. In short, the Alturas doesn’t feel as out of place on a racetrack – which, for all practical purposes, you would expect it to be.
Now, typical of a diesel automatic SUV, the Alturas’ powertrain delivers power in a linear manner, which actually makes it a great highway cruiser and really good at off-roading. Obviously, when you’re aggressive with it, though, it feels lethargic and actually quite slow when you suddenly demand power. But, to be fair, that’s expected – given the fact that it’s a large ladder frame SUV that weighs about as much as two medium-sized cars.
On the road, the Alturas’ powertrain offers a smooth driving experience, and considering that it’s larger than a Toyota Fortuner, it has an incredible road presence – something that’s quite important to full-size-SUV buyers.
The issue with the Alturas is its bumpy ride, again something that’s typical of a ladder frame SUV. And because the floor is high and the roof is low, tall occupants in the second and third-row are left with little headroom and under-thigh support. That aside, the Alturas is very well built, with a cabin that’s extremely well appointed and loaded with equipment.