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Beat The Heat: Toyota Fortuner vs Ford Endeavour vs Mahindra Alturas G4 vs VW Tiguan AllSpace : AC Performance Compared

Modified On May 04, 2021 11:26 AM By Arun for Toyota Fortuner

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Which seven-seater SUV has the most powerful air-conditioning?

You could trade off quite a few comfort features in order to get that dream car within your budget. A sunroof? Don’t need it. A big slab of touchscreen? Can do without that too! But what if we were to ask — would you buy a car without air-conditioning? 

We sense a unanimous ‘no way’. In a country like ours, AC isn’t a luxury anymore. It is a necessity. With that in mind, we decided to test the air-conditioning capabilities of the hottest cars on the market (pun intended!). 

First up for the test — full-size seven seater SUVs. The Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace and Mahindra Alturas G4 were on test for this round. 

After being grilled in the heat, it was the Toyota Fortuner that came out on top. Let’s answer the obvious questions of how and why, by diving into the tests the SUVs tackled. 

Test #1: Which SUV soaked the most heat? 

Hottest: Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace | Average Temperature: 50.1°c

Coolest: Toyota Fortuner | Average Temperature: 47.1°c

Interesting Insights:

This test is particularly interesting since the cabin that soaks the most heat will be the toughest to cool down too. 

  • After baking in the afternoon sun for a good 15 minutes — it was the Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace that recorded the highest overall cabin temperatures. This is possibly because the fabric sunshade under the sunroof is quite thin. It gets quite warm by itself and lets quite a bit of heat into the cabin. Volkswagen can consider tinting the sunroof to keep heat out too. We're glad the Tiguan AllSpace doesn’t have a sporty all-black interior theme: we’d have seen some seriously high temperatures! 

  • The rest of the pack remained more or less on par. Toyota’s Fortuner had the lowest average temperature gain overall, followed closely by Ford’s Endeavour. Mahindra’s Alturas G4 came third, with the second hottest cabin of the lot.

The Results:

Peak Temperatures

Vehicle

First Row

Second Row 

Third Row

Average

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

Before

After

Toyota Fortuner

39.6°

46.4°

39.5°

46.9°

40.8°

48.1°

40°

47.1°

Ford Endeavour

40.2°

47.9°

40.2°

48.4°

39.9°

47.4°

40.1°

47.9°

Mahindra Alturas G4

40.4

47.3°

40.1

47.8°

41.5°

50.6°

40.6°

48.5°

Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace

42.9°

49.7°

42°

49.6°

43.3°

51.1°

42.7°

50.1°

The Colour Factor: 

Toyota Fortuner Legender: Pearl White (w/ matte black roof)

Ford Endeavour

Ford Endeavour: Diffused Silver

Mahindra Alturas G4: Napoli Black

Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace: Petroleum Blue

It’s no secret that darker colours absorb more heat. We could notice that in the case of the Alturas G4 as well as the Tiguan AllSpace. The subtler white and diffused silver colours of the Fortuner and the Endeavour helped keep the temperatures relatively lower. 

Test #2: Immediate Relief: Best AC Performance In The First Two Minutes

Coolest: Toyota Fortuner | Average Temperature: 32.3°c

Hottest: Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace | Average Temperature: 39.1°c

Interesting Insights:

  • The Alturas’ performance is especially impressive considering it started at a higher temperature, and managed to nudge past the Ford Endeavour. 

  • Volkswagen’s Tiguan AllSpace clearly struggled here. That said, we have to point out that the Tiguan AllSpace does not have dedicated third row AC vents, nor does it have two compressors like the other three that’d help cool the cabin quicker. 

The Results:

  • Both the Toyota Fortuner and Mahindra Alturas G4 see an equal drop in temperature in the first 2 minutes. An impressive 11°c drop. 

  • Next up is the Ford Endeavour, with an average temperature drop of 10°c. 

  • The Tiguan AllSpace comes in last, with a 7.7°c drop. 

Time

Toyota Fortuner

Ford Endeavour

Mahinda Alturas G4

Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace

T0

43.3°c

44.4°c

44.8°c

46.7°c

T1

35.8°c

37.6°c

37°c

41.7°c

T2

32.3°c

34.4°c

33.8°c

39.1°c

Test #3: The Race To 24°c

Fastest: 

First Row: Toyota Fortuner - 12 minutes

Second Row: Toyota Fortuner - 8 minutes

Third Row: Ford Endeavour - 15 minutes

Interesting Insights:

  • Both the Alturas and the Fortuner took nearly 21 minutes to hit 24°c in the third row. In the Alturas’ case this could be down to the fact that the AC vents are placed at knee level and only on the driver’s side. The Fortuner has an advantage here since the roof-mounted vents provide relief to both third row passengers. 

  • AC vents on the Ford Endeavour are placed practically directly overhead instead of being at the forehead level like in the Fortuner. 

  • The AllSpace does not have third row AC vents at all, which explains it’s struggle in cooling.

The Results:

  • The Fortuner’s roof-mounted AC vents saw the second row hit 24°c within 8 minutes. In the next four minutes, the first row achieved 24°c as well. 

  • Ford’s Endeavour exhibits the most even cooling across all rows. The first and third row hit 24°c within 15 minutes. Second row takes marginally longer at 17 minutes. 

  • Mahindra Alturas’ second row cools down faster than the first — 11 minutes versus 14 minutes. 

  • The Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace did not achieve 24°c in any row for the duration of the test. 

Race To 24 Degrees

1st Row

2nd Row

3rd Row

Fortuner

12 mins

8 mins

20-21mins

Endeavour

15 mins

17 mins

15 mins

Alturas

14 mins

11 mins

20-21mins

Tiguan AllSpace

DNF

DNF

DNF

Test #4: Lowest Cabin Temperature Achieved In 30 Minutes

Coolest: Toyota Fortuner | Average Temperature: 20.3°c

First Row: Toyota Fortuner (19.9°c)

Second Row: Toyota Fortuner (18.4°c)

Third Row: Ford Endeavour (20.5°c)

Hottest: Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace | Average Temperature: 26.9°c

First Row: Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace (26.9°c) 

Second Row: Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace (26.1°c)

Third Row: Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace (27.8°c)

Interesting Insights:

  • The Fortuner’s lower overall temperature is also aided by the fact that its cabin soaked the least amount of heat initially. It recorded the lowest temperatures in this test with the second row at a chilling 18.4°c and

  • Alturas’ air-conditioning is unbelievably powerful. It recorded the maximum average temperature drop of 24.2°c.  

  • Ford Endeavour’s cabin temperature at the end of thirty minutes remained most consistent. All three rows were within a degree of each other — imperceptible in real-world conditions. 

  • Tiguan’s high starting temperatures meant the air-conditioning had to work extra hard. It could manage an average temperature drop of 19.3°c. 

Final Temperatures

Vehicle

First Row

Second Row 

Third Row

Average

T0

T30

T0

T30

T0

T30

T0

T30

Toyota Fortuner

43.6°c

19.9°c

42.5°c

18.4°c

44°c

22.6°c

43.3°c

20.3°c

Ford Endeavour

43.5°c

21°c

44.7°c

21.6°c

45.1°c

20.5°c

44.4°c

21°c

Mahindra Alturas

44.3°c

20.2°c

44°c

19.3°c

46.3°c

22.3°c

44.8°c

20.6°c

Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace

46.1°c

26.9°c

46.3°c

26.1°c

47.7°c

27.8°c

46.7°c

26.9°c

The Results:

  • Toyota Fortuner achieved the lowest average temperature overall. 

    • Average temperature reduction: 23°c

    • First row temperature reduction: 23.7°c 

    • Second row temperature reduction: 24.1°c

    • Third row temperature reduction: 21.4°c

  • Mahindra Alturas recorded the second lowest average temperature.

    • Average temperature reduction: 24.2°c

    • First row temperature reduction: 24.1°c

    • Second row temperature reduction: 24.7°c

    • Third row temperature reduction: 24°c

  • Ford Endeavour finished third 

    • Average temperature reduction: 23.4°c

    • First row temperature reduction: 22.5°c

    • Second row temperature reduction: 23.1°c

    • Third row temperature reduction: 24.6°c

  • Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace finished last

    • Average temperature reduction: 19.8°c

    • First row temperature reduction: 19.2°c

    • Second row temperature reduction: 20.2°c

    • Third row temperature reduction: 19.9°c

Wrapping Up 

Leaderboard:

  • First Place: Toyota Fortuner Toyota’s Fortuner won this test comfortably. It not only soaked the least amount of heat, but it’s powerful air-conditioning ensured the cabin was chilly in no time. It recorded the lowest temperatures for the first and second row at the end of the test.

  • Second Place: Mahindra Alturas We have to doff our hats to the Mahindra Alturas G4 which despite its black attire scored a respectable second place. With a lighter exterior shade and better third row vents, it could upset the order easily.

  • Third Place: Ford Endeavour

Ford’s Endeavour excels at consistency — keeping the temperature even across the cabin. It also features the most powerful third row AC.

  • Fourth Place: Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace

A single compressor, thin sunshade fabric and lack of third-row AC vents see the big Volkswagen struggle under a hot sun. 

Before we conclude, here’s a quick look at the testing method:

The Method

  • To measure temperature accurately, we’re using temperature sensors mounted between the seat’s headrest and seat back. The integrated display gives us a read out of the prevailing temperature. 

  • In interest of fairness, all vehicles are first ‘aired out’ with all doors open. This ensured all cabins attain an even starting temperature. 

  • With all doors closed and windows rolled up, the vehicles are allowed to ‘soak’ heat for a full 15 minutes. 

  • The vehicle’s air-conditioning is run for a total of 30 minutes. Temperature is set to ‘low’ with fan speed set to maximum. Temperature drops are recorded every minute for the first 20 minutes, and then at the end of the 25th and 30th minute.

We’ve also tested the infotainment systems on the behemoths as well as their headlamps. Do stay tuned for those features, coming soon.

Read More on : Fortuner on road price

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