Blinding Lights: Toyota Fortuner Legender vs Ford Endeavour vs Mahindra Alturas G4 vs VW Tiguan AllSpace: Headlamp Performance Compared

Modified On Jun 09, 2021 07:03 PM By Arun for Toyota Fortuner

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Which full-size SUV has the best headlamps?

Headlamps have come a long way. From a simple yellow bulb in a reflective casing to employing ‘laser’ technology, headlamps today are as much about practicality and safety as they are about making a statement. Here we will focus (ermm) on the actual performance of the headlamps to help you pick your car, or SUV, as in this case, with greater clarity. In this edition we’ve lined up full-size SUVs such as the Toyota Fortuner Legender, Mahindra Alturas G4, Ford Endeavour and the Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace. 

What are we measuring? 

Using a lux meter, we measure illuminance. In simpler terms, we are measuring the light intensity at different points. To mark these points, we’ve used a few interesting props. The Lux readings translate as such - higher lux numbers simply mean you would be able to spot the said object better. But just how much is enough? Here are some examples to set expectations:

Condition

Illumination (lux)

Sunlight

107527

Full Daylight

10752

Full Moon

0.108

Where are we testing the headlamps? 

  • We conducted the test in a dark room with a test area measuring 18 metres in length. 

  • Readings are obtained on a lux meter mounted on a tripod at a height of 21inches. 

  • A typical Indian road was recreated with objects placed at 5-metre intervals. 

  • Car is placed in the exact centre of its own lane.

  • The wall on the far side has markings on the vertical axis at every foot. 

The diagram helps explain the positioning of the vehicle, the camera and the props: 

Snapshot: the contenders 

A quick look at the SUVs and the headlamp tech on offer:

Toyota Fortuner Legender: 

Low Beam: LED Projector

High Beam: LED Projector

Fog Lamps: White LED

Ford Endeavour

Low Beam: LED

High Beam: LED

Fog Lamps: Yellow Halogen

Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace

Low Beam: LED Projector

High Beam: LED Projector

Fog Lamps: Yellow Halogen

Mahindra Alturas G4

Low Beam: HID

High Beam: Halogen 

Fog Lamps: Yellow Halogen

Which SUV has the widest low beam?

The sides of the road need constant attention while driving at night. Spotting that pedestrian attempting to cross the road or that small milestone in time makes all the difference. Let’s put the low beams to the test. Which one illuminates the edges of the road the best?

Verdict:

  • You will have absolutely no issues with the Endeavour or Fortuner for late night roadtrips. Even on narrow roads in the middle of nowhere, the wide beams help immensely in illuminating practically everything in your field of view from the driver’s seat.

  • The Tiguan’s low beam is heavily biased towards the left. On well-lit roads, you should have no hiccups. However, in low light situations, you might have to switch to the high beam to view objects to your right. On a positive note, the Tiguan’s headlamps illuminates the area immediately around the car the best, which should help while parking and taking u-turns in the dark.

  • The  Alturas’ yellow beam has the least spread among the four. It would definitely benefit from a brighter and wider low beam. Overall, low beam performance is satisfactory for well-lit roads, but not exceptional. 

Insights:

  • Toyota Fortuner Legender: The low beam is w-i-d-e, and also the ‘whitest’ among all. The intensity of the low beam increases as we move from objects at five metres to 10. Toyota has the most powerful beam where you need it the most — 10 metres (93.2 lux on the left and 97.2 lux on the right). 

  • Ford Endeavour: While its width is nearly identical to the Fortuner, the low beam shows better vertical spread. Notice how you can see more of the man and child cutout (five metres on the left) and the walking man (10 metres on the right). Like the Fortuner, intensity increases with distance here too. Also, the numbers suggest that the Endeavour lights up objects on both sides evenly. We can conclude that the low beam intensity for the Ford Endeavour is practically equal on the left and right. 

  • Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace: On the left side, it has the most intense beam at five metres (83.2 lux), and the second most powerful beam at 10 metres (64.8 lux). Illumination on the right hand side is negligible in comparison. 

  • Mahindra Altruas G4: While illumination at the point of measurement was the highest, notice how the dog (five metres on the right) is only partially illuminated. Similarly, the area beyond the man and child cutout (five metres on the left) isn’t as well lit as the others. 

Which SUV lights up the road straight ahead the best? 

Spotting what’s straight ahead is crucial to night-time driving. Are the low beams up to this task?   

Verdict

  • The low beams on the Fortuner and Endeavour are more than sufficient. You wouldn’t feel the need for better lighting or upgrades. The Fortuner Legender has the  brighter beam between the two.

  • The Tiguan’s low beam is unbelievably powerful, but only for the first five metres. As we saw in the previous test, the angle of the light is aimed nearer to the vehicle, so, you might find yourself switching to the high beam to get some more light further up the road. It also tends to blend in if you’re driving under white LED street lights.

  • Mahindra’s Alturas G4 is almost like a spotlight: illuminating in a big patch on the road and straight up ahead. You might feel the need to use the high beam more frequently or  for brighter (possibly whiter) lights if you travel on unlit roads quite often.

Low Beam (Intensity)

 

Fortuner

Endeavour

Alturas

Tiguan AllSpace

5 metres

434.3

385.1

357.8

718.4

10 metres

283.5

290.7

210.3

4.1

Insights:

  • Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace: It recorded the highest reading in the test at five metres (718.4 lux). Sadly, intensity is nearly non-existent at 10 metres (4.1 lux).

  • Toyota Fortuner Legender: Has the second most powerful beam in centre at five  and 10metres.

  • Ford Endeavour: Ekes out a marginal lead over the Fortuner at 10 metres. Intensity drops by less than 100 lux as the distance increases. Impressive!

  • Mahindra Alturas G4: Illumination at five metres is the least overall. 

Which SUV has the widest high-beam?

You will have to rely on the high beam while travelling on unlit or poorly lit roads. Whether it's spotting a car waiting at a junction ahead to merge into your lane or spotting cattle wandering on to the road in the distance boils down to the width of the high beams. Here’s how the SUVs fared:

Verdict:

  • The Fortuner Legender has the best high beam among all. With a strong beam, wider spread and good height it wins this test comfortably.

  • The Endeavour’s high beam ensures uniform lighting at both edges and comes in a close second. It’s bright enough to be used comfortably on unlit highways. 

  • You’d want a brighter and wider high beam from both the Alturas and Tiguan AllSpace if you travel through unlit roads frequently. 

 

Interesting Insights

  • Toyota Fortuner Legender: Notice how the cow (15 metres on the left) is illuminated better than the walking man (15 metres on the right). This is to ensure that oncoming traffic isn’t blinded.

  • Ford Endeavour: The high beam is quite powerful at 10 metres too, but the drop in intensity is sharper compared to the Toyota.

  • Mahindra Alturas G4: We expected a brighter beam. Light intensity at 10 metres is what the Fortuner/Endeavour deliver at 15 metres. The upside is that high beam intensity drops marginally on the left from 10 to 15 metres. Expectedly, the drop is much sharper on the right.

  • Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace: Intensity on the left is more than twice of that on the right at 10 metres. An even spread would’ve ensured better illumination on the walking man (10 metres on the right). 

Which high beam has the best reach? 

An extension of the previous test, a strong and tall high beam will ensure you spot those parked unlit trailers and the overhead signboards in time.    

Verdict

For heights of up to four feet, you wouldn’t have an issue with any of the high beams. Beyond that, the Fortuner and the Alturas have a slight advantage. 

Interesting Insights

  • Ford Endeavour: Intensity is the strongest overall at two - and three feet (249.3 and 413.2 lux). That’s why we see a bright hotspot in the Endeavour’s image. It sadly tapers off where you need it the most: between five and six feet.

  • Toyota Fortuner Legender:The Legender’s beam is focussed between three and four feet (324.6 and 242.3 lux). As the height increases, it starts bettering the Endeavour.

  • Mahindra Alturas G4: From 5 feet onwards, the Alturas has consistently better light intensity. Light intensity at eight feet is practically equal to the Fortuner.  

  • Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace: There’s ample illumination at a height of two and three feet (226.7 and 130.5 lux) post which the intensity tapers off quite sharply. 

High Beam (Throw)

 

Fortuner

Endeavour

Alturas

Tiguan AllSpace

2ft

211.5

249.3

127.7

226.7

3ft

324.6

413.2

162.7

130.5

4ft

242.3

217.8

154.2

88.2

5ft

80.7

90.5

114.2

30.4

6ft

39.4

32.6

67.3

14.5

7ft

28.6

11.7

32.7

5.6

8ft

15.9

8.2

16

2.9

Do fog lamps really help?

Most modern cars are ditching fog lamps altogether. Are they really just an aesthetic element or do they really make a difference? 

Verdict

  • Volkswagen’s Tiguan AllSpace has the most powerful fog lamps of the lot. It also helps make the already wide low beam spread even wider for areas immediately around the nose of the car.

  • Across vehicles, we see that foglamps barely add to the low beam’s intensity at five metres. But the extra source of light definitely helps. 

Low Beam + Fog Lamp

 

Fortuner

Endeavour

Alturas

Tiguan AllSpace

 

Without Fog

With Fog

Without Fog

With Fog

Without Fog

With Fog

Without Fog

With Fog

Left

75.1

76.9

50.3

54.4

63.4

66.3

83.2

87.7

Centre

434.3

441.3

385.1

395.2

357.8

366.6

718.4

730

Right

49

50.8

49.6

54.7

54.1

56.9

6.2

11.9

Interesting Insight

  • All foglamps help light up the road better upto 10metres. Notice how the feet of objects placed at five metres are better illuminated. You could bank on the foglamps while parking, or navigating through unknown roads in the dark for that extra bit of light. 

Wrapping up

Leaderboard

First Place: Toyota Fortuner

The Fortuner’s low beam is both powerful and wide — a rare combination. It also has the ‘whitest’ beam of them all. Switching to high beam gives you the brightest beam compared to the rest. 

Second Place: Ford Endeavour

If the Ford had brighter lights, it would’ve managed to beat the Fortuner. It does excel in terms of having a taller beam compared to the Toyota. Both the low and high beams provided even illumination. 

Third Place: Volkswagen Tiguan AllSpace

Volkswagen’s Tiguan AllSpace does a fantastic job of illuminating what’s immediately around the vehicle. But the heavy left-bias and the fact that it illuminates the road more than what’s further ahead stops the Volkswagen from scoring top honours. 

Fourth Place: Mahindra Alturas G4 

Mahindra should’ve considered using brighter white beams for the Alturas. It could do with more spread for the low beam, and a more powerful high beam. The high beam has good reach in terms of height — but that’s unlikely to be used in daily driving scenarios.

Read More on : Toyota Fortuner on road price

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tejaswi subramanya
Jun 10, 2021 10:22:50 AM

It would be good to add Hyundai Tucson ,Isuzu in this list ..

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    amar pawar
    Jun 7, 2021 7:10:50 PM

    Overhyped and Overpriced.

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