Back in 2019, MG Motor put its first footstep in the Indian market with the MG Hector. At launch, the MG Hector was warmly welcomed by the Indian customers. The model was appraised for its fully-loaded equipment list along with the good-looking design. After two years on sale, the MG Hector has established a strong position in the market and become one of the best-selling cars in the highly competitive segment of mid-size SUVs.
Earlier this year, to refresh the offering, MG has introduced the facelift version of the Hector with some minor updates. The facelift came only 18 months after its debut in the Indian market, which is a short gap for a model to get its mid-life update. Since the facelift comes quite soon, the facelifted Hector does not get significant or impressive updates. In this full review of the MG Hector, we will see which changes and updates the facelift model has received.
MG Hector Exterior
As mentioned above, since the mid-life upgrade arrives sooner compared to the market’s norm, the updates, especially the cosmetic ones, are limited. It could be said that the MG Hector facelift doesn’t get any significant change. Overall, it keeps the same bold and impressive road presence as the previous model.
On the front end, the facelift comes in the form of a new chrome-studded grille which is slightly different from the original mesh grille. The new grille looks modern and adds some depth to the fascia. Despite the changes in the content, the chrome padding is as dominant as before. Other than the new pattern for the grille, Hector also receives a gun-metal grey skid plate in place of the old silver-garnished unit on the pre-updated version. The rest of the design remains unchanged. There is the same split-up lighting system with sleek DRLs on top and the main headlight located on the lower level. Overall, the front end of the MG Hector is still recognizable despite some minor styling tweaks. As before, the facelifted MG Hector appears handsome and imposing.
Similar to the front end, there is not much happening on the side profile, except for the new set of 18-inch dual-tone alloy wheels and side scuff plates. Previously, the MG Hector only ran on 17-inch machine-cut alloys. The upsize of the wheels effectively matches the bulky and rugged appearance of the SUV. Apart from these small updates, the sides of the MG Hector keep the familiar simple and butch design with a floating roof, lean plastic cladding, and square-ish wheel arches.
Similar to the front end, the MG Hector gets the new gun-metal grey applique for the skid plate. In place of the red bar connecting the taillights, there is a new glossy black tailgate garnish that emphasizes the seriousness and premiumness of the design. These slight differences on the rear end mildly refresh the appeal of the mid-sized SUV. MG Hector features the same dominant and rugged skid plate. The same Audi Q5-inspired headlights remain unchanged. The rear end works in harmony with the overall rugged and aggressive exterior design of the MG Hector.
MG Hector Dimensions
For the facelift version, all dimensions stay unchanged. The Hector is 4,655 mm long, 1,835 mm wide and 1,760 mm high, with the length and the height far exceeding those of major competitors like the Jeep Compass and the Tata Harrier. It also comes with a longer wheelbase of 2750 mm. Combined with the roof rails and the standard kit plates, the dimensions help Hector have a glamorous presence on road.
MG Hector Interior
The pre-facelift MG Hector was available with an all-black interior scheme. However, the new Hector is offered with a dual-tone champagne-black interior. Apart from this update, there is no other styling change. The rest is identical to the pre-facelift version. There is the same vertical touchscreen and large MID behind the wheel. The silver inserts still exist around the air vents and steering wheel as well as the door pads. It is a pity that MG Motor did not work on the material quality of the interior. It would be much better if there were more soft-touch plastics in use.
One of MG Hector’s strengths is its ambient interior space. Thanks to its massive dimensions, MG Hector is considered among the most spacious car in its class. The front seats of the SUV offer ample knee room, headroom and legroom. Even the 6.5 feet tall driver would find the space impressively roomy. On the second row, the MG Hector can provide enough room for three passengers. The rear seat is reclinable, allowing the passengers to find a comfortable seating position. The seats are designed for the best support for occupants. In addition, the inclusion of sunroof along with the large glass area has efficiently made the interior room appear airier. However, there is a small ergonomics issue with the hybrid version. Since the hybrid battery is located below the front passenger seats, meaning that the rear passenger has no room to tuck their legs. It also explains why the co-driver seat is not electrically adjustable.
About the storage room, the MG Hector comes with a larger boot room of over 600 litres. Moreover, thanks to the 60:40 split rear seats, the boot room can be extended. Additionally, the passengers can find various storage solutions across the cabin, for example, the cup holder and storage on the armrest or storage cubbies on the doors.
In terms of features, the MG Hector receives some extra add-ons. First of all, the Hector now flaunts ventilated front seats, wireless phone charger, and auto-dimming inside the rearview mirror. These added features surely bring the cabin experience to the next level. What’s more, Hector also introduces a new voice assistant technology that gives some edges for the facelift version. The new voice control system now can process over 30 commands in Hinglish and even some Hindi commands. With this technology, car users can voice control some task like opening and closing the sunroof or adjusting the air conditioning system and the navigation function.
Apart from these updates, the MG Hectors carries forward the same interior features from the pre-facelift version. On the centre of the dashboard, there is a large 10.4-inch portrait touchscreen with Apple Carplay and Android Auto and connectivity system. The iSMART connectivity system empowers the user with functions like geo-fencing and remote ignition, speed limiter, navigation. Besides, it also features powered front seats, a full-view camera, powered tailgate, ambient lighting, panoramic sunroof, and so on.
MG Hector Powertrain
Under the hood, the MG Hector keeps the same powertrain options from the pre-facelift version. There are two petrol engine options and one diesel unit. The 1.5-litre turbo petrol unit comes under two forms, a regular unit and a mild-hybrid unit. Either way, the petrol unit can put out 143PS and 250Nm. The 2.0-litre diesel engine is powerful enough for 170 PS and 350 Nm. Both engines are available with a 6-speed manual gearbox. However, only the turbo-petrol unit gets automatic gearbox choices.
The Hector petrol hybrid sports a 48V mild-hybrid kit. In both petrol and petrol-hybrid versions, the 1.5-litre turbo petrol unit generates 143 PS at 5,000 rpm against 250 Nm at 3,600 rpm. The petrol motor is satisfactorily powerful; the slightly lower kerb weight cannot compensate for the 100 Nm lower torque than that on the diesel version. The good points here are the decent refinement and the silent cabin. The gearshift and the clutch are smoother, which makes it easier to handle. The mild-hybrid package can provide a 12% increase in the vehicle’s fuel mileage while also helping the CO2 emissions reduce by 11%.
Initially, the turbo-diesel engine is available with a standard 6-speed MT and an optional 6-speed DCT. However, along with the facelift launch, a 6-speed DCT is also added. The newly-added CVT comes with two driving modes, Eco and Sport. While the Eco model focuses on enhancing fuel efficiency, the Sport version is optimized for a better driving experience. More importantly, the CVT powertrain is claimed to provide a good mileage of 13.96 kmpl. Besides offering decent fuel efficiency, the CVT drivetrain also lends an effortless city driving experience. The introduction of the CVT gearbox makes the Hector the first SUV in India to comes with two automatic gearboxes for one engine.
The 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine on the MG Hector is sourced from Fiat. The same unit is also employed on the Jeep Compass and Tata Harrier. However, it should be noted that this engine shows a new level of refinement on the Hector. Unlike the Harrier and Compass, Hector’s diesel unit runs more quietly and noises are effectively filtered out. With 170 PS on tap, MG Hector’s 2.0-litre oil burner is slightly less powerful than one used on the Jeep Compass. However, the power outputs are higher than those on the Tata Harrier.
Not only the power outputs are different, but the performance of this engine on each model also varies as well. On the diesel Hector, the power delivery feels more linear and progressive. While on the diesel Compass, the turbo lag is obvious. The diesel Hector manages to iron out the lag. It takes only 11.39 seconds to run from standstill to 100 kph. It employs the same gearbox used on the Compass. However, the gear ratios are taller, allowing the car to cruise on the highway more effortlessly. On the other hand, it takes more gear-shifting when you are driving in the city.
MG Hector Competition
MG Hector continues to take on the likes of Jeep Compass, Tata Harrier and Mahindra XUV500. Considering the price, Hector also challenges the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos as well. Its seven-seater version – MG Hector Plus – is locking horns with the Tata Safari – the latest seven-seater SUV in the market.
The compact SUV space is a highly competitive segment with many dominant names. That’s being said, the MG Hector still manages to stand out thanks to its wonderful attributes, like the massive dimensions and powerful equipment list. It is absolutely a good option to consider within the mid-size SUV segment.
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