Launched on June 27th, 2019, the MG Hector is the first product of the British auto manufacturer for the Indian auto market. Our detailed MG Hector test drive review should help you to understand more about this modern SUV
MG Hector Test Drive Review - Introduction
Advertised as the ‘internet of cars’, the MG Hectoris the latest offering in the rapidly-developing breed of connected vehicles in which artificial intelligence has been integrated into cars. The SUV has attracted a lot of attention, thanks to the visual marketing campaign with Benedict Cumberbatch’s appearance. MG has also established up to 120 dealerships across India to display and sell its first product for India. Nevertheless, is all of the above enough to explain for the attraction of Hector? The answer is not since the most attractive aspect of the Hector must be its segment-leading features. Read our detailed MG Hector test drive review to discover.
MG Motor will enter the Indian auto market with the Hector.
Although the impressive list of advanced interior features will definitely attract your attention, Hector’s front will not less effectively catch your eyes. Like the Tata Harrier and the recently launched Hyundai Venue, the Hector sports a multi-layer lighting system in the front with DRLs being positioned at the hood level and the main beams which have been located in a low position. Having said that, it is the prominent chrome front grille which determines the exterior attraction of the front fascia. Polishing elements and large faux skid plate further enhances the exterior appeal of the SUV.
The front of the vehicle is the most prominent angle of its exterior.
On the side profile, the most outstanding feature is the clean surfaces. Furthermore, the floating roof is also added to the exterior of the vehicle. The outstanding plastic cladding and the squared-off wheel arches contribute to the aggressiveness of the vehicle. However, the 17-inch machine cut alloy rims should have been larger to match with the rugged appearance of the car.
The side profile of the Hector would be more attractive if the wheels were larger.
Coming to the rear, you can realize the tail lamps which are inspired by the Audi Q5. These units have been integrated with a reflector component. A faux skid plate is mounted to the bold bumper.
The rear of the vehicle comes with Audi Q5-inspired taillights integrated with reflector element.
Generally, in terms of the MG Hector exterior, thanks to the great dimensions and an impressive front-end, the vehicle has a bold stance on road. Some other minor features such as dynamic turn signals and rear spoiler also contribute to the polishing appearance of the vehicle. Now, a question might pop up in your mind: Does the MG Hector interior has an equal quality to the exterior? The answer is both yes and no. Why? Let’s discover in the next section.
MG Hector finally unleashed! | A Quick Glance At Everything You Need To Know
The large proportions of the Hector translate into an amber cabin, which is also a unique selling point of the SUV. Actually, the Hector offers one of the roomiest cabins for an SUV in this price range. The driving seat can accommodate a driver who is 6.5 feet tall; there is amber knee room, headroom and legroom for the front seats. However, for the petrol hybrid variant, the space for the 2nd-row passengers’ legs is not available because the hybrid battery is positioned below the front passenger seat. This also explains for the lack of electric co-driver seat in the fully-loaded petrol hybrid vehicle.
The front seats offer a quite decent knee room, headroom and legroom for the occupants.
Three medium-sized adults can sit comfortably in the rear seat, thanks to the flat floor. Moreover, thanks to the good-degree reclining of the rear seat, the versatility of the vehicle is further enhanced. Another good point is the wide glass area which serves as a substitute for the sunroof which lets such a large amount of sunlight to enter the cabin, which allows you to feel comfortable in an all-black cabin. Nevertheless, the addition of sunblinds is highly recommended to keep the sunlight under control and for privacy purpose.
The rear seat can accommodate up to three average adults.
The glass area on the sunroof offers light cabin for the occupants.
While the seats offer sufficient support, the boot space which measures almost 600 litres (much larger than that on some of its rivals) can store a large amount of luggage: up to two backpacks, a trolley bag and two big cameras. This cargo space can be also expanded to a large extent when the 60:40 split rear seat is completely folded. Moreover, there are numerous storage holes inside the car below the front armrest and in the door pockets, which are greatly useful to store your small personal accessories like mobile phones, etc.
The amber boot space can store a large amount of luggage.
The multiple storage holes further enhance the versatility of the vehicle.
However, room for improvement still exists. The seat coverings and the trim quality could have been better. The British automaker should have added some more soft-touch plastics or contrasting coloured trims to give the Hector a more upmarket feel. What about the MG Hector interior features, do they live up to customers’ expectations?
The Hector is equipped with a wide range of top-notch features. One of the most outstanding features inside the cabin of the SUV must be the large 10.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system which displays plenty of information and controlling functions which include smartphone connectivity, navigation, air conditioner setting and sunroof control. Although the screen gets a quite intuitive interface, it is by no means the most responsive system that is available in the Indian auto market.
Also included in the interior package of the Hector is the 360-degree camera display, which is somewhat disappointing due to the slow refresh speed of the screen. To compensate for this downside, the infotainment system can receive wireless updates, which ensures the immediate update of the information. Thanks to the iSMART connected apps package, the car can implement some advanced functions such as geo-fencing, remote ignition, limiting the vehicle’s speed when necessary. You can also save yourself from tapping the screen but still can conduct numerous functions by utilizing MG Hector voice commands. Moreover, it also comes with a wide panoramic sunroof, electric tailgate, automatic wiper, ambient lighting, and speed control. The Hector deserves to be the most well-equipped SUV available in India.
Disappointingly, a wireless charger is absent, which is a surprise for such a tech-laden SUV like the Hector. Moreover, MG has decided to provide a tachometer with an anti-clockwise movement, which means that the tacho and the speedometer go with the opposite movements. This indicates that it would take more effort to read both the specifications at the same time. Fortunately enough, the 7-inch colour MID provides the driver with a neat display and shows plenty of important information like the battery status, TPMS, navigation alerts, etc. Other not quite satisfactory interior elements of the Hector include the plastic parts and large panel gaps. These features are not appropriate for an upmarket cabin like that of the MG SUV.
The MG Hector is loaded with a wide array of top-notch features.
Besides the comfort features and technologies, the Hector does offer a wide range of safety features, ensuring the occupants a safe journey. These include two front airbags, ABS with EBD, disc brakes on all wheels, ISOFIX seats, rear parking sensors, hill start assist and traction control system and stability program. All these features are provided as standard across Hector variants.
Overall, apart from some awkward features, the Hector deserves to be one of the most well-equipped SUVs in the Indian auto market.
MG Hector Test Drive Review - Specifications and Performance
The Hector is 4,655 mm long, 1,835 mm in 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 the Hector have a glamorous presence on road.
Engine and transmission
The Hector is powered by three motor options: a 1.5-litre petrol engine, a 1.5-litre petrol hybrid motor and a 2.0-litre diesel unit. Firstly, we test the Hector which comes with the Multijet II diesel sourced from Fiat. This engine can deliver a maximum power of 170 PS at 3,750 rpm against a peak torque of 350 Nm at 2,500 rpm and is mated to a 6-speed MT gearbox Despite a quite heavy kerb weight of up to 1,700 kg, the SUV can accelerate quite quickly and manages quite well on the steep incline. The only thing to complain about here is a slight sharp clutch, which is not present on the Jeep Compass or the Harrier.
In normal conditions, the vehicle offers a quite satisfactory riding quality.
The Hector petrol on test comes with 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. These engines are coupled with a 6-speed MT gearbox. 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%. Noteworthily, the transmission duties on the petrol (no hybrid) variants are also undertaken by a 6-speed CVT unit. But we did not have a chance to test drive this version due to its unavailability at the media test event.
MG Hector engine types
1.5-litre petrol hybrid motor
2.0-litre diesel unit
Riding and handling quality
The Hector delivers quite a comfortable journey at a low and moderate speed. Nevertheless, there is a little bit body rolling, especially on hilly terrain. Also, the steering is not so responsive; the tyres struggle when the vehicle does hard cornering. As the vehicle overcomes large potholes, the speed suddenly decreases. The soft suspension also results in the vehicle’s inability to maintain good speed stability.
The Hector delivers not a so good riding quality when cornering.
MG Hector - The Chinese Connection
Established in 1924, the British car auto manufacturer has managed to avoid being owned by numerous owners such as BMW. MG is currently owned by Shanghai Automobile Industry Corporation (SAIC), which is the largest automaker in China. Actually, the Hector is based on the Baojun 530, which is available as Chevrolet Captiva or the Wuling Almaz in other markets. The origin of the vehicle would not serve as a factor which hinders the potential buyers from going for one. At least, the 75% localization would serve as some encouragement for the Indian auto buyers.
Provided that the price is competitive, the MG Hector can record great success in the Indian auto market.
MG Hector Price
The MG Hector price list will not be revealed until its official launch, but to make a guess, it will be priced in the range from INR 12.18 lakh for the base variant to INR 16.99 lakh for the top variant, which is a little bit beyond the reach of average Indian car buyers. Refer to the table below to check the price list of the MG Hector across its variants.
The MG Hector is the most amber and well-equipped SUV in India with a wide array of top-notch features including a wide touchscreen infotainment system, a big panoramic sunroof, an iSMART connected apps package, etc. which are sure to catch all the customers’ attention. It is the first and only SUV to be powered by a petrol-mild-hybrid motor till date whereas the tested diesel model is really impressive with its great power. Nevertheless, the interior quality and riding quality should have been better.
Overall, the Hector has both good points and limitations. For those who do not mind to invest at least INR 12.18 lakh in their vehicle and are looking for amber and modern SUV, the Hector is the ideal option for you.
Refer to the table below for a summary of the pros and cons of the MG Hector.
MG Hector Pros and Cons
Glamorous exterior design
Roomy and technologies-loaded cabin
High safety across all the variants
Satisfactory riding quality at low or moderate speed
Too busy exterior for someone with small wheels
Not so great interior quality with some awkward features
Not so good riding quality when crashing large holes or cornering.
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