Car manufacturers love flaunting reserving numbers to show how popular their new roads are. However, the true measure of achievement of any item is how well it can sustain sales after the initial euphoria has expired. Hence, the 10,000 reservations the MG Hector bagged in under a month since the order books opened was initially met with skepticism by recognized rivals, but the expanding month-on-month sales of the all-new SUV which also from an unknown brand has turned into cynicism to worry and even dread. When the price was disclosed, things only got better for the SAIC-owned British marque because the competitive introductory prices boosted demand, to a point that it had to stop taking more orders just to clear the backlog.
When we experienced the Hector on the hills of Coimbatore, we knew it was the makings of a winner. No doubt, the distinctive design, exhaustive features list along with a hugely spacious cottage are all strong elements in the success of an SUV, but that short drive was only a sampler and did not include the petrol automatic version. This variant is the selection of the lot, accounting for more than 50 percent sales, and includes a waiting period that can stretch to seven weeks. Hence, in this exact exacting road evaluation, we’ve analyzed all three powertrain variations to, once and for all, reply to the torrent of questions flooding our inbox and also to let you know exactly how good the Hector is.
MG Hector Design Review
You just can not miss the Hector; its sheer size hits you before you even start focusing on the design details. It appears half a size larger than its rivals and that’s a fantastic start for an SUV whose street existence is inherent to its appeal.
Also standing out is the striking headlight cluster which gets the entire DRL treatment. The design, also, is in sync with the latest trend of having DRL strips over the headlights, which can be situated lower down, close to the bumper. And at Hector’s situation, they are flanked with a chunky L-shaped chrome strip.
It is from the side the Hector seems the most gargantuan, with its 4,655mm length readily making it the greatest SUV in its class. In reality, Hector’s length and long overhangs mask its considerable 2,750millimeter wheelbase, which is the very best in class. Look at it from both sides and you may see the way long wheelbase adds to Hector’s size. These proportions have served to dwarf the 215/60 R17 tires that don’t quite complete the wheel wells and look scrawny for this a bulky-looking SUV. This spoils the Hector’s SUV authenticity to some degree, as does the fact that this is an SUV designed without off-road ambitions. However, it not being a severe off-roader will not be an issue for a majority of buyers, who’ll be satisfied with the ground clearance of 183mm, which will be enough for our streets.
The rear is simple in comparison to the front, but here too the angular and edgy theme has been carried over and the beefy-looking scuff plate adds to Hector’s visual bulk. The LED tail-lamps are combined using a reflector strip, and the Audi-Esque swiping LED indicators are a superior touch.
MG Hector Interior Review
The feeling of space inside the Hector is enhanced by the large windows and enormous panoramic sunroof. The dashboard has a straightforward, clean design and is dominated by the massive 10.4-inch, portrait-oriented touchscreen. The majority of the functions are touch-controlled along with the only physical buttons you get are for the volume control, and the front and rear defoggers. The touchscreen itself has a bright and high-contrast display that is easy to read in harsh light, but the touch response is somewhat slow. When you rush through the purposes, the screen doesn’t hang momentarily like before, thanks to some software upgrades but remains slow.
The grade of substances, for the most part, is good, but look carefully and there are several iffy pieces, such as the jagged fit on the leather plus a few hard plastic panels low down. A neat bit is a 5V fast-charging USB port with the traditional AUX interface, and multiple storage areas in the armrest, center console and door pads.
The driver’s seat is quite SUV-like and even at its lowest setting, so you get a commanding view of the street. The six-way electrically adjustable chair, along with telescopic and tilt fix for the steering, permits you to locate the ideal driving position in a jiffy.
The lavish passenger space has not come at the expense of boot space. The huge rear overhang has enabled 587 liters to be carved out for the bag, and this space could be expanded hugely by turning the middle seats forward. Access, however, is hard since the boot lip is large, making loading heavy luggage a small job.
Front seats are huge and very liberally padded, maybe too generously. The lumbar support is a bit excessive and that may get uncomfortable on long drives. The instrument cluster is straightforward and contains easy to read dials, however, the rev counter needle swings anticlockwise and takes some time to get used to. But a big ergonomic glitch we discovered is that the warmth from sunlight makes the instruments difficult to read. It’s no problem at night when the bunch lights up with a cool blue glow. And to add to the ambiance, you get eight-color mood light for the cottage which changes color automatically.
MG Hector Engine Performance Review
The Hector is offered with two engine options a 1.5-liter turbo-petrol engine producing 143hp and 250Nm of torque, and Fiat’s 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine that develops 170hp and 350Nm of torque. The petrol engine also gets a hybrid version on all the trims but the base version, using a 48V battery mounted under the front passenger seat. The hybrid system doesn’t increase power but you do get an additional 20Nm of electrical assist to get an excess shot of momentum. The diesel Hector gets only one transmission choice 6 speed manual, while the gas gets a 6-speed manual and also a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic.
Let us start with the crowd-favorite — the petrol-automatic, which is also the one which’s the easiest to drive.
Slot the somewhat old-fashioned-looking gear lever into D, tap the nicely sprung accelerator pedal along with the big Hector Gently eases forwards with no delay. Having a gentle or part-throttle prod, the engine and gearbox respond quite well and it is not difficult to comprehend why customers are flocking to the variant of the Hector. It is pretty effortless to push in the city, and in stop-start traffic, the engine and gearbox work together quite effortlessly.
It’s when you delve into the bottom half of the throttle pedal’s journey which you experience the idle
Side of the gearbox. This makes you require a more concerted approach to overtaking, especially on highways with a single carriageway, where passing traffic needs planning.
The gearshift is fine and precise, thanks to a well-defined gate, and helps you enjoy the drive. However, in city traffic, the clutch, using its long journey and higher bite stage, works your left foot but it must be stated that the pedal effort is quite light.
Flat-out acceleration is really good and that the 0-100kph dash takes a noteworthy 12.64sec. The Hector isn’t slow or sluggish by anyway, it’s only that you need to work the motor and gearbox to extract the most out of it. There is a bit of a gap between the third and second gear ratios, which means you are constantly flicking between both of these cogs, especially on a winding uphill road.
The performance figures indicate that the Hector automatic isn’t a very quick car — it will 0-100kph within an unhurried 14.21sec.
You might even opt to shift manually, however in that manner, also, the gearbox is slow to reply. Nevertheless, the changes themselves are smooth and you barely feel the car swapping the cogs.
The Fiat-sourced 2.0-liter turbo-diesel is a motor we’re familiar with. It forces the Jeep Compass and the Tata Harrier (albeit in a lower state of the song ), but interestingly, it feels the very best from the MG. For starters, this motor is the most tasteful from the Hector. It makes a fantastic 170hp from the Hector, which might be slightly less than at the more expensive Compass, but is 30hp more than the equal Harrier. Get going and here also the refinement is amazingly fine, despite having a hint of the different clatter that you get on the Compass and Harrier. Performance is fairly decent as well, with 100kph in the standstill arriving in a fast 11.39sec. The gear ratios are somewhat taller here and while that’s great for highway cruising, then you do tend to shuffle through the gears at the town.
Also, although the power and torque figures are equal to the Compass, the power delivery is rather different. Where the Compass gets that strong punch following 2,000rpm, at the Hector, it’s a linear and progressive pull. Also, turbo lag is not as prominent as at the Compass, and it’s quite apparent the Hector is the first to profit from the most recent tuning tweaks to the Fiat 2.0 diesel.
Must Read: How to get a Free car from the Government
The Hector’s comprehensive features list is one of its strongest points and also a key reason orders for this car keep coming in. The most talked-about feature is, well, how you can speak to your Hector. Pressing the voice command button on the steering activates the system, and from saying’Hello MG’ you receive a prompt for directions — you have a 100 to choose from and the car does it for you.
Another major talking point is that the connectivity you get from a dedicated SIM card that is embedded in the infotainment system. This allows your telephone to communicate with MG’s iSMART program, which provides you command of a host of functions remotely. The app, on both Apple and Android platforms, enables you to set driver alerts, assess the general health of the car, and find your vehicle in a parking place by flashing the headlights and triggering the horn. And if you’ve parked off, the program will also lead you to a spot by mapping the route. Then there is the geofencing functionality, which means you can set a perimeter (up to 100km) for your Hector, and if it goes beyond that, it will send you alerts on your smartphone. Also, it tells you the driving style, speed, and alerts medical services and preset contacts in the unfortunate event of an accident in which airbags have been deployed.
MG Hector Ride and Handling
The suspension is not the strongest point of the Hector, which doesn’t feel as settled because of its rivals. The small-diameter wheels and tires do affect the dynamics and permit sharp borders to permeate in the cabin. Additionally, the Hector was set up for relaxation and the low-speed ride is pretty good. The inherent pliancy of this suspension rounds off small bumps quite well to deliver a cushy ride.
Up the pace, and the lack of body management is very evident in how the Hector pitches and floats in an irregular street. Although the SUV is controllable at high rates, the body movement and steering that feels pumped rob you of a specific surefootedness you expect from it. It is more stable with passengers and luggage, but you still need it had that flat and constant ride seen on its peers.
Expectedly, the petrol Hector is undoubtedly the most fuel-efficient, especially on the street, where the tall gearing doesn’t make the motor work too difficult and in our test allow it to squeeze out a decent 16.5kpl. In town, the figure dropped but to a respectable 12.6kpl. The gas motors were naturally thirstier, with the manual version providing 7.25kpl and 10.27kpl in the city and highway, respectively. The petrol-automatic drinks more, and though we got better consumption figures in this comprehensive test than during our initial drive, it is still a low 6.9kpl and 9kpl in the city and highway cycles, respectively. Owners will need to factor the greater fuel intake into the price for the added convenience.
The MG Hector is an amazing price, directly from the word go. Its sheer size, the long list of attributes, and enormous cabin and boot permit it to punch not one but two sections above its weight. Yes, you do miss some features found in other competitions and there is no all-wheel-drive option to give it accurate SUV authenticity, but features such as the touchscreen and sunroof — that the biggest available on any automobile are constant reminders that you are getting your money’s worth.
Hector’s loose highway manners are its main weakness and it doesn’t have the same rocky feel of its more hardcore competitions. The strong, elegant and efficient Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre diesel engine goes a very long way to establish the Hector as a long-distance cruiser, and this version is the one to choose if you are continuously on the highway. For town use, the refined and capable 1.5 turbo-petrol create the best sense,
Even if they’re not the most efficient (especially the automated variant)
Any doubts about the long-term reliability of what’s still unknown merchandise are cared for by a last-minute guarantee and a brand-new dealer network. Sure, only time will tell how great or lasting the Hector is in the very long run, but for now, it is a compelling purchase. And when a spacious and comfortable cabin is your main priority then, quite frankly, the Hector is the best option for the cost.