The new-age internet SUV

ST CORRESPONDENT
Tuesday, 18 June 2019

With its bold looks, spacious interiors and  grand road presence, MG Hector is likely to give a tough competition to Jeep Compass and Tata Harrier

During the IPL tournament season,  the Indian auto consumers got the first glimpse of MG or Morris Garages, the iconic auto brand, in a very effective campaign which introduced itself as a trustworthy legacy brand. It will soon be entering the Indian market. Just a few weeks after that MG Hector is here! And it bowls you over with its bold and attractive looks, solid road presence and spacious interiors.  

EYE-CATCHING DETAILS
The front and bonnet of the car have stylish detailing and is similar to the current trend of having a headlight cluster placed down at bumper level with the LED DRLs placed above them. The humongous grille, which you just can’t miss, feels bold and gives an SUV look. There’s a bit too much of chrome around in the front part. The car gets a macho look because of the detailing in its front part. But the tyres could have been larger.  The 215/60 tyres and 17-inch wheels and 4,655mm length, 1760mm height look a bit disproportionate. The rear exterior of the car is very stylish and gives the feel of a classy SUV. The tail lights look classy and the rear has a premium look.

HI-TECH FEATURES
If there is anything missing in the exterior of the car, the interior makes up for it. The Hector’s spacious cabin gives you a great feel. The differentiator is the 10.4-inch touchscreen, which is the biggest just not in its segment but also among all the cars in the Indian market. So let’s talk about the screen first. Everything from infotainment to navigation, and even the cooling settings are all housed in this massive touchscreen. The only physical buttons are for the volume control, and the front and rear defoggers.

For the first time in India this car has a dedicated and permanently mounted SIM card that allows your phone to communicate with the car through MG’s iSMART app. If you tend to worry about the security of your car, the app let’s you keep a tab on where the car is, if it’s over-speeding or if it’s strayed beyond the boundary that can be set to a 100 km radius. The touchscreen is multipurpose almost of the quality of the glass cockpit screens offered in modern day aircraft. Its signature ‘Hello MG’ greeting would surely excite you. You can control many things in the car with this screen and even remote control the features in the car using the device that comes with the Hector. This is a big differentiator for MG and shall definitely give this SUV a head start in an all together new category.  

SPACIOUS LEGROOM
The space and legroom in the rear is also a big winner for MG Hector. Legroom is huge and the massive panoramic sunroof, along with the huge windows, elevates the feeling of space. You can also recline the backrest for more comfort and that’s a huge plus.

RELAXED DRIVING EXPERIENCE
The Hector’s 2.0-litre diesel produces 170hp and 350nm, which are identical to the figures of the Jeep Compass. However, the way the power and torque are delivered is quite different. There’s still a fair bit of turbo lag in the Hector, especially below 2000rpm. Hector gets the same Fiat C635 6-speed manual gearbox but MG has opted for a slightly taller set of ratios in the interest of fuel efficiency, which, at 17.41kpl, is the best in its class and good for relaxed highway driving. The clutch could have been smoother. It is a little hard and so is the gear shift. The reverse gear makes you use your forearm with full strength and this could be a little problematic for female drivers.

The 1.5-litre petrol-hybrid engine makes 143hp and 250Nm, with an extra 20Nm coming from the 48V battery housed under the passenger seat. The belt-starter generator battery is for an additional boost on acceleration and self-charging upon braking.

VERDICT
MG has not revealed the price of the Hector which should be out by June end. The price is going to be a deciding factor for this car which takes on the Jeep Compass and Tata Harrier. If priced right, the MG Hector could be a real winner as it offers completely different features which the competitors have not even thought of yet. Hector seems a very attractive and stylish package for those looking at acquiring a new-age SUV this season.

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