The much anticipated and waited upon SUV is finally here and it is looking pretty good. British Automobile manufacturer Morris Garages (MG) launched their first SUV ‘Hector’ in the Indian market and it is quite a promising entry.
Competing with the likes of Jeep Compass, Hyundai Tucson, Tata Harrier, Mahindra XUV 500 and Honda CR-V, the Hector is a combination of impeccable engineering, bold styling and a long list of exciting new features that make it a formidable contender for all its segment rivals.
The Hector is introduced with three powertrain options – a 1.5 litre turbocharged petrol engine with a choice between a six-speed manual and dual-clutch automatic transmission that churns out 143 bhp at 250 Nm of torque, a 2.0 turbocharged diesel sourced from FIAT mated with the six-speed manual churning 167 bhp at 350 Nm, and a petrol hybrid variant where the 1.5 litre petrol is coupled with a 48V electric motor and the six-speed manual gearbox, also churning out 143 bhp. The hybrid version also gets a start/stop button and the motor adds an extra 20Nm of torque to the total figure.
Bold styling and ‘internet car’
MG gives us five colour options to choose from – Starry black, Glaze Red, Burgundy red, Aurora Silver and Candy White, offered across eleven variants – Style, Super, Smart DCT and Sharp DCT in petrol, Super, Smart and Sharp in Hybrid and Style, Super, Smart and Sharp in Diesel.
The base model is the style variant starting from Rs 12.18 lakhs (ex-showroom Delhi) leading up to the top of the line variant – Sharp at Rs 16.88 lakhs (ex-showroom). The car comes with a number of features like a 10.4 inch full HD display infotainment touchscreen, electronically adjustable driver’s seat, dual front airbags, ABS and EBD with brake assist, both front passengers seat belt warning signs, front seatbelt pre-tensioner and load limiters, disc brakes on all four wheels, Hill holding/descent control and complete Electronic stability program as standard on all variants and a 360 degree view camera, full panoramic sunroof and electronically adjustable front passenger/co-driver seat on the top variant.
Dubbed as India’s first-ever ‘Internet car’, the Hector comes with a host of connected services in a suite called the i-Smart, that includes a constant connect to online music through apps, voice commands, remote access to the car through a mobile application and much more.
The front end is both big and beautiful with the chrome accents doing justice to the facia by being just adequate and not too much. Split LED headlamps with the squinting DRLs and the LED foglamps give the car a very futuristic appeal. The character line on both sides gives it strong shoulders and goes all around the accentuated rear, which completes the gorgeous exterior appeal that the car effortlessly flaunts. A capitalized badge on the front fender that reads “Internet Inside” hints at the much-popularised i-Smart connected suite.
Interiors are all black with comfort and luxury being the primary defining elements of the interior space design. The Hector’s interior is currently designed at being a five-seater with more than five hundred and sixty litres of boot space. The rear seat is inclinable and is split sixty – forty, and folds forward to nearly double the storage space in the rear. The electronic instrument cluster/display is fresh and beautifully designed with dynamic details and bold clear text and numbers. Even the hatch release button is neatly embedded on the driver’s side of the dashboard and the way it quietly commands the rear hatch to open and close, adds to the whole premium SUV feel. There is ample leg space and headroom even for the tallest of passengers without having to move the front seats forward. The lumber support though could’ve been more prominent for both tall and average passengers and might be a cause for a little discomfort for those riding in the rear in long journeys.
Other features include rear ac vents, 12V charging ports, heated ORVMs, 17-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, an Infinity audio system with four speakers, four tweeters and a subwoofer.
The drive quality on the MG Hector is, to say the least, impressive with the petrol motor doing wonderfully well in terms of power and pick up thanks to the powerful nudge of the turbocharger. The petrol-turbo combination is happier though with the six-speed manual than it is with the Dual-clutch automatic wherein the latter there seems to be a hint of a lag between shifting gears, which is slightly difficult to ignore by the performance enthusiast and almost non – existent for the urban commuter.
If you’re looking for a fresh perspective in SUVs on the Indian roads, the MG Hector is a bold new player on the roads that is both well-styled, adequately powered, quite comfortable and at the aggressively competitive pricing, will definitely not disappoint.
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