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Old 1st November 2019, 10:50   #1
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MG Hector : Official Review

The MG Hector is on sale in India at a price of between Rs. 12.48 - 17.28 lakhs (ex-showroom, Delhi).

What you'll like:

• Big size & lots of bling for the money! We find the Hector to be well-priced
• A spacious cabin that can easily seat 5 adults. Massive 587 litre boot too
• Fiat-sourced 2.0L diesel is simply fantastic
• Compliant ride quality. Suspension is tuned for comfort
• Lots of kit (panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera, electric seats & tailgate etc.)
• ‘Connected’ Tablet ICE with an embedded SIM & lovely sound quality
• 5-year / unlimited km warranty with roadside assistance
• Top safety equipment includes 6 airbags, ESP, HSA, all-wheel disc brakes, TPMS & more

What you won't:

• Awkward styling on the side & rear profiles. Looks weird from some angles
• Sloppy high-speed handling, noticeable body roll & easy understeer
• The petrol engine is “adequate” at best. Its guzzling Automatic variant is unimpressive
• No Diesel AT (Creta, Seltos, XUV500, Hexa offer this combination, which we love)
• Some annoyances like the ~6 meter turning radius, no auto-dimming IRVM, strange rpm meter…
• Small after-sales network. Service quality & long-term reliability are big unknowns
• Waiting period runs into a couple of months
• Don’t get blinded by the British branding. This is a Chinese car

The Hector Plus:

Link to Review

The 2021 Facelift:

Link to Review

The 2023 Facelift:

Link to Review

This review has been jointly compiled with Ajmat & Vid6639. Thanks to them for the expert observations!

Last edited by Aditya : 8th January 2023 at 11:04.
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Old 1st November 2019, 10:51   #2
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Review Index:

Interior - Front

Interior - Rear

In-Car Entertainment

Driving the 2.0L Diesel MT

Driving the 1.5L Petrol AT

Driving the 1.5L Petrol MT

Ride & Handling

Other Points

Smaller yet Significant Things

Last edited by GTO : 1st November 2019 at 11:22.
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Old 1st November 2019, 10:51   #3
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SAIC - China's largest car maker - has had a relationship with the Indian car scene since many years now, albeit as a partner in GM India. GM left & SAIC wanted to enter independently, but it knew that an unknown Chinese brand selling awkwardly-named cars will have few takers in a crowded, maturing market. Solution = Acquire a British marque, hire a British brand ambassador, rename your cars and underplay the "Chinese" origin. It has proven to be quite a successful strategy. Few people on the street know that MG Motors is actually selling Chinese cars.

MG or Morris Garages, picked up the General Motors plant in Halol after the American carmaker shut down its India operations. The company has invested Rs. 2,000 crores in the 178-acre facility.

The Hector is the company's first product offering in India. It is nothing but a rebadged version of the Baojun 530 SUV. Unveiled at the 2017 Auto Guangzhou show in China, the SUV is a good case study for badge-engineering. It is sold as the Baojun 530 in China, Wuling Almaz in Indonesia, Chevrolet Captiva in South America and the MG Hector in India. While it is sold in both 5 and 7-seater variants in other markets, India gets only the 5-seat version for now.

It’s no wonder that MG's first car for India is a premium SUV. The Rs. 15-20 lakh SUV segment accounts for healthy volumes as well as fat margins for carmakers. Customers are also receptive to new brands (case in point, the Duster, Seltos & Hector). By the look of things, the Hector seems to have gotten off to a good start. In July, the company had to halt taking bookings due to production constraints. The company claimed to have received more than 21,000 bookings then. The bookings re-opened recently & MG claims to have received another 8,000 bookings.

The Hector sure attracts a lot of attention. It generated loads of interest whenever we stopped at hotels, parking lots, shooting locations, etc. Wherever we went, it turned heads. What MG lacks in terms of product engineering, it has tried to make up with bling & features. The flashy styling, big size, internet connectivity, large tablet-like ICE, panoramic roof, powered tailgate etc. have aroused a lot of interest.

The Hector measures 4,655 mm in length, 1,835 mm in width and 1,760 mm in height. It has a wheelbase of 2,750 mm and a kerb weight of 1,539 kg for the petrol version / 1,618 kg for the diesel. It is the longest car in its class & has the longest wheelbase as well. On the flip side, it's also heavier than all competitors, save for the Harrier.

The Hector's build is satisfactory and there is barely any flex in the sheet metal. The doors have a good deal of weight to them and the bonnet feels heavy to lift too. The paint job is very nice. However, the panel gaps are inconsistent in some areas. The gaps were uneven on either side of the bonnet of all our test cars. The tailgate too had larger-than-usual gaps, but thankfully, they were a little more consistent.

MG Hector : Official Review-hectorspecs.png

The Hector comes with a choice of 3 powertrains - a 1.5L, 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol, a 48V mild hybrid version of the former and a Fiat-sourced 2.0L, 4-cylinder turbocharged diesel. All engines are offered with a 6-speed manual transmission, while the 1.5L turbo petrol gets an optional 6-speed DCT. What sucks is that there is no diesel automatic on offer. Indians love their diesel AT SUVs, so we are a bit surprised by the omission. This is where brands like Hyundai & Kia score = they come all guns blazing with all engine + gearbox offerings (Creta & Kia, both, were launched with Diesel ATs).

Coming to safety, the Hector gets dual front airbags, ABS + EBD, ESP, traction control, hill hold, rear disc brakes, rear parking sensors, ISOFIX child seats mounts, 3-point seatbelts for all occupants, seatbelt reminders for the front seats, speed sensitive auto-door locking and speed alert warning. The top variant (Sharp) gets 6 airbags (front, side & curtain) and a 360-degree camera, while the one below the top (Smart) gets 4 airbags (front and side). A tyre pressure monitoring system is available on the top two variants. The i-Smart system (offered on the Smart and Sharp variants) features remote car locking and unlocking, geo fencing, real time location sharing and emergency calling.

MG Motor is offering a standard warranty of 5 years / unlimited km. This is one of the best standard warranties in India. Reason? To control / minimise customer fears of an unknown brand and a new product with unknown long-term reliability. There is no option to extend it further though (some brands offer 6 & 7 year options). MG Motor is further offering 24x7 roadside assistance and 5 free services (labour only).

Handsome front end gets a large black grille, which gives the Hector a wide and mature stance. The turn-indicators / DRLs are on top, while the headlamps are lower down on the bumper. Road presence is great. Drivers give way when they see the Hector in their rear view mirrors:

W-e-i-r-d looking rear! Gets a lot of elements - dual tone bumper, massive faux skid plate and a thick red trim connecting the tail-lights. Single exhaust gets a cut out on the left:

Side profile is extremely quirky as well (only the front gets a from us), with a strange design and awkward proportions. Black cladding hides the visual bulk of the car, while giving an impression of higher ground clearance. The SUV gets blackened B & C-pillars, a floating roof and a sharp cut on the rear window line. Chrome is liberally used on the door handles, bottom edges of the doors and on the window line. Wheel and tyre combination appears too small for the bulk above:

Compared to its peers, the Hector is the longest car and also has the longest wheelbase. This thing turns heads like nobody's business:

Rear 3-quarter is nowhere as appealing as the front 3-quarter view. More "van" than SUV from some angles:

Slim & smart LED DRLs sit just below the bonnet. Thick chrome inserts run under them:

DRLs double up as turn-indicators with a progressive action. Looks damn nice!
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LED headlamps + LED foglamps are bunched together and placed lower on the bumper. These get a thick C-shaped chrome trim. The lights are sufficiently powerful and the fogs serve as cornering lamps as well. That said, many BHPians are rightfully concerned that even a small frontal impact will damage the headlamps due to their unconventional placement:

A look at all the lights in action:

DRLs are bright and prominent, even during the day. They serve as pilot lamps and dim a little when the headlights come on:

Wide grille gets a honeycomb mesh design pattern, a large chrome MG badge in the middle and a thick chrome insert on the side + bottom edges. The holes along the top and sides of the grille are blanked out. Notice the front camera just below the MG badge:

Dual-tone bumper incorporates a trapezoidal air dam & a honeycomb mesh grille with a silver surround that extends below as a faux skid plate. Lots of bling & flash here for mass market tastes:

Front bumper gets two parking sensors - one below each of the foglamps. Don't miss the subtle MG branding:

Towing point is located on the left side of the car & gets a plastic cap:

Fake skid plate ends rather abruptly and doesn't extend too far below the car. The Hector has a ground clearance (laden) of 180 mm:

Some underbody protection has been provided for the crucial parts:

Long bonnet is largely flat and slightly raised in the middle, with a vertical crease. Prominent creases are given at the corners for effect:

Wiper spindles are tucked away under the bonnet... are the windshield washers. We hate it when manufacturers place these on top of the bonnet:

Both windshield washers squirt out effective sprays (rather than jets) of water. The wipers have a good sweep:

Shut lines on the doors are consistent...

...but those around the bonnet are not. All our test cars had varying panel gaps here:

Take a look at the wide shut lines on the tailgate:

Dual-tone ORVMs with integrated blinkers:

They get a camera underneath (part of the 360 view system):

Door handles get classy chrome inserts. Driver + front passenger doors (both) get a request sensor:

Only the driver's side gets a keyhole. Insert the key in this slot to pry open the cover and access the keyhole:

Glass area is large. However, the extreme rear openings are small. The B, C and D-pillars are blacked out giving the roof a floating effect. Notice how the window line rises at the rear after the C-pillar:

Glossy black plastic inserts protrude out on either side of the rear windshield:

Square wheel arches are prominent & get black plastic cladding running around them:

The Hector's wheel-tyre combination looks too small for the wheel arches and all the sheet metal above. Would say that the wheel size is perfect, but the tyre sidewall should have been taller. 17-inch dual tone machined alloys shod with 215/60 section Continental Contact MC5 tyres. The Harrier gets beefier 235/65 R17 rubber:

Character lines run across the sides. Doors get black plastic cladding with a thick chrome strip on them. Notice the sharp kinks on the doors:

"Morris Garages" is embossed on the chrome strip of the doors, just in case you forgot the British relationship (there is no prominent SAIC or Chinese badging visible anywhere). You can't see the car's running board because the doors overlap it:

Front tyres get aero flaps ahead of them:

Hector gets rear disc brakes - a welcome feature. The Seltos & XUV500 are the only other SUVs in the price bracket to offer the same:

Roof is dominated by a large panoramic sunroof. Owners will love it:

Silver roof rails can be used to mount roof racks or other carriers. Mounting points are provided:

Body-coloured sharkfin antenna sits towards the end of the roof section:

Tailgate gets a neatly integrated spoiler:

Windshield washer is neatly integrated in the HMSL (on the right):

All-LED tail-light clusters house a slim horizontal indicator at the top, a long rectangular pilot lamp and a slim brake lamp set in it:

With all the lights in action. They look fantastic at night! If you want flash, the Hector is your car

The number plate gets a recessed housing. Red garish strip runs on top of it, connecting the tail-light clusters. No, it doesn't light up. Chrome is used on the badges, for a couple of strips on either side of the MG logo and above the number plate housing. There are no engine or variant badges anywhere:

Rear wiper is of a decent size and very usable during the rains. Unlike some cars where the sweep area is small, it's more than adequate here:

Hector badge on the left (ignore the BU Bhandari dealer sticker below)...

...and a cheesy Internet Inside badge on the right. Yuck. Reminds me of those "Intel Inside" stickers! We would debadge this from the showroom itself:

Rear bumper has a large black insert and a silver faux skid plate. A slim red reflector strip runs across the bumper, while four parking sensors are provided. The rear is overdone IMHO:

Reverse camera is tucked away beside the electronic boot release. The Hector gets a powered tailgate, which makes opening and closing it a breeze. Number plate illuminators are white LED units:

Rear foglamps and the reversing lights are tucked away at the bottom-corners. Reversing lights are bright and provide good illumination:

A look at the rear fog and reversing lights in action:

Trapezoidal exhaust tip gets a cut out in the skid plate. MG added a dash of chrome here too!!

Semi-independent helical spring torsion beam suspension at the back. The spare is a full size tyre mounted on a steel rim:

With the king-of-the-segment. The Hector appears a full size bigger than the Creta:

Last edited by GTO : 1st November 2019 at 11:07.
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Old 1st November 2019, 10:51   #4
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Interior - Front

The front doors of the Hector open and close with a triple-stage action. They have a good amount of weight to them. While there isn't a very satisfying thud when you shut them, they still feel robust. The doors open wide enough and the running board is not too broad, especially for an SUV of this size. The floor is at a decent height, while the roof is on the higher side. Getting in and out is easy.

On the inside, the Hector offers ample legroom and headroom for the front occupants. The roof does slope down a bit from the B-pillar towards the rear, but it doesn't affect the headroom & the rear windshield is of an acceptable size. The big side windows and sunroof let in a lot of light into the car.

When you step in for the first time, the tablet-ICE & panoramic sunroof do add to the "wow" factor and we're certain, it closed a lot of sales. The dashboard is black with silver highlights and dominated by that large 10.4-inch touchscreen head-unit. It looks contemporary and while an all-black scheme can make the interiors too dark for the occupants, the roof and pillars are grey, which help matters. The doorpads, seats, carpets and floor mats are black as well and will conceal any signs of soiling.

The plastics on the dashboard are soft touch and the front portion is covered in leather with white stitching. The quality is better than we had expected and it feels at par with other cars at this price point. Yes, there are some hard plastics used, but they are well finished with no rough edges to be found. The seat upholstery gets faux leather with contrast white stitching. The same leather is also used on the doorpads, gear lever and steering wheel. In terms of ergonomics, the cabin is well laid out, except for the wide-spaced pedals (more on that later). All controls are within reach.

The quality and feel of the buttons and switches is satisfactory. They appear to be built to last. That said, there are not a whole lot of buttons thanks to the portrait-oriented touchscreen on the dashboard. We sure wish the air-con got dedicated physical knobs.

MG Motor has added features like auto headlamps and wipers, electric seat adjustment, an Infinity surround sound system, connected car technology called i-Smart and a panoramic electric sunroof.

Dashboard is well-screwed together and nicely finished. One can't find any rough edges anywhere:

Cowl on top of the instrument cluster looks good. It gets leather with contrast stitching:

Nice and high driving position. Windshield is large and offers a good view of the road ahead. Some will appreciate that they can view the bonnet while driving:

A-pillars are not excessively thick and do not cause major blind spots. Lateral view and all-round visibility are satisfactory:

3-spoke, flat bottom leather-wrapped steering wheel gets a silver insert and thumb contours. It is just the right size and has just the right thickness! Steering feels great to hold and offers satisfactory grip. It looks and feels very premium. The steering-mounted control buttons are one size too small, but they are well laid out and so, easy to operate. That said, I feel there are too many buttons on the wheel and it looks extremely cluttered! Further, the hornpad isn't easy to reach for those with shorter thumbs and it is a little firm to press:

Left spoke houses the MID navigation and cruise control buttons. The right spoke houses the infotainment system, telephony and voice command buttons. The call disconnect button doubles up as a mute button:

A close look at the perforated leather and stitching pattern on the steering wheel:

Steering adjustment lever is smooth to operate and doesn't have too much weight either:

Steering gets both tilt and telescopic adjustment. GTO, however, wished the steering tilt adjustment went a little lower:
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Start / stop button gets a silver ring around it. A red light glows if you press the engine start/stop button without pressing the clutch ("ignition on" mode):

The light turns green when the engine is running:

Except for the needles, the instrument cluster is all black when you get into the car. Looks very wicked!

Turn on the car and the needles do a clean sweep. I think we've had enough of this gimmick though and manufacturers should stop it now:

Speedo on the left and the tacho on the right with a 7-inch MID in the middle. It is well laid out, but visibility suffers during the daytime. The rpm meter is a disaster - it runs counterclockwise! Differentiation just for the sake of it, killing usability & against common sense. Both the petrol and diesel get the same tacho marked till 8,000 rpm (surprising lack of attention to detail in a premium car). Dials are difficult to read in a glance on the move. The markings simply aren't prominent enough - they are too dim. The Hector gets digital fuel and temperature gauges at the top, while it displays the selected gear, odo and distance to empty counter at the bottom of the MID:

Toggle up/down and you will see the MID showing current speed and instantaneous FE, current driving time and range, 1st trip meter & average fuel consumption and 2nd trip meter & the average speed:

Pressing the top left button on the LHS of the steering wheel will display the TPMS, media, phone, navigation with turn by turn directions, backlight illumination level and warnings (including overspeeding and fatigue). The MID also shows the exact door that is open:

Chunky stalks are of good quality. Left stalk controls the front / rear wipers and the rear foglamp, while the right one controls the headlamps and foglamps. Automatic headlights work as expected, but the auto wipers are very finicky at times. They are unpredictable in the rains - we switched to manually operating the wipers several times. Tap the light stalk once to activate the lane change indicator:

Air-con vents get a C-shaped silver surround and a chrome insert in the air flow direction controller. The air flow can be shut (almost) by rolling the volume controller wheel downwards:

Switches for the MID illumination, headlamp leveller, ORVMs and boot release are located below. These are nice & tactile to use:

A small cubby hole to store toll receipts / coins. It has a prominent lip, which ensures the contents won't fall out:

Fuel flap release and bonnet release levers are located further down on the dashboard. Notice how the bonnet release is wider, so you don't need to look at them while opening them:

Doorpads get a similar theme as the dashboard - all-black with silver inserts. This will ensure they do not get soiled easily. They are well finished and there are no sharp edges. The armrest is covered in leather:

Metal-finished door handles are standard on all variants of the Hector. They feel sturdy & look fabulous:

Silver handle to pull the door shut feels premium. While the plastics are all hard, the armrest is padded and covered in leather. White stitching looks cool:

Power window switches get silver inserts and a piano black console. The driver's window gets auto up/down with anti-pinch functionality. All of these are illuminated:

Door pockets can easily accommodate water bottles + other knick-knacks:

Front seats are upholstered in leather and comfortable, even for larger drivers. The seats are firm and the headrests are soft. Under thigh support is adequate. Despite missing out on adjustable lumbar support, the seats offer good support on long drives:

Sharp variant gets powered seats for the driver and front passenger (6-way adjustments for the driver and 4-way adjustments for the passenger). The hybrid version gets a battery below the passenger seat and misses out on the powered front passenger seat:

Fore & aft travel range is enough to accommodate tall & short drivers alike:

Height adjustment range is healthy as well. Short or tall, no one will complain:

A look at the seat pattern. The side bolsters are supportive:

Center armrest has soft leather cladding. MG has given the Hector so many features that they should have given it a sliding armrest too! Current one is alright for our 5'10" driving positions, but shorter drivers might find it to be too behind:

Front seatbelts are adjustable for height. They get pretensioners and load limiters:

Check out the MASSIVE gap between the clutch & brake pedals! Awfully strange. You could even fit your XL-sized shoe in between:

My whole foot can easily slide between the pedals. This also causes the clutch pedal to be placed too close to the dead pedal:

Dead pedal is a piece of rubber stuck on the floor. While its angle is perfect, it's not very wide:

Folks with wide feet will find the dead pedal completely useless. I use size 10 shoes and my foot kept brushing with the clutch every time I kept it on the dead pedal. In fact, I preferred to keep my left leg on the floor instead!

ORVMs are sufficiently wide and tall. They give a good view of the action behind. That said, for an SUV of this size, I would have liked the mirrors to be a size bigger. The housing is large enough, but the glass area could have been bigger:

IRVM covers the entire rear windscreen:

Sadly, the IRVM only gets manual day/night adjustment. It is quite shocking in a car that is otherwise so well equipped. Uniquely, there is a USB power port for your dashcam. Pretty nifty! It powers up only when the ignition is in the "ON" position. So, no worries of draining the battery:

Like most large SUVs, the rearward view is strictly average. The small windscreen and thick D-pillars restrict visibility. While the side windows help matters, it's best to use the reversing camera and parking sensors:

Center fascia is slightly tilted towards the driver and houses a vertically-oriented touchscreen head-unit:

C-shaped silver inserts are present on the outer edges of the vents. They look awesome! The 10.4-inch touchscreen gets a piano black border. It's covered in detail in a separate post:

Physical buttons have been provided for the volume, defogger and screen on / off. AC controls are touch based and you need to take your eyes off the road if you want to adjust them on the move. Of course, you can use voice commands for the climate control too & it works rather well (although we still insist that physical controls should have been provided - for ease of use & in case the touchscreen packs up):

Weirdly, the ESP off button is on the passenger side of the touchscreen. Hazard light button is on the driver's side:

Air-con controls get permanent shortcuts at the base of the touchscreen. The Hector comes with a single zone climate control, 8-level fan speed adjustment and a temperature range from 17 to 32 centigrade before hitting LO and HI respectively. The fan is silent at levels 1 & 2, audible at 3 & 4, loud at 5 and very loud at levels 6 and 7. Cooling performance is fantastic, although we didn't get a chance to test it in summer. So, we will rely on owners' feedback for the system's real world performance. One downside I found was getting the driver's side center AC vent aligned perfectly. It took a lot of trial and error. Also, it threw more air than expected at lower blower speeds:

1 AUX & 2 USB ports with a plastic cover are located at the base of the center fascia. The left hand side USB port can be used for charging devices, while the one on the right can be used to connect your smartphone to the infotainment system. The cover is robust enough:

360-degree view and parking sensor on/off buttons are located just behind the gear lever:

Two cup-holders are located to the left of the handbrake. There should have been a storage cubicle in front of the gear lever. With 2 coffee cups, I'm not sure where to keep the phone:

Center armrest has a deep but narrow storage compartment underneath. Thanks to the handbrake lever, the base has 2 different heights. The square portion gets a rubber mat:

12V charging port with a plastic cover has been provided inside. The cover makes it difficult to put a longer-than-average-sized plug. A close-up to show how much space the cover takes up when open:

Glove box is fairly accommodating. Owner’s manual placed here for reference:

A cooling vent has been provided:

Roof bezel consists of individual map lights, sunroof controls and a sunglass holder. All cabin lights go out with a theatre-dimming effect. Even if the cabin lights are left in the "ON position", they will go off when you lock the car from outside (to prevent battery drain). The Bluetooth mic is located behind the perforated bit on the right, while the sunglass holder gets a silver insert. The 2 buttons on the top left / right are for the sunroof's electric sunshade

Sunglass holder has a soft opening action and a protective lining on the inside to prevent your sunglasses from getting scratched:

Sunvisors are well built and feel solid. Driver's side unit gets a ticket holder and a vanity mirror with a cover + illumination:

Passenger's side unit too gets an illuminated vanity mirror:

Dual airbags are standard on the Hector. Apart from these, the Smart variant gets...

... side airbags to make it a total of 4 (no seat covers here please):

Top-end Sharp variant adds curtain airbags as well (6 in total):

Massive panoramic sunroof is just wow! It gets an electric shade. By default, the shade opens till the halfway mark, unless you keep pressing the sunshade button:

The sunroof spans the length of the cabin and lets in a lot of light, even when shut. Only the front half is openable:

A wind deflector pops up the moment the sunroof is opened:

The front portion slides over the rear (we don't like this about panoramic sunroofs - looks ugly from the outside). The opening is large:

Things are neat and tidy even in places where most owners won’t look. There are no loose wires or cables dangling anywhere. Here's a peek below the dashboard in the driver's footwell...

...and the passenger's footwell:

Last edited by GTO : 1st November 2019 at 11:06.
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Old 1st November 2019, 10:51   #5
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Interior - Rear

The rear doors of the Hector open and close in a triple-stage action. They swing out sufficiently wide, and the high roof means that one does not have to bend down while getting in. The seat is also placed at a comfortable height which makes ingress & egress convenient, even for the elderly. In this pic, notice how long the doors are at the bottom - they cover up the car's (side) running board:

Gap between the seat and the B-pillar is sufficiently wide to make it easier to step in & out:

Door sill is not wide either + its level with the floor, which means passengers do not have to swing their feet a lot or lift them high while getting in / out of the car. Easy peasy:

Smart black doorpads follow the same theme as the front. There is a silver door handle, piano black inserts and a soft leather cladding + white stitching on the long armrest. Rear tweeters & speakers are housed in the doorpads:

The door pockets, while not as big as the front ones, are wide and can easily carry a 1L bottle and some other odd items:

The rear seat is wide enough to accommodate 3 adults. All the occupants get headrests + 3 point seatbelts. Both - the seatbase and seatback - have some contours to hold you in place:

Legroom is generous and two 6-footers can easily sit one behind the other in comfort. Thanks to the lack of a floor hump, even the middle occupant will be comfortable:

Seatbacks of the front seats are scooped out, which helps in freeing up some more knee room:

Cabin width is healthy, which means three adults can sit quite comfortably. Center passenger sits a little higher up due to the slightly elevated seatbase; he also sits a little more in the front because of the center armrest bulging out:

Seatbelt buckles are parked in dedicated cut-outs and have straps to hold them in place when not in use:

ISOFIX child seat anchors are available in all the variants of the Hector. They have been provided on both sides and are well hidden:

A look at the maximum and minimum legroom available:

With the front seat in Aditya's 5'10" driving position, he has about 6" of knee room to spare. With the front seat moved all the way back, he still has over 2" of knee room!! The seatbacks of the front seats are soft & scooped out where the knees are placed:

The seatback can be reclined, so getting a comfortable angle is easy. The headrests are soft, adjustable & practical:

Left & right passengers can have their own individual recline levels:

The surface at the base of the front seats gets soft cladding. So, it won't hurt the shin area of your legs. There is enough room under the front seats to tuck your feet in:

The front passenger seat can be reclined a long way back. Remove the headrest and you have an almost flat surface for the rear seat passenger to put his legs on:

Chauffeured owners rejoice! This configuration gives an incredibly relaxed seating position:

The center armrest is positioned at a comfortable height:

It is wide & soft, and comes with two cupholders. Thanks to the design, you can also plonk your phone in here. The inconsistent shape (look at the outer unevenness) reminds us of after-market fitments though:

Overall glass area is adequate and there is enough light coming in. The cabin doesn't feel claustrophobic at all. While the lower half of the cabin is in dark colours, the upper half has a light shade. This helps matters. At this price point, we would have liked to see roll-up sunshades on the rear windows (Seltos has them):

Quarter glass between the C and D-pillars helps in letting more light into the cabin:

Rear window does not roll in entirely. In fact, it's not even close!

Two seatback pockets provided. They are adequately deep and wide:

Rear passengers get air-con vents with an air volume controller, and a smartphone holder at the base:

A USB fast-charging port with a plastic cover has been provided as well:

Storage space at the base of the console is fairly wide & deep. Here is a 4" iPhone SE placed for reference:

Spring-loaded grab handles with coat / bag hooks:

Rear occupants get these LED lights on either side of the roof, behind the grab handles:

Absolutely no floor hump! Sliding into the middle seat is much easier and that passenger can place his feet comfortably on the floor:

Markings for the curtain airbags on the C-pillars:

Massive 587-liter boot opens wide, thanks to the tailgate-mounted lights. The loading lip isn't very high either:

Boot area has a fabric cover to keep prying eyes off your luggage:

To adjust to the reclining function of the seatbacks and the 40:60 seats, it is split in two parts and has some slack:

They are stuck to the rear seats using Velcro:

Removing the parcel tray makes the boot look bigger. The family's vacation luggage will easily fit in here:

Boot light is located on the right side:

For increasing cargo space, the rear seats can be folded down. To fold the seatbacks down, one has to use the same handle that is used for reclining:

Instead of the usual 60:40 split, it's a 40:60 here (related thread (How do you like the 60-40 rear seat split?))! The seatbase is fixed and cannot be tumbled forward, like in some SUVs:

Folding the seats down gives you massive cargo space - enough to move home!

Top tether for the child seat (there's one on each side of the rear seat):

Tailgate gets full cladding on the inside. No ugly bits sticking out anywhere:

A tailgate emergency opener has been provided at its base:

Simply press this button on the left and the tailgate will electrically close = no human effort. Nice to see all these luxury SUV features coming to the 15 - 20 lakh segment:

Sturdy handle on the right to pull the tailgate down manually:

Pull this strap to lift the boot floor:

Underside of the boot floor gets a nifty string + hook:

Using these, the boot floor can be hooked open:

Empty space can be used to hide away your laptop / cash / jewellery / valuables:

Left side houses the tools:

Toolkit consists of the regular tyre changing equipment, a tow hook and an extension rod to lower the spare tyre:

Check out the screw to lower the spare wheel (it gets a removable plastic cap). Visible once the toolkit is removed:

Right side houses an Infinity woofer:

Last edited by GTO : 1st November 2019 at 11:03.
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In-Car Entertainment

All variants, except for the base Style, get a 10.4" capacitive touchscreen head-unit dubbed the 'i-Smart'. Connectivity is through Bluetooth, USB and AUX. Voice commands and Android Auto + Apple CarPlay are supported. MG has also provided built-in apps like TomTom navigation and Gaana music. Sound quality through the Infinity speakers is fantastic! There is some lag in the system though, and you'll frequently experience this while interacting with it.

Spend some time tuning the equalizer to your preferences and you'll experience top-class sound quality (for an OEM system). The bass punch is enough to make the IRVM vibrate, while the treble can get sharp (if you like it that way). Owners will love the audio quality. With such competent factory ICE systems, the after-market audio scene will vanish:

Sound is played through an Infinity branded speaker on each of the front doors...

...and the rear doors...

...Infinity branded tweeters on the front doors and...

...rear doors...

...along with a subwoofer in the boot:

The welcome screen shows the MG logo. It takes about 20 seconds to boot when starting afresh. Hidden trick = the system starts booting when you unlock the car, so as to minimize the startup time most owners will experience:

This is the home screen. In the top-left corner is the time, weather and network information. In the top-right corner is the name of the car and date. The middle portion displays the connected music, maps and FM radio shortcuts. Below these are the icons for i-Call, Settings and Files. In the bottom-left corner is the icon for the voice command with the air-con quick action and 360-degree camera icon next to it:

Brightness can be adjusted in 10 levels. Visibility suffers only in harsh + direct sunlight:

Other settings include options to roll down the windows and open the sunroof with the keyfob (press and hold unlock button):

Door unlocking (when you unlock the car) can be selected for just the driver's door or all doors. Auto unlocking (when the engine is turned off) can be selected as well. This feature is off by default:

If you want to find your car in a parking lot, you can press the lock / unlock button on the keyfob and the car's lights flash + horn blows (if selected):

Worried about the tailgate scrapping the ceiling or wall? It can be adjusted to open in 6 positions:

Settings for wiper maintenance and auto fold ORVM can be adjusted from this screen. Wiper maintenance will keep the wipers in the vertical position so that you can change the blades or clean them:

Car name can be set with a maximum of 12 letters. The system will respond to a "Hello (carname)" command:

Ambient mood lighting can be set to be in a constant mode (one colour) or random mode (all colours randomly):

If you connect a USB flash drive, it will show up here. You can play music, videos and images from it:

The air-con controls. Lack of physical buttons bothers us, despite the voice commands working well. Additionally, once you have finished adjusting the air-con settings, the system doesn't go back to the screen you were at (say Music) automatically. You have to go back manually. That's yet another step you have to go through. God help you if the touchscreen malfunctions on a long summer road-trip!

i-Smart system can be updated over the air (OTA):

A user manual is displayed as well. Very handy:

Navigation is provided by TomTom. It includes live maps with traffic information:

If you are opening the maps for the first time, expect a 15-20 second delay. Did we mention that the system is laggy?

Note the electric vehicle station category in the maps. A hint of the future?

TPMS screen shows the individual tyre pressures as well as temperatures:

The Gaana app is preloaded and free of cost. It uses the internet connection from the built-in eSIM or your smartphone (when connected to the car):

A typical Gaana screen:

Android Auto works fine. What's sad is the fact that it can't take advantage of the large screen. Only the middle portion of the screen is used:

A daytime shot of the 360 degree camera system. Rear view, top view and left side view are showing in this image. Both - the front and rear guidelines - are adaptive and move with the steering. It's a little laggy and the camera quality can best be described as average. The camera stays on up to 20 km/h or during reversing:

A night shot to show the display quality:

The front and rear views are fine, but the side views tend to get very dark with no external light sources. Since the display is top-class, we'll blame the camera units:

i-Smart Connectivity features

The MG Hector comes with an embedded Airtel eSIM for data connectivity. The i-Smart system gets features like remote air-con on/off, remote sunroof control, remote door lock/unlock, remote light flashing and honking, "find my car" and stolen vehicle tracking assistance. The i-Smart system has tied up with companies like AccuWeather (for real-time weather updates), Adobe, Nuance (voice assist system), SAP (DMS system), TomTom (maps), Unlimit (network provider), CISCO (IoT connectivity), Microsoft (for user data security) and Airtel for telecommunications.

One of the features is the E-Call. In case the car's airbags are deployed, a text message with the location of the car is sent to the Pulse Hub (MG call center). A call is then made to the head-unit automatically. In case of no response, the owners registered phone is called, followed by a call to the listed emergency contact. If there is no response or there is a need for assistance, emergency services are sent to help you out:

Using the My MG smartphone app, one can check the condition of the car. Any issues (if found) will be highlighted:

The find-my-car feature allows the owner to see the live location of his Hector:

A geo-fence can also be applied. In case the car leaves the perimeter, the owner will get an alert:

Smart drive information will give a report on driver analytics including harsh braking, engine idling (engine kept on but not moving), drive time (total time taken for the trip) and the routes taken:

A look at the My MG Smartphone app. This can be used only with the registered mobile number (used at the time of booking):

Dashboard of the My MG smartphone app:

Dealership and service center locations are also loaded in the app:

Owners can also use the chat feature to get their queries answered:

In the event of a breakdown, the Pulse hub can be reached using this screen. Roadside assistance will be dispatched to help you out:

Last edited by GTO : 1st November 2019 at 11:02.
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Driving the 2.0L Diesel MT

2.0L diesel is shared with the Jeep Compass. Sadly, there is no Diesel Automatic option, a big miss by MG:

The Hector gets a 1,956 cc, 4-cylinder diesel engine with an electronically-controlled variable geometry turbocharger. This is the same Fiat engine that powers the Compass & Harrier. Here, it produces 168 BHP @ 3,750 rpm (3 horses lesser than the Jeep) and 350 Nm @ 1,750 - 2,500 rpm (same as the Jeep). The motor is built at Fiat-Tata’s Ranjangaon (MH) facility. Between the diesel & petrol Hectors, it is indisputably the diesel that's more impressive. This is a jewel of an engine!

The Hector's power and torque figures are respectable, although at 1,618 kilos, the car is heavier than most other 5-seater SUVs (only Harrier is heavier). Still, with a power-to-weight ratio of 104 BHP / ton and a torque-to-weight ratio of 216 Nm / ton, the Hector does better than other cars like the Creta, XUV500 and Harrier. As you can tell, the best part about this motor is indeed its 350 Nm of torque.

Transmission duties are carried out by a 6-speed manual gearbox, which sends power to the front wheels. An automatic gearbox isn't available at the moment. A competent AT mated to this engine could expand this car's appeal twice, thrice, maybe four times over!! It's an accepted fact now that Rs. 20-lakh customers love their slushboxes.

The diesel moves off the mark effortlessly. As is typical of big turbo-diesel engines, the 2.0's low end is superb & overall driveability is good. 2nd gear test over a speed-breaker? Easy as pie. Heck, it can even take off from a standstill in 2nd gear! You won't be using the gear shifter too much in the city and depending on the traffic density, you could use either 2nd or 3rd like an automatic. There is some lag below 1,500 rpm, but it’s not excessive at all; you can start pulling the engine from ~1,200 rpm itself.

On the open road, the Hector is quick and you can make fast progress. The mid-range is simply fantastic and gets very addictive. The engine comes into its stride once the needle crosses 2,000 rpm, with a nice spike of torque. You'll enjoy the punch & it pulls very nicely till ~4,000 rpm. The torque on tap means you don't have to shift down much to overtake. On the expressway too, light overtaking is taken care of in 6th gear itself. Push the engine and it will revv to ~5,000 rpm, but honestly, there is no point doing this. Not only does it get noisy beyond 3,500 rpm, but it also runs out of muscle past ~4,000 rpm or so. When you want to cruise, the diesel can be an able & relaxed mile muncher, thanks to that 6th gear. Another small touch which we appreciate = the 80 km/h and 120 km/h speed warning isn't that irritating. In fact, we'll say that the 120 kmph warning is pleasant & well chosen.

The clutch of our brand new test car was on the heavier side, but I won't call its travel range long. Still, the weight will bother you in traffic (and you'll miss the AT too). On the flip side, the gear shifter is smooth + sweet to operate. MG did a smart thing by taking the gearbox from Fiat.

The NVH levels of the Hector are top-class. The outside world is kept outside. Road & tyre noise are well-controlled, while wind noise is par for the course (not excessive).

Coming to fuel economy, the Hector diesel has an ARAI rating of 17.41 km/l. This motor is known to be acceptably efficient & owners should be satisfied here.

MG Turbo branded engine cover:

Cover can be easily removed:

The bonnet is h-e-a-v-y & opens high! Lightly built or shorter owners will wish that it had pneumatic struts for assistance. Insulation sheet provided under the bonnet of both, the diesel and petrol Hectors:

Firewall gets thick insulation. As mentioned, refinement levels are good:

Sadly, full engine protection is missing. I wonder why manufacturers skimp on a crucial <1,000 rupee part in a 20-lakh car:

Open this plastic cover on the right side... access the battery. A rare car to have its battery parked under a cover. Leads to a neater look:

ECU is sourced from Bosch and mounted vertically, beside the battery:

Variable-geometry Honeywell turbo sits just ahead of the engine:

MOPAR-branded diesel filter (Mopar is part of the Fiat-Chrysler group):

Black + silver shifter is perfectly positioned in terms of height and placement. It's enjoyable to use:

Reverse is engaged by lifting the collar and moving it to the left (above 1st):

A lovely, comfortable long distance cruiser:

2 markings on the fuel cap indicate the dietary preference of the Hector. Rubber cap below could be for an Ad-blue system to meet future emission norms:

Last edited by GTO : 4th November 2019 at 09:36.
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Driving the 1.5L Petrol AT

1.5L petrol is an easy fit in this engine bay:

The Hector petrol is powered by a 1,451cc, 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. It's called the LJO, and gets a timing chain drive, Mitsubishi single scroll turbocharger and variable valve timing. The petrol engine produces 141 BHP (@ 5,000 rpm) and 250 Nm (@ 2,400 rpm). Among the Hector's rivals, only the Jeep Compass develops more power, while the XUV500 petrol puts out more torque. This engine is paired to a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed dual clutch transmission (DCT).

With a kerb weight of 1,603 kg, the Hector Petrol AT is among the heavier cars in the segment. It has a power-to-weight ratio of 88 BHP / ton and a torque-to-weight ratio of 156 Nm / ton. In a nutshell, we can tell you that the Petrol AT's performance is just average; it is not a fast car. The petrol-DCT combo is offered in the top-spec Smart and Sharp variants of the Hector. It's cheaper than the Compass, but more expensive than the Creta and Seltos.

At idle, you can barely hear the engine and even on the move, the refinement is certainly impressive. It's a smooth driving experience. The Hector petrol DCT moves off from a standstill in a smooth manner. Due to the turbocharger coupled with the heavy kerb weight, driveability is average, but the power delivery feels sufficient, especially at city speeds. There is a slight initial lag though, as there is no torque converter & the turbo-charger takes time to spool. Once you're moving, light accelerator input is all you'll need to commute in the city. The turbo starts singing at 1,750 rpm, and the engine comes into its stride above ~2,000 rpm. With a light foot, the gearbox upshifts relatively early to maximise efficiency & refinement. However, it doesn’t downshift too often and you are likely to feel the turbo lag in certain situations, such as on an incline or if you need to close a gap in traffic quickly. While driving in bumper to bumper conditions, one can put the gearbox in 'D' and just lift the foot off the brake pedal. The Hector will crawl forward (at ~7 km/h) without any accelerator input. If you are looking for a calm & convenient commuter, the Hector will fit the bill. But the engine + gearbox combination are far from impressive. It's response time can get slow to respond (to kickdown), and the AT does get confused about which gear to engage at times. At best, we'll give this engine + AT combination a 6 / 10 rating (Mod Aditya says 5.5). Not the choice of enthusiasts, this one.

On the open road, you can best describe this engine's performance as adequate (we'd use the same term for the city). Throttle response is not sharp & it sure doesn't feel like a 141 BHP unit. If you want speed, you will have to work the engine hard. The mid-range (between 2,000 - 4,500 rpm) is the only area where the action is. Engine noise gets loud beyond that too. We'd suggest a calm driving style with this car instead, as the Hector AT is a good long distance cruiser. The petrol engine spins at 2,150 rpm and 2,600 rpm @ 100 / 120 km/h respectively.

The 6-speed DCT is quite smooth. If the car is driven with a light foot, you'll never even know that the gears are being changed. However, we found the transmission to be slow compared to other DCT units we have experienced. The transmission gets a Sport (S) mode, which can be selected by shifting the gear lever to the right side. S mode holds revvs longer than the regular D mode. For quick overtaking, especially on undivided highways, it's better to use S mode or Manual (M) mode.

To engage M mode, move the gear lever to the right, then up (upshift) or down (downshift). This mode is useful when you want to prepare the car for an overtaking maneuver. It can also be used when you desire engine braking (say, while descending a ghat). In this mode, the transmission's response time is average.

Coming to NVH levels, this 1.5L engine is very refined, especially at city speeds. While cruising on the highway, it doesn't disturb the car's occupants either. Only above 4,500 rpm does it get loud. At legal speeds, wind noise and road noise are acceptably controlled.

The Hector Petrol AT has an ARAI-certified fuel economy figure of 13.96 km/l. Owners are reporting single digit numbers while driving in the city. Big & heavy petrol AT SUVs have never been known for their fuel efficiency and we expect the Hector to be no different. If you are heavy on the throttle, it's going to guzzle even more. MG knows that the Petrol AT is a guzzler and has hence deployed a rather cheap trick = the MID FE counter starts at 13 kmpl .

The long-term durability of this gearbox is unknown. In India, no dual-clutch gearbox has had a good reputation - not Ford's DCT and definitely not VW's DSG.

MG Turbo branding is retained for the petrol as well:

When was the last time you saw the term "gasoline" written? China & USA use it over "petrol". The small hole below is possibly for the Ad-blue in the diesel (common stamping for petrol and diesel panels). Shockingly, it didn't have a rubber cap in our test car:

The flap however has the familiar petrol sticker for Indian pump attendants:

DCT gets an electronic parking brake and auto hold - no need to keep the brake pedal pressed when waiting in traffic or at a signal:

Pleasant-looking gear lever:

Silver unlock button is located on the side of the shifter:

Engaged gear position is backlit. You'll be surprised at how many cars skip this basic + useful feature (Ford deleted it from the Endeavour!):

The usual P-R-N-D signs. E / S denote the Economy (regular D) and Sport modes, while M is displayed in manual mode:

Gearshift indicator suggests upshifts when in M mode. This is unique - we've never seen it in an AT!

MID displays an automatic vehicle holding sign when the auto-hold function is initially enabled. An indicator appears inside the tachometer whenever the car is held in place. MID also tells you when the gear shifter is not in the P position & you try to turn off the engine. A confirmation is flashed on the MID when the electronic parking brake is activated:

Last edited by GTO : 1st November 2019 at 11:00.
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Driving the 1.5L Petrol MT

The Hector petrol (mild) hybrid is powered by a 1.5L turbo-engine producing 141 BHP (@ 5,000 rpm) and 250 Nm (@ 2,400 rpm). It gets a belt starter generator and a Li-ion battery, which is placed under the front passenger's seat (as we have seen in some Maruti's too). The petrol hybrid is offered only with a 6-speed manual transmission and available in all variants, except the base (Style) trim which gets a non-hybrid 1.5L.

The Hector petrol moves off the line smoothly. Low-end torque is average and you need to revv the engine to get the most out of it. The 1.5L petrol starts feeling comfortable above 2,000 rpm. Sure, it can pull even from lower rpms, but the progress is slower. There will be situations where you'll either need to downshift...or be patient instead. The power on tap is adequate though, and owners will appreciate its refined nature. On the open road, the 1.5L petrol needs to be kept on the boil if you want to make quick progress. Power delivery isn't effortless; the car feels quick, but not fast. While the engine revvs to just under 6,000 rpm, it starts losing steam near 5,500 rpm. Like the DCT, we would suggest a calm & sedate driving style for the MT too. In 6th gear, the car can cruise at 100 & 120 km/h @ 2,300 & 2,800 rpm respectively. Overall, we'll say that the 1.5L petrol does the job, but that's it. The diesel is, without doubt, the more impressive engine.

The clutch of our test car was neither light nor heavy – it was middle of the way in terms of weight and had an average travel length. The gearshift is smooth to operate though. In terms of NVH, the petrol does very well. The motor is silent, and it is only post 5,000 rpm that it gets loud.

The Hector gets a 48V hybrid system. This is not a proper hybrid like the one seen in say, the Toyota Camry. It is just a mild hybrid that employs a starter generator which replaces both, the conventional starter and alternator. MG claims a 12% increase in fuel efficiency and an 11% reduction in CO2 emissions. The Hector Hybrid also gets an idling start / stop system, which switches the engine off when the car comes to a standstill and neutral is engaged. When the clutch is depressed, the engine fires up again. However, it can get very irritating. Thankfully, there is a switch to disable the annoying feature. The conventional lead acid battery in the engine bay is used by the idling start / stop system.

Brake energy regeneration is also a part of the Hybrid system. When you apply the brakes, some of the kinetic energy generated (which is lost in conventional cars) is converted into electric energy and stored in the battery. The energy stored in the Li-ion battery is used by the engine for providing additional torque during acceleration.

You can see the status of the hybrid system on the MID screen:

Gearshift suggesting tool will be appreciated by newbies:

Li-ion battery is located under the front passenger seat:

A view from the backseat. While the battery doesn't impede the leg space of rear passengers, those wanting to stretch their legs / feet might touch the battery cover (with their feet). You can already see shoe marks on it:

6-speed gearbox is smooth to use:

Idle start / stop disable button:

When disabled, this alert shows up on top of the MID:

A 'hybrid' badge is pasted on the tailgate, in place of the garish 'Internet Inside' logo on other Hectors:

But there's no escaping it - the internet inside badge now moves to the left fender!

Last edited by GTO : 1st November 2019 at 10:58.
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Ride & Handling

The Hector uses a McPherson strut suspension with a stabiliser bar at the front and a semi-independent helical spring torsion beam at the rear. Let's get one thing out of the way = it takes a long time to learn how to perfectly tune suspensions (see how long Hyundai took, before achieving neutral car behaviour). The Chinese have absolutely no skill in this area and have hence, gone for a "comfort oriented" suspension. This is also the easiest kind of tune. Forget the Europeans, even Mahindra & Tata are ahead of MG in the suspension area.

Low speed ride quality is comfortable, with small bumps being absorbed well. Even if you drive fast in the city (60-80 km/h), the Hector soaks bumps & potholes in competently. Owners will be happy with the compliant suspension. On the highway too, the cabin remains comfy due to the soft tune, and the Hector absorbs broken patches nicely. But no, it's not a mature setup at all. If you speed a little on undulating roads, the car feels rather wallowy (wallowy is a term you'll get very familiar with, as a Hector owner). You'll also see it roll & pitch over bad roads, like a body-on-frame SUV. Solution = shed speed and back off the accelerator pedal.

We wish the Hector came with taller tyre sidewalls. These short ones do let sharp + big potholes into the cabin. Taller tyres would be the simplest solution to further enhance the Hector's ride quality. The 17” wheels are the perfect size, but the tyres are too short & too thin. These are things that SAIC / MG will only learn with experience.

The Hector is not a handler by any means. It's more of a comfortable cruiser than a corner carver. Straight-line stability is satisfactory. Drive sedately on the twisties and you'll be okay. Start pushing like an enthusiast and you'll see that body roll is there; you feel its weight in fast corners. The front tyres squeal like a baby if pushed (understeer comes in easy). These 215 mm tyres are too thin IMHO & the suspension's damping / dynamic tuning are amateurish. A car like the Jeep Compass is in another league altogether and remains the enthusiast’s top choice. Forget the Compass, even a "boring" Creta will run rings around the Hector. Because some people were discussing this, let me clarify that the Hector isn’t dangerous and starts wailing well before you reach its limit (it’s not scary like a Safari or Scorpio). Best you drive it as a calm person. It's reassuring to know that all variants of the Hector get ESP (electronic stability program), traction control and hill hold.

The Hector has an easy-to-use steering. Its light in the city and while parking. The steering is light on the highway too, but not dangerously light or sensitive (like our Harrier TD cars). In fact, at certain speeds, you’ll feel that the steering is slow & vague around the center (just as well since the Hector is no handler). Its turning radius of 5.95m is way too big for an SUV of this size! You will surely be making 3-point turns more often than not. The ground clearance (laden) is rated at 180 mm for the petrol and 175 mm for the diesel. This GC is more than enough in real world conditions.

All variants get disc brakes at the rear as well, with ABS + EBD. The brakes perform as expected. No complaints.

McPherson strut suspension setup at the front...

...and a semi-independent helical spring torsion beam at the rear:

Last edited by GTO : 1st November 2019 at 10:57.
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Other Points

• Huge shoutout to BHPian t2k4 for sharing an excellent ownership report of his Hector Petrol DCT.

• Available in 4 variants - Style (base), Super, Smart & Sharp (top). Silly sounding variant names, if you ask me, and you'll see the same with lots of Chinese cars. The petrol auto is limited to the top 2 variants, while the petrol hybrid comes in all, except the base. The petrol non-hybrid manual is available only in the Style and Super variants.

• In the 1960s, everyone said Japanese cars are a joke and the Japanese weren't making proper cars. In the 1980s, Korean cars were said to be a joke and that the Koreans would never be able to make proper cars. In the 2010s, they said that the Chinese won't make proper cars. You know where this is going... .

• The Hector is big on the “wow” factor. Family members & friends who sat inside were “wowed” by the panoramic sunroof, tablet ICE & comfort levels. They bought into the “British” branding and refused to believe this is a Chinese car. On the road, this thing turns heads like Amitabh Bachchan (had experienced the same kind of attention with the 2009 Fortuner, XUV500 & Harrier). Indians love SUVs. Period. A dude in an Elantra followed GTO into a McDonalds drive-through just to ask some questions!

• The Hector is manufactured at the ex-GM factory in Halol. MG has invested Rs. 2,200 crore in it and has plans to invest another Rs. 3,000 crore over the next 5 years. Make no mistake, SAIC is very serious about India. India is also the easiest Top 5 worldwide market to crack (USA, Japan, Germany etc. are way more mature).

• The company has recently opened bookings again (related news).

• I'm very happy that despite China being a LHD country, the light & wiper stalks are oriented properly for us, a RHD country.

• I find it a bit odd that for the next track (while playing music), you have to move the steering's track button down, and for the previous track, you have to push it upwards. Even in the Hyundai Venue, it was like this. Are manufacturers going the other way now?

• Super cool - electric tailgate! Even if you manually push it partially, it does the rest by itself. Also note that uniquely, when you press the boot open from the inside (dashboard) button, it opens & closes on its own, without any user intervention!

• Long-press the unlock button on the keyfob and it will roll down all the windows + sunroof. Handy if parked in the sun and you want to cool down the car.

• Despite the lack of physical A/C controls, the 'Hello MG' voice commands work brilliantly. 9/10 times, it recognised our command correctly. Some of them include open / close the sunroof, set A/C temperature to XX-degrees, adjust fan speed, play radio, etc.

• Team-BHP fan Dweep Advani had sent a questionnaire to MG Motors and to his surprise, they replied to it. Read it here.

• Long 5-year / unlimited km standard warranty offered along with complimentary 24x7 roadside assistance. Main reason for this long warranty is to allay fears around an unknown product from an unknown Chinese company.

• Maintenance plans start at Rs. 8,000 for 3 years / 30,000 km for the petrol and Rs. 15,000 for 3 years / 45,000 km for the diesel. They go all the way up to 5 years / 50,000 km and 5 years / 75,000 km for the petrol & diesel variants respectively. Buyers are also offered an assured buyback price of 60% of the ex-showroom price after 3 years which is a gimmick (works out to ~50% of the actual price which you'll easily better by selling it yourself).

• First service visit is at 1,000 km / 1 month (just a checkup), second at 5,000 km / 6 months and third at 10,000 km / 12 months. Subsequent services every 10,000 km / 12 months. The initial five services are labour free.

• Doors auto-lock at 10 km/h. You can set them to auto-unlock through the ICE.

• Similar to VW cars, there is a small cutout on the ORVMs, from which you can see the blinking indicator as well. ORVMs are heated as well, improving visibility in the rains.

• On setting off without anyone wearing the front seatbelts, the seatbelt warning lamp in the instrument cluster starts blinking. A warning chime accompanies it. Despite such measures & more, 75% of drivers in India don't buckle up - related thread. Manufacturers are trying hard, yet the masses simply lack common sense!

• Interesting highlights by SmartCat:
Originally Posted by SmartCat View Post
We are here to disrupt the Indian auto market: Rajeev Chaba, President & MD, MG Motor


- Bought (not leased) a 46,000 sq. ft. office for Rs. 150 crore.
- Out of 1,200 employees, only 20 are Chinese. 30% of employees on the shop floor are women.
- Startup culture. Management wears smart casuals to work.
- In another 3 years, MG Motor will have 5 products on sale.
- Rs. 5,000 crore investment planned.
- To ensure profitability of dealers, there is only one dealer per city (except New Delhi & Mumbai).
- Chinese management is open to suggestions. Changed grille design (to suit Indian tastes) in 2 weeks.
- Rajeev Chaba is reporting directly to the President of SAIC. No multi-layered management structure.
- Originally planned to launch a sub-5 lakh hatchback, but changed course to launch a premium SUV.
- American companies like GM are too Wall Street-focused (quarter on quarter profits). But SAIC is patient and ready to invest.

The Wall Street bit is an interesting comment. Most big automobile company CEOs do not take investment risks because they have to face the shareholders every quarter!
• The MG Hector brochure can be viewed here - MG Hector.pdf

Disclaimer : MG Motor invited Team-BHP for the Hector test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.

Last edited by GTO : 1st November 2019 at 10:55.
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Old 1st November 2019, 10:52   #12
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The Smaller yet Significant Things

Apart from the Aurora Silver of our test car, the Hector is offered in Candy White...

...Burgundy Red...

...Glaze Red, and also Starry Black:

All MG dealerships have this cut-out model of the door, insulation foam and shock absorber. MG claims to use sheet metal that's thicker than others in the market. We also think they are using stiffer door hinges to give that impression

Full cladding in the front wheel well...

...and in the rear too. Road noise is well-controlled:

Hector gets a 60L fuel tank. It is larger than some rivals such as the Harrier (50L) & Creta (55L), equal in size to the Compass (60L) and smaller than the XUV500 (70L):

LED headlamps do a good job of lighting up the road:

High beam too is LED and effective. Other drivers will distinctly notice when you flash the Hector's headlamps:

Ugly keyfob has a shape unlike others! Looks weird:

There are a total of 8 different mood-lighting colours to choose from. Here are some of them. Around the front cup-holders...

...the footwells...

...and the door pockets. This adds a feel good factor to the interior...and some more bling too!

Both front occupants get individual seatbelt warnings. Very necessary in India, where most people are least concerned & ignorant with regards to car safety. Manufacturers should add this feature to all seats:

It's these small details that matter. The MID marks in red which door is open. It also warns you about the boot & bonnet (so many cars skip the bonnet for whatever strange reason):

Weirdly, the DTE reading stops once the fuel tank hits reserve. It was showing "80 km" left until the reserve warning came on. Then, the DTE stopped! How silly, as that's the exact time that you'll need the DTE the most. LOL, what was MG thinking?

A premium touch = faux leather covers up the ugly gap between the dashboard & steering console:

Automatic variants get a larger storage bin in the center console, thanks to the lack of a physical handbrake lever:

It has a 12V power outlet as well:

Both the front mats are superbly locked in place with these press-type clips. In this single image itself, you can see THREE mentions of MG - the company hasn't wasted any opportunity in trumpeting the British connection:

Tyre pressure of 33 PSI to be maintained at the front & rear, irrespective of the load:

VIN is lightly stamped on a beam below the front passenger's seat. There is a neat flap to conceal it:

Sad horn. It's a dual-tone unit, but the choice of sound is poor. Equally disappointing is the fact that the horn is too loud inside the cabin:

Seatbelts can be parked in these slots (when folding the rear seat down):

Notice how the door curves downwards and covers the sideboard of the car:

Infinity amplifier sits under the rear-right passenger seat:

The maps show your current speed as well as the speed limit of the road you're on

Uniquely, MG has handed over the press fleet logistics to Myles by Carzonrent. Must say that it worked like a charm! The driver was on time and there were prompt updates on the location of the car (left the premises, on the way, etc). At handover, I was asked to take a walk-around video of the vehicle. And yes, the car was a white plate car and not one with a commercial black + yellow plate. I wish this is the test drive experience all potential owners get:

Overspeed warning comes up at 80 km/h and doesn't go away unless you fiddle with the MID, or slow down. Notice how it's designed just like the road signs! While the warning at 80 km/h feels a bit overboard, we're happy with the 120 km/h warning - it's a well-selected chime:

While this is not visible normally, recline the front seat too far back and its mechanism is exposed. This is the difference between "good" fit & finish and an "excellent" one:

What would be armrests for the 3rd row seats. Notice the different shapes of the left and right units:

Plastic cover for the area in which the seatbelts would be housed for the 3rd row. Make no mistake, if & when it comes, that will be for kids only:

Last edited by navin : 1st November 2019 at 15:40. Reason: typo
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Old 1st November 2019, 11:34   #13
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Re: MG Hector : Official Review

Thread moved from the Assembly Line to Official Reviews. Thanks for sharing! The definitive review of a very important car .

In terms of strategy, this is the stuff of business case studies in MBA classrooms. How a Chinese giant entered India, re-branded the product & company via a British marque they acquired earlier, the VFM pricing, the aggressive marketing, all the bling & features thrown in…MG really got it spot on. It’s quite an achievement for MG Motor to have garnered the volumes they did in a damp market. The Chinese hit the bull's eye with their choice of segment too; if MG had brought in a hatchback or budget sedan, they would've sunk like the Titanic. Trivia: This is actually SAIC's 4th product in India, after the Sail UVA, Sail sedan & Enjoy MPV (all of them bombed). Just look at how they turned their fortunes around with this SUV.

In terms of product, I think the Hector is a good choice for those looking at calm + refined + comfortable cruising, whether on the highway or in the city. I took it on a road-trip to Pune and my family absolutely loved it! I have to admit that I enjoyed the easy cruising experience too. On the other hand, if you’re looking at driving pleasure, there are better options (Compass, Seltos etc. are all superior handlers & more satisfying to drive). For automatic lovers too, there are better gearboxes. The sole positive thing about the MG AT is that it's smooth, but in every other area, it is beaten by the competition (even the Mahindra & Tata ATs in the XUV500 & Hexa are next level compared to this DCT).

Poor ol' Maruti is watching with envy as everyone mints money in the lucrative Rs. 15 - 20 lakh SUV segment. Good volumes + FAT margins. Little Suzuki simply doesn't have the talent to make a nice premium SUV in this segment. Now that they have big-daddy Toyota on their side, maybe we'll see something from the alliance in the future.

Last edited by GTO : 1st November 2019 at 11:48.
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Old 1st November 2019, 11:48   #14
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Re: MG Hector : Official Review

It took a while to come, so we knew it was going to be exhaustive. But this review is to a different level altogether. Exceptional level of detail. Kudos BlackWasp & the team for it. Rated 5 Stars. Congratulations on the superb coverage done.

The level of detail per post is so much, that as much as I want to discuss some points, its impossible to keep that a small discussion. But the car had enough quirks already. They didn't need that last bit of "nazar suraksha kawach" in the form of a counter clock-wise sweeping tachometer. Just can't find a reason for that. Everything else has at least some explanation...

Its an immense VFM package; especially in the diesel guise. I hope they launch an automatic one soon. Like I mentioned elsewhere in another thread, the car deserves to be noticed, appreciated & the huge booking backlog is a true reflection on what the package has to offer. It has quirks, polarizing looks, gizmos, negatives. However - the positives, capabilities & sheer value for money outweigh them all by a huge margin. Step back incumbents, we have a new brand MG & its here with a statement. Its only as much Chinese as everything else that we use. So no need of prejudice against it. In fact - the brand has invested a lot in India and is creating a good amount of direct and indirect employment for our people. Its good in the big picture.

I never agree with anyone much easily. But there is not a single line in this review which I'm not agreeing with. I'm surprised with that.

Last edited by Reinhard : 1st November 2019 at 11:50.
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Old 1st November 2019, 11:57   #15
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Re: MG Hector : Official Review

Brilliant review. Amazing amount of detail. And the huge number of photos. They really do a great job in making it more in depth. After reading the review I'm glad that I've made the right choice in booking a Hector Diesel 2.0. As someone who was in the market for a family car, this one ticked all boxes.

I remember I saw full wheel cladding and the photos in the review reaffirmed the same. Competition needs to take note.

Also, more good news for those who are waiting for their Hector to be delivered. 3536 Units of the Hector retailed in October 2019. So they're doing a pretty good job in ramping up the production.

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