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Old 9th February 2023, 12:00   #1
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2023 MG Hector Facelift Review | 1.5L Petrol CVT

2023 MG Hector Facelift Review




Since the MG Hector has already been reviewed by Team-BHP, this report will only focus on changes made to the 2023 facelift. To read the full official review, click here. Also check out the report on changes in the 2021 facelift here.



Introduction



Launched back in 2019, the Hector has proven to be a well-rounded product for MG in India. Sales numbers are looking good, and customers are happy. Who doesn’t like a big and comfortable SUV that’s loaded with features and priced decently? Yes, there were a few issues in the initial days, but after sorting those out, it has been smooth sailing for the Chinese brand from there on. They’ve also made sure to keep the car relevant by launching facelifts from time to time. And a lot has changed since we last drove the Hector (in 2019). A few issues have been addressed and the car has been updated with all the latest tech and gadgetry to keep its target audience happy.

In terms of powertrains, the mild hybrid version of the 1.5L petrol was canned and MG replaced the DCT gearbox with a CVT in 2021. So, what we have in the 2023 Hector is a 2.0L diesel engine with a 6-speed manual transmission and a 1.5L turbo-petrol engine that can be opted for with a 6-speed manual gearbox or a CVT. There’s no diesel automatic option which is quite a bummer. MG claims that most of their sales have been accounted for by the petrol variants, which is where their focus is. We had a quick look at the 2023 Hector facelift recently and we finally got to spend a day with the car. There’s a lot to go through, so let’s get to it.

MG has always been big on features and the 2023 model also gets a significant upgrade in features. You now get level 2 ADAS with 11 features. MG has worked with Bosch to develop this system for Hector. There’s one radar sensor in the front. The ADAS features include adaptive cruise control (ACC), bend cruise assistance (reducing speed when navigating a turn while ACC is on), lane departure warning, lane keep assist, traffic jam assist, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, hydraulic brake assist, pedestrian emergency braking, and intelligent headlamp control. You also get a Bluetooth-enabled sharable digital key feature from Astor. This feature allows your 2 phones to be digital keys and you don’t need a physical key to drive the car. You can just use your phone to unlock the car and drive off. Correspondingly, the car unlocks / locks as you approach / leave the vehicle respectively.

2023 MG Hector Facelift Price & Brochure


The 2023 Hector facelift is offered in 5 variants – Style, Smart, Smart Pro, Sharp Pro, and Savvy Pro. The base style variant is only for the 1.5L petrol MT and the top-end Savvy Pro is only for the CVT. The mid variants Smart, Smart Pro, and Sharp Pro are available in 1.5L petrol MT / CVT and 2.0L diesel MT versions. Prices start at Rs. 14.72 lakh and go all the way up to Rs. 21.73 lakh for the top-end Savvy Pro turbo-petrol CVT variant. The diesel range is priced from Rs. 19.06 lakh to Rs. 21.51 lakh. The Hector Plus variants cost ~ Rs. 70,000 more. The pricing is at par with the competition which includes the Tata Harrier, Mahindra XUV700, Hyundai Creta, and Kia Seltos.

You can download the Hector facelift brochure here - 2023 MG Hector Facelift Brochure.pdf

Last edited by Rehaan : 9th February 2023 at 12:02.
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Old 9th February 2023, 12:00   #2
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2023 MG Hector Facelift Exterior Review


Hector has a very definitive face. The front end is bold and not trying to be edgy or modern. The facelift gets a new grille and bumper, but it still has the road presence of the original Hector:


Changes to the rear are minimal. Unless you’ve kept tabs on the happenings related to the Hector closely, you won’t notice any difference between the old and the new:


Sharp body lines add character to the design. 18-inch wheels now look a lot more proportionate to the metal on top. The thin profile tyres though, not so much. Squared-off wheel arches look out of place:


The Hector looks good in this Havana Grey paint shade. In the 2023 model, there has been a rejig in the shade card. Burgundy Red (reference image) has been replaced with Dune Brown (reference image). You can also opt for a dual-tone black roof with the Candy White shade for an additional sum of Rs. 20,000:


While the Hector looks butch and SUV-like from the front, from the rear three-fourths, it looks like a van:


LED DRLs at the top double up as turn indicators. In the 2023 Hector, you get an automatic turn indicator feature that essentially turns on the indicators on its own when the wheels turn beyond a particular angle. MG says that people, at times, forget to turn on indicators and this feature will be helpful in those situations. Driving in dense Mumbai traffic, I found this feature to be annoying at crossroads or in highly populated areas where the indicators came on when I didn’t want them to. The projector headlamp + LED foglamp combination remains the same as before and gets a piano black border around the housing:


The ‘Argyle’ inspired diamond mesh grille looks good in person and attracts quite a bit of attention on the road. The border is a mix of chrome and piano black and manages to look decent and not overdone. Air dam at the bottom houses the radar sensor in the middle:


18-inch alloy wheels have been carried over from the outgoing car. The design is simple and will be liked by the majority of the people. The tyre sidewall looks quite thin for the size of the wheel and the car:


All-wheel disc brakes are standard across all variants:


MG went through 2 iterations with the strip in between the tail lamps. At launch, the strip was red without any lighting in it (reference image). In the 2021 facelift, they replaced it with a black applique and a chrome insert at the bottom (reference image). In the 2023 Hector, they’ve brought back the red strip, but this time, it lights up. IMO, the black applique looked the best of the three. You get a big ‘H E C T O R’ lettering at the bottom and an ADAS badge on the right side of the tailgate:


Dual fake exhausts look lame. Also, the chrome border for the fake skid plate design looks out of place. They could’ve kept the design a bit simple, but have gone overboard with the elements:


Spare is a 17-inch steel rim shod with 215/60 section tyre:

Last edited by Rehaan : 9th February 2023 at 12:02.
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Old 9th February 2023, 12:00   #3
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2023 MG Hector Facelift Interior Review


Interiors are where quite a few things have changed or rather have been upgraded. For starters, you have this massive touchscreen in a portrait orientation that’s as wide as the centre console. Some design tweaks have been made to the AC vents and the materials of the dashboard. Overall it does look like an upgrade from the outgoing Hector:


The steering wheel has been carried forward. The functions of the buttons have been shuffled:


Buttons to operate the adaptive cruise controls have been accommodated on the left spoke. Controls for the infotainment system, telephony, and voice command are placed on the right spoke:


Got to try out the lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control features on the eastern express highway in Mumbai. It’s not an open road, but the average speed is about 50-60 kph with a good amount of traffic. The MG pilot was accurate enough to detect different types of traffic including lorries and two-wheelers. The lane-keep assist also worked well on the marked roads, but due to the heavy traffic on Mumbai roads, the feature kept disengaging. Should work better on highways with less traffic:


The 7-inch digital instrument cluster isn’t one of the best in terms of looks, but it does display a lot of information. The theme of the display changes from blue to red when you switch to S transmission mode. Sad to see a digital tachometer reading instead of a needle. You can scroll through various options like TPMS, driver assistance, multimedia, and the MG pilot:


A look at the horizontal AC vents. The plastic quality isn’t that big of a step up and is satisfactory. Switches for the MID illumination, headlamp leveller, ORVMs, and boot release have been carried forward:


A look at the new start / stop button. Nice to see that the font on the button matches the font on the MID screen:


Doors have a black and beige theme which looks good. The speaker at the bottom gets a nice silver trim around it:


A look at the silver wood-like finish around the power window controls:


The seats now get beige upholstery. They’re ventilated which is a very useful feature in a country like ours:


The driver seat gets 6-way electric adjustment while the passenger seat gets 4-way electric adjustment:


A lot of the physical controls have been integrated into the touchscreen which frees up some space on the centre console. The silver wood-like finish looks nice in contrast with the black dashboard:


The 14-inch touchscreen is a big step up from the previous unit, not only in terms of size, but in terms of usability as well. It’s more responsive and the interface is also very simple and user-friendly. The display is crisp and the colours have a good balance too. Even under direct sunlight, the screen is very much visible. One teeny bit of annoyance during a hot day in Mumbai was that the back panel of the touchscreen kept on making cracking noises from time to time when AC was on full blast. Better quality plastics would’ve prevented this:


You can access AC controls through the touchscreen. The Hector now gets a PM 2.5 air purifier. The layout for the settings menu is very user-friendly. You have the main menu on the left and upon clicking an option, the sub-menu opens up on the right. You have wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity with the 2023 model. You get a nice full-screen display which will be appreciated by many:


You can also access various driver assistance features through the touchscreen and turn off the ones that you don’t want while driving. MG has also updated the i-SMART hub by partnering with new apps and integrating them into the infotainment system. MapMyIndia, being one of the apps, has also updated its user interface and now has a system called location sharing discover app. Essentially, this allows you to be the lead car when traveling with multiple cars in a group. You can ask your friends to download the app and their locations will be shown on Hector’s navigation system. Pretty cool if you like group travel. Another update is that the voice guidance for MapMyIndia is now available in 5 languages – English, Hindi, Tamil, Punjabi, and Marathi. There are also 75+ connected car features in the new Hector (the outgoing car had 60 features):


The 360-degree camera setup has better clarity than before and you can even have a 3D view of the car:


The wireless charging pad comes with two conventional USB ports. The wireless charging on our test car felt a little slow and the kept on disconnecting for some reason. Notice the rough finish on the sides. Not expected in a car at this price point:


The new shifter is big and looks nice and classy. It has a wide base with a silver border. The transmission modes are well spaced out and you can engage manual mode by sliding it to the right in D mode:


Eco mode can be engaged by pressing this button at the top. We found the mode to be too conservatively tuned:


Nice buttons for the seat ventilation, A/C max, and traction control:


Below, you have two cupholders with a sliding cover. Next to it, there’s an electronic parking brake that further frees up space in the centre console. Below the EPB, you have the auto-hold button and the parking sensor button. The dummy buttons below are an eye-sore:


The driver armrest can slide forward and there’s a small storage area underneath:


Massive panoramic sunroof is a big attraction in the Indian market. The sunroof can be controlled via the physical buttons on the roof and through the settings menu on the touchscreen:


All the occupants get headrests + 3 point seatbelts. Both - the seat base and seatback - have contours to hold you in place:


The rear AC vents have also been redesigned. You still get a USB port and a mobile holder at the bottom:

Last edited by Aditya : 21st February 2023 at 19:04.
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Old 9th February 2023, 12:00   #4
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Driving the Hector 1.5L Turbo-Petrol CVT


Well-covered engine bay. 1.5L turbo-petrol puts out 141 BHP @ 5,000 rpm and 250 Nm @ 1,600-3,600 rpm:


As of now, the Hector gets only a 1.5-liter, 4-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine in India. There is a 174 BHP, 2.0L hybrid powertrain on offer in Indonesia, but we don’t know if it will make it to India anytime soon. Codenamed LJO, the engine gets a timing chain drive, a Mitsubishi single-scroll turbocharger, and variable valve timing. It is mated to a Bosch-sourced 8-step simulated CVT automatic.

Just like most CVTs, the Hector gets off the line 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 the turbo 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. In comparison with the DCT, the difference is quite evident when it comes to driving in the city. The CVT feels far more relaxed if you drive sedately, you will appreciate this transmission. The shifts are smooth, though sometimes, you do feel the steps in the CVT with mild jerks. Still, it’s not as definitive as shifts in the DCT. The kickdown response time is also satisfactory. So you can keep up with the traffic quite easily and quickly close the gaps in traffic. However, at this point, the engine noise gets loud and so does the CVT whine, both of which aren’t pleasant at all inside the cabin. Drive it sedately and you will have a nice and smooth driving experience.

On the open road, you can best describe this engine's performance as adequate (we'd use the same term for the city). The throttle response is not sharp & it sure doesn't feel like a 141 BHP unit. If speed is what you are after, you will have to work the engine hard. The mid-range (between 2,000 - 4,500 rpm) is where the action lies. Engine noise gets loud beyond that too. We'd suggest a calm driving style with this car instead, as the Hector CVT is a good long-distance cruiser. Overtaking on the highways should be easy enough as there’s enough power to get the job done. You won’t be caught out like in an underpowered car.

The transmission has an ‘S’ mode which holds on to the steps a tad bit longer than the ‘D’ mode. While driving though, there’s not much of a noticeable difference between the two modes. The S mode feels a little more urgent with part throttle. But with your right foot flat down, both modes are almost identical. You can even get by with driving in S mode in the city as it’s not that jerky, but you will be sacrificing the fuel efficiency. There’s also an Eco mode which makes a noticeable difference in terms of driving. The power delivery is dumbed down and the car feels very sluggish to drive. What’s worse is that the throttle calibration in Eco mode seems to be on the extreme side of saving fuel. You can feel the fuel getting cut off with a slight jerk when you lift off the A-pedal and the power delivery isn’t very smooth when you get on the throttle too. I preferred driving in ‘D’ or ‘S’ modes just because they were smoother. There is a manual mode in the CVT. However, it’s got simulated steps and not actual gears. So, don’t expect aggressive downshifts or late upshifts.

Noise, Vibration & Harshness (NVH)



At idle, you can barely hear the engine and even on the move, the refinement is certainly impressive. 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.

Mileage & Fuel economy



In real-world conditions, the older DCT was a fuel guzzler. The CVT will be slightly better, but don’t expect insane figures from this engine - gearbox combination. Fuel efficiency figures in the range of 10 km/l seem like a realistic expectation from this turbo-petrol CVT.

Suspension


Ride Comfort



MG hasn’t made any changes to the Hector’s suspension. The only difference since the time we drove is that now the top-end variant gets 18-inch wheels with 215/55 section tyres. It still uses MacPherson struts with a stabiliser bar at the front and a semi-independent helical spring torsion beam at the rear. Right off the bat, this is a comfort-oriented suspension setup, and it does well in this area. Even with the 18-inch wheels and a slightly shorter sidewall, the Hector manages to be quite comfy over Indian roads.

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 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 up 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.

Handling & Dynamics



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 if pushed (understeer comes in easy). These 215 mm tyres are too thin IMHO & the suspension's damping / dynamic tuning is amateurish. A car like the Jeep Compass is in another league altogether and remains the enthusiast’s top choice. Because some people were discussing this, let me clarify that the Hector isn’t dangerous and starts wailing well before you reach its limit. 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.

Steering



The Hector has an easy-to-use steering. It's light in the city and while parking. The steering is light on the highway too, but not dangerously light or sensitive. 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 5.95 m is way too big for an SUV of this size! You will surely be making 3-point turns more often than not.

Braking



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

Last edited by Aditya : 15th February 2023 at 17:58.
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Old 9th February 2023, 12:03   #5
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Re: 2023 MG Hector Facelift Review | 1.5L Petrol CVT

Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!
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Old 9th February 2023, 12:37   #6
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Re: 2023 MG Hector Facelift Review | 1.5L Petrol CVT

Nice review, wish they had used the dummy buttons below the EPB for some functionality, one I can think if immediately is maybe have had AC knobs there or use the buttons itself to control the tempertaure of AC.

Another option could have been switching on and off the ambient lights, dummy buttons look odd in such a feature loaded car.
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Old 9th February 2023, 13:33   #7
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Re: 2023 MG Hector Facelift Review | 1.5L Petrol CVT

Excellent review. This CVT is surely a much more practical gearbox than the DCT. If in real world it can deliver around 10 km/l, it will be a great alternative to buyers of XUV700 P AT, or even Hycross.
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Old 9th February 2023, 14:17   #8
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Re: 2023 MG Hector Facelift Review | 1.5L Petrol CVT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omkar View Post
Just like most CVTs, the Hector gets off the line 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 takes time to spool. .
What clutch mechanism does the transmission use if there is no Torque Converter? Usually CVTs have a Torque Converter, a reason for their low FE when used in stop and go traffic.
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Old 9th February 2023, 14:19   #9
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Re: 2023 MG Hector Facelift Review | 1.5L Petrol CVT

Quote:
Originally Posted by Omkar View Post

This feature allows your 2 phones to be digital keys and you don’t need a physical key to drive the car.
Hearing this for the first time! So now if somebody has stolen my phone, they have also got the car?


On the other hand, the hector seems to perfect its niche of a great family cruiser
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Old 9th February 2023, 14:58   #10
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Re: 2023 MG Hector Facelift Review | 1.5L Petrol CVT

Quote:
Originally Posted by shobhit.shri View Post
Hearing this for the first time! So now if somebody has stolen my phone, they have also got the car?


On the other hand, the hector seems to perfect its niche of a great family cruiser
I did not try during my Test drive but I am sure you can put a password at app level also to restrict use to the app.

Other thing probably MG could have done with the dummy buttons is maybe give memory seats, and the buttons could have been there.

Last edited by AtheK : 9th February 2023 at 15:00.
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Old 9th February 2023, 15:16   #11
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Re: 2023 MG Hector Facelift Review | 1.5L Petrol CVT

Quote:
Originally Posted by shobhit.shri View Post
Hearing this for the first time! So now if somebody has stolen my phone, they have also got the car?
I have not used the MG app but usually such apps have a separate PIN to verify \ authorize the command to lock \ unlock \ start engine etc.

So if you do not have a password to your phone`s screen lock, the car will still ask for a PIN, even the shared key will have a PIN.
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Old 9th February 2023, 16:34   #12
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Re: 2023 MG Hector Facelift Review | 1.5L Petrol CVT

Quote:
Originally Posted by shobhit.shri View Post
Hearing this for the first time! So now if somebody has stolen my phone, they have also got the car?


On the other hand, the hector seems to perfect its niche of a great family cruiser
Not so. Locking/unlocking on the MG app requires its own pin. The app itself has a one time login, which presumably can be worked around by changing the password from the other phone. On my app, it also logs me out after a few days automatically, for some reason. Maybe its just on my phone.
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Old 9th February 2023, 16:37   #13
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Re: 2023 MG Hector Facelift Review | 1.5L Petrol CVT

Nice review covering the details around all the updates in the 2023 facelift

I checked the facelift recently when one of my friends booked the 2023 Hector plus. It is definitely an upgrade to the 2021 Hector especially when it comes to the interiors.

While the Hector continues to punch above its weight, MG still cannot get an AT box for its diesel engine. The useless hybrid has also been discontinued. Perhaps MG could have tried to introduce a strong hybrid which would have made it more attractive.

I own the Hector CVT for one year now and, when it comes to the fuel economy, it started around 9 kmpl in the initial days and slowly improved to 11kmpl post the second service. I took the car for 1 year service a couple of days ago and the service advisor suggested that there could be some more improvement in the FE.

Overall, the Hector is a good contender for someone who is looking for a spacious family car with all modern features.
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Old 9th February 2023, 19:44   #14
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Re: 2023 MG Hector Facelift Review | 1.5L Petrol CVT

Two questions-

1) Earlier Hector had ambient lights in rear bottle holders and front cup holders. Have the same disappeared or replaced elsewhere?
2) It gets a max AC button. Does that help, incase the screen hasn't booted up, once I start driving?
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Old 9th February 2023, 19:46   #15
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Re: 2023 MG Hector Facelift Review | 1.5L Petrol CVT

Quote:
Originally Posted by 07CR View Post
Two questions-

1) Earlier Hector had ambient lights in rear bottle holders and front cup holders. Have the same disappeared or replaced elsewhere?
2) It gets a max AC button. Does that help, incase the screen hasn't booted up, once I start driving?
I can answer your first question, now the ambient light is below the arm rest and not inside cup holder. Light is also in the rear door bottle holder.

You can see it if you zoom out on the attached photo.

2023 MG Hector Facelift Review | 1.5L Petrol CVT-f5e2a04c89cd4c37878e9900a1d513f7.jpeg

Last edited by AtheK : 9th February 2023 at 19:52.
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