Brought home an MG Hector Sharp diesel MT: 17 detailed observations

If you put aside the Chinese connections of the brand, you get a very well-rounded, good-looking, powerful & feature-packed product which is one of the safest in the segment.

BHPian NarediAni7518 recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

1. Why a new car?

Our Brezza was nearing 4 and a half years & it had reached approx. 60,000 kms & needed some repairs & replacements. At the same time, one of my dad’s friends had purchased 2 MG Hectors in a span of a few months & he convinced my dad to get one as well. Covid didn’t seem to stop anytime soon & we had multiple Jamshedpur-Calcutta & Jamshedpur-Ranchi trips planned due to my elder brother’s upcoming wedding & other purposes. And therefore, we needed something bigger to cater to our space & comfort requirements & our highway needs. Since we all were sold on the Hector, we did not consider any alternatives whatsoever.

2. Booking & Delivery experience

Well, the car was booked from our local MG Dealer in Jamshedpur, Singhania Future Private Limited, and the booking experience was not that great, just the regular affair. The day we had gone to book the car, we were treated very well, and as Dhanteras was due in about a week, there was quite a rush in the showroom. There was a glamour to the showroom, which otherwise is gloomy on off-season days just like any other showroom. The car was booked on 9th November, 2020 & the delivery was taken on 12th November, Dhanteras. Luckily, they had the Sharp Diesel variant in our preferred Candy White Colour option in stock, albeit it was in their Ranchi showroom (owned by Singhania Future only). As a result, the car had to be driven down to Jamshedpur. Due to certain reasons, we were not able to go to Ranchi to take the delivery of our vehicle & so we asked them to get it to the local dealership itself. I would have loved to take its delivery from Ranchi & drive it all the way to Jamshedpur, but the circumstances did not permit that. The car reached Jamshedpur on the 10th of November evening. On 11th, We had gone for a PDI of the car & I noticed a slight colour variation of the front left hand side bumper, probably caused due to the sticker-protector which covered the coloured panel.

This was the fanciest delivery experience we have had till now. The car was properly covered, unveiled, and we were offered a few gifts:

  • A hanging car perfume
  • An MG Logo Key ring which is of nice quality
  • A hanging God Idol
  • A box of tissues & chocolates
  • A small bouquet of roses

I would like to rank the delivery experience as 7.5/10. There could have been a proper “Delivery Area” as the car unveiling ceremony happened in the dealer’s service centre area

OTR Price: The car had costed us about 19.6 lakhs OTR Jamshedpur.


Pros: - One of the standing points of the Hector are the useable features it offers. The list is long. It has a 360-degree parking camera, Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS), powered tail-gate (which can be operated from the inside as well), 6 airbags, hill-hold & hill-start assist, multiple charging points in the front as well as back, cooled glove box, electrically adjustable front seats, heated ORVMs, and many more!
The MY-2021 Hector did add a few neat touches like auto dimming IRVM, ventilated seats, wireless charging, and 18-inch wheels, along with beige-interior colour option (with black still being available on demand), these features are missing in my car, it being an MY2020.

Cons: - Honestly, I feel that some of the features could have been given a miss for better things. For example, auto-wipers which are offered are not tuned properly & it is a headache to continuously change the settings to make it work. Auto wipers work well in my civic, but it is a tough challenge to get it to the right sensitivity in the Hector. For the very same reason it has become a pain to drive in the rains as I must constantly control the wiper settings. They could have simply given speed-adjusting intermittent swipe instead. Also, for better aesthetics they decided to integrate the AC controls with the tablet touchscreen, which is a disaster I feel. Every time you want to adjust the AC you got to move your eyes completely from the road. Also, whenever you switch on the front-defoggers, the blower starts at speed-6 and with outside air-circulation mode, which does not switch back to inside-air circulation only when the defogger is switched off, this too I find is a miss.

Some other noteworthy points: - The placement of the AC controls is at the base of the infotainment system, and below the infotainment screen lies volume & other switches, and as a result if your fellow passenger is adjusting the AC or browsing through the menu, his hand will surely hamper your gear changes, and this gets onto my nerves sometimes, especially when driving on the highways.
In terms of features, I would like to rank the MY2020 model 8/10. A lot of essential features are being offered from the MY2021 onwards and with the facelift MY2023, MG has taken the game to a notch above all-together.

Safety & build quality: On the safety front, MG has not compromised. It has 6 airbags, TPMS, ESP, HSA, ABS + EBD, traction control, all-wheel disc brakes, front & rear parking sensors, 3-point seatbelts for all the occupants, ISOFIX, front seatbelt reminders, speed-sensitive door lock & the regular speed alert warnings at 80kmph and beyond 120kmph. Even though the car has not been crash-tested yet, I find it to be built quite well. The sheet metal does not flex easily and the doors and the bonnet are made of thick sheet metal & are quite heavy. I find the paint quality to be better than the competition too. I am sure that when it gets crash-tested, it will not disappoint, it feels solidly built than the Koreans.

In terms of Safety & Build Quality I would like to rank it a solid 9.5/10.

Here is a photo of the new car in it's garage:

Exterior Styling: This is a place where the Hector has divided opinions, to some it looks good, to some it does not, for all the right reasons. The front-end looks good with the wide black grill, separate section for headlights, DRLs and turn indicators integrated, and the right amount of chrome starting from the corner of the DRLs merging into the grill surrounding it from three sides. The big and bold MG logo sits proudly in the middle of the grill, with a small camera beneath it. I prefer this grill more than the MY2021 grill, which has a honeycomb mesh chrome pattern. The headlights also have a chrome surround in a C-shape. The car looks tall, is tall, but is not that wide in my opinion. As a result, when you see the car from the front, you might find it to be a bit odd for the first few times you see it.

At the rear, the tail lights are connected with the help of reflectors, which now have been replaced with a black panel for the 2021 MY. The lower half of the bumper has faux skid plate, and into the bottom reflectors are integrated the rear fog lights. There is a second pair of lighting at the corners of the bumper-reflectors, which houses the reverse lights with a second pair of turn indicators (which light up when the boot is opened, as with the boot, the tail light assembly also goes up) Above the indicators are a second pair of tail light which lights up when the boot is opened and the headlights are on. The car has all LED lights, inside and out.

Rear fog-lamp, tail-light, Reverse Light, Indicator (From top to bottom):

Side Camera on ORVM:

The side profile is which divides opinions. It has a strange MPV-ish stance with a bulky rear-end. It has black cladding around the wheels & doors to reduce the visual bulk slightly. The 17-inchers on the car look small & don't fill the arches well. The black cladding sure does give an impression of the higher ground clearance. The front door handles get request sensors, and all the handles have a chrome bar in them, which looks better than all-chrome door handles. The ORVMs have cameras for the 360-degree camera, and the puddle lamps have been given a miss. Even the plastic cladding on the lower half of the doors has a chrome bar running across them, with MORRIS GARAGES emblemed on them in the rear doors. The doors are long enough vertically to cover up the entire side (where the running board is there) and as a result, when getting out, your calves do not get dirty. Also, there is a rubber beading running at the bottom of all four doors to reduce the road noise as well as dirt from the bottom of the car. The doors open nice & wide and there is sufficient space for one to get in/out of the car. Also, the door sills are not that broad, and there is a possibility of the paint getting damaged by your footwear if you are not careful. The front door pockets are huge and can accommodate a lot of stuff. The rear door pockets, although not as big as the front ones, are still sufficient.

Door Extensions covering Door-Sills:

There is a shark-fin antenna behind the sunroof glass, and the roof rails are functional too. There is a subtle spoiler above the rear windscreen which hides the rear washer spray.

The exteriors score a rank of 7/10 in my books.

Dimensions: The car is one of the longest in its segment, with a long wheelbase. It measures 4655mm in length, 1835mm in width, & 1760mm in height, with a wheelbase of 2750mm. As a result, there is oodles of space inside the car for 5 proper-sized adults (Space on offer was one of the main reasons why this vehicle attracted us). The unladen ground clearance is 192mm, which is sufficient. The car also has adequate underbody protection. Getting in & out is not a task if you are tall enough (I am 5”10), but the seat is a set a little on the higher side, so it might be a task for shorter or elderly people.

Headlights: The DRLs, as mentioned above, are placed in a separate housing, which turn up as the dynamic-swipe indicators. I do not like the front dynamic indicators as they look a little cheap to me. And the headlights are a two-projector LED set-up, along with an LED fog lamp. The lights are fine and the throw is not that strong. In regular weather conditions, in the city it works okayish, but on rainy or foggy days, it is a disaster. During rains, the headlights feel useless. Even on the highways one will have issues with the headlights as the throw is not strong enough. Our Brezza’s dual-barrel halogen set-up performed better. Also, the headlights are placed a little too low & there is a chance of it getting damaged in a frontal accident. Notice the MG badging on the headlight covering, near the fog light. Also, the front has just two parking sensors, one each below the headlight assembly.


The headlights score a 5.5/10.

Interiors: The Hector has one of the longest wheelbases in its segment, and as a result, it is one of the most spacious 5-seater cars in its segment. That, coupled with large windows, a huge panoramic sunroof, and good visibility all around makes it feel super spacious & airy. Even with an all-black interior theme, the car feels very spacious. In my opinion, the space should be one of the strongest USP of the car, it is in abundance. It is the most spacious 5-seater you can get south of ₹20 lakhs. The doors feel heavy & robust. The wide-opening doors make ingress & egress quite easy.
Mine being the 2020 MY, has all-black interiors which looks quite good. The seats are faux leather ones, with good under thigh support. There is ample legroom, headroom, and shoulder-room for 5 full-sized adults in there. If you are being chauffeured around, and do not want a sedan (I prefer sedans), then the Hector is the perfect car for you. Two six-feet adults can seat comfortably behind each other, and if the front passenger seat is all the way ahead, then you can easily stretch fully.

The dashboard has a soft panel in between the AC vents, but that is the only soft plastic, or rather leather treatment on the panels. Rest on the doors and other parts of the dashboard there are cheap-feeling scratchy plastics all-around. The dashboard looks good, or I would rather say fine, with minimal buttons, and a tastefully done black and silver inserts at the right places, like around the air vents. The switches on the dashboard are fine, but the window switches do feel flimsy.

If you are stepping inside for the first time, you will definitely be vowed by the 10.4-inch poor-responding touchscreen tablet and sunroof. Literally all the controls are integrated in the tablet, even the AC controls, I really wish it had physical controls for the air vents. However, thankfully you do get physical buttons for the defoggers, and volume switches. However, as I have mentioned in the Cons section of the Features part above, the front defoggers need a lot of adjusting, which gets irritating on the move. The air-vents are stacked vertically on either side of the infotainment system. Below the system there are five buttons, two for adjusting the volume, two for the front and rear defoggers, and one main central switch to turn off the screen entirely. To turn off the music, you will have to do it through the touchscreen. There is no mute or pause button provided. Also, sometimes the system malfunctions due to which it either does not load or stops working entirely, you’ll have to reboot it or sometimes even re-starting the car is required.

Below the driver side air vent, you have the ORVM adjustments, headlight levelling switch, instrument panel light adjustment switch and powered tailgate operation switch, all these controls are situated at the right spot. And below these controls, there is a cubby hole which can accommodate your phone as well as a slim wallet. The car has automatic wipers & headlights, and the levers for headlights and wipers feel super cheap in touch as well as their operation. In front of the gear level there is an AUX port, and two USB outlets. The 2021 MY gets wireless charging pad here which is missing in mine. Behind the gear lever you have 4 buttons, one for 360-degree camera, one to operate the parking sensors, and two dummy outlets. Behind that you have two cup holders (with ambient lighting). Now coming to the centre armrest, it is not extendable, and has a decent storage, with a 12-V socket in it. The glove box is also decently sized & is cooled. Nowadays majority of the automakers are offering small glove boxes, I still remember our 2010 i20 had a humungous glove box.

The roof-bezel has two LED lights, a sunglass holder (with a velvet finish inside), and controls for your sunroof & electric sunshades. The LED cabin lamps could have had a transparent cover as they are not that bright enough, or better still if they had provided with halogens instead.

The flat-bottom steering wheel is leather wrapped (and perforated at some places), is of the right size, and feels good to hold. It has rake as well as reach adjustment and finding your ideal driving position is easy. The left side controls are for the MID & cruise control and the right side has your telephony and infotainment system controls. The footwell area & the doors gets ambient lighting as well.

The sun visors feel cheap in a car of this price, but both of them thankfully have vanity mirrors with lights in-built. Also, below the driver’s & the front-passenger’s footwell, the area is neatly packed and so loose wires & cables cannot be seen hanging.

The start-stop button I believe looks too similar to the XUV500 but I am not sure. XUV500 owners – is it the same button?

The boot has a parcel shelf which is a rod in the middle with a retractable shelf attached to it, which can be extended in order to cover the boot. Also, towards the 2nd row of seats, there are two separate covers (as per the 60:40 Split seats) which can be attached to the back of the seats with the help of a Velcro. The parcel shelf is of a very good quality but sadly it cannot be hidden beneath the boot floor when you need a little more luggage space. As a result, we have been keeping it at home whenever we are going out for a few days with luggage in the car.

Overall, the interiors score 7/10 for a ₹20-lakh car.

ORVM Control Panel:

Window & Door-Lock Switches:

Rear parcel-shelf fully extended:

Sunroof Controls:

Boot-Door Closing Switch:

Front Floor-mat Lock:

Wiper Stalk:

The boot-floor has a hook to hang it to access the stuff beneath:

Driving Position, Seats, Feel & MID: When seated at the front, the bonnet is long and boxy, thereby giving you a clear vision of all the corners of the front-end, making driving it a little easier. It is very easy to find a comfortable driving position as the driver’s seat is height-adjustable & both the front seats are power-operated in the Sharp variant, and the steering too is adjustable for rake and reach. The seats are a bit on the firmer side (which I prefer), which offer good support on longer drives. It has good underthigh support, and side bolstering. Adjustable lumbar support would have been a nice addition though. In fact, whichever seat you are seated in, you will find yourself comfortable easily. The MY 2021 onwards get ventilated front seats too. The front passenger seat’s backrest can be reclined all the way back, and by removing the headrest, the rear passenger has a good-enough space to rest his leg on.

The rear seats too are super supportive, and provide good underthigh & lumbar support. The backrest is adjustable but the seats cannot be moved back & forth for increasing luggage capacity. The hand rest has 2 cup holders, and the floor is completely flat, which is a boon. All the five headrests are adjustable.

The front seatbelts are height-adjustable too, and have pretensioners & load limiters as well. And the dead-pedal is kind of useless as it is placed too low and the clutch pedal is placed too close to it. The dead-pedal could have been placed at a higher angle.

This section gives the car a ranking of 7.5/10.

Instrument Panel:

Air-Conditioning: The front-central vents are stacked vertically, and so the steering wheel blocks most of the air coming to the driver. Due to its placement, your left hand will get very cold. I hate the vertically stacked air vents. I still have issues adjusting the driver’s side vent on the centre console. Also, at lower blower speeds, it throws a little too much air. However, the AC is a chiller for sure. The only gripe here is that on a hot day, it gets very irritating as you must wait for the system to load in order to switch on the AC. There are two vents located behind the central tunnel for the second row. Also, there is no vent provided in the footwell area for the second-row passengers. Our 2010 i20 had that. Overall, the car is cooled in no time at all but at higher fan speeds, it gets quite noisy. Both the ORVMs have the heating function which turns on as soon as you switch on the rear defogger. Also, in my particular car there seems to persist an issue with the AC Compressor, as on longer drives or high speeds, especially when accelerating hard, the compressor goes off for unusual periods, and so the cold air stops coming. I do not know whether the same issue persists with all the Hectors as the service centre was unable to resolve the problem.

The Air Conditioning scores an 8/10.

Overall Visibility & rear-view mirrors: The visibility all-around is good. The A-pillars are a little thick, which does create a blind-spot, so sometimes you need to be careful of the same. Also, the ORVMs are of sufficient width & length, which provides good-enough visibility. The manually adjustable IRVMs cover the rear windscreen entirely (The 2021 MY onwards gets auto day-night IRVM).

Since all-round visibility is good, I would give it an 8.5/10.

Infotainment, Audio System & Sound Quality: The centre console houses a 10.4-inch infotainment display, and it feels bigger than usual because of its placement vertically. It has in-built navigation from TomTom (Google Maps is better any day), the Gaana App, and connected car tech. Almost all the functions of the car (including the AC) need to be accessed from this head unit only, which becomes irritating. There should have been physical AC controls. Although it can be controlled from voice-commands as well, I still find it bothersome. It is more of an issue when the driver is not good with technology. Since the car has connected-car tech, through the infotainment system you can even update the software OTA. Below the screen, a few buttons for controls like the defoggers, volume switches & home button are there. When someone is trying to control the volume or using the home button, then the passenger’s hand hampers the driver’s hand when he/she is changing gears, which is quite annoying. Also, at the base of the screen, the AC controls are always displayed when the screen is on. So, many a times when an option on the screen needs to be selected which lies just above the AC controls, you accidentally touch the AC panel instead & it pops up. You do not have an option to go back to the previous screen that you were using and so if you are using some other app, for example, the Gaana App in such a scenario, you need to go back to the home screen to search for it & use it again. Also, the screen is not that quick to respond, and takes up 10-15 seconds each time on start-up. During this time if someone wants to use the reversing /surround-view camera, then the camera system lags. When the car was new, I had accidentally reversed into a steel chair, thankfully no one was sitting on it. There are a few themes for the screen as well. The touch-responsiveness of the screen too is not that great. Sometimes you must double click an option for it to get selected. There are other issues as well with the touchscreen. For example, once, it did not work at all, was again & again rebooting till the car was restarted. Then, sometimes randomly it hangs and reboots itself or needs to be rebooted manually. The screen, however, vows anyone who sits in a Hector for the very first time. Also, the electric tailgate's position can be altered via the screen itself. One very good thing which I like about the system is that it has an in-built owner’s manual.

The audio system from Infinity is one of the best that I have ever experienced south of ₹20 lakhs. The audio is super crisp & clear, and when paired with Apple Carplay as well as Apple Music, it is a joy to the ears for an audiophile like me. Just make sure the equalizer is on the right setting in the car’s system & your phone, and you will fall in love with the Infinity system. It has four speakers & four tweeters, one on each door, and beneath the boot floor is the woofer system packed neatly.

The infotainment system scores a 6/10 & the Infinity Audio System scores an 8.5/10 for a car of this segment.

Engine, Driveability, Refinement & Fuel Efficiency: The car comes equipped with the FCA Group’s 2.0 Multijet Diesel Engine, sadly paired only to a smooth-shifting 6-speed manual transmission and no automatic. It is a FWD setup. The clutch pedal is a little on the heavier side & takes some time getting used to. The gear shifts are quite smooth & slot into gears perfectly. The car produces about 170bhp & 350nm of torque. This engine is of a free-revving nature & is simply outstanding. Even though the Hector is a heavy car, the powerful engine does makes it easier to get going. It has a strong low-end which makes the engine quite driveable in the city as well as the highways. Also, frequent gearchanges are not required due to the wide torque band. You can start over from standstill from the 2nd gear itself.

On the highways, the engine’s free-revving nature means that it flies. Right from lower RPMs it gets going smoothly and around 1800 RPM is when you get the full-torque. However, it runs out of blast at around 4k RPM. So, it has a dead top-end. Also, the engine gets too boomy when it crosses about 3400rpm, so no point revving it beyond 4K. Also, on the highways, the speed chimes are not that of an ear-sore. In its BS-VI avatar, the engine is smooth and refined. The hood of the heavy engine-bay has noise insulation material as well. I have driven the BS-IV iteration of the same but I cannot recall its refinement levels. Not much of road & tyre noise creeps into the cabin & there is somewhat of wind noise. However, once you cross 90-100kmph, you can hear wind, road & tyre noise though, which is acceptable for a car at this price range.

As for the fuel economy, we manage to get about 10-11 kmpl in the city and 14-16kmpl (with the AC on) on the highways depending on the driving style. Note that we reside in Jamshedpur, and every drive in the city is usually of less than 6kms, and too through traffic-ridden roads with multiple overtakes & turns and no speed limits, so the car drinks more fuel in such scenarios. And on the highways, our speeds are above 100kmph generally. So, if driven at around 80-90kmph range, the car is more fuel efficient.

Overall, I feel that the Hector, paired with a panoramic sunroof, powerful free-revving diesel engine, smooth gearbox, good sound insulation, powerful AC, a soft yet comfortable ride, and that amazing Infinity Audio System, makes for a lovely highway cruiser.

Since the diesel engine is one of the strong points of the car, I would rank it a 7.5/10, because of a lack of an automatic transmission.

Suspension, Steering, Ride & Handling: Suspension is one of the few things that I hate about the Hector. It is just TOO softly tuned. The low-speed ride is supple, especially on mildly uneven terrains where there is broken or tarmac. In the city, you do not feel much of the bad roads due to the soft suspension. The suspension wallows on undulations a lot. Also, if the car is fully loaded, with a jam-packed boot, then sometimes the bottom of the car behind the rear wheels have also touched a few speed breakers! This is all due to the bouncy soft-suspension setup. So, one needs to be a little careful while crossing a large bump on a fully loaded hector (or even a partially loaded one). Even when the car is empty & you cross a larger bump at not-so-slow speeds, the car will get unsettled easily.

But, gain some speed, and the bounciness of the soft suspension prevails. At higher speeds, on highways, the otherwise stable car makes sure that the rear bounces whenever a vertical undulation comes under its rubber. It is really unsettling and many a times the rear passengers were bounced off from their slumber. It is otherwise very planted & stable on the highways.

The car rides higher, and is tall, but not so wide as it should be as per its height. And so, it does not like being cornered, especially with that suspension setup. There is body-roll which is expected and the car does feel heavy around the corners.

The car has a super-light steering. One which does not inspire confidence at higher speeds above 120kmph or so. They do not weigh up much at higher speeds also. However, even though the clutch is heavy, the lighter steering makes it a breeze to drive through the city lanes. A few days back I drove a Crysta 2.4 manual in the city & it was a pain to steer its hydraulic steering unit.

I would like to rate the suspension at 4.5/10 for a car of this size. MG really needs to tune its suspension for the Indian Roads.

Steering Wheel:

Tyres, Brakes, turning radius & GC: The cars prior to the 2021 MY update came equipped with 215/60 R17 ones. The tyres look a little small on such a big car. The wheel arches have black cladding running over them. Also, the insides of all the wheel arches get cladding, adding more to the refinement levels. The tyres are slim for a car of this size, weight, and power. The GC is 192mm Unladen which is fine for the city as well as highway use. It gets all-wheel disc brakes and brakes are strong & sure footed & do a good job of stopping this big vehicle. Sure, there is a minor nose-dive under heavy braking, but that is fine given it is a FWD setup with a heavy diesel at its nose.

The brakes score a 7.5/10 and the choice of stock tyres gets a ranking of 5/10. The car is under-tyred.

Spare Wheel:

Things that I Like:

  • A very spacious, comfortable, proper 5-seater vehicle with almost 600 litres of boot space
  • Powerful & free-revving diesel engine with a smooth manual transmission
  • VFM- the number of usable features on offer
  • One of the best service centre experiences at a non-premium brand, really enhances the confidence & trust I have in the brand & the car. They are very regular at follow ups & if there persists an issue with the vehicle, they make sure that it is resolved and we are happy about it. Sometimes even if they lack, a simple call to the HQ Toll Free gets the job done really quickly. The service centre experts are really experts unlike in some other brands. These guys know how to fix the issues & their level of patience & politeness while dealing with the customers is something which needs to be appreciated largely.
  • Road-Side Assistance: Our car has the road-side assistance opted for. A few days back my car had gone to Calcutta and on the way the low ad-blue warning popped up. I made a few phone calls to our local dealer, which provided me with the concerned service advisor’s phone number at the Calcutta dealership nearest to our place of stay there, and within a few hours a jar of ad-blue was delivered at the residence without any delivery charges whatsoever.
  • One time during the lockdowns, I had received numerous calls from MG stating that they are providing free doctor’s appointments for MG owners during the lockdowns online. Telling that a brand cares for its customers & a brand which actually cares for its customers really makes a huge difference. Also, during the lockdowns, MG India was there in the news continuously for their role in covid-relief measures. They had provided monetary donations, Hector Ambulances, and other support as well to the healthcare facilities. This is a good gesture that they have showed on part of their CSR.
  • After every service a call from MG India comes in which they ask what can be improved in the car. I really hope they take into consideration the points which a lot of owners have made.
  • MG India has employed a lot of female man-power at their manufacturing unit.
  • MG i-Call: This is a feature which can be accessed through the ICE system. In case of an emergency, you need to click on it & you will get a call back to the car’s infotainment system through the build-in e-sim. If no one answers the call in the car, the registered number on the MG i-Smart app will get a call & will be asked what kind of help is needed. If still the registered number goes unanswered, the emergency contact provided gets a call. The e-sim provided is 5G ready as per their website. Their emergency helpline pulse hub can be approached 24x7. The emergency feature is activated automatically once the airbags are deployed & in case of no response or need of emergency assistance, a speedy assistance is deployed urgently.
  • Connected-Car Tech: This tech has been really helpful & needed it seems. They provide functions like the i-Call that I just mentioned in the previous point, then you can even check your vehicle status which tells you the status of your doors, sunroof, tyres, fuel, and a few other things. A run-thru is performed on the app with these parameters as soon as the app is launched. Further, you can check the live status of your vehicle’s location, open & close the doors, sunroof & tailgate, and on petrol automatic variants you can even switch on & off the car as well as the Ac. There is another feature in the name of “Find my car” which leads you to your car’s exact location with the help of a map in case you cannot locate your car. Geo-fencing is also available as well as real-time fuel range, kms run, current fuel tank capacity, and the mobile app has a Travel option which gives you real time traffic & route updates when you have selected a location. The “Smart Drive” menu gives you the following things as given in the screenshot below for various of your previous drives. It also gives the map-view of where the car has travelled in a particular drive along with the location & number of harsh braking, sudden turns & over speeding alerts. There is an alarm setting as well which gives you an alert every time your vehicle’s security alarm goes off, the speed of 80 & 120 is crossed, and if chosen, it will also send a reminder whenever the vehicle’s engine gets started. A list of all the service centres new you or in India is provided in the app. Apart from the “MG i-Smart” mobile app which performs the above functions, there is another app called “My MG” which has a customer-care section (call & email as well as chatbots) along with road-side assistance features. There are a few other features on offer as well.

Drive Tracking:

Various Security Notifications on mobile app:

Smart Drive i-Smart:

  • Keeping the lock button on the key fob pressed even closes the sunroof’s visor. Also, when it rains & the car is put into reverse, the rear-wiper does an automatic swipe to clean the rear-windscreen.
  • The door lock-unlock sounds sound like a bullet, which feels good & tough.
  • The Tyre Pressure Monitoring System (TPMS) gives a warning when one of the wheels has lower air pressure. Also, live status of the same is provided in the MID as well as the infotainment.
  • The car has crossed 30k kms and has been through very bad terrains many a times. We have even crossed some bad roads at higher speeds though which the car has thud through, but there is no noise from the body whatsoever. The interiors do no squeak a bit nor do any other body panels on the car. This reeks of quality in this age where a lot of cars in this segment have a squeak here or there, even the new ones. But touchwood, ours has been flawless in this regard. This speaks of the superior build quality of the car as compared to its rivals.

Things that I Dislike:

  • Ride-quality on vertical undulations & super-soft suspension: I have discussed more about it in the “Suspension, Steering, Ride & Handling” Section above.
  • Slow ICE System: This has been mentioned in the “Infotainment, Audio System & Sound Quality” Section above.
  • Irritating hill-start assist: So, the car has this irritating hill-start assist, which becomes a pain for someone who knows how to get the car going when on a slope. Its just a matter of time till you get used to handling this feature.
  • Distance to empty indicator: This gives false reading like a lot of cars most of the times. Also, once the low-fuel warning comes up, the Distance to Empty goes blank! This feature is not available when it is needed the most.
  • Weak Headlights: It is a pain to navigate the car through rains with the stock headlights. More about this has been mentioned in the “Headlights” section above.
  • Infotainment system malfunctions sometimes as discussed in the “Infotainment, Audio System & Sound Quality” section & the in-built maps also are not as good & accurate as google maps.
  • The wiper & indicator stalks feel cheap to operate. Even the power window switches are flimsy & not of that good quality. My civic has much better stalks & window switches.
  • Steering wheel controls are not that accurate. They respond a little slowly to changing the tracks & volume. This is not an issue with my civic.

Will I recommend anyone to purchase the Hector?

Well, if you put aside the Chinese connections of the brand, you get a very well-rounded, good-looking, powerful & feature-packed product which is one of the safest in the segment. In recent times, some of its competitors, majorly Harrier & Safari are full of niggles, some of which are severe & even the XUV700 is having some niggles here or there (no offence to the owners). In comparison, the Hector has been a vehicle which has had the least issues in the segment (Mind you, I mentioned least issues & not “no issues”). In an oligopolistic market like India, MG is still offering good products at reasonable prices. Yes, one more thing to note here is that the Hector is just a re-branded product but that is what we get in India. It is a car that has been reliable to us. There have been cases of unreliability, but that is with every vehicle, and for the Hector, the numbers are on the lower end of the spectrum. The car was the first “Internet-Inside” car to be launched in India. Also, MG as a brand has focused well on its customers, they care for their customers as I have mentioned above, and they are a brand which is focusing more on overcoming their Chinese tag & doing something for the Indian Market. So, if you put aside the Chinese tag, it is a very desirable product at an attractive price.

I would definitely recommend the product to someone who wants a super-spacious, feature-packed product which rides fairly comfortably, and looks good. It has been fairly reliable so far & I hope it continues to remain reliable in the coming future. And with the upcoming MY2023 facelift, MG has upped the desirability quotient of the car even further.

Some random Shots of the car:

Dalma Mountain top:

En-route Calcutta:

Outside Billu Da Dhaba on the way to Calcutta:

Read BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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