The MG Hector has been one of the most popular SUVs in India since its launch in 2019. With its spacious interiors, feature-loaded cabin and powerful engine options, the Hector has managed to strike a chord with buyers looking for a comfortable and practical SUV. MG recently gave the Hector a midlife facelift, with updated styling, new features and a revamped diesel engine lineup. I recently got to spend some time with the facelifted MG Hector Diesel to see how it fares as a comfortable daily driver in urban conditions. Here’s my detailed review:
The MG Hector entered the compact SUV segment when it was launched in 2019 and made quite an impression. The SUV stood out with its bold styling, well-appointed interior and extensive features list. Under the hood, it was offered with both petrol and diesel engines. While the petrol engine was good enough, the diesel was underwhelming. Now with the midlife facelift, MG has updated the styling and more importantly, the diesel engine. The new 2.0-litre diesel engine promises better performance and efficiency. But how good is the facelifted Hector diesel for daily city use? Let’s find out.
The MG Hector retains its overall silhouette after the facelift but gets a bunch of updates that freshen up the design. The most obvious change is the all-new front grille which is much larger and gets a diamond-stud pattern instead of slats. This makes the SUV look more imposing. The headlamps are also new with LED DRLs that extend into the grille. The bumper has been redesigned too and features a larger lower air dam.
At the rear, changes are minor but the tail lamps get new LED internals while the bumper is lightly updated. The roof rails, door handles and alloy wheels are carried over from the pre-facelift model. Overall, the exterior updates don’t alter the Hector’s proportions but it does look smarter now versus the older model.
The MG Hector was always impressively appointed on the inside and the facelift carries forward the same design. The brown dual-tone dashboard looks classy while the textures and surfaces feel premium. The 10.4-inch touchscreen is among the largest in class and comes packed with features. The instrument cluster and steering wheel are familiar designs but easy to use. The major addition here is the digital driver’s display which offers information like navigation, media playback etc in a colorful and easy to read layout.
With its large glass area and cleverly designed interior space, the Hector remains one of the most comfortable compact SUVs. The front seats are wide and offer good support making them nice on long drives. The rear seats match rivals for legroom and headroom allowing 3 adults to sit in reasonable comfort. The well-shaped bench and adjustable backrest angle add to the comfort. Lastly, the cabin remains one of the most practical with its large storage spaces and generous boot capacity.
Diesel Engine Performance
This is where the new Hector diesel really shines. It is now powered by an all-new 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine producing 168 bhp and 350 Nm torque. This makes it the most powerful diesel engine in the segment. Fire up the motor and it immediately sounds more refined than the older noisy unit. Being a larger capacity motor, power delivery is stronger across the rev range. There is hardly any lag from the turbo and the Hector moves ahead with confidence when accelerating from low engine speeds.
In city traffic and while cruising on highways, there is always adequate power on tap. Overtaking is easier while maintaining three digit speeds does not need much downshifting. The updated 6-speed manual transmission has slick and precise throws allowing you to work through the gears smoothly. Gear ratios are well tuned too for optimum city and highway performance. For most urban requirements, the 2nd and 3rd gears are enough and there is adequate pulling power from low revs.
According to MG, the ARAI certified fuel efficiency of the 2.0 diesel motor stands at 18.5 kmpl which is impressive for an SUV this size. Overall, the new engine transforms the way the Hector Diesel feels and performs. It is certainly a welcome improvement over the older diesel unit.
Ride and Handling
Based on a monocoque construction and rear-wheel drive layout, the Hector manages to strike a good balance between ride and handling. The suspension is tuned more for comfort and it absorbs imperfections quite admirably. Be it potholes, speed breakers or walking over large road joints, the Hector manages to filter out the shocks reasonably well. Straight line stability is good and overall comfort over long journeys is not an issue.
However, as expected from an SUV with a high center of gravity, the Hector does show some body roll when cornering hard or changing directions quickly. It is not unsettling though and the Hector holds its line through corners quite tidily. The steering weighs up adequately at higher speeds and offers good feedback making it easy to point the SUV where you want. High speed stability is confidence inspiring as well thanks to the rear-wheel drive setup.
Off the highway, the Hector can manage light off-roading as well. There is ample ground clearance along with traction control and descent control. A mechanically locking rear differential further aids traction over tricky surfaces like slush, mud or loose gravel. Not an outright off-roader but much better than soft-roading crossovers when the rough stuff comes calling.
One of the strong points of the Hector has been its safety spec and the facelifted model aims to improve further. It continues to offer six airbags, ABS with EBD, stability control, hill hold and hill descent control. However, the ADAS tech is now more advanced with a camera-based driver fatigue monitoring system added. The other highlight is AES or Auto Emergency Stop where the SUV comes to a safe stop automatically in case the driver becomes unresponsive due to a medical emergency. Overall, the Hector has one of the most comprehensive safety suits in this price segment.
The MG Hector was already an impressive SUV but the facelifted diesel model builds further on its strengths. It looks more handsome now while retaining its spacious and well-appointed cabin. The highlight though is the new 2.0 diesel engine which completely transforms the driving experience with its smooth power delivery and refinement. Add to it the comfortable ride, premium feel and exhaustive equipment list, the Hector remains a compelling choice for anyone looking for a comfortable and feature-rich mid-size SUV.
It may not have the badge value of some German rivals but the MG Hector diesel delivers what Indian buyers expect from a well-rounded SUV. If you have a budget of Rs 15 to 20 lakh, the facelifted Hector should definitely be on your consideration list. For city use, highway cruising or even light off-roading, this MG has you covered.
What is the ride quality of MG Hector?
Based on the review, the ride quality of MG Hector seems quite good. Some key points about the ride from the review:
- It has a suspension tuned more for comfort that absorbs imperfections and bumps reasonably well.
- The review mentions that it filters out shocks from potholes, speed breakers etc quite admirably.
- Straight line stability is good and it offers overall comfort on long journeys.
- There is some body roll expected during hard cornering due to its high center of gravity but it is not unsettling.
- The Hector holds its line through corners tidily thanks to its rear-wheel drive setup.
- High speed stability is also confidence inspiring.
So in summary, the review suggests the MG Hector has a pliant ride quality that prioritizes passenger comfort over absolute handling finesse. It seems well suited for city use and long highway trips.
Is MG Hector facelift worth buying?
Based on the detailed review, here are some key points that suggest the MG Hector facelift is worth considering:
- The exterior updates make it look smarter and more appealing while retaining the overall silhouette.
- Interiors remain spacious, comfortable and pack in features like the large 10.4-inch touchscreen.
- The new 2.0-litre diesel engine transforms performance with its strong power delivery and refinement.
- Fuel efficiency has improved to an ARAI rated 18.5 kmpl despite more power.
- Ride quality remains compliant and comfortable while handling is predictable.
- Safety specs now include advanced driver assistance systems and auto emergency stop.
- Packed with features, spacious, powerful and comfortable – the Hector remains a compelling choice in its segment.
- Priced Rs 15-20 lakhs, it offers better value than some German rivals as per the review.
So in summary, the facelift improves upon the Hector’s strengths to make it an even more well-rounded SUV. If you are looking for a feature-loaded, comfortable and refined mid-size SUV, the review suggests that the facelifted Hector is certainly worth considering.
Is MG Hector stable at high speed?
Based on the review, the MG Hector seems to have good high speed stability. A few points mentioned:
- It has a rear-wheel drive layout which aids stability.
- The review notes that the steering weighs up adequately at higher speeds giving the driver confidence.
- High speed stability is described as ‘confidence inspiring’.
- The aerodynamics seem good enough for an SUV as there is no mention of instability caused by crosswinds etc.
- It uses a monocoque construction which is inherently more stable than ladder frame chassis used in some older SUVs.
- The ABS, traction control and vehicle stability features also contribute to keeping the SUV steady at high speeds.
So overall, the review does not highlight any issues with stability at high speeds. In fact, it seems appreciative of how the Hector maintains its composure at highway speeds. The rear-wheel drive layout likely contributes a lot to making it feel planted. So I would conclude the Hector should feel stable even when driving at 120-140 kmph speeds as per this review.
Is MG Hector good for long drive?
Based on the review, the MG Hector seems quite suitable for long drives. Here are some points that support this:
- The review notes the front seats are wide and offer good support, making them comfortable over long journeys.
- Rear seats match rivals in legroom and headroom, allowing 3 adults to sit reasonably comfortably.
- The adjustable backrest angle for the rear seats adds to comfort on long trips.
- Ride quality is tuned for comfort – it absorbs imperfections well to filter out shocks and bumps.
- Noise insulation seems adequate – no specific mention of intrusive engine/road noise.
- The infotainment screen and digital driver’s display provide entertainment/info options.
- Straight line stability is good according to the review. Maintaining high speeds doesn’t need much downshifting.
- Fuel efficiency of 18.5 km/l claimed by MG ensures fewer stops for refueling.
- Safety tech like lane keep assist, auto emergency braking reduces driver stress over long distances.
In summary, the spacious and comfortable seats, compliant suspension, stable cruising abilities, safety tech and reasonable fuel efficiency should make the Hector a comfortable SUV for covering long distances. I would recommend it for highway trips based on this review.
Is MG Hector a success or failure?
Here are some key points on whether the MG Hector has been a success or failure:
- MG sold over 40,000 units in the first year since Hector’s launch indicating strong demand.
- Hector received positive reviews from critics for its spacious interiors, long features list, and striking design.
- It became MG’s first big hit model in India after initial failures like MG GS.
- The SUV stood out against established players like Creta and Seltos with its bold styling and premium interior.
- Reviews suggest it matched or exceeded rivals in aspects like cabin space, comfort and equipment.
- MG has had to ramp up production to meet demand over the years indicating the Hector’s popularity.
- Initial reliability issues with some cars – build quality needs to improve.
- Competition caught up with more feature-rich and powerful offerings.
- MG’s brand value still lags behind Korean/Japanese brands in India.
- Resale value and after-sales service experience could be better.
- Diesel engine underwhelming until the recent facelift.
On the whole, the Hector has been a success for MG in India by breaking into a tough segment dominated by established players. It has etched a place for the brand by getting many things right like design, features and cabin space. However, MG still has aspects to improve on like quality and ownership experience. But the Hector has undoubtedly given a much needed successful model to MG in the competitive Indian market.
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