Within a span of only one month since its launch, MG was able to sell over 1,500 units of their Hector. More importantly, one of all the units offered, the majority of the units are petrol-automatic variants. And while we have previously driven the diesel and hybrid options, paired with a manual transmission, of the MG Hector, this time around, we’ll concentrate on just the petrol-automatic version. Powering this Hector is a 143hp, 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine that is mated to some 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission (DCT).
MG Hector Automatic Review 2019
Measure inside the Hector and you are welcomed with a spacious and nicely laid-out cabin. The all-black dash has a clean layout and also houses the enormous, vertical 10.4-inch touchscreen. From the DCT variant, you get an electronic parking brake instead of a manual handbrake, and that has freed up a great deal of space. Additionally, you also get an auto-hold function, which engages the parking brake if you come to a stop and disengages when you get back to the throttle. This feature is particularly useful when you are in a traffic light.
Coming to the cottage itself, it has few tough plastics but overall use of leather and also soft-touch materials lends it an amazing feel. But look carefully and you will find that the fit and finish amounts aren’t up to standards, compared to a European brand cars in India. From the front seats, you’re sat at a good height, giving you a commanding view of the street. The driver’s seat offers six-way electric adjustment and the steering too can be adjusted for rake and reach, so finding your ideal driving position is quite simple. The seats themselves are comfortable enough, with adequate support for the back and thighs. Jump into the rear seat and things just get even better. Rear seat passengers have plenty of legroom and headroom. The broad cabin also offers great shoulder room, and seating three passengers won’t be an issue in any way. Adding to the comfort and convenience, you get a reclinable backrest, rear air-con vents, quick charging socket, and a giant panoramic sunroof. In 587 litres, it’s the largest boot in its section.
The Hector is loaded with gear and has a committed SIM card that connects you with the car through an program and allows you to access specific purposes, like sunroof launching and geofencing, from your cellular phone. There is a voice control function, activated by stating “`Hello MG”’, which lets you operate the sunroof and air con, apart from infotainment functions. Aside from these, the petrol-DCT variant also lets you start the car and the air con remotely. A fantastic party trick!
What’s it like to drive?
The Hector gets a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine that produces 143hp and 250Nm of torque. Be it idle or while driving at low speeds, you can hardly hear the motor inside the cabin. This provides a sense of being cut off from the outside world, which increases the premium driving experience. From a standstill, should you’re taking your foot off the brake pedal, the car creeps forward in a nice and smooth fashion, as a result of its dual-clutch auto.
Press down on the accelerator while the vehicle is creeping forward and you’re fulfilled by a surge of power after a slight pause. The very low engine speed answers are quite good and it provides power linearly till 4,000rpm, and there is no true progress. The 6-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission isn’t one of those quickest-shifting units. With a uniform accelerator input, you will observe that the gearbox shifting to the maximum gear in rather a smooth and relaxed manner. But demand abrupt power, also, at times, it is slow to react. Even in our stride tests, the Hector failed the 0-100kph dash in 14.21sec, making it the slowest among its rivals. While the upshifts are barely noticeable, the downshifts, when slowing down, aren’t smooth. In city traffic, the gearbox also has a inclination to get confused when you lift off and get back to the throttle, and as a result, it can feel a bit jerky. Driving in guide mode is not very useful either, since there is a noticeable pause between shifts. The MG can be geared short and the engine revs at a top 2,300rpm whilst cruising at 100kph, which results in it consuming more fuel. Within our test cycle, the car gave a gas efficiency of 6.5kpl in town and just 8.3kpl on the highway.
The Hector’s soft suspension setup absorbs small undulations on the roads quite well. It, nevertheless, has a tendency to crash over sharp potholes. The steering is light and easy to use but provides no feedback or feel. The all-wheel disk brakes do a fantastic job of bringing this heavy SUV to a stop without a lot of drama, but it’s quite apparent that the MG Hector is not in its own comfort zone when being driven with gusto.
Can I purchase Kia Heltos?
The Hector petrol-automatic is available in two versions — Smart and Sharp, priced at Rs 15.28 lakh and Rs 16.78 lakh (ex-showroom, India), respectively.
MG is becoming the recipe right with the Hector. It offers what all of these buyers are searching for in an SUV — space, comfort, road existence, and a premium sense. Add to this an aggressive price tag, which gives it a huge value-for-money advantage over its competitors. Other petrol-automatic options, such as the Hyundai Creta along with the Mahindra XUV500, don’t offer as much equipment and premium feel such as the MG, and the Jeep Compass doesn’t offer as much space and is at a significantly higher price band.
Therefore, in conclusion, the petrol-automatic combination offers a refined and comfortable driving experience. The gearbox, however, is not the easiest and it isn’t sporty or fun if you would like to press on. One of the significant rivals that the Hector petrol-DCT confronts is the newly established Kia Seltos. It is not as spacious as the Hector, but the two are neck to neck in other aspects. But if you’re seeking a fully loaded petrol-automatic SUV that offers the utmost value for the money, then the petrol-DCT version of the MG Hector ought to fulfil most of your requirements.