It came as the underdog. But, it was off to a flier immediately after its launch. Buyers liked its road presence, its tech-laden variants, and its brilliant value proposition. The MG Hector was a hit from the word go.
Things are more challenging now. Partly because of the COVID-19 situation, and partly because of the advent of newer, fresher competition since the Hector’s launch. Having said that, the MG still remains a great proposition. But how great? To find out we will run the petrol-powered, automatic Hector as part of our long term fleet.
In the course of six months we will break down the SUV's performance into its city prowess, its ability to go the distance, its capacity to take on the rough, its expertise to cocoon us in comfort, and its unrelenting quest to remain reliable.
As an appetiser, here are a few things what we have liked about the Hector so far, and a couple we haven’t yet warmed up to.
First up, the interior. The cabin is a combo of black and matte chrome on our car. But even so, the Hector’s insides look and feel roomy. Even the choice of texture and finish used for the plastic inside exudes an air of premiumness. And there’s nothing to complain about the fit and finish either.
We also found the cabin to be quiet on this 1.5-litre, dual-clutch automatic-equipped, Hector. You can barely hear the engine especially under 2,000rpm. And the shifts on the automatic - if you are driving with a light foot - are completely seamless as well.
And on the move, the alert throttle response and the light steering give the feeling of driving something that’s light and powerful. The engine - turbocharged and with around 140bhp and 250Nm - is also refined and reasonably easy revving.
Meanwhile, the things we haven’t warmed up to yet after having spent just a couple of days driving it, is the ride quality and that ‘under-tyred’ look. Yes, those are 17-inch wheels, so they aren’t small by any margin. But, on the Hector, these still look a bit small. Maybe the look might grow on us, who knows. As for ride quality, it’s not the most settled or quiet.
But more on that, and how the Hector feels to drive in the city will be covered in the next report. We will look at the visibility, the ease of parking, and its low-speed performance - ride quality, driveability and fuel efficiency. So, look out for that.
Odometer - 14,233km
Kilometer this month - 336km
Average - 9.8kmpl
Pictures by Kaustubh Gandhi