Heading off for the perfect shot usually involves lengthy drives at special hours and the Hector has been running the odo pretty hard putting in nearly 2000 kms last month alone. Going to those locations also means taking the path somewhat/least taken. Over the smaller stuff, there’s not much to fret about and the Hector can go over them without much of a struggle. However, up the ante (which is a lot more than you would imagine especially in post-monsoon Maharashtra) and Hector’s rather soft setup starts to show its real self.
As you can see in the pictures the front end tends to dip quite a bit if the pothole is rather large and this combined with the relatively low nose means you have to be quite cautious. Going over a said pothole (or what appears to be the handiwork of Scrat from Ice Age) you also get thrown around a bit inside the cabin no matter the pace. However, on the flip side, show the Hector some smooth blacktop and you are rewarded with nice straight-line stability and a cushy ride.
For obvious reasons, size being the biggest one, the Hector is not the most dynamic car to drive. Let’s put it this way, constant, steady and comfortable should be your driving mantra for the Hector. We’ve not had to push the car too much as most of the places we got to for our shoots more or less demand we go… constant, steady and comfortable.
If you push the car like we tried a few times, moving it out of its comfort zone, you must contend with a soft suspension set up, body roll low ground clearance and steering that requires nearly three-and-a-half turns to go from lock to lock.
Also, it’s a bit of a chore making quick overtakes as you get some major punch only after the 2800rpm mark for which you got to work the engine. This means, it is good to plan your moves well in advance and keep the pace…you guessed it right… constant, steady and comfortable. A plus point for the Hector in this department is that the insulation is pretty good for a car in this segment and for the most, you are cosseted in good comfort.