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MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

Introduction

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

The Tata Harrier SUV had been the talk of the town for quite some time. After all, its OMEGA Arc platform is derived from Land Rover’s D8 architecture that also underpins many Range Rover models. Interestingly, the Harrier managed to deliver what was expected in terms of design, space, features, driving dynamics and more.

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

Now, Morris Garages (MG), a British automotive brand has started its innings in India with the Hector. Does this heavily localised version have in it what it needs to be a viable alternative in this five-seater mid-size SUV segment? We find out.

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

Size and appearance

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

An unconventional styling and a butch persona for the Harrier was achieved from Tata's new Impact Design 2.0 philosophy that struck the right chords. The dual-function DRLs with side indicators, a floating roof, petal shaped tail lamps and a clean design with a bold ‘HARRIER’ badging make it a great looker.

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

Where the Harrier is devoid of chrome, the Hector boasts of excess. And it works well in its stride to grab some attention. Its massive proportions, however, make the alloy wheels look under-specced, which otherwise get an interesting design pattern unlike the plain silver ones on the Harrier. Yet, it has all the elements like huge presence, large grille, tall hood and LED tail lamps to appeal to an Indian buyer.

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

Cabin Comfort and Space

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

On the inside, the Harrier gets tan brown seats, a nice wooden finish on the dashboard and a floating screen, all tastefully done to give a warm feel. Quality of materials is more of a mixed bag. While the perforated seats and knurled finish chrome are impressive, some plastics with the piano black finish, stalks, panels and the scratchy bits could have been better. Yet, the ergonomic layout and large seats make the cabin a comfortable place to be in. The music system's buttons add to the ease and the top grey upholstery helps add a sense of space.

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

And though the cushy driver's seat gets only manual adjustment, it benefits from lumbar support. Even the second row is good with rear AC vents in the B-pillar, a phone stowage spot in the centre, a good under-thigh support and great foot-well space with the occupants getting a nice view of the surroundings too.

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

On the other hand, the Hector’s interior with an all-black theme isn't as unique as the Harrier's. Yet, it's still quite opulent with leather seats and a minimalistic layout. The huge screen inspired by Volvo eliminates most buttons. However, we still wish the power button worked like a knob for volume as it takes some time to get used to the touch screen. Furthermore, things are within one's arm's reach, with enough storage and stowage options. Yet, there are too many buttons on the steering wheel like the Harrier. One does sit slightly higher in the Hector and visibility over the hood and through the windows is good. Though mirrors are a little small, they do not hinder your line of vision like in the Harrier.

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

The Hector's second row feels more spacious with better legroom even though it lacks some under-thigh support. There's a flat footboard unlike the small hump in the Harrier. This one too gets a 60:40 split seat, but is flatter making three occupants feel more comfortable. There's a nice adjustable recline and adjustable headrests for all three passengers. Furthermore, bigger air vents, the roof with a lighter colour and a huge panoramic sunroof make this place feel more airy. Lastly, the Hector still impresses with a cavernous 587 litre boot as against the Harrier's 425 litre one.

Enough kit?

Tata Harrier Diesel MT

Both cars boast of leather upholstery, touch screen displays, great sounding infotainment systems, automatic climate control and instrument consoles with a multitude of information. Then, there's cruise control, push button start, keyless entry, two airbags, ABS with EBD, ESP, TCS and more. However, if Tata brought in many new features, MG went two steps ahead in equipping the Hector with bells and whistles. For example, the Hector gets TPMS, six airbags, a 360 camera, front and rear sensors and a whole load of telematics like find-my-car, geo-fence, emergency call etc. As for the Harrier, it gets off-road mode, hill descent, cooled glove boxes and centre console storage which the Hector lacks. However, the Hector gains advantage over the Tata with a three-point rear seatbelt, lock-unlock button and a powered tailgate. It further takes a huge leap forward with audio controls that control more than just the music system. But, in this era of thinking out of the box, MG still hasn't ended up sticking wings to a fish. Apart from the conventional voice commands, you can say 'Hello MG' to navigate to a destination, search and play a song and even open/close the sunroof!

MG Hector Diesel MT

On the road

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

Both the SUVs are front-wheel driven and derive power from FCA’s 2.0-litre diesel mill that comes mated to a six-speed manual gearbox. And despite the similarities, there are stark differences which come to the forefront once you get behind the wheels. The Harrier's Kyrotec mill (as named by Tata Motors) produces 140bhp of power and 350Nm of torque. That's marginally lower than the Hector's 170bhp and the turbo lag is quite evident here. That said, a nice thrust comes in at 2,000rpm offering a nice mid-range punch. It's more than sufficient for a quick overtake and so, it doesn't feel underpowered. However, one tends to use the gearbox more often here. Also, the clutch is fairly light but has a long travel which proves to be bothersome in bumper-to-bumper traffic.

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

With back-to-back comparison, it becomes ascertain how noisy the Harrier's engine feels. Sure, the Hector too has the characteristic diesel clatter but MG has managed to do a better job at insulating this from percolating into the cabin. Then, with a higher power rating, this mill also has a wider power band with better low-end responses. This translates into fewer gear shifts. Also, despite the rev-happy nature, it doesn't need to be revved hard preventing the engine from feeling strained even at high speeds. It still lacks the driving modes (eco, city and sport) from the Harrier that alter the throttle response. Plus, brownie points to Tata for adding driver aids like city, wet and rough road mode that decide how and when the ESP cuts in.

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

Now, the Hector despite being so huge has car-like light controls. Its steering is so light (yet vague) that in comparison it makes you feel you are putting in more muscle to steer the Harrier at slow speeds. However, the Harrier's set-up is light too, in fact, it feels quicker and more connected. It doesn't feel loose and inspires more confidence while making quick direction changes. Furthermore, the Hector's suspension set-up is on the softer side and body roll is quite evident with the SUV wanting to under-steer in most corners. This is where the Land Rover's underpinnings shine for the Harrier by showing impressive body control. Side-to-side movement of passengers here is minimal. Also, where the Hector might absorb the road undulations, the Harrier just flattens them out, hinting at a very robust set-up. It also feels more planted and composed than the Hector at higher speeds.

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

Acceleration and driveability tests

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

The Hector's larger power output does help it sprint a second faster than the Harrier to the 100kmph mark. Yet, 20-80kmph and 40-100kmph runs don't show much of a difference thanks to the same torque rating. Nonetheless, the roll-on test figures prove that picking up from lower speeds is easy in both cars.

Fuel efficiency

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

It's not a surprise that both the vehicles delivered similar fuel efficiency figures. The more powerful and heavier Hector managed to extract 12.99kmpl in the city and 16.94kmpl on the highway. This is slightly more than Harrier's fuel economy figures of 12.6kmpl and 16.3kmpl in the city and highway respectively.

Verdict

Rank 2 Tata Harrier Points 380

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

The Harrier has a mean presence, scores well on the space and comfort department and is sorted with its ride and handling. However, its noisy engine, lack of mechanical isolation from occupants and absence of features (in comparison) puts it in a spot where the Hector picks things up.

Rank 1 MG Hector Points 393

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

The Hector has eye-catching looks, massive proportions and is a newer product so its aspirational value is slightly more. Despite not being very exciting to drive, it still manages to do things well and will prove to be a great chauffeur-driven vehicle. All the more, it scores handsomely in the equipment list where the Tata loses majority of its points.

MG Hector vs Tata Harrier Diesel MT Comparison Test Review

Pictures by Kapil Angane

Specifications

CAR NAMETata HarrierMG Hector
VariantXZSharp 2.0
ENGINE
FuelDieselDiesel 
InstallationFront, transverseFront, transverse
Displacement4 cyls, 1956cc4 cyls, 1956cc
Power140bhp at 3750rpm170bhp at 3750rpm
Torque350Nm at 1750rpm350Nm at 1750rpm
Power to weight83.83bhp per tonne 103.65bhp per tonne 
Torque to weight209.58Nm per tonne213.41Nm per tonne
Gearbox6-speed manual6-speed manual
CHASSIS & BODY
Kerb weight (measured)1670kg1640kg
Tyres235/65 R17215/60 R17
SpareFull-sizeFull-size
STEERING
TypeRack and pinionRack and pinion
Type of assistHydraulicElectric
Turning circle

-

-
BRAKES
FrontDiscsDiscs
RearDrumDiscs
ABSYesYes

Test Data

CAR NAMETata HarrierMG Hector
VariantXZSharp 2.0
PERFORMANCE & BRAKING
0-20kmph1.51s1.39s
0-40kmph3.24s3.19s
0-60kmph5.76s4.98s
0-80kmph8.99s8.22s
0-100kmph12.46s11.36s
0-120kmph18.36s17.11s
20-80kmph 10.89s10.27s
40-100kmph 12.55s11.05s
80-0kmph 27.13m at 2.41 secs25.49m at 2.26 secs 
FUEL ECONOMY
City12.61kmpl12.99kmpl
Highway16.30kmpl16.94kmpl
Tank size50 litres60 litres
Range620km770km
INTERIOR MEASUREMENTS
Front
Legroom(Max/min)840/620mm880/660mm
Headroom1020mm970mm
Shoulder room1350mm1360mm
Backrest height620mm620mm
Rear
Legroom(Max/min)980/740mm960/750mm
Ideal legroom790mm780mm
Headroom950mm920mm
Shoulder room1320mm1300mm
Seat base length490mm470mm
Backrest height620mm620mm
Boot
Length/width/height920/1120/450mm900/1020/410mm
Loading lip height780mm820mm

Score Sheet

ParametersMax points

Tata Harrier

MG Hector

DRIVING FEEL
Steering response2098
Directional stability251615
Engine characteristics251415
Gearbox201515
Visibility1066
Intermediate results1006059
SPACE
Front Space251413
Rear space251514
Feeling of space201516
Boot space/flexibility201619
Payload1055
Intermediate results1006567
IN THE CABIN
Comfort equipment251417
Operatibility151111
Feel of quality201313
Front seats/ingress201717
Rear seat/ingress201717
Intermediate results1007275
PERFORMANCE
Acceleration251618
Top speed1088
Driveability302628
Braking251920
Environment1066
Intermediate results1007580
ROAD MANNERS
Ride quality302121
Turning circle151314
Handling201111
Manoeuvrability151011
Safety201112
Intermediate results1006669
PRICE
Price451010
Resale1066
Warranty1067
Fuel efficiency352020
Intermediate results1004243
Total600380393
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MG Hector Price in India

CityOn-Road Prices
Mumbai₹ 14.42 Lakhs onwards
Bangalore₹ 15.21 Lakhs onwards
New Delhi₹ 14.22 Lakhs onwards
Hyderabad₹ 14.66 Lakhs onwards
Chennai₹ 14.79 Lakhs onwards
Kolkata₹ 13.63 Lakhs onwards
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