Used MG Hector Review
Why would I buy a Used MG Hector?
- Looks almost brand new still
- Nothing’s broken or rattling
- Frugal diesel engine
Why would I avoid it?
- Rear quarter plastic trim has faded
- Driver seat cushion needs re-bolstering
- The steering wheel cover is beginning to show signs of wear
This 1.25 lakh km MG Hector is another example (along with the long-term Hector Petrol CVT in our long-term fleet) of its high-quality build, durability, reliability, and after sales service. Despite its high mileage and tough drive conditions, the Hector looks almost brand new, feels nice to drive and has features that still command a wow factor - over a year after it rolled off the company’s plant in Halol, Gujarat. It’s not perfect - the engine could do with more punch, the infotainment screen has begun to show its age and the clutch bite point makes it slightly difficult to drive in stop/go traffic and while starting on an incline. Nonetheless, it is a great testament to the time and energy the company has spent in making sure its products exceed the expectations of premium SUV buyers.
Engine and Performance
Here’s a quick reminder of what is under the hood - the MG Hector Diesel is powered by a 169bhp / 350Nm Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre turbocharged motor, paired to a six-speed manual transmission with power sent to the front wheels.
This powertrain, which impressed us with its smooth operation during the first drive and in subsequent test drives, has not lost its characteristic - especially considering its high mileage. It’s been driven for over 1.25 lakh km in just over a year!
There’s no indication of its age unless you nitpick over the slightly noticeable vibrations during start-up and shut-down. There is engine clatter at idle, but it is not beyond the ordinary. The engine pulls smoothly to its redline after the revs cross 1,500rpm, the lag before that can bother those looking for a sportier drive experience. The engine note smooths out at higher speeds and you hardly hear it unless you push the engine to its limits.
The gearbox has also aged very well, there are some vibrations at startup and that’s all. Rowing through the gears is an easy affair, though it does not like being hustled. Keep the engine above 1,500rpm and shift up to higher gears quickly and you are greeted with a new-car-like calming drive experience. The clutch pedal on this particular unit had a very high bite point, which made driving it in bumper-to-bumper traffic a bit difficult.
Ride and Handling
This particular MG Hector has mostly been driven in the city, chauffeuring the owner to and from work. While the suspension hasn’t had to deal with too many rough road conditions, we took the short drive opportunity to see how it did off the road.
Not only were there no squeaks and thuds over broken road surfaces, but it also didn’t complain when driven over some off-road sections strewn with pebbles and small stones. We can confirm the front MacPherson struts and torsion beam rear suspension haves not been changed over the 1.25 lakh km this MG has seen - and that makes the way it handles the bad stuff even more impressive.
Just like the powertrain, the MG Hector’s suspension doesn’t like being hustled. It has to take care of some significant weight placed high up in the air, and even though the front suspension includes an anti-roll bar, it is not a corner carver. It loves cruising, smothering almost all road imperfections thrown at it.
Exterior Design and Quality
Sure, the stark background in our static photos does make this MG Hector stand out but, believe us, that these photos haven’t needed any post-processing. The SUV’s paint felt rich and shiny in the flesh!
The Glaze Red paint hasn’t faded at all, and this is in spite of spending a lot of time in the sun. It has not been repainted, proven by some scratches on the bodywork and ORVMs. Under the correct lighting, the paint seems to pop even more with the flakes in the paint adding that extra twinkle.
The only deterioration in colour seen on the SUV is on some of the plastic trim and the chrome inserts on the front bumper. The faded black trim could have been affected by the extremely hot conditions it has been parked in, while the chrome inserts need a quick detailing to regain their shine.
The LED DRLs, LED taillamps, projector headlamps, and fog lamps light up without any issues. The DRLs double up as animated indicators, and the LEDs work seamlessly and are as bright as ever. Forward illumination from the projector headlamps and cornering fog lamps felt as good as new too.
Interior Space and Quality
The MG Hector is known for its spacious, practical cabin - and there’s nothing to add to that fact. But, the all-black leather upholstery exudes an aura of luxury even today. All of the seats show signs of use, the outer bolster of the driver seat has become flatter - but it has retained its deep black colour, and is comfortable to sit on.
The soft-touch leather-covered touch points on the dashboard and door pads have also retained their texture and colour - this is in spite of the SUV being parked outside for long periods. The buttons around the cabin, limited as they may be, still have a premium weighted feel to them. The electrically adjustable front seats work seamlessly, and though the electric motors are audible when operational.
And then there’s the centrepiece of the dashboard - the 10.4-inch vertically-oriented infotainment screen. The graphics and animations are legible and easy on the eyes, but the system is slow to respond to commands - which is a problem that has been rectified with the facelift. But apart from the responsiveness, the screen works well - the colours haven’t faded, there are no missing pixels on the screen and the touch sensitivity is as good as new.
The automatic tailgate wasn’t used much during the test drive, but when it was used - it did so without any complaints.
We had to look really hard to find some signs of wear and tear on the inside. The fraying of the stitches of the leather steering wheel cover was the only one we could find!
This is an unusual test drive - but it has been a revelation. This particular MG Hector has been driven a lot in a short time, a scenario that thoroughly tests the quality and reliability of a car and lays bare even the smallest of problems. It is not perfect but the fact that there’s little to complain about this 1.25 lakh kilometre driven MG Hector has convinced us about the quality and reliability of MG products.