The rising popularity of the SUV segment is fuelled by the demand for space, comfort, and safety equipment. Over the years, the buyer aspirations have stepped up and they have begun to demand more from the manufacturers. Addressing needs of modern-day car buyers, MG Motor marked its debut in India with the launch of the Hector SUV in June 2019, followed by the launch of the Hector Plus in July 2020. This time around, MG Motor has refreshed the Hector product line-up with a fresh set of cosmetic and feature updates. The 2021 MG Hector gets a five-seat configuration, while the 2021 MG Hector Plus is available in both six-seat and seven-seat layout options.
How is it on the outside?
The one you see in the pictures is the manual diesel variant of the 2021 MG Hector. Prima facie the changes are not too evident and the SUV has retained its boxy proportions. However, the fascia looks fresh as the large blacked-out grille from the outgoing model has now been replaced with a new thermo-pressed chrome grille. The rest of the elements in the front have been retained from its predecessor.
As for sides, the 2021 Hector has retained the squared-off wheel arches, tall roofline, and large overhangs. The older 17-inch alloy wheels appeared undersized for the overall proportion of the SUV; therefore addressing this concern, MG now offers 18-inch dual-tone alloy wheels in Smart and Sharp variants which is further accentuated by the dual-tone colour with a black roof.
Moving to the rear, the LED taillamp strip running across the tailgate has now been replaced with the glossy black tailgate garnish. The gunmetal finish on the front and rear skid plates add to its overall character. Like the outgoing model, there’s no visual badging anywhere to differentiate this diesel-powered SUV from the petrol derivative. As part of the fresh update, the vehicle now features the new Hector logo.
How is it on the inside?
The 2021 MG Hector gets a familiar interior layout. That said, the black-grey dual-tone layout has been replaced with dual-tone champagne and black colour combination, which gives it a fresh appeal. The softer materials feature good fit and finish, therefore adding to the premium quotient. The large windows and relatively thin pillars continue to offer a commanding driving position too.
The large 10.4-inch vertically stacked touchscreen laid out on the centre dash is definitely hard to miss. The SUV now gets the updated i-SMART system with industry first Hinglish voice commands. The internet SUV can now also understand and respond to over 35 Hinglish commands that control various in-car functions such as Sunroof (‘Khul Ja Sim Sim’), FM (‘FM Chalao’), AC (‘Temperature Kam kar do’), fan speed (‘fan speed badha do’ or ‘fan speed kum kar do’), and more.
Moving to the rear seat, the vehicle offers ample headroom and knee-room. The humongous panoramic roof offers a roomy feel to the cabin. The 60:40 split second-row seats recline and fold flat to further expand the ample boot space. In terms of storage spaces, the Hector comes with four cup holders, storage space on door pads, and a new wireless mobile charging pad.
In terms of features, it gets ventilated front seats, rain sensing wipers, auto-dimming interior rear-view mirror, all-four disc brakes, a 360-degree camera, and more. Additionally, the 2021 model also gets over 25 safety and security features as standard, including electronic stability program, traction control, hill hold control, rear defogger, and rear wiper and washer.
What’s under the hood?
The 2021 MG Hector is available in both petrol and diesel engine option. The 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine produces 139bhp at 5,000rpm and 250Nm of torque between 1,600 to 3,600rpm. This engine comes mated to a six-speed manual and DCT option. The petrol hybrid variant is powered by the same 1.5-litre turbocharged engine with a 48V hybrid system to deliver better fuel efficiency figures. The power figures for the hybrid variant is identical to the regular petrol engine.
The 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine produces 165bhp at 3,750rpm and 350Nm of torque between 1,750 to 2,500rpm. This engine gets a six-speed manual transmission as standard.
Competition and pricing?
The 2021 MG Hector is available at a starting price of Rs 12,89,800 for the petrol Style variant and goes up all the way to Rs 19,12,800 for the six-seat diesel Hector Plus. Depending on individual requirements, customers can opt between five-seat, six-seat, and seven-seat layout options. The feature-loaded SUV is a strong competitor against the likes of the Tata Harrier, Kia Seltos, and the Hyundai Creta.
Photo Credit: Kapil Angane