The Toughest Durability Test
The MG Hector has been part of our long term fleet and is used by some of the most demanding people in our team - the photographers. It has done over 3000km in just under four months, being driven over varied surfaces, mostly through the monsoon season and since it needs to keep up with some quick cars and bikes, it was driven quite hard. The Hector has held true to its tough and durable promise through everything we have thrown at it and here’s a look at it in detail.
The monsoon season really tests the durability of the paint on any car. Since we don’t let a bit of weather stop us from making content - the MG Hector was used throughout the rainy season. Which meant it got extremely dirty easily without even taking it off-road and was being washed almost every other day. While the inevitable micro-scratches are present, the paint has not faded even a bit - the Hector shines every time we wash and wax it.
The signs of a car with great build quality are the shut lines on it. It is preferred if the shut lines are as minimal as possible, but when not they should at least be consistent. With the vast body panels on the Hector, having shut lines with tight tolerances was not possible but they are consistent all around. Them staying that way even after so many kilometres is testament to the assembly quality and durability of materials used by MG.
You don’t need to take a car too far in India before it encounters bad terrain, the pothole-ridden and weird undulating roads of Mumbai are a great example. They are more than enough to test the mettle of any car’s suspension and build quality. The MG Hector has held its own even after being driven hard for 3000km and over 17000km in total, we are happy to report no squeaks or rattles from any part of the SUV. And we would have heard even the softest of squeaks inside as the cabin of the Hector is quite well-insulated.
The MG Hector’s suspension is tuned for comfort and its smooth ride helps our photographers take some lovely tracking shots over not-so-perfect roads. It rides on MacPherson Struts up front and a semi-independent torsion-beam at the rear, which haven’t shown any signs of fatigue. The springs have not sagged, there are no signs of leaks and the suspension acts without any complaints even when driven over some gnarly potholes and mini-ditches.
The MG Hector’s build and fit/finish quality on the inside has had us impressed from day one. Even after being parked under the hot sun on many days or being swiped by dirty footwear, the plastics don’t show any signs of wear or dullness. Combined with the abundance of leather used around the cabin, the high quality plastic makes the interior of the Hector a good place to be in.
Knobs & Switches
Granted there is only one rotary knob in the whole cabin and you can control most of the functions of the MG Hector via the massive vertically-oriented 10.4-inch touchscreen. But there are buttons on the steering wheel, some under the touchscreen and power-window switches on the doorpads. All of these continue to function as intended and none of them have lost their colour or tactile feeling over time. The volume and track change buttons on the steering wheel still have a satisfying ‘click’ feel and the other buttons return to position without fail.
The massive panoramic sunroof in the MG Hector has been a boon, especially during the monsoon months when car cabins feel more claustrophobic than usual. The large cabin feels airier thanks to the sunroof letting in natural light, this is in spite of the dark grey upholstery all around! When it gets too sunny, a simple press of a button deploys a thick fabric cover so that no one bakes in the heat. Even better news? There’s not a single rattle or squeak from the sunroof assembly even after so many kilometres of rough usage, a testament to the durability of its mechanism and quality.
The brakes on most cars in India are heavily used and the ones on the MG Hector are no exception. Naturally, one expects wear and tear to be higher on a vehicle as large as the Hector, but the brake discs and brake pads on our car show no signs of excessive wear. The brakes have shown no indication of fade too, which is very reassuring.
As a backup car, the MG Hector’s engine is put through some tough cycles of usage every day. It needs to maintain constant speeds for longer periods of time, sees quick accelerations and decelerations and also idles for longer. This kind of strain on most engines would mean the engine oil gets dirty quite quickly, but our regular check-ups indicate that both the engine and the oil used have held up very nicely. There are no signs of unusual build up of sludge in the oil, which would indicate the oil has lost its lubricating properties and the engine components are wearing out faster.
The MG Hector has proven its mettle in the durability department by not showing any signs of weakness even when being out through some tough real-world conditions. It creates a good impression on everyone on how well made MG cars are even though they are the youngest car manufacturer in the Indian market.