While the Auto Expo 2020 may not have had the flurry of reveals and launches like yesteryears, it did have many important machines on display. Of these, the humongous six/seven-seater SUVs attracted a lot of interest. Here’s a quick look at all the full-size SUVs shown at the Auto Expo 2020:
The MG Hector has become very popular in its segment thanks to the bold styling, spacious seating for five occupants, a whole host of internet enabled features and the promise of unmatched after-sales service. The very large boot of the Hector did make many wonder why MG did not launch a six/seven-seater version of the SUV and the Hector Plus is the answer to that question. MG has added 40mm to the length of the SUV to make sure third-row passengers don’t feel cooped up, while also ensuring the boot space is not too compromised.
The MG Hector Plus has new design elements to differentiate it from the standard SUV. These include a new chrome grille, new LED DRLs and a redesigned headlamp/foglamp cluster. MG did open the doors of the Hector Plus for us, but from what can be seen, the changes on the inside are limited to the additional seats - six captain seats or four captains seats plus a third-row bench, depending on the variant. Engine and transmission options remain unchanged.
Read more about the MG Hector Plus here.
What if you, a prospective MG customer, were looking for a bigger SUV than the Hector or the Hector Plus? The new Gloster could be your pick. It’s bigger than the Ford Endeavour or the segment-leading Toyota Fortuner! MG has announced that the Gloster will be launched in the second half of this year and previewed the SUV at the Auto Expo 2020.
The MG Gloster, like the Fortuner and the Endeavour is an old-school SUV based on a ladder frame chassis with a big, muscular body placed on top. A large grille complements its bulbous body style, but MG has given it a set of LED headlamps, alloy wheels chrome trim all around and dual exhausts to give it a smart look. Expect it to offer as many segment-leading features as the Hector, including three-zone climate control, eight-inch instrument cluster, autonomous emergency braking and more. It is expected to be powered by 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel and petrol motors when launched.
More details on the all-new MG Gloster here.
Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace
What if you spent more time on the road than off of it and needed a more city-friendly but still spacious SUV? Maybe the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace is the SUV you are looking for. As the name suggests, this is a Tiguan with space for everyone, or at least seven of them. An additional 109mm of added length ensures the extra two passengers and their luggage can be fitted into this extended version of the Tiguan.
Apart from the obvious extension in length, the Tiguan Allspace can also be identified by its revised grille, headlights, bumper and wheels. An ‘active’ information display, leather upholstery, three-zone climate control and panoramic sunroof are the additions on the inside. The Tiguan Allspace will be only available with a 2.0-litre turbocharged petrol engine, seven-speed DSG and 4Motion AWD system.
Click here for more details of the upcoming Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace.
The Hector Plus will not have an easy time wooing customers, because there is another popular SUV getting a seven-seater avatar - the Tata Gravitas. It is the big brother of the Harrier with a 63mm increase in overall length and an 80mm increase in overall height which will hopefully be enough to accommodate two more passengers comfortably in the new third row of seats.
In terms of design, there’s not much to differentiate between the Gravitas and the Harrier, except for the marginally larger dimensions and the new taillights. Inside too, the Gravitas feels like the Harrier with an extra bench in the boot. While its powertrain is the same as the five-seater Harrier, the Gravitas’ 2.0-litre Kryotec diesel is paired to a new AWD system.
More details about the Tata Gravitas here.
Tata Hexa Safari Edition
This was a surprise. We expected the Hexa to be discontinued now that the Gravitas is being launched, but Tata has plans to keep this workhorse in its stables for some more time. The name is a hark back to the Safari nameplate which was discontinued in November 2019 with the Safari Storme.
To be launched right when the BS6 norms are implemented in April 2020, the Hexa Safari Edition could be offered only with its 4x4 drivetrain. The 2.2-litre Varicor diesel engine now complies with BS6 emission norms and is only available in its 154bhp/400Nm variant. The showcar featured a six-speed manual transmission, but Tata may offer the six-speed automatic transmission in the new Hexa too.
Design changes on the outside are limited to a new ‘Earth Green’ paint job and ‘Safari Edition’ badges. The interior now features black-and-beige dual-tone upholstery, which may be harder to maintain.
More details on the Hexa Safari Edition here.
Photos: Kapil Angane & Kaustubh Gandhi