Prices of the Hector and the Hector Plus will be announced on January 11
Back in 2019, when MG introduced the Hector in India, it stood out for its focus on new-age tech. And while it has been a consistent performer for the brand, it has faced stiff competition from newer rivals. With its 2023 facelift, MG is trying to assert itself with fresher looks (especially on the inside) and significant tech upgrades. While prices are set to be announced in the next few days at the Auto Expo 2023, we got a chance to experience the new MG Hector at a static preview.
The biggest change that you’d notice on the outside is the grille with a diamond pattern. To accommodate the grille, the bumper has been reworked and the headlamp cluster too has had a redesign (headlamps and foglamps are now positioned in the same cluster). It does look very similar to the spindle grilles you see on some Lexus cars, but that aside it does add massively to the road presence of the Hector.
As you move to the sides, you’d notice that practically nothing has changed, with even the alloy wheels staying the same. Towards the rear, there are small updates to the bumper and the tail lamps are now connected by a light bar. There is a new ‘Dune brown’ exterior paint option that rounds out all of the changes on the outside.
As you step into the cabin, you’d notice that there are major changes. First and foremost is the large 14-inch infotainment display that is the largest portrait display on any car sold in India. It has to be noted that this 14-inch screen is also full-HD, which makes it a treat to use. More importantly, it gets very bright and you seldom have to worry about visibility even under the sun. The HD screen works particularly well while showing you a stitched up perspective from the different cameras in the 360-degree view. MG’s infotainment and connected car tech software has also had an update and you can now operate the panoramic sunroof, change interior and exterior light settings, change ambient lighting options and even open and clos the tailgate at the tap of a button.
The dash layout has been reworked with seemingly higher quality materials at most touch points and the upholstery is now dual tone. There are some brushed aluminium and wood inserts tastefully integrated into the dashboard. Importantly, there are a few more buttons below the display and that should make it easy to use while on the move. The driver now gets a fully digital instrument cluster, unlike in the pre-facelift model.
The big talking point and something that sets it apart from much of the competition is the addition of ADAS Level 2 functionalities. There’s adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, lane keep assist and autonomous emergency braking as well. There is emergency braking for pedestrians as well which could come in handy for Indian road conditions. It has to be mentioned that for the MG Hector, at speeds above 40kmph, the AEB cuts down speed by 40kmph while at speeds upto 40kmph, it brings the car to a complete halt.
The Hector’s ADAS suite also includes bend cruise assistance, which manages the vehicle’s speed when the SUV takes a curve with adaptive cruise control on. Then there is ‘Traffic Jam Assist’ which acts like a adaptive cruise control for stop-and-go traffic. While most of the Hector’s ADAS suite is also available in the Astor, there are some features that are new. It remains to be seen how effective these features are in everyday driving on our roads.
The Hector continues to be powered by the same 1.5-litre petrol and 2.0-litre diesel engines. The petrol engine is available with a 5-speed manual or a CVT gearbox while the FCA sourced diesel is only available with a 6-speed manual. Mechanically, there seem to be no changes on paper. We will be reviewing the MG Hector soon to find out if it drives any differently.
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