Morris Garages recently launched the Hector, its maiden product for the Indian market, with an aggressive introductory price tag of Rs 12.18-16.88 lakh (ex-showroom, pan-India). As such, the SUV takes on the likes of the Tata Harrier, the Mahindra XUV500 and the Jeep Compass; and based on pricing, it also comes off as a worthy rival to the smaller Hyundai Creta. The Hector is powered by a 143hp, 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine (with an optional 48V mild-hybrid setup) and a 170hp, 2.0-litre diesel unit. While a manual transmission is standard across the board, the convenience of a dual-clutch automatic gearbox can only be had on the non-hybrid petrol engine option.
Notably, Hector’s entire powertrain line-up was only BS4-compliant at the time of launch. With the more stringent emission norms set to kick in from April 1, 2020, MG plans to make the switch to BS6 motors “starting from January next year,” according to Rajeev Chaba, president and managing director, MG Motor India.
Interestingly, the BS6 version of the FCA-sourced MultiJet II, 2.0-litre diesel motor – which will make its way to the MG SUV in 2020 – has already been introduced in the Jeep Compass Trailhawk and was also spied being tested on the Tata Harrier recently. In this avatar, it continues to produce 170hp and 350Nm of torque and makes use of an SCR (selective catalytic reduction) based AdBlue dosing agent to meet the upcoming emission regulations.
Even though the Rs 12.18-16.88 lakh price point at which the Hector has been introduced might seem attractive for the time being, the MG SUV is set to see an increase in prices once it makes the switch to BS6 with a much higher impact on the diesel variants. Whether the average Indian buyers will stick to the torquey diesel motor that is more popular in this segment, or whether they will gravitate to the more economical petrol option, only time will tell.
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