MG Motor has just launched the Hector at an introductory price of Rs 12.18 lakh (ex-showroom, India). With its aggressive pricing and the features on offer, the MG Hector sure seems like a viable option in the tightly contested midsize SUV segment that’s currently ruled by the Hyundai Creta. However, with four variants and three engines on offer, picking the right MG Hector for you can be confusing. We break it down and help you choose.
What are the engines on offer?
As mentioned, the Hector can be had with three engine options. Powering the Hector diesel is the now-familiar FCA-sourced 2.0-litre unit that you'd also find under the hood of the Jeep compass and Tata Harrier. On the Hector, the engine makes 170hp and 350Nm of torque. There’s only one gearbox on offer with the diesel engine – a 6-speed manual – mated to which the Hector is rated for a fuel economy of 17.41kpl. The Hector diesel is available in all four variants – Style, Super, Smart and Sharp.
The Hector petrol is powered by a 1.5-litre turbo unit that produces 143hp and 250Nm of torque. While a 6-speed manual is standard fitment, the turbo-petrol also gets the option of a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic gearbox. ARAI-rated fuel efficiency for the Hector petrol is 14.16kpl for the manual and 13.96kpl for the automatic. In terms of variants, the Hector petrol-manual is available in the base Style and Super trims while the petrol-automatic is offered in the top-spec Smart and Sharp trims.
Additionally, there’s a 48V mild-hybrid petrol model too, which only comes with the 6-speed manual gearbox. The mild-hybrid system provides up to 20Nm of additional torque at low speeds to help counter turbo lag and allow for improved acceleration. The Hector mild-hybrid is also about 12 percent more fuel efficient than the standard petrol variant, with an ARAI-rated fuel-efficiency figure of 15.81kpl. The Hector mild-hybrid is available in the Super, Smart and Sharp variants.
In our review, the Hector petrol-hybrid felt a touch underpowered owing to the sheer size and weight of the SUV. So, if you are going to drive your Hector on the highways or hilly areas often, go for the diesel engine, which feels refined and quite effortless in comparison.
What are the variants on offer?
MG is offering the Hector in four trims – Style, Super, Smart and Sharp. In total, the SUV can be had in 11 configurations – four diesel-manuals, three petrol-manual hybrids, two petrol-manuals and two petrol-automatics. Given below is the table with prices for each variant.
The base Style variant is commendably equipped with safety kit like all-around disc brakes, dual airbags, ABS with EBD, ESP and hill-hold function. In terms of features, it gets ORVMs with integrated LED turn indicators, a cooled glove box, two fast-charging USB ports and rear AC vents.
The Super variant has almost everything that you’re looking for – 17-inch alloys, LED headlights, the massive 10.4-inch touchscreen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, cruise control, front and rear parking sensors and a rear parking camera. Also, this variant gets fabric seats that feel much better than the Rexine-like faux-leather seats in the higher variants.
The next variant in the range is the Smart that features two additional airbags, 17-inch machined alloy wheels, Internet connectivity via a SIM card, a tyre-pressure monitoring system, a 7.0-inch multi-information display, push-button start/stop and six-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat. Although it comes well-equipped, it doesn’t give you your full money’s worth, so you might want to skip this one.
The top-spec Sharp variant gets a panoramic sunroof that lifts the cabin’s appeal and makes a huge difference. Additionally, it gets other premium kit like a powered tailgate, 360-degree camera, heated mirrors, electrically adjustable co-driver’s seat and six airbags in total.
Which is the variant to buy?
If you’re looking for a great balance between features and price, the diesel-powered Super variant is the one to go for. It has all the bases covered with equipment like LED headlights and the large touchscreen while costing a reasonable Rs 14.18 lakh (ex-showroom, India), which comfortably undercuts the top-spec Creta 1.6 diesel SX (O) Executive variant that’s priced at Rs 15.64 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai).
However, if you want a premium experience and you can stretch your budget, the Sharp variant with the diesel engine is the one to go for. At this price point (Rs 16.88 lakh), the Hector Sharp diesel comes across as being good value for money, especially when you consider the equipment it offers and the fact that it still manages to undercut rivals like the Mahindra XUV500 and the Jeep Compass, while being on par with the Tata Harrier.
MG is also offering maintenance plans of up to five years with the Hector, starting at Rs 8,000. There are four plans on offer – Classic, Classic 360, Premium and Premium 360. However, these maintenance plans are only applicable on private registered vehicles.
Another factor that sweetens the deal is the warranty and the buy-back options that are offered with the MG shield aftersales programme. It includes a 5-year/unlimited km warranty and roadside assistance as standard, along with five free services. The Hector also comes with a 3-60 assured buyback programme that guarantees a 60 percent buyback value after three years. As MG is a new brand in India and relatively unknown, these aftersales programs should provide the piece-of-mind that prospective owners will be looking for.