It may not seem like a long time ago, but its already been two years since MG Motor launched the Hector SUV in India. At launch, the Hector was a runaway success for MG Motor, marking a strong debut for the iconic British brand in India. It regularly topped the sales charts in its segment for several months and there were many reasons that helped it do so. On the second anniversary of the MG Hector in India, we are revisiting 7 reasons that helped MG cause a disruption in the market with the Hector, all of which is relevant even today.
We have to start with what immediately impressed us the most about the Hector at first glance, and that's its size and space. The Hector measures 4,655mm in length, which made it the longest SUV in its class then, and it is so even today. It also has the best-in-class wheelbase of 2,750mm, which makes it extremely spacious on the inside. The second-row of the Hector has space for even the largest of adults and seating three in the back seat couldn't be more comfortable. Not only that, the Hector also a massive boot of 587 litres. Fold the second-row seats flat, and you could easily move houses in this.
OTA and Voice Guided Operation
The Hector comes with AI-based voice recognition feature that can control functions such as operating the windows, AC, navigation, sunroof and many more. While there are many cars with voice command function, what makes the Hector stand out in the Indian context is that it can even identify 'Hinglish' commands such as 'Radio Chalao', 'Sunroof Kholo' and much more. The Hector also comes fitted with an M2M module which keeps it connected to the internet constantly. The iSmart connected system comes with features such as geo-fencing, live location updates to the user's phone and can even pick up system updates and upgrade the software just as we do with our smartphones. With this, you can even use an app on your phone to operate the climate control externally or start/stop the engine right from your phone.
Huge Panoramic Sunroof
The iSmart connected car tech wasn't the only first-in-segment feature that the Hector came with. MG threw everything they possibly could at their debut model in India, and the Hector was thus fully-loaded to its gills. One of biggest highlight has to be the huge panoramic sunroof, which made the Hector the only SUV in its class and price range to offer this feature when it was launched. Other standout features include the 10.4-inch vertically oriented touchscreen, 8 colour ambient lighting, reclining rear seats, a huge panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera, LED projector headlamps and fog lamps, heated ORVMs and much, many of which were unheard of in this segment and at this price.
Mild Hybrid Powertrain
One of the biggest strengths of the MG Hector is its wide range of powertrain options. The Hector is available with both petrol and diesel engines. The petrol engine is a 1.5L turbo-petrol unit that produces 143hp and 250Nm of torque. This engine comes mated to either a 6-speed manual, an 8-step CVT or a 6-speed dual-clutch transmission, which was another segment-first feature at the time. Meanwhile, the 2.0L turbo-diesel engine produces 170hp and 350Nm of torque and is solely offered with a 6-speed manual gearbox. However, what was standout for the Hector was the 48V mild-hybrid system that was offered as an optional feature with the 1.5L petrol engine. The Hector is still the only SUV in its segment with a mild-hybrid powertrain. The 1.5L mild-hybrid petrol engine is offered with a 6-speed manual gearbox option.
Also Read : 5 Unique/First-in-Segment Features Of MG Gloster
Okay, styling might be subjective, but it has to be admitted that the Hector did turn a lot of heads on its arrival- firstly, due to its sheer size, and secondly, due to the flashy and chrome-heavy styling. With a subtle facelift earlier this year, MG even fixed a few niggles with the original design. The wheels grew a size larger, something that greatly helped the stance and proportions of the SUV, and the slight tweaks to the chrome grille made it look a little sharper and that much more appealing.
Best-In-Class Warranty With MG Shield
One of the biggest contributing factors to a vehicle's success apart from the product itself is the ownership experience it offers. As part of its MG Shield after-sales package, MG offered the Hector with with a 5-year/unlimited km warranty as standard, which by the way is the best in the segment. It also comes with 5-years/ unlimited kilometers road-side assistance and 5 labour free services. Even the 12V/48V batteries get a 1-year warranty while the 10.4-inch touch infotainment system gets a 3-year warranty. Along with a great warranty scheme, MG also offered a guaranteed 60% buyback scheme with the Hector. What that means is that MG will buy back the Hector from you at 60% of the original ex-showroom price of the SUV after 3 years of ownership. There are, however, a few clauses to this plan and it needs to be bought during the purchase of the car.
Most importantly, for any product to be successful in a price-sensitive market such as India, it has to be priced right. And MG got that bang on right from the start. When the Hector was launched in 2019, it was priced between INR 12.18 - 16.88 lakh, which was tremendous value for money for what it was offering. The MG Hector scored where it mattered for Indians - feature-rich interior, tons of space, frugal engines and of course, a wow factor. Currently, the MG Hector has been priced between 13.17 - 18.85 lakh (ex-showroom), the premium coming from the updates it has received over its lifetime and is still amazing value for money.