MG Gloster Test Drive Review
We do a detailed road test review of the MG Gloster.
Car Tested: MG Gloster; Road Test No. 1230; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 35.10 – 42.89
The MG Gloster is a gigantic SUV, has more than enough power on tap and gets some really nice tech usually seen on more expensive cars
“Bada hain toh behtar hain” is a common phrase used by most families and this holds true even for vehicles, evident by the growing popularity of compact SUVs, mid-size SUVs and full-size SUVs over the years. The latest entrant to the full-size SUV segment is the MG Gloster. The Gloster is MG Motor’s fourth offering in India, after the Hector, ZS EV and Hector Plus. It is huge, it is feature-loaded and drives well too but is it enough to rattle the hot-selling SUVs in this price bracket?
MotorQuest: The MG Gloster is sold as the D90 by Chinese automaker Maxus, owned by SAIC. Also, the same vehicle is sold as the LDV D90 in Australia and New Zealand. LDV stands for Leyland DAF Vans. LDV was a British van manufacturer based out of Birmingham, UK. Production at LDV’s plant was suspended in 2008 due to the recession and lack of investment and the IP rights were sold to Eco Concept in 2009 who in turn sold them to SAIC Motor in 2010.
Exteriors – In terms of size, the MG Gloster sure does impress because it is gigantic. It is bigger than both the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour and just for comparison sake, it is even taller than the BMW X7. While these dimensions do lend the Gloster immense road presence, parking such a big car can be a pain especially in most of our metros but the Gloster does get an automatic parking feature. We tried it out on a narrow street amidst heavy rains and while it did identify a parking spot correctly, the vehicle didn’t manoeuvre itself properly into the parking spot. It could either be the rains or the tech needs some fine-tuning.
The massive dimensions, large badges all around and chrome highlights give the Gloster outstanding road presence
The Gloster gets Adaptive LED headlamps, LED taillights, LED DRLs, and it gets massive 19-inch wheels. You also get cornering lamps. The design looks imposing, some might find it stylish some might not but it does have incredible road presence. MG has gone the whole hog with the badging on the vehicle. The tail-gate gets ADAS, Internet Inside and Gloster badging. Gloster is plastered across the tail-gate in a rather large font size and I personally would have preferred slightly subtle badging. The SUV gets faux quad exhaust pipes but look properly and you’ll see that there’s only one real pipe on each side.
Interiors – The dashboard is set high up so you get a brilliant view ahead and the quality of the cabin is also quite good overall. The cabin gets a mish-mash of design elements and some of them do seem to have taken inspiration from other luxury cars. There’s a generous amount of leather used on the inside and while the controls fall within easy reach, you’ll have to spend some time getting familiarised with the layout because there are way too many buttons and functions. Frontal visibility is excellent and you get a very commanding driving position. The steering wheel gets tilt and telescopic adjustment and it has a ton of buttons for music controls, call functions and cruise control. The instrument cluster gets an analogue speedometer (clockwise) and tachometer (anti-clockwise) and there’s a large screen between these meters showing lots of information. The MID also displays data related to the driver assistance systems and there are digital readouts for the fuel gauge and engine temperature.
The cabin has plush materials everywhere which is why passengers will get a fairly premium experience while travelling in the Gloster
The cabin is spacious enough for your kids to play around but let them do that only when the car isn’t moving, rest of the time make use of the ISOFIX mounts. The front seats are large and supportive and for the driver, you get 12-way power adjustment with 4 levels for the lumbar support, ventilation, heating and even a massage function. Meanwhile, the co-passenger gets an 8-way adjustment but sadly it gets only a heating function while the massage and cooled ventilation functions are missing. The second row gets captain seats which are incredibly comfortable. Headroom is decent while leg space is really good. These captain seats can be reclined and slid back and forth and the headrests can be folded a bit from the sides for you to rest your head on, while napping. You also get two fold-out cupholders for the second-row passengers. The captain seats don’t fold down completely so ingress into the third row is a bit tight.
The third-row seat itself is limited in space and a 6-footer like me couldn’t fit in comfortably with the second-row seat slid slightly backwards. Under-thigh support is negligible especially for tall people and this row is best meant for children or shorter adults but yes the space is still better than most other 7-seaters. The good thing here is that even the third row gets two adjustable headrests and a USB charging socket on one side and a 12V socket on the other side. The second and third rows also get their own AC vents. The boot capacity is 343-litres with all the rows up and it can be expanded to a massive 1350-litres with the third row folded down. The MG Gloster gets tons of features like a dual-pane sunroof, hands-free powered tailgate, 3-zone climate control, TPMS, wireless charging, auto headlamps & wipers, three USB charging ports and four 12V sockets, auto-dimming IRVM, electrically adjustable and folding mirrors with heating and memory function, and a lot more.
The driver’s seat gets cooling, heating and massage functions while the front passenger seat gets only a heating function
The infotainment system comprises a 12.3-inch HD touchscreen which is crisp to use and offers a smooth UI. However, there are way too many menus and features to explore so you’ll probably have to set some time aside and check everything out. You can access the ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance System) features through the infotainment too. Apart from that, you can toggle between the different ambient lighting options, sound and equaliser settings, vehicle settings, and so on. The infotainment system is paired to 12 speakers including a subwoofer and an amplifier. The speakers give out brilliant sound and the acoustics make for a worthwhile listening experience. The Gloster also gets 360-degree cameras and while this is a useful feature for such a big vehicle, the quality of the cameras could have been better.
Performance – The MG Gloster is powered by a 2.0-litre, twin-turbo diesel engine belting out 218 PS at 4000 RPM and 480 Nm from 1500-2400 RPM. The oil-burner does a very good job of moving this large SUV and not once do you feel that the Gloster is underpowered. The very minor turbo lag is nicely masked and the Gloster comes alive in the mid-range, responding well to the throttle inputs and gaining momentum nicely. City driveability is also quite nice and the Gloster feels at ease in traffic. The Gloster is also more powerful than the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour. The engine doesn’t really have much of a top-end grunt because the peak power delivery comes in at 4000 RPM and the engine starts redlining early but what’s more impressive are the acceleration numbers which you can check in the table below.
The diesel engine offers superb acceleration and linear power delivery allowing for a comfortable and pleasant drive
This almost-2500 kg SUV is quick in outright acceleration and in-gear VBOX timings are also impressive. You echo the same feeling while driving it because the powerplant has more than enough juice and because all the power and torque is delivered in a linear fashion, the torque surge isn’t very sudden or aggressive and that allows you to have a relaxed driving experience. You get different driving modes but the difference between Eco and Sport modes is marginal. The 8-speed torque converter isn’t the quickest around but does its job well and is also smooth with its operations. Usually, there’s not much lag in gearshifts but if you suddenly pin the throttle then it takes a second to downshift. The gearbox doesn’t get an S mode but there’s a manual mode as well as paddle-shifters. The ARAI-figures of the Gloster are still not known but this engine does drink a decent amount of fuel and you can expect the fuel economy figures to hover between 6-8 km/l.
Driving Dynamics – The ride quality of the MG Gloster is a big highlight. The suspension set up is soft and the ride is extremely plush. At city speeds, passengers feel supremely comfortable and the silent suspension does its job quite well on our pothole-laden roads. Compared to some other SUVs which offer a bumpy ride at low speeds, this one is actually way better. On the highways too, the pliant suspension helps keep the vehicle composed. On the other hand, the Gloster has the typical body-on-frame characteristics and it isn’t a sharp handler. The steering is very light and it gains some weight as you increase speeds but it doesn’t offer very rich feedback. The Gloster isn’t meant for pushing around the twisties and it is a cruiser. With all four disc brakes, no complaints on the braking front.
Off-Road – The MG Gloster gets an on-demand 4WD system with different modes like Eco, Auto, Sport, Mud, Sand, Snow and Rock. While we couldn’t take it to a proper off-road trail since we had the vehicle for a limited time, we did some soft-roading with it and found no reason to complain. There was a muddy patch with some really nasty dips and it was full of slush because it had been raining heavily and one of the tyres got stuck for a second or two until the vehicle gained some momentum and came out. We mostly used the Auto and Mud modes all throughout. The ground clearance of 225 mm is very good while the approach angle is 28 degrees, departure angle is 25 degrees and ramp break-over angle is 20 degrees. The vehicle also has a water wading capacity of 550 mm (Fortuner has 700 mm and Endeavour has 800 mm). These figures are of the LDV D90 which is technically similar to the Gloster. The vehicle also gets an electronically locking rear differential.
Safety and After Sales Service – The MG Gloster hasn’t been crash-tested yet but the LDV D90 has and it scored a 5-star rating in the ANCAP tests. In terms of safety features, this SUV is equipped with dual front, side and curtain airbags, ABS with EBD, Brake Assist, ESP, TCS, Roll Movement Intervention, Hill Start Assist, Hill Descent Control, 360-degree camera, driver fatigue reminder, and electronic parking brake with auto hold. The SUV also gets ADAS which includes forward-collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning, blind-spot detection and adaptive cruise control. Now MG Motor is relatively new to the Indian market so they don’t have a very wide-spread sales and service network but the company has been increasing their reach throughout the country. While they have already covered a lot of cities and towns, a bigger network will only lead to an increase in sales.
Verdict – MG Motor says that the Gloster rivals the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado and Jeep Grand Cherokee but both of these SUVs have now been discontinued. The Gloster is expected to be priced between Rs. 40-45 lakhs and thus people will naturally compare it to the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour. Compared to both these SUVs, the Gloster is bigger, has premium interiors, is more powerful and has more equipment so it does make sense for people to check it out if they’re open to the idea of getting something different than the usual choices in this price range. While the Gloster will be a bit pricier than these two SUVs, the difference in the price seems worth it because you get a lot of additional stuff.
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Alternatives – Toyota Fortuner, Mahindra Alturas G4, Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace, Ford Endeavour
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