MG Hector Plus Test Drive Review
We do an in-depth review of the MG Hector Plus.
Car Tested: MG Hector Plus; Road Test No. 1195; Test Location: Mumbai
Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 15.96 – 22.47 lakhs
With the success of the Hector, MG is bringing in the Hector Plus which offers even more practicality and comfort
When MG launched the Hector in 2019, it created a stir in the mid-size SUV segment and the car received a good initial response because of its pricing and the ton of features that MG offered. Now what I have with me is the Hector Plus which is basically a 6-seater version of the Hector. Along with the different seating layout, the Hector Plus also gets some small cosmetic changes.
Exteriors – The MG Hector Plus gets a new Starry Sky Blue colour which looks very elegant. The Hector Plus measures 4720 mm in length making it 65 mm longer than the Hector. The width and height are exactly the same at 1835 mm and 1760 mm. Even the wheelbase remains unchanged at 2750 mm. The tyre size is 215/60/17 which is the same as the Hector but because the car looks so big from the side, the tyres tend to look small. The length of the car has increased only due to the new bumpers. While the overall design is very similar to the regular Hector, the Hector Plus does look smarter with its new bumpers, new lights and even a nice black grille. The Hector Plus also gets slightly revised skid plates. What is amusing though is the placement of faux dual exhaust tips on the rear bumper because there’s only one exhaust tip and that is also positioned slightly below the faux tip.
Interiors – On the inside, the biggest change is the addition of captain seats in the second row and an additional third row of seats. The captain seats are quite comfortable actually and they do offer a lot of support. The seats are a great place to be in if you’re chauffeur driven and there’s ample amount of legroom and headspace on offer. The third row, well, it is meant just for kids and teenagers at max because space is limited, under-thigh support is below average and even getting in and out is a bit of a task. You do get AC vents for all the rows and the third row also gets 3 cupholders and a charging socket. While the Hector gets black upholstery, the Hector Plus gets tan brown upholstery which looks and feels premium.
Apart from the revised seating with the captain seats & a tan brown upholstery, the interior of the Hector Plus remains unchanged
The layout of the cabin hasn’t changed at all. You get the same dashboard and even the equipment list is similar. The instrument cluster gets a 7-inch MID displaying all the vital information and taking centre stage is the large 10.4-inch touchscreen with navigation, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Voice Commands and a lot more. You also get connected car features, Infinity audio, ambient lighting, and a nice panoramic sunroof. Some more features include heated mirrors, front and rear parking sensors, electrically adjustable front seats, and a hands-free boot opening function. Safety features include six airbags, ABS, ESC, Traction Control, Hill Hold Assist, TPMS and a 360-degree camera. The general quality inside the cabin is good but there is room for improvement in certain areas where better materials could have been used.
Performance – The MG Hector Plus comes with the same mechanicals as the regular Hector. You get a 2.0-litre diesel engine making 170 HP at 3750 RPM and 350 Nm from 1750-2500 RPM with a 6-speed MT. MG is still not offering a diesel automatic variant. This engine is shared with the Jeep Compass and Tata Harrier. The engine is very nicely refined at low and mid RPMs but does get quite vocal at higher RPMs. The engine suffers from a significant amount of turbo lag below 2000 RPM so driving in traffic is a bit of a task, and you need to work the gears. Find an open stretch and the diesel engine will delight you because once the turbo starts spooling, the punch is quite good and the Hector Plus gains good pace quickly. The engine redlines at 5000 RPM but power tapers off after 4000 RPM so the mid-range is where the real action lies.
The Hector Plus gets the same engines as the regular Hector without any changes in output and sadly no diesel automatic variant
The petrol engine is a 1.5-litre turbocharged unit making 143 PS at 5000 RPM and 250 Nm from 1600-3600 RPM. The engine is offered in three configurations – 6-speed MT, 6-speed MT with hybrid and 6-speed DCT. The DCT and hybrid aren’t offered together. The non-hybrid and hybrid variants deliver the same power and torque but the hybrid version gets an E-Boost feature and regenerative braking along with a start/stop function. The petrol engine also suffers from turbo lag. The mid-range and top-end are very punchy, the engine feels super responsive and it even likes to be revved to 6000 RPM. The 6-speed manual has slick throws but you do get a feeling of slight notchiness. While the diesel engine still doesn’t get an AT, if you’re buying the petrol variant it makes sense getting the DCT. The diesel engine will deliver around 12-14 km/l while the petrol will give around 9-11 km/l. You can expect an increase of 1 km/l on the hybrid variant.
Driving Dynamics – The suspension of the MG Hector Plus is impressive. The ride quality is just too good and the vehicle has no issues in being thrown at bad roads. Yes, there is a bit of vertical movement in the cabin if you go over really bad patches but nothing that can make the passengers feel uncomfortable. The steering is extremely light which makes driving the Hector Plus in the city an easy task but out on the highways, it doesn’t weigh up as much as we’d like it to, and remains unresponsive. If you’re an enthusiast, you’ll be disappointed with the steering feel but most people who will use the car for commuting to work and driving to the mall for groceries will actually love it. This vehicle isn’t meant for aggressive driving and a there’s a generous amount of body roll that can be felt if you push the car on the twisties. It’s a good thing that the Hector gets disc brakes all around, stopping power is indeed good.
Verdict – The MG Hector Plus isn’t an involving car to drive but if you want a car that offers excellent comfort, 2nd-row space and tons of features and technology, you cannot go wrong with this one. The non-availability of a diesel automatic is a downer though. The Hector Plus is priced Rs. 70,000/- more than the regular Hector and these are introductory prices which will be increased by as much as Rs. 50,000/- next month which is a bit steep, yet it does undercut the Innova by a decent margin. The MG Hector Plus gives competition to the Mahindra XUV500 and Toyota Innova Crysta and it’ll also rival the upcoming Tata Gravitas.
What’s Not So Cool
Alternatives – Toyota Innova Crysta, Mahindra XUV500
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