In the grand scheme of things, MG is a relative newcomer to our market. Our initial impressions of the MG Hector were very positive, but we needed to see just how well-built the Hector was. So naturally, we put the Hector through its paces over the past few months.
First things first, the Hector is a mid-size SUV with a bold design that you just can’t miss. The massive front grille is finished in chrome and proudly flaunts the MG logo, giving the Hector a strong face that won’t go unnoticed. Then there is the split headlight cluster which conforms to the bold and imposing theme of the rest of the exterior. From the sides, you can see just how big the Hector is and you can rest assured, that translates into a whole lot of space for passengers.
As part of our testing, we took the Hector over some of the most treacherous terrain known to man — the streets of Mumbai. The Hector took on everything a post-monsoon Mumbai threw at it and came out on the other side looking like it just rolled off the assembly line. You’d think a few rattles and squeaks might have developed from all this abuse, but the cabin is as silent as ever. What’s more impressive is how the suspension soaks up the terrain like it doesn’t even exist. You have to experience it to believe what we’re talking about.
Also inside the cabin is one of the most advanced interiors in its class. The 10.4-inch touchscreen takes center stage and is how you interact with all the features in the Hector. There are a few physical buttons below that, but other than that, you have to rely on the touchscreen for everything. Initially, we thought it was a bad idea to centralise all the controls onto a touchscreen, but the responsiveness of the touchscreen along with the simplicity of the menu structure had us changing settings like it was second nature. The switchgear looks and feels like it’s made of quality materials. Seeing how there’s very little wear and tear on them, it’s easy to tell that they’re built to last.
With multiple people driving the Hector over the course of our test period, the power seat switches also saw a lot of use and abuse, if we say so ourselves. When you buy a car, you usually set the position of your seat and forget about adjusting it, so the seat switches might not see much use, but even with our accelerated usage patterns, the controls held up impressively.
That’s the Hector’s interior in a nutshell, but we can’t move on without talking about the connectivity features on offer here. You get a dedicated SIM card that’s embedded in the infotainment system which allows your phone to communicate with MG’s iSMART app. This unlocks a whole host of remote functionality on the car like driver alerts, health check of the car, and finding your car in a parking spot by flashing the headlights and activating the horn. If you’ve parked far off, the app will also guide you to your spot. How convenient is that?
At this point, we’ve barely scratched the surface of what MG’s iSMART is capable of but the most important of all the features is its ability to update itself automatically with OTA. One such update improved the results of our voice searches significantly and made using voice commands a breeze on the Hector. With the updated AI, the voice search yielded results every single time.
Everything you interact with in the Hector exudes quality and the car as a whole is built like a tank. If our torture test is anything to go by, it’s easy to see why the MG Hector has established itself as the de facto choice in its segment.