MG has created a lot of buzz with the commercials of the Hector, where it focuses to depict the heritage of the brand. Many don’t know that the brand is owned by Chinese state-owned automotive brand, SAIC motor.
After all, the sales of a car mainly depend on its brand value and its reach to customers. It will take some time for the brand to be recognised as an established player. It will be unfair to think of Hector flying off the shelf. The manufacturing facility at Halol, Gujarat is MG’s first in India.
Thanks to the inputs from Jaguar Land Rover, Tata designed a car that abridged the gap between concept and reality. Tata Motors always aims to provide the most Value for Money (VFM) product in the most economical price bracket without compromising on anything.
Though the Harrier hasn’t performed that well in terms of sales, it’s still early days for a premium SUV. This clearly brings out the vision of Tata Motors that we shall see in its upcoming offerings.
The Hector is truly a modern looking SUV. The huge and wide trapezoidal front grille, surrounded by a thick strip of chrome and the aggressive sleeker DRLs gives it the bold look.
The dual projector LED headlamps are mounted quite low on the bumper. The foglamps are located just below the headlamps. It’s becoming common for new cars, especially SUVs to have their headlamps mounted on the bumper.
The faux silver skid plate lends the Hector a premium appearance. Front sensors are also located at the front bumper. 17-inch alloys look great. A black skirting runs across the side profile, with a chrome strip attached to it showing Morris Garages branding.
To minimise the chrome effect, the handles are body coloured with minimal chrome work. The LED rear taillamps complement the styling. Reverse parking sensors are provided on dual tone bumper.
The Harrier too gets the aggressive sleeker dual function LED DRLs that gives it the bold look. The dual projector LED headlamps are mounted quite low on the bumper. The foglamps are located just below the headlamps.
There isn’t any usage of chrome at the front, even not around the piano finish black front grille. The Harrier is quite attractive from every angle, thanks to the sharp character lines and the bold wheel arches.
The LED taillamp design is continuous, stretching throughout the rear. Piano black finish and HARRIER badging are also provided at the rear. Rear parking sensors are placed on the dual tone bumper. 17-inch alloys are provided on the Harrier.
Chrome inserts are provided on the handle, and chrome finish is provided above the window and it broadens up at the rear, where the Harrier badging is embossed.
As the Hector is India’s first ‘Internet Car’, it is bound to have the largest touchscreen infotainment system (10.4 inches) among all the Indian cars. Most of the dials and knobs have given way to this huge touchscreen that has tabs to operate the features.
You might be imagining the interiors of Tesla. The navigation, Bluetooth, music and even the AC are housed in this touchscreen. The touchscreen is equipped with Android Auto and Google CarPlay. The massive touchscreen is surrounded by vertical AC vents on both sides.
The most attractive feature of this connected car is the voice command system that is activated by saying ‘Hello MG’. Based on your commands, the car will open the sunroof for you or change the AC temperature.
Apart from technology, everything else seems fine. Some premium bits and elements have been added to the interiors, where the mixed type of plastics have been used. There are abundant knee room and legroom for the passengers, but more smart storage spaces could have been provided.
The Hector boasts of many first in segment features such as 4-way power adjustable co-driver seat, powered tailgate opening, heated ORVM, premium sound system by INFINITY, subwoofer & amplifier, 8 colours ambient lighting, front parking sensors, 360° camera view and fatigue reminder setting
Tata has simply done enough with the exterior of the Harrier, but what about the interior?
The answer is that Tata has carried all the hard work to the interiors as well. With the use of rich textures and finishes, Harrier has probably the best interior in its segment. The premium oak brown interiors might not be of everyone’s taste but make the interiors feel more premium.
The leather, as well as piano silver finish and faux wood on the dashboard as well as the door panel, is simply awesome. There’s plenty of storage space for different kinds of items and the 425-litre luggage capacity is adequate.
Other features include push button start, ESP terrain modes, floating island 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, music system by JBL, instrument cluster with 7-inch TFT display with screen mirroring feature.
Performance & Driveability:
The Hector is available with 3 engine options: a 1.5 L Turbocharged Intercooled Petrol Hybrid engine with Belt Starter Generator producing 143 PS of peak power and 250 Nm of maximum torque, a .5 L Turbocharged Intercooled Petrol engine producing 143 PS of peak power and 250 Nm of maximum torque and a 2.0 L Turbocharged diesel engine producing 170 PS of peak power and 350 Nm of maximum torque, which is also found in Compass and Harrier but with different torque and power figures .
The transmission option includes 6 MT and 6 DCT. The petrol engine returns 15.81 kmpl while the diesel engine returns 17.41 kmpl. Both the engines have excellent refinement level, especially petrol. The 192 mm ground clearance is adequate to soak most of the shocks from potholes.
The light steering weighs well at highway speeds, but its lightness helps to easily manoeuvre in city traffic. Though the car is stable at high speeds, it does not feel as planted as the Compass and the Harrier. Thanks to disc brakes on all the four wheels, braking is a breeze.
The Harrier is only available with a 2.0 L Turbocharged diesel engine, sourced from Fiat producing 140 PS of peak power and 350 Nm of maximum torque, which is also found in Compass and Hector but with different torque and power figures. Only 6-speed manual transmission is available as of now.
The provision of various drive modes – Eco, City and Sports helps to alter the engine performance. The claimed fuel efficiency of Harrier is 16.79 kmpl. The NVH levels are well controlled, but some of the vibrations still creep in through the pedals.
The suspension, along with abundant 205 mm ground clearance works very well as it negotiates most of the larger bumps and potholes. The car gives you a confident feeling at high speeds as the steering weighs up. There is the scope of improvement in the braking department by upgrading the rear brakes.
The Hector is equipped with many safety features such as 6 airbags, ESP (Electronic Stability Program), TCS (Traction Control System), ABS + EBD + Brake Assist, first in segment 360° camera view, hill hold control, electric parking brake, TPMS (Tyre pressure monitoring system), first in segment front parking sensors, ISOFIX child seat anchors.
Only a few of the features are absent from the base model, others are standard across the variants.
The Harrier also boasts of advanced safety features such as 6 airbags, ABS, EBD, CSC (Corner Stability Control), Electronic Traction Control, Hill Hold Control, Hill Descent Control, Roll Over Mitigation, Brake Disc Wiping, Perimetric Alarm System, Child seat ISOFIX anchor points and many more.
MG HECTOR: ₹ 12.18 – 16.88 Lakh
TATA HARRIER: ₹ 12.99 – 16.55 Lakh
Note: All prices are ex-showroom Delhi
Which One Should You Buy?
The Hector is a brand-new car from a new brand, that is yet to set up its dealerships in many cities. It plans to have 65 dealerships by the time Hector is on sale.
Though it’s an amazing product in every department still spending your hard-earned money on a new product isn’t a good idea. It’s better to check the initial ownership reviews.
By that time, the waiting period will also drop. The Harrier too has a long product and many are still unsure about spending around 21 Lakhs for a Tata car. The Hexa too hasn’t performed according to expectations.
But if you really have to buy a car out of the three, Harrier is the one you should go for.
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