2023 MG Hector Facelift Review: Better Than Before?
By Pratik Rakshit
6 mins read
Published on February 9, 2023
- 2023 MG Hector Facelift facelift driven!
- 2023 Hector comes in both petrol and diesel engine options coupled to both manual and automatic transmissions.
- The 2023 MG Hector is now priced between Rs. 14.73 lakh to Rs. 21.73 lakh (ex-showroom).
Hector was instrumental in establishing MG Motor in the country. Since its arrival in 2019, the Hector SUV has been well-received in the market as an alternative to not just compact SUVs, but also to other mid-sized SUVs. Fast forward to 2023, MG Motor India launched its updated Hector at the Auto Expo 2023 with refreshed styling elements to its exterior, and interior, and loaded with tech features that make it safer than before. But are these changes enough? Well, let’s find that out.
Well, most of the SUV buyers in India rate styling and looks of a car as their number one priority and MG has done absolutely that with the Hector facelift. So, at the front, you get a large mesh grille laden with chrome and it looks gorgeous in the flesh. Although I did think that it looked obnoxious in pictures, in flesh, it seems really appealing. The split DRL headlamps are retained from the previous version and so are the LED fog lamps down below.
Moving to the side, you can see the wheel arches, the character lines and the angular lines are all retained from the previous version of the car. But I do feel that the wheels could have been chunkier, as the car seems larger in comparison.
At the back, you receive a connecting strip that is a very common feature in new-age cars. Apart from that, you also get the ADAS lettering on the tailgate and repositioned ‘Hector’ lettering on it as well. I’ve always loved the way Hector looked and the designers haven’t made any radical changes to its proportions as well. Of course, it’ll take time to get used to the way it looks now, but given the styling updates, the car has a killer road presence even now.
As the exterior, even the interior receives a massive update. The biggest highlight is a newer and larger touchscreen. With the previous model, MG gave a class-leading 10-inch unit and with this version as well, the company provides a large 14-inch display that is relatively smooth and apart from the added dimension, it is still full-HD.
The new unit receives a whole host of controls and features. Yes, it dominates the cabin, but it never distracts or impairs your concentration when driving. And of course, it still performs multiple functions. Then there’s MG Assistant which works via a set of voice commands.
But the other change that you get with the Hector facelift is the light and dark treatment that the car gets, looks more premium and upmarket.
Having said that, the materials and plastics utilised throughout are still of the highest quality. The 6-way adjustable front seats and air purifier are an extra bonus and so are the wireless connectivity for Android Auto & Apple CarPlay as is the 360-degree camera. The panoramic sunroof makes the cabin look & feel expansive.
Engine & Gearbox
With the facelift, MG limited the number of engine options available. I wasn't a fan of the mild-hybrid Hector which is luckily no longer available. Instead, the SUV keeps the previous turbocharged petrol and diesel engines.
|Displacement||1,451 cc||1,956 cc|
|Power||141 bhp @5,000 rpm||168 bhp @3,750 rpm|
|Torque||250 Nm @1,600-3,600 rpm||350 Nm @1,750-2,500 rpm|
Since there are no changes to the mechanics of the car even the driving mannerism is retained from the earlier version. The issue of initial hesitance, turbo lag and the extended rubber band effect from a deep-footed acceleration persists. The way around this is measured throttle inputs that aren’t too cautious nor too aggressive. The CVT unit has very little to complain about.
Ride & Handling
However, it does not totally disguise the engine's turbo lag because it takes time to build speed after some delay. The Hector is a large SUV, weighing around 1,655 kg, therefore body roll is significant and rather noticeable. That also means that acceleration isn't the best right away, and you'll have to put the pedal to the metal for those rapid overtakes.
The 18-inch wheels, however, reduce low-speed ride comfort, and the Hector now crashes over severe potholes, which was not previously the case. And this does reflect upon the overall drive experience.
If the refreshed Hector has impressed you thus far, wait till you see what else it has to offer. The SUV also has Level-2 Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS) and a suite of safety measures to improve the comfort of the passengers within. Without a doubt, Adaptive Cruise Control, Lane Departure Warning, Lane Keep Assist, Traffic Jam Assist, Automatic Emergency Braking, And Front Collision Warning make life easier and safer.
However, keeping it always turned on, especially on our Indian roads, becomes difficult, and it is advisable to utilise the function on familiar roads. Without a doubt, I enjoyed these features throughout my journey and in general with other cars that provide them, but it is critical that you be alert to your surroundings.
The automated turn indicators are without a doubt a sensible addition. But it may easily become bothering as it reacts to practically any small change in direction that is more than 30 degrees.
Disc brakes on all four wheels, front & rear parking sensors, ISOFIX child seat anchorages and 3-point seat belts for the second row are part of the top-spec trims. What’s missing though, is a global crash test rating!
The 2023 MG Hector is a clear step up from its predecessor. Not just in terms of the equipment but also of all the new features. Opting between petrol and diesel makes it even more lucrative.
|Variants||Hector Petrol MT||Hector Petrol CVT||Hector Diesel MT|
|Style||Rs. 14.73 lakh|
|Smart||Rs. 16.80 lakh||Rs. 17.99 lakh||Rs. 19.06 lakh|
|Smart Pro||Rs. 17.99 lakh|
|Rs. 20.10 lakh|
|Sharp Pro||Rs. 19.45 lakh||Rs. 20.78 lakh||Rs. 21.51 lakh|
|Rs. 21.73 lakh|
Throw in those compelling prices and the Hector facelift comes out as a sensible purchase for anyone looking for beauty, brains, and of course muscle!
Photography By: Apoorv Choudhary
Last Updated on February 9, 2023
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