Despite the current headwinds in the Indian auto sector, it is a great time to be an SUV enthusiast, with new models launching across segments. And talking about SUVs, MG Motor India is all set to launch its flagship SUV in the market, the Gloster! It will be MG's fourth SUV model in India after the Hector, ZS EV and the Hector Plus. The Gloster is big, bold, has solid presence and occupies a lot of real estate too! MG will launch the Gloster sometime in the middle of October 2020 but the bookings have already begun. There is a lot of ground to cover. After all, it is a big SUV, literally and figuratively! So, let us begin! But before that, take a look at the prices below.
|MG Gloster SUV Variants||Prices (Ex-showroom, Delhi)|
|Gloster Super (Turbo Diesel - 7 Seater)||₹ 28.98 lakh|
|Gloster Smart (Turbo Diesel - 7 Seater)||₹ 30.98 lakh|
|Gloster Sharp (Twin-Turbo Diesel - 7 Seater)||₹ 33.68 lakh|
|Gloster Sharp (Twin-Turbo Diesel - 6 Seater)||₹ 33.98 lakh|
|Gloster Savvy (Twin-Turbo Diesel - 6 Seater)||₹ 35.38 lakh|
Design and Dimensions
At almost 5 metres in length, close to 2 metres wide and 2 metres tall, the Gloster has a huge footprint. The wheelbase itself is close to 3 metres, which means, the SUV has enough space for a third row as well.
|Fuel Tank Capacity||75 litres|
But, we will come to that later. Let's talk about the design first! The stance is typically SUV and the bold look is characterised by the big 3-slat octagonal grille up front, having a chrome surround. The headlight cluster is slim and the fog lamps sit below on the bumper with sharp looking chrome housing. What rounds up the front end design is the chrome skid-plate, a stylish touch! The look reminds you of all the big American SUVs.
The Gloster is adorned with badges all around. If we were to count, there are a total of eight badges on the exterior. Four at the rear, one on each fender and the MG logo at both ends!
Also Read: MG Gloster To Get Off-Road Equipment
Viewed in profile, you see a boxy silhouette and a chrome strip on the window line along with the 'Brit Dynamic' badging, which is only offered on MG models with high-performance engines. The doors and the windows are big and the alloy wheels are decently designed. But, we feel that the wheel size could have been a little bigger. The Gloster gets 19-inch wheels and maybe 20 or 21 inch units could have filled up the wheel well better. Or at the time of the launch, maybe MG could offer bigger wheels as an option.
At the rear, your attention goes directly to the bold 'Gloster' lettering, and the chrome-tipped quad exhaust. But apart from that, it is a simple affair. Overall, the design is not as intricate as the Hector or the Hector Plus. But, we guess MG wanted to keep things simple with the Gloster.
So the model of the Gloster that we tested, it gets a 2.0-litre twin turbo diesel engine. Yes! There are two turbos in here. The motor makes about 215 bhp and a massive 480 Nm of peak torque. There is an 8-speed automatic transmission which is standard and along with that, this also gets a Borg Warner four by four system with 7 driving modes. But let's stick to the tarmac for now and we shall go off-roading with the Gloster sometime later.
|Max Output||215 bhp @ 4,000 rpm|
|Peak Torque||480 Nm @ 1,500-2,400 rpm|
The power and torque figures are more than what the Ford Endeavour, Toyota Fortuner and the Mahindra Alturas G4 offer, its key rivals. Plus, the car gets seven driving modes, which are Auto, Eco, Rock, Snow, Sand, Mud and Sport. We did not test the off-road modes, but should you toggle between Auto, Eco and Sport, there is just a hint of a difference in the engine characteristics. Although, it is not as if the steering weighs up or the suspension firms up, should you choose the Sport mode.
Well, for a car that is comfortably over two tonnes in weight, the 2.0 litre twin turbo engine on the Gloster does a good job of offering good, solid pulling power right from 1,700 rpm. The SUV builds up speed nicely and the ratios on the 8-speed automatic gearbox are very well spaced out which means the car is in the power band all throughout. There is a hint of turbo lag but it doesn't mar your driving experience. Overall, the Gloster offers a very refined driving experience. There is hardly any engine noise seeping into the cabin.
The Gloster has a plush ride quality and the suspension tuned well for Indian roads. But the occupants in the third row might find the ride to be a little bouncy. The view out of the windscreen for the driver, is commanding and you get that feel of driving a high riding SUV. As far as the steering and the feedback is concerned, the steering itself, it feels very good to hold but then it is absolutely dead. There is no feedback and it feels numb.
And of course, for an SUV this size, direction changes take some time and it is not that great a handler as well. But then, it was never meant to go corner carving. There is a fair amount of body roll too, which is understandable and the brakes, they have good stopping power too, with decent bite and progression.
Interior and Space
In terms of seating, the Gloster gets captain seats in the middle, which means it can seat six people in total. The middle row seats are plush and keep the occupants in comfort, with decent headroom and knee-room, while the third row seats are be well suited for short intra-city rides. There is enough space and headroom for medium-sized adults. The knee-room could be better, but we aren't complaining.
We couldn't help but notice that the design of the dashboard seems inspired by a certain German company making SUVs. We mean, the shape of the dashboard, the rotary knob, AC vents, the controls for climate control and even the touchscreen, gives you a very BMW like vibe.
Like a flagship SUV does, the Gloster is loaded to the brim with features. It gets rich tan leather upholstery, with plush interior, a yacht style gear-knob and good quality finish. The materials used and the fit and finish inside the cabin give you that premium feel, although there are a few plasticky bits such as the lid on the wireless charging tray and the rotary knob, they could have had better feel.
The dashboard gets a clean design and the headliner is the 12.3-inch touchscreen panel, which is horizontal rather than the vertical unit which you see on the Hector and the Hector Plus. Then you have an 8-inch digital instrument console with analogue counters for speed and revs. Other features on the Gloster are heated seats (not cooled) which are electrically adjustable, three-zone climate control, air-purifier, wireless charging, tyre pressure monitoring system, a big panoramic sunroof and a segment first 64-colour ambient lighting, which is a cool feature to have, seen only on more expensive cars.
The Gloster also offers up to 6 airbags along with anti-lock brakes, hill start and hill descent control, electronic stability program, traction control, 360 degree camera and ISOFIX mounts for child seats. Of course, the safety features may differ from variant to variant and those details are yet to be revealed. Like all other MG SUVs, Gloster is a connected car too. It gets MG's iSmart technology and MG says that the Gloster gets close to 70 connected car features along with voice commands.
Advanced Driver Assistance Systems (ADAS)
What make the Gloster stand out from the rest of pack are the advanced driver assistance systems or ADAS. This means that the Gloster gets auto park assist and adaptive cruise control along with lane departure warning, auto emergency braking, forward collision warning and blind spot detection. We tested all the autonomous functions of the car and they work as advertised, though there were a few hiccups at times.
Our test car was the top-spec variant and the Gloster will have lower-spec variants with different engine options as well. Although details are a little sketchy on that! It will be assembled in India part-by-part, which MG says, is different from being a CKD or a completely knocked down kit. Plus, if volumes pick up, MG will increase the level of localisation on the Gloster. MG is targeting sales of 6,000 units of the Gloster in the first year of sales.
The MG Gloster has a lot to offer. It is really, really big, feels solidly built, offers a lot of features and creature comfort options and the driving experience is quite good too. What could have been better though is the overall design, which seems to be inspired by many, many sources. But all things considered, the Gloster does seem to be a good full-size SUV in the offing. Now MG says that the expected pricing could be between ₹ 35-45 lakh rupees but knowing MG's history with its other cars, we expect the Gloster to be launched at ₹ 30 lakh too. Now that will be a killer blow! And the Gloster, apart from its rivals, like the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour and the Mahindra Alturas G4, is primed to take on even more premium rivals, but that is more to do with the brand image.