2023 MG Hector first impressions: Style and tech receive generous updates

2023 MG Hector first impressions: Style and tech receive generous updates

MG Hector was the first-ever product from MG Motor India when it made its debut here back in 2019. The Hector SUV is often credited to have established a solid foundation on which MG has managed to foray into a complex market which also is one that does offer ample opportunities.

Shubhodeep Chakravarty

Updated on:
09 Jan 2023, 10:14 AM

The new MG Hector SUV comes with significant updates at exterior and inside the cabin.
The new MG Hector SUV comes with significant updates at exterior and inside the cabin.

The demand for SUVs has only strengthened in the past few years and while Hector has had to play the doubly-challenging game of not just taking on the established players like Hyundai Creta and Tata Harrier but also fend off newer rivals like Skoda Kushaq, Volkswagen Taigun and even Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara now. The list of options will only grow and therefore, it is an opportune time that MG is rolling out the massively updated 2023 Hector. Although there are no mechanical changes, the SUV does promise sizeable updates to its exterior design and comes with even more features on the inside.

Watch: MG Hector 2023: First Look

2023 MG Hector: Exterior profile

The latest Hector has the same proportions as the model it will soon replace in the Indian car market but it is vying for your attention with its updated styling highlights. The front grille, for instance, is mammoth and perhaps the biggest overall highlight of the 2023 model. A large number of SUV buyers rate exterior looks as their priority number one and in that sense, the 2023 Hector’s front grille itself strikes a solid first blow.

The new Hector boasts of a massive front grille which emboldens its face.
The new Hector boasts of a massive front grille which emboldens its face.

Flanking that grille on either side are sleek LED DRL units while the head light encasing is lower down the profile. The bonnet remains largely similar in its shape and size, and helps complete a very dominant view.

Glide over to the side and this is definitely a Hector. The prominent wheel arches, the large windows, smartly done chrome borders and stretched character lines. The only – and persisting – issue here is how the 18-inch wheels still look a bit too small under the otherwise large frame of the vehicle.

The rear profile of the latest Hector remains similar except for the connected LED light strip between the tail lights. While hardly a unique design highlight in the Indian car market – think Venue, Taigun and others, it sure does give the Hector a very sporty appeal from the back.

2023 MG Hector: Cabin highlights

The Hector continues to boast of a massively spacious cabin and the multiple seating options will continue to exist. So one can buy this car in the conventional five-seat layout which offers a generous cargo area, or the six and the seven-seat layout as well.

The seats remain comfortable any row you may choose and the light upholstery colour theme continues to lend the cabin a very upmarket appeal. Space remains same as the proportions of the vehicle have not changed. But what has changed is that main infotainment screen up front.

If the large front grille is the major highlight on the outside, it is the 14-inch screen on the dashboard that takes the crown in the cabin of the new Hector. MG claims it is the largest portrait-oriented screen in any car available in India and considering how few anyway offer a top-to-bottom screen, we won’t doubt it. But if the size of the screen impresses at first look, it is the quality of display and the response to touch that may well set a new benchmark for cars in this segment. It also packs in a mighty lot – from multiple apps to vehicle information and while one can use the MapMyIndia navigation system, a big update is full screen navigation if using Google and Apple Maps.

A look at the dashboard layout of the 2023 MG Hector.
A look at the dashboard layout of the 2023 MG Hector.

The screen can also be used to open or close the massive panoramic sunroof and a slide function here allows one to precisely adjust just how much. The screen also packs in control for the air-conditioning which now comes with ionizer and PM2.5 filter. The speaker set up is still the same Infinity sound system and is par for the course. Other feature highlights include ambient lighting, wireless phone charging, steering-mounted controls and multi-information driver display. The steering and the driver display, unfortunately, now start looking a bit dated – especially when you swipe your eyes away from the main screen – and could have received a refreshed layout and an updated theme, respectively.

In terms of convenience though, a big update is that one can now use the MG app for a digital key for the vehicle. This means you can not only unlock, start and drive off in the new Hector without the need for a physical key, you can also share this digitally with two others to allow them entry and access to the vehicle.

2023 MG Hector: Drive stats

As previously mentioned, there are no changes to the mechanics under the hood and the incoming MG Hector will continue to be powered by a 2.0-litre four cylinder turbo diesel motor and a 1.5-litre four cylinder turbo petrol unit. The diesel engine on the Hector produces 167 bhp and offers 350 Nm of torque. The petrol unit puts out 141 bhp and allows for 250 Nm of torque. The vehicle will continue to come with both manual as well as automatic transmission options.

Now while all of the above remain unchanged, MG has equipped the 2023 Hector with numerous drive assistance features, including Level 2 ADAS or Advanced Driver Assistance Systems. The list includes nifty bits like auto turn indicator which activates at steering tilt at low speed – big safety feature when you forget to indicate, dead pedal drive which allows the vehicle to crawl and stop in traffic, and more.

2023 MG Hector price launch and bookings

MG Motor India will officially launch the 2023 Hector at the upcoming Auto Expo in Greater Noida and it is here that the pricing structure would be known. At present, the SUV starts at around 14.80 lakh and goes to 20.60 lakh (ex-showroom). The new Hector may be priced in the range of 15.50 lakh and 21.50 lakh (ex-showroom) for the top variant with ADAS. We will, of course, know for sure in just a few days from now.

HT Auto will also bring out the comprehensive first drive review of 2023 MG Hector soon and will focus on the drive traits on offer. Stay tuned for this and much more coming your way.

First Published Date: 08 Jan 2023, 10:57 AM IST

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