2020 Auto News Auto Sales Indian automobiles

MG Hector Petrol DCT First Drive Review

What is it?

Why should I buy it?

Refined engine, smooth DCT, feature-loaded and spacious cabin

Why should I avoid it?

DCT could’ve been quicker, excessive body roll, not exciting to drive 

What is it?

It’s been a year since MG marked its entry into the Indian market with the Hector. We drove it in the diesel guise and even pitted it against the Harrier diesel (you can read both over here). What we have here is the petrol derivative and this one is paired to a dual-clutch automatic gearbox. Available in just two trims – Smart and Sharp – this is the only automatic available in the Hector’s line-up for now. And no, this powertrain isn’t the 48V mild hybrid. 

Much has been said about Hector’s styling already. It’s got road presence, thanks to its imposing grille garnished with chrome, beautifully-stacked headlamp cluster and body cladding all around. In profile, the Hector looks big with its squared-off wheel arches, tall roofline, and large overhangs. The rear gets an LED taillamp strip running across the tailgate, silver-finished skid plate with exhaust tip sticking out on the left, and a relatively narrow rear windscreen. There’s no visual badging anywhere to differentiate this petrol-powered SUV from the diesel derivative. Sure, we also feel the 17-inch alloy wheels are undersized for the overall proportion of the SUV. But in our books that is the only quibble on a rather handsome-looking SUV.

How is it on the inside?

Stepping inside, you’d be surprised to notice the ease of ingress thanks to large doors and seat height. What stands out the most in the Hector’s otherwise conventional cabin is the large 10.4-inch touchscreen laid out on the centre dash. Even the quality of materials used in the black-grey cabin is not tacky by any standard. There are softer materials too while the fit and finish feel premium to a good extent. The visibility is great too. In fact, the large windows and relatively thin pillars lend a commanding driving position. 

There is an ample amount of head and knee room, and both front seats get electric adjust. Overall the ergonomics are good, but the buttons like engine start/stop, or mirror adjustment are hidden behind the steering wheel making them difficult to access. Meanwhile, the instrument cluster gives out ample information and is also easy to read and navigate. 

Moving to the rear seats, there’re acres of headroom and knee room for my size (I am 5.6’) while the massive panoramic sunroof elevates the roomy feel of the cabin. The 60:40 split second-row seats reclines and fold flat to expand the sufficiently large boot space of 587 litres. In terms of storage, there are four cup holders, stowage space on door pads but no proper flat surface to keep your mobile phone or wallet on the centre console.

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