The Hector is known for its imposing presence, and now the bigger 6-seater ‘Plus’ model is here to literally stretch the limits for the car with its longer stance, more in-your-face styling and a plush cabin. We get behind the wheel to sample the changes.
MG is celebrating a year of operations in India, which was kick started with the launch of the Hector that went to push the boundaries for the mid-size SUV segment with its large dimensions. But it was indeed the car’s attractive price range that set its feet firmly within the segment. And after a successful year of operations, the company was initially looking at launching a celebratory anniversary model. At some point though, MG Motor smartly decided to veer off course and bring in a different version of the Hector to mark the occasion. So here we have it, an even larger Hector with the practicality of six seats.
Meet the Hector Plus
Despite its rather large dimensions, MG hasn’t simply fitted two more seats to the Hector and called it a 7/6-seater. Instead, the length of the car has been stretched by a whole 65mm to make the car longer, and 65mm is a lot in automobile speak! The wheelbase of the car though remains the same at 2,750mm, which means the additional 65mm has been incorporated after the rear wheels of the car for more room in the third row or perhaps for boot space. Unfortunately, at just 155-litres of boot space with all three rows of seats in place, it definitely doesn’t seem like it was boot space that was the priority. And this is where there is a bit of a conundrum, you see MG says that if third row-seats are your priority, this isn’t the car for you. In fact, MG says that the third row is for ‘teenagers’. Although, considering how tall teenagers are these days and how tight the third row of the Hector Plus is, there’s just about enough space here for kids. In fact, ingress and egress to the third row is also so tight that its only kids who will be able to pull off those manoeuvres. The seat base is really low and the floor is very high, as a result, there isn’t any under thigh support for third-row occupants and even moving the second-row seats forward frees up little room for comfort. Then there is the matter that the bucket seats ahead are tall, and the small rear quarter windows enhance the lack of space at the back of this car. It’s only the huge dual panel sunroof that comes to the rescue here by lending an airy ambience to the cabin.
Moving up in the game
And this is where things start to look up for the Hector Plus. With that large dual panel sunroof, spacious, comfortable and supportive second-row bucket seats, the Hector Plus really starts to shine as an extremely comfortable car for rear seat occupants. Factor in the new tan leather upholstery and as you can see from these pictures, the cabin looks and feels rather plush and suave. Apart from the tremendous amount of space for rear seat occupants, it’s also the high seating position and large windows that give you a commanding view out of the cabin.
The way I look at it, the Hector Plus is an ideal car to be chauffeured around in. And should you decide to take the kids and grandparents out for an evening in town, it’s got ample room to accommodate the whole family.
There are more toys to keep the family occupied too such as the chit/chat functions in the updated infotainment system which makes for light banter. What’s more the system now also comes with a pre-loaded Gaana app that allows you to stream music on the go and store songs in the infotainment system as well.
Built to cruise
If for some reason you decide to give up on the comfort of the rear seats and drive this car yourself, you won’t be disappointed. The front seats are electronically adjustable and are just as comfortable. Powertrain options remain the same as the standard Hector and its available with a choice of BS6 petrol and diesel engines. The car we have here is the 1.5-litre petrol model with the 6-speed DCT autobox. This engine and gearbox combination feels setup for comfort right from the get go. Acceleration is very relaxed and smooth at all times. Factor in the light steering setup and the Hector Plus is a perfect cruise mobile to drive around town in.
The ‘plusses’ don’t end there as this car is also the perfect pose mobile to make a statement in, with this new Starry Sky Blue plaint shade and that new all-black chrome studded front grille which is impossible to miss. The Hector Plus also gets re-profiled front and rear bumpers, along with new head lights and tail lights to set it apart from the 5-seater model. Be sure, this is a car that will grab eyeballs everywhere with its unmistakable presence.
A Hector for all?
If you’re in the market for a mid-size SUV, the Hector Plus will very much fall in your price range. Priced from Rs. 13.49 lakh to Rs. 18.54 lakh ex-showroom, there’s a Hector Plus for everyone. There’s just one catch. With its light steering and soft suspension setup, the Hector Plus may very well be ideal for pottering about town, but out on highways the steering does not inspire confidence and the soft suspension setup results in a floaty ride. What’s more this petrol automatic model has slow kickdown response and there just isn’t enough power to make this one an effortless mile muncher. So, like every car, this one too has its downsides, despite all of its strengths.
That said, if you’re in the market for an urban family car with oodles of road presence, is well equipped and spacious, the Hector Plus makes a good case for itself. The Hector Plus then as it turns out, is a perfect blend of a cruise mobile and a pose mobile.
- MG Hector Plus 1.5L DCT
Engine: 1,451cc / Four Cylinder / 16-valve / Turbocharged
Transmission: 6-Speed Automatic / Front-Wheel Drive
Power: 141bhp @ 5,000rpm
Torque: 250Nm @ 1,600-3,600rpm
Price: ₹ 18.20 lakh (ex-showroom)
X-factor: Looks imposing, is comfortable to drive and comes loaded with tech.
• Road presence
• Flexibility of 6-seats