MG will begin its journey in India in June 2019 with the Hector mid-size SUV 

MG Motor has announced the name of its first-ever offering in India: Hector. The mid-size SUV will be fully revealed in April before going on sale in June 2019. Here are 10 important things that you should know about the upcoming MG SUV:

1. MG: A ‘new’ carmaker for India    

Operational since 1924 (pre-Independence era), MG a.k.a Morris Garages was founded in the UK (95 years old) and is known for its classic sports cars and cabriolets. MG was acquired by China’s state-owned SAIC Motor Corporation (SAIC, formerly Shanghai Automotive Industry Corporation) in the late 2000s.

While it already has around 500 customers in India (owners of the classic models), it will officially enter the market with the Hector SUV in June 2019. MG Motor India bought GM’s defunct Halol facility and will invest north of Rs 2000 crore (initial investment) over the course of time for its Indian operations. The factory was inaugurated in October 2017 and will start rolling out the Hector SUVs in a few months. The manufacturing plant has an initial capacity of 80,000 cars per annum.

2. What’s in the name Hector?

According to the British automaker, the name ‘Hector’ takes inspiration from a couple of sources, all with reference to Europe. First off, the Hawker Hector which served as a biplane in the British Royal Army back in the 1930s. Second, Prince Hector of Troy, the warrior who fought valiantly in the Trojan War.

3. Hector is based on Baojun 530 

The 2019 MG Hector will share its platform and styling with the 530 SUV from Baojun, another carmaker like MG Motor that comes under SAIC. As per the latest teasers, the Hector appears to be identical to the Baojun SUV save for the MG badge.

4. Competitive pricing and rivals 

MG is targeting 75 per cent localisation with the Hector at launch. It is expected to be priced between Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh, similar price range as the Jeep Compass. The MG Hector will also go up against the Tata Harrier, Hyundai Tucson and the Mahindra XUV500.

5. Size matters! 

The MG Hector will be the longest car in its segment in terms of overall length and wheelbase as well, that too by a wide margin. It will also be taller than the Jeep Compass and the Hyundai Tucson, and wider than the Compass. This should ideally result in a dominating road presence compared to its rivals.

Baojun 530 Jeep Compass Tata Harrier Mahindra XUV500 Hyundai Tucson
Length 4,655mm 4,395mm 4,598mm 4,585mm 4,475mm
Width 1,835mm 1,818mm 1,894mm 1,890mm 1,850mm
Height 1,760mm 1,640mm 1,706mm 1,785mm 1,660mm
Wheelbase 2,750mm 2,636mm 2,741mm 2,700mm 2,670mm

6. Will get both petrol and diesel engines at the time of launch

The MG Hector will be powered by the same Fiat 2.0-litre Multijet diesel engine as the Jeep Compass. There will also be a petrol engine on offer, but MG Motor is yet to reveal any details about it. We believe that it could be a 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol, as seen on the China-spec Baojun 530. While the is there no confirmation regarding the automatic diesel variant, the petrol-powered Hector is expected to get an automatic version in India. Here are the specs of the expected engine options:

Diesel (Jeep Compass) Petrol (Baojun 530)
Engine 2.0-litre Diesel 1.5-litre Turbo Petrol
Power 173PS 150PS
Torque 350Nm 230Nm
Transmission 6-speed MT 6-speed MT/ 8 step CVT

7. Likely to be feature-rich

Features have started to alter buying decisions nowadays and in a premium segment like the Hector’s, manufacturers try to outdo their peers to sway buyers. With feature-rich rivals like the Compass, Tucson and the Harrier, it seems like MG may pack the Hector to its gills. The India-spec model is expected to offer a class-leading 10.4-inch touchscreen infotainment system with embedded controls for the air con. The latest video released by MG Motor India has also confirmed that the Hector will feature a panoramic sunroof! The Compass and the Tucson are the only SUVs in the segment which feature a panoramic sunroof, but those variants are priced upward of Rs 20 lakh.

8. Built-in internet tech 

MG will offer built-in Internet technology with the Hector. Roewe, SAIC’s subsidiary like MG, for example, also offers a similar tech in China. Every RX5 comes with a unique ID and offers electronic payment solutions for fuel, parking, repairs and maintenance. The infotainment unit packs a voice assistant as well to control functions like audio playback and navigation, searching for points of interest, making phone calls and checking the weather. Also on offer is a Volvo-like smart access key bundled with a smartphone app which you can share with others as well.

9. 5-seater at launch, 7-seat option later

Like the Tata Harrier, the MG Hector will also get a 7-seat version later. In fact, Baojun has recently introduced 7-seat 530 in the Chinese market. The 5-seat and 7-seat versions of the MG SUV will be identical in terms of exterior design and size, like the Baojun 530.

The Mahindra XUV500 and the Tata Hexa are the only mid-size SUVs right now that feature three-row seating and these will be joined by the Tata Harrier in 2019. MG is likely to introduce the 7-seat Hector after a few months post the launch of the standard 5-seat model.

10. More than 45 MG dealerships at the time of launch 

At the time of Hector’s launch, MG will have around 45 dealerships up and running across the country and almost as many service centres. Moreover, MG Motor will also set up a brand-owned dealership in Gurugram for those who want a more in-depth understanding of the brand. The carmaker says all MG owners will be part of an exclusive club as well. The carmaker has already announced 4 dealerships for Punjab, in Chandigarh, Jalandhar, Ludhiana and Amritsar.

MG is certainly making a big splash in the mid-size SUV segment with its debutant product and might unsettle some rivals. However, only time will tell how the brand will be perceived in the country. Stay tuned to CarDekho for future updates on the MG Hector.

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