On Tuesday, British Automaker MG Motor India Pvt. Ltd enumerated tech details that form the unique selling proposition (USP) of its upcoming SUV, the Hector. At the end of the event, MG Motor revealed what the "connected car" would look like.
According to report by Autocar, the MG Hector would share its underpinnings and body panels with a Chinese automotive, Baojun 530 SUV. It makes sense, after all both entities, Baojun and MG Motor, are owned by the same parent company, SAIC Motor.
The Autocar report also suggests that that the Hector would be powered by 1.5-litre, 143 BHP turbo-petrol and 2.0-litre diesel motors. A six-speed manual transmission would be available with both engines, however the turbo-petrol engine would also get a six-speed dual clutch automatic gearbox. There would also be another 48-volt hybrid variant.
All of these, along with the car's styling and rumoured price point, put the Hector in the same league as the Jeep Compass, Hyundai Tucson, Mahindra XUV 500 and Tata Harrier. Here's how they hold up against each other:
■ In terms of powertrain, the Mahindra XUV500's top-end W11 variant has the highest engine capacity of the lot. It comes with a 2.2-litre diesel motor that is good for 155 BHP power and 360 NM of torque paired with a 6-speed manual transmission.
All the other SUVs here max out at 2,000cc.
Jeep Compass's top variant is powered by a Multijet II diesel engine that is capable of making 171 BHP and 350 NM of torque. It is paired with a six-speed manual gearbox.
Hyundai Tucson's 2.0-litre diesel puts out 136 BHP and 373 NM of torque and is paired with six-speed manual gearbox.
The Tata Harrier comes with a Multijet diesel engine at its heart that is capable of producing 139 BHP and 350 NM of torque. It is mated with a six-speed manual gearbox.
■ In terms of dimensions, the MG Hector is the longest SUV of the lot, at a length of 4,655 mm. The XUV, Compass, Tucson and Harrier span 4,585mm, 4,395mm, 4,475mm and 4,598mm, respectively.
The MG Hector is also the narrowest car of the lot, with a width of 1,835mm. The Tata Harrier and XUV500 are the widest with at 1,894mm and 1,890mm. The MG Hector has the largest wheelbase at 2,750mm, followed by the Harrier at 2,741mm.
All SUVs except the XUV500 can seat a maximum of five passengers. The XUV500 comes with an additional third row at the rear that increases its seating capacity to seven passengers.
■ MG Hector's key highlight is its connectivity module called the iSMART Next Gen. MG Motor has partnered with Microsoft, Adobe, Unlimit, SAP, Cisco, Gaana, TomTom and Nuance to power this platform that is capable of wireless connectivity via a 5G ready embedded SIM as well as voice and touch assistance. It can be interacted with a 10.4-inch full touchscreen that takes up the central console. It can also be paired with a dedicated smartphone app that allows you to remotely lock or unlock doors, turn on ignition and even switch on the air-conditioner. It is also capable of over-the-air-(OTA) firmware updates in the future.
All other SUVs come with Apple Car Play and Android Auto as standard, except the XUV500 that only comes with Android Auto. However, non of the cars offer the embedded SIM functionality that ensures consistent internet connectivity.
■ In terms of pricing, the MG Hector is expected to be priced in the ₹15 lakh - ₹20 lakh bracket. The XUV500 and Tata Harrier both start at ₹12.70 lakh, but the XUV500 goes all the way up to ₹19.48 lakh. Tata Harrier's top model sells for ₹16.25 lakh. The Jeep Compass starts at ₹16.60 lakh while its highest model sells for ₹22.9 lakh. The Hyundai Tucson is the dearest of the lot, starting at ₹20.77 lakh and going all the way up to ₹26.95 lakh.