2021 MG Hector v Rivals: Price, variants and features compared
The 2021 MG Hector gets a tiny update and a few more gizmos, but how does it stack up against the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and the Tata Harrier?
The MG Hector lineup has been given an update for 2021, the changes include a mild cosmetic update, a few extra features on the inside and there is now a seven-seat variant for the Hector Plus lineup. So, while the Hector wasn’t really begging for an update, these changes should keep it competitive till a major update comes through. Talking of competition, let’s see how the 2021 MG Hector stacks up against rivals like the Kia Seltos and the Hyundai Creta in terms of its powertrains, dimensions, features and pricing.
The MG Hector is offered with a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol engine producing 141bhp and 250Nm, a hybrid-assisted 1.5-litre turbo-petrol unit with identical outputs and an FCA-sourced 2-litre diesel engine producing 168bhp and 350Nm of torque. The MG Hector comes mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed DCT.
The Hyundai Creta is offered with a total of three engine options. The first is a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre petrol producing 113bhp and 144Nm of torque, there is a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine producing 138bhp and 242Nm of torque and finally a 1.5-litre diesel producing 113bhp and 250Nm of torque. The Creta is offered with a 6-speed manual, a 6-speed automatic, a CVT and a 7-speed DCT, depending on the engine choice.
The Kia Seltos gets the exact same powertrain options as the Hyundai Creta, with the exception of a 6-speed manual being available with the turbo-petrol engine.
The Harrier comes with a single 2-litre diesel engine option, the same diesel unit doing duty under the hood of the Hector. Thanks to this, the Harrier puts out an almost identical 167bhp and 350Nm of torque, and can be mated to either a six-speed manual or a six-speed automatic.
On paper, the MG Hector is at a slight advantage, particularly with the diesel engine. However, in terms of driving dynamics the MG Hector is quite far behind either of its two main rivals. The Hector is a car you’d prefer to be driven in, rather than drive yourself.
The Hector is one long SUV, both on paper and in person. It dwarfs the Creta and the Seltos and it is actually even longer than the Harrier. It also has the longest wheelbase here, which is what translates to one of the most spacious cabins in the segment and maybe even from a segment above. In fact, it is the Hector’s sheer space that allowed MG to squeeze in a third-row, an option which none of its competitors have (yet).
The Creta and Seltos may be the smallest SUVs here, and have an identical wheelbase and near identical dimensions as they are based on the same platform. Their compactness does mean that they are easier to maneuver around town and can handle twisties without breaking a sweat. The Harrier sits somewhere in the middle – it is a bit smaller than the Hector in terms of its length and the wheelbase, but it still has ample cabin space thanks to it being wider than the other three, and seats five in comfort. However, the added width also means that the Harrier is a bit cumbersome to drive in traffic but that said, it also gives it immense road presence.
The MG Hector was already one the most well-equipped cars in the segment, with a panoramic sunroof, a huge 10.4-inch infotainment display with OTA updates and an eSIM and connected car tech. For 2021 MG has just thrown in some vitals that it was missing out on including a wireless charger and ventilated front seats. The 2021 Hector also gets Hinglish voice commands, a unique feature tailored for India, and it should make voice commands usable by a lot more people in our country than ever before.
The Creta and Seltos are similarly equipped, and already had ventilated seats and a wireless charger on offer. There isn’t much to differentiate between the two, a feature that one misses out on, the other gets and vice-versa. For example, the Creta gets a panoramic sunroof, while the Seltos doesn’t. And while the Seltos gets a 360-degree camera system, the Creta doesn’t. Needless to say, the Hector, Creta and Seltos are equipped well and just the feature list wouldn’t be enough to sway you from one to the other.
The Harrier on the other hand takes a different approach to the game — it gets all the basics right, with a Apple CarPlay/Android Auto, a panoramic sunroof, automatic climate control and a part digital instrument cluster. It lacks some of the over-the-top tech from rivals, missing out on ventilated seats, connected car tech, a wireless charger. And while it hasn’t been NCAP tested yet, the Land Rover-derived platform and Tata’s stellar track record in crash tests with the Nexon and Altroz should make it perform well on the safety front.
Prices for the 2021 MG Hector start at Rs 12.9 lakh, while the top-spec Hector Plus costs Rs 19.1 lakh. The Hyundai Creta is almost Rs 3 lakh more affordable to bite your teeth into, starting at Rs 9.8 lakh and going on till Rs 17.3 lakh. The Seltos costs the same as the Creta at the entry level, while the top-spec variant costs Rs 17.4 lakh. The Tata Harrier is positioned almost half a segment higher, with a starting price of Rs 13.8 lakh while the top-end variant costs Rs 20.3 lakh. If you want absolute bang for your buck, the Hector would be our pick of the lot since it offers a lot of space with a sizeable equipment list. The Seltos and Creta do lose out on some cabin space, but have a higher quality interior and offer a better driving experience. The Harrier might be the odd one out here, it isn’t the biggest SUV in the segment and it doesn’t have the most equipment. However, the Harrier would be our pick if you live in a town with bad roads or need a car for the highway runs. We recently did a comparison test where we pit these four SUVs (with the Hector in pre-facelift guise) against each other and you can watch it here!