Hyundai Alcazar v Tata Safari v MG Hector Plus: Specification and price comparison
The Hyundai Alcazar has been launched to take on the mid-size seven-seater SUV segment and it will compete with the Tata Safari and the MG Hector Plus. The Alcazar, the Safari, and the Hector Plus are the result of some major changes on their antecedents — the Creta, the Harrier, and the Hector respectively. So, in this comparison of these three SUVs, we examine the on-paper parameters like dimensions, powertrain, features and prices. Read on to find out which of these three SUVs you should buy.
The Hyundai Alcazar is the shortest (4500mm) in this comparison in terms of overall length, while having the longest wheelbase of 2760mm. But not all of that extra length has contributed to knee-room directly, some of it is hampered by the foldable tray tables.
Meanwhile, the MG Hector Plus is the longest (4720mm) of the three and 65mm longer than the five-seater Hector — which was already a big SUV. Thanks to this, it has sufficient space in the middle row, but the third row is a little cramped for taller adults, especially if the middle row is pushed all the way back.
The Tata Safari is the widest (1894mm) and also the tallest (1786mm) in this comparison and it should fit three adults easily in the middle row of the seven-seater variant. Even though it has the shortest wheelbase (2741mm) of the three, the Safari’s interior is spacious and the handy feature of ‘Boss Mode’ gives more control to middle row passengers — this segment’s prime focus. But, the Safari has the least boot space (73-litre) of the three, which can hamper practicality. And finally, all three SUVs here have 18-inch alloy wheels in their top-spec variants.
All three SUVs are offered with a four-cylinder diesel engine option, and both Hyundai and MG also offer petrol engines, while Tata doesn’t. So, let’s have a look at the diesel engine options first:
In terms of cubic capacity, the Alcazar has the smallest engine here — a 1.5-litre diesel engine, borrowed from the Creta, putting out 113.5bhp and 250Nm of torque. The output figures are also the lowest of the three and this could reflect in the Alcazar’s real-world performance. On the flip side, the Alcazar has quite a healthy ARAI-tested fuel efficiency figure of 20.4kmpl, which is higher than the Safari’s and the Hector Plus’ rated 16.14kmpl 16.65kmpl respectively. Meanwhile, the Safari and the Hector Plus make use of the same FCA-sourced 2-litre diesel power units generating equal figures of 168bhp and 350Nm of torque. The extra power and torque of the MG and the Tata can come in handy for quick overtakes and while cruising on highways, and even with more luggage and a full house.
All of the three competitors here use a six-speed manual gearbox as standard, delivering power exclusively to front wheels. And while the Alcazar and the Safari get an option of a six-speed torque converter automatic gearbox with the diesel engine, the Hector Plus’ automatic is only reserved for the petrol variants.
The petrol engine option is absent in the Safari, so we’ll be comparing the petrol engines of only the Alcazar and Hector Plus. The Alcazar has the bigger engine in this comparison, an updated 2-litre naturally aspirated petrol engine producing 157bhp and 191Nm of torque, which is borrowed from the Hyundai Tucson. The Hector Plus on the other hand gets a smaller but torquier 1.5-litre turbocharged engine producing 141bhp and 250Nm of torque. One more thing that MG also offers is a 48V mild-hybrid system with the six-speed manual variant of MG Hector Plus. This system will help you in situations like going uphill or quick acceleration from traffic lights, and even save fuel, but its battery pack hampers legroom for the middle-row left passenger.
Dual-clutch automatic and CVT automatic gearboxes are available for the petrol variant of the MG Hector Plus. The Hyundai Alcazar, on the other hand, comes with a 6-speed manual or a torque converter automatic transmission.
To keep it fair, we will compare the features of the top-spec variants only. Let’s start with the Alcazar — it gets a large armrest between the captain seats for the second-row and houses a wireless charger, cupholders, and storage. That armrest is a rather clever use of the vacant space in the middle. There are also tray tables for the second row, with slots to hold your devices. Aside from this, the Alcazar will get features like a blind-spot monitor integrated into its 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, which is a handy feature that will show what is in the blind spots of the car on the gauges in the instrument cluster as you give the turn indicator. This can also be used to check the curbs while parallel parking. The Alcazar also gets a remote engine start, ventilated seats in the front, and an air purifier with AQI display, among other features.
The interior of the Safari welcomes you with a white leatherette theme with the upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel and gear knob as well. The digital real estate comes by way of two screens — a 7-inch semi-digital instrument cluster and an 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system. To keep the passengers entertained, there is a JBL sound system with four speakers, four tweeters, a subwoofer and an amplifier. The Safari also gets an electronic parking brake and a Terrain response system. The Terrain response system has three modes, Normal, Rough and Wet. The Safari also has a hill descent control system which will automatically control the speed of a decent, an electronically adjustable driver seat and a panoramic sunroof in the features list.
In contrast to the standard Hector’s all-black upholstery, the MG Hector Plus’ interior and seats are covered in new brown leather and also gets captain seats for the middle row. The third row of the Hector Plus is best suited for children only, and thanks to the lack of tumble seats in the second row, they have to crawl their way into the back. In terms of features, the Hector Plus gets hands-free tailgate operation along with an updated version of the i-Smart interface. Additionally, it gets MG’s suite of connected car features, a large 10.4-inch infotainment display, dual-pane panoramic sunroof, power-adjustable front seats, voice commands and 360-degree cameras.
In terms of pricing, these three do have some differences between them. The MG Hector is the most affordable of the three with the starting price of Rs 13.62 lakh. This means that the difference between the entry-level petrol variants of the Hector Plus and the Alcazar is Rs 2.67 lakh. However, the difference at the top of the range is only Rs 67,000, with the Alcazar being more expensive. The Alcazar range starts from Rs 16.3 lakh and goes all the way up to Rs 19.99 lakh. Note that these are introductory prices and are likely to go up in the future. The top-spec Signature variant of the Alcazar diesel costs Rs 1.81 lakh less than the top-spec Adventure Persona variant of the Safari and only Rs 39,000 more than the top-spec Hector Plus variant. The Tata Safari is only available with diesel power unit but it gives seven variants to choose from. And the starting price of the safari of Rs 14.99 lakh sits in the middle of the other two entry-level prices, but the real deal, the Adventure Persona variant of the safari is the most expensive in this comparison.
The MG is clearly the most affordable here and it is indeed a value for money six- or seven-seater even if it is missing out on a few features. The Alcazar, on the other hand, might be a touch pricier but it does pack a lot of features and has quite a few variants for customers to choose from. The Alcazar is more than just a seven-seater Creta. Just the number of improvements on the Alcazar over the Creta should make it an SUV worthy of a look. Lastly, the Safari is far from original but it still has interesting aspects. Thanks to the Land Rover-derived platform, it has easily the most ‘SUV’ credentials of the three and the ride quality over bad patches is class-leading. It may not be the most feature-packed of the three, but it should be the nicest to drive.