Driven: MG Hector DCT
The MG Hector gets a dual-clutch-transmission with its petrol engine. Does it match up to what its rivals have on offer?
The dual-clutch transmission. It’s all the rage in SUVs these days — the Hyundai Venue got one, the Kia Seltos got one and even the MG Hector got one. But this turbo-petrol DCT variant of the Hector has been a unicorn. We haven’t managed to get our hands on it for the longest time! Our social media channels have been rife with all sorts of questions about this particular variant, so here it is. Time for answers!
First up, what variants is it available with? The DCT can only be had with Sharp and Style variants, that is, the top-of-the-line one and the one that’s a rung lower. It comes mated to the 1.5-liter turbo-petrol motor that puts out 141bhp at 5000rpm and 250Nm from 1600 to 3600rpm. The engine is refined at lower revs and it is rather silent inside the cabin. However, it becomes audible higher up in the range. It isn’t particularly sonorous and sounds rather industrial instead. Does the gearbox work well, though? Not quite. It seems to be set up for efficiency and so it’s always shifting to the highest possible gear and keeps the engine off boost. Stepping on the throttle, there’s a lot of lag before the drivetrain gathers itself and gets a move on. Lifting off the throttle too, the engine tends to hold revs for a fair bit of time before they fall. Accelerating and lifting off quickly has a tendency to confuse the car. Upshifts aren’t particularly quick while downshifts are very lazy and can induce an occasional judder. The whole package doesn’t have the quiet shift speeds that we love DCTs for, and that is quite disappointing. There is a Sport mode on the gearbox that holds revs longer and downshifts early as well, but it doesn’t solve the issue of lag or the slow shifts.
The rest of the Hector is identical to similar spec-diesels. Its core strengths, like the space it offers, the low-speed ride quality, and the features it comes laden with remain. At Rs.16.78 lakh, the only real rival to the Hector is the Kia Seltos, and if you’re willing to put in a premium, the Jeep Compass. L