2023 MG Hector Facelift Review

MG has always been big on features and the 2023 model also gets a significant upgrade in features. You now get level 2 ADAS with 11 features.


Launched back in 2019, the Hector has proven to be a well-rounded product for MG in India. Sales numbers are looking good, and customers are happy. Who doesn’t like a big and comfortable SUV that’s loaded with features and priced decently? Yes, there were a few issues in the initial days, but after sorting those out, it has been smooth sailing for the Chinese brand from there on. They’ve also made sure to keep the car relevant by launching facelifts from time to time. And a lot has changed since we last drove the Hector (in 2019). A few issues have been addressed and the car has been updated with all the latest tech and gadgetry to keep its target audience happy.

In terms of powertrains, the mild hybrid version of the 1.5L petrol was canned and MG replaced the DCT gearbox with a CVT in 2021. So, what we have in the 2023 Hector is a 2.0L diesel engine with a 6-speed manual transmission and a 1.5L turbo-petrol engine that can be opted for with a 6-speed manual gearbox or a CVT. There’s no diesel automatic option which is quite a bummer. MG claims that most of their sales have been accounted for by the petrol variants, which is where their focus is. We had a quick look at the 2023 Hector facelift recently and we finally got to spend a day with the car. There’s a lot to go through, so let’s get to it.

MG has always been big on features and the 2023 model also gets a significant upgrade in features. You now get level 2 ADAS with 11 features. MG has worked with Bosch to develop this system for Hector. There’s one radar sensor in the front. The ADAS features include adaptive cruise control (ACC), bend cruise assistance (reducing speed when navigating a turn while ACC is on), lane departure warning, lane keep assist, traffic jam assist, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, hydraulic brake assist, pedestrian emergency braking, and intelligent headlamp control. You also get a Bluetooth-enabled sharable digital key feature from Astor. This feature allows your 2 phones to be digital keys and you don’t need a physical key to drive the car. You can just use your phone to unlock the car and drive off. Correspondingly, the car unlocks / locks as you approach / leave the vehicle respectively.

2023 MG Hector Facelift Exterior Review

 Hector has a very definitive face. The front end is bold and not trying to be edgy or modern. The facelift gets a new grille and bumper, but it still has the road presence of the original Hector:

Changes to the rear are minimal. Unless you’ve kept tabs on the happenings related to the Hector closely, you won’t notice any difference between the old and the new:

Sharp body lines add character to the design. 18-inch wheels now look a lot more proportionate to the metal on top. The thin profile tyres though, not so much. Squared-off wheel arches look out of place:

The Hector looks good in this Havana Grey paint shade. In the 2023 model, there has been a rejig in the shade card. Burgundy Red has been replaced with Dune Brown (reference image). You can also opt for a dual-tone black roof with the Candy White shade for an additional sum of Rs. 20,000:

While the Hector looks butch and SUV-like from the front, from the rear three-fourths, it looks like a van:

LED DRLs at the top double up as turn indicators. In the 2023 Hector, you get an automatic turn indicator feature that essentially turns on the indicators on its own when the wheels turn beyond a particular angle. MG says that people, at times, forget to turn on indicators and this feature will be helpful in those situations. Driving in dense Mumbai traffic, I found this feature to be annoying at crossroads or in highly populated areas where the indicators came on when I didn’t want them to. The projector headlamp + LED foglamp combination remains the same as before and gets a piano black border around the housing:

The ‘Argyle’ inspired diamond mesh grille looks good in person and attracts quite a bit of attention on the road. The border is a mix of chrome and piano black and manages to look decent and not overdone. Air dam at the bottom houses the radar sensor in the middle:

18-inch alloy wheels have been carried over from the outgoing car. The design is simple and will be liked by the majority of the people. The tyre sidewall looks quite thin for the size of the wheel and the car:

All-wheel disc brakes are standard across all variants:

MG went through 2 iterations with the strip in between the tail lamps. At launch, the strip was red without any lighting in it (reference image). In the 2021 facelift, they replaced it with a black applique and a chrome insert at the bottom. In the 2023 Hector, they’ve brought back the red strip, but this time, it lights up. IMO, the black applique looked the best of the three. You get a big ‘H E C T O R’ lettering at the bottom and an ADAS badge on the right side of the tailgate:

Dual fake exhausts look lame. Also, the chrome border for the fake skid plate design looks out of place. They could’ve kept the design a bit simple, but have gone overboard with the elements:

 Spare is a 17-inch steel rim shod with 215/60 section tyre:

Read more about the changes made to the interior here.

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