Last year, two all-new cars entered the mid-size SUV segment in India. One was from MG Motor, a completely new manufacturer and the other one from Tata Motors, who launched the much-awaited Harrier. Both the Hector and Harrier were quick to become popular in the market. However, sales figures settled after a few months, and the Hector constantly posted a higher number on the sales charts compared to the Harrier. In fact, MG Motor has sold nearly 30,000 units of the Hector in India while Tata Motors has managed less than 15,000 units, despite the Harrier getting a launch lead of a few months. Even though Tata updated the Harrier earlier this year with new additional features, the SUV has not become as popular as the Hector in the market. What are the reasons behind this? Well, here is a list of five reasons.
Gizmo laden: A longer list of features
When MG launched the all-new Hector, the brand marketed it as one of the most-loaded vehicles in the segments with segment-leading features. The most highlighted feature in the Hector is the massive 10.4-inch portrait infotainment system. The Tesla styled screen can be used to control most of the features in the Hector. It is an advanced Internet-connected infotainment system that allows you to remotely control the climate control system of the car and you can even locate and stop the vehicle among many other features. The Hector also offers additional features like a 360-degree camera and front parking sensors. In the Hector, the customers also get electrically-powered co-driver seat, electrically-powered tailgate and heated ORVMs. After Tata updated the Harrier earlier this year, both the vehicles now offer similar features like a panoramic sunroof, six airbags and automatic headlamps with rain-sensing wipers. Most Indian customers do like a longer feature list when they go to buy a new car.
The crucial petrol engine option
Even though many customers from this segment prefer diesel-powered vehicles, the preference is steadily shifting towards petrol engine options. Tata only offers a 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine with the Harrier that offers a manual as well as an automatic transmission. The MG Hector offers both petrol and diesel engine options. While the diesel engine used in the Hector is same as the Fiat-sourced 2.0-litre engine used the Harrier, MG also offers 1.5-litre turbocharged petrol engine that generates a maximum power of 141 Bhp and 250 Nm of peak torque. MG offers a 7-speed Dual-Clutch automatic transmission with the petrol engine and manual transmission as well. MG even offers a 48V hybrid system with the petrol engine that is only available with the manual transmission.
Lots of Bling with loads of space
There is no doubt in the fact that the Harrier looks very futuristic, sleek and advanced with its split headlamps. However, the Hector gets a lot of bling, especially the chrome-painted grille and other chrome parts. Since the Hector is taller than the Harrier by quite a bit, it looks massive and intimidating on the roads compared to the Harrier. It should be noted that the Harrier is much wider than the Hector. However, Hector is taller and longer. The longer Hector also offers more knee room and legroom that attracts a lot of buyers. Yes, the Harrier has better shoulder room to accommodate a third person in the second row but Hector feels more premium.
The base price of the MG Hector is Rs 12.74 lakhs whereas the Tata Harrier starts at Rs 13.69 lakhs. Since the Hector offers a petrol engine, MG was able to price it much lower than the Harrier. Comparing only diesel variants, the MG Hector starts at Rs 13.88 lakhs, which makes it more expensive but the top-end diesel-manual version of the Tata Harrier has priced at Rs 18.95 lakhs while the MG Hector’s diesel-manual top-end is priced at Rs 17.73 lakhs, which makes it more affordable. MG does not offers diesel-automatic, which makes the fully-loaded version of the Harrier priced at Rs 20.25 lakhs, making it much more expensive. For similar features like a panoramic sunroof and a few more extra features, you will have to pay less for a Hector, which makes it more value-for-money for the buyers.
Wide range of variants: There’s something for everyone
The MG Hector comes with a long list of variants with drivetrain options like – petrol-manual, petrol-DCT, petrol-hybrid and diesel-manual. The Harrier, on the other hand, only offers diesel-manual and diesel-automatic. There is a wider range of choice for the buyers in the MG Hector compared to the Tata Harrier, attracting a larger number of customers.