Big, Bold and Smart. That's what the MG Hector radiates when you first see it.
Rajesh Karkera/Rdiff.com catches the magic moment when the 5-seater SUV was unveiled in Mumbai.
At first glance, the front completely dominates the vehicle with its massive oxidised grille on which the Morris Garages monogram is placed and a massive skid plate under it which comes up all the way to the air dam.
The DRLs are placed high up and they double up as the indicator lights as well.
And just like in most upcoming cars today, the headlamps are placed lower down on the bumper.
The side window lines of the MG Hector run straight and then there is a lift just behind the C pillar running up to the boot.
The blackened B and C pillars give the roof a floating look and the rear looks quite large.
Once you step inside the Hector, you get a feeling of 'plenty of open space'
This is mainly due to the large glass area all around with the low window line and the dual pane panoramic sunroof.
The dashboard has pieces of faux leather which cuts across the centre strip all the way to the AC vents on both the side and also on top of the MID panel.
But what dominates the interior is the large High Definition 10.4-inch touchscreen display which is the only instrument cluster on the centre console.
This huge display controls everything in the car -- AC, the music, navigation and about 50+ connected features which will redefine connected mobility in India, says Gaurav Gupta, chief commercial officer, Morris Garages India.
All the 50+ features are controlled by voice assist too. There are no manual buttons for the AC or the music system.
The only manual buttons on the dash are the OVRM, the headlight adjuster and boot opening buttons which are on the right, behind the steering wheel.
The 7-inch MID display is a bit different and will need to get used to. Notice the tachometer which is the reverse.
Rajeev Chaba, president and managing director, MG Motor India (above) showcases the new intuitive feature called iSmart, which has a 5G-ready Airtel sim embedded into the SUV and can recognise all Indian accents and learn on its own by your usage as it gets updates over the air.
A completely connected car via which you can talk to, just like you would talk to your phone using Siri, Alexa or Ok Google.
Here you just have to say Hello MG, and the car greets you back.
The iSmart centre console is as smart as your phone in doling out information. From turning on the music to switching on the AC, this central console of Hector is capable of performing many other tasks.
Also inbuilt into the head unit are preloaded videos and audio files for the owner to enjoy at leisure.
Hector sports a huge 587-liter boot space -- a first for a car in this segment.
The tailgate is one-touch powered and the height of the tailgate opening is adjustable -- a much needed feature for a car of this size.
Some of the other features that this car boasts are ESP + traction control, Hill Hold Assist, 3-point seat belts for all 5 occupants, ISOFIX Child Seat Anchors, rear disc brakes, ABS + EBD, front dual airbags and rear parking sensors.
These are common in all variants. The higher variants will have extra features like keyless entry and exit, faux leather interiors, 8-colour ambient interior lighting which one can change, 360-degree camera, cruise control, ABS EBD traction control and Hill Assist, and 6 airbags.
The back seat, which is a reclining one, has plenty of space for headroom as well as leg room, with a flat floor bed.
The 3rd passenger in the middle will also be able to sit comfortably, no doubt about that.
Did we tell you, unlike in the global variant that seats 7 passengers, the Indian version fits it only 5. Which also explains the huge space available.
The Hector will be available in petrol, diesel and a petrol hybrid 48V engine.
Above is the petrol hybrid which will have a lithium battery in addition to the car's normal battery.
The petrol version will be powered by a 1.5-litre turbocharged engine delivering 143 PS of power and 250 NM of torque.
The diesel version will be a 2.0-litre turbo engine punching out 170 PS of power and 350 NM of torque.
Also on offer will be a petrol 6-speed Dual Cut Automatic Transmission (DCT) and India's first 48V hybrid technology petrol car with a lithium ion battery.
The price will be unveiled in the first week of June.
So till then, we see this as a direct competitor to the Tata Harrier which is based on the Landrover's legendary D8 platform.
Speculation is that the MG Hector will be priced at around Rs 15 lakh.
Need less to say, it will have to be something on these lines if it has to compete with the Harrier.
Text and photographs: Rajesh Karkera/Rediff.com.