UPDATE: The MG Hector has been launched with prices starting at Rs 12.18 lakh (ex-showroom pan India). Check out the complete prices and other details here.
The MG Hector is loaded with features and comes with a set of powerful engines, but one of its biggest talking points is its i-SMART connected features. While it is not the first connected SUV to land here -- that honour belongs to the Hyundai Venue which launches on May 21 -- the Hector’s tech offers more than 50 connected features! This includes being able to remotely control the AC, especially useful when you return to your car on a hot, muggy day. Read on to know other cool stuff that the i-SMART does.
First, the basics. A car is called ‘Connected’ when the features present in it are linked to the internet and external servers. It comes equipped with a 4G embedded sim from Airtel and the carmaker adds that, it can be upgraded to 5G when the new technology makes its way to India. Thanks to the embedded sim, the Hector is always connected to the internet and MG’s Indian servers.
The connected features can be accessed via the 10.4” Android-based infotainment system. Read on to know about the functions of the i-SMART system.
- Pulse Hub: The sim card present in your Hector can send out information just to one command centre, the Pulse Hub. It’s a 24/7 call centre set up by MG. If the airbags are deployed in case of an accident, the information is sent immediately to the Pulse Hub, from which a call is sent to the head unit. If there’s no response, the hub makes a call to the owner’s primary number and then to emergency services. If you require any general or roadside assistance, you can make a call to the Pulse Hub at the touch of a button.
- Over The Air Updates (OTA): This is another important connected feature here. Unlike your regular car where you’ll be required to hit the service centre for an update, you can now update certain features and functions of the Hector over the internet. Cool, isn’t it? The features that can be updated includes the maps and the head unit software. Last but not the least, to make your life easier, new voice commands will also be added to the system with every update.
- Online Navigation: Just like your smartphone, the Hector gets online navigation. With the help of that, you get route updates, alternate route plans, live traffic and parking options based on the destination. It also provides you with information like the nearest fuel pump, and location-based speed alerts. The biggest advantage of this one is that if your phone runs out of juice, the Hector’s i-SMART system can help you in navigating around. Also, if you want to visit a place of interest and are unsure about the route, you can ask the Pulse Hub about it and get the directions pushed to your head unit.
- Entertainment: If you’re someone who loves to listen to a variety of music, the Hector’s infotainment system has it sorted for you. Preinstalled with music streaming service, Gaana, you can stream music online or download it to the head unit thanks to the onboard storage of 16GB. The Hector also comes with plenty of preloaded entertainment right from the factory and if you’re done watching the preloaded content, fret not as the content will also be updated when you receive OTA updates.
Also Read: MG Hector Unveiled; Will Go Up Against Tata Harrier And Jeep Compass
- Personalisation and MG Info: The i-SMART will also feature plenty of personalisation and customisation options for the head unit. And in case if you’re bored of the same theme, you will receive new content when the system is updated. Also, the head unit features the latest happenings and news about the carmaker.
Apart from that, certain features of the Hector can also be controlled from the i-SMART app on your phone. These include features like:
- Remote Operation: Thanks to the smartphone app, a host of features can be controlled from your smartphone as well. These include opening the sunroof, light flashing and honking, climate control for pre cooling and heating and door lock/unlock. The Hector also comes with ‘Find My Car’ function, helpful when you need to locate your MG in a crowded parking lot. And if your vehicle is ever stolen, you can track the vehicle and pinpoint its location with the help of the police.
- Safety: We have all heard of safety features like airbags and ABS in modern vehicles. But safety features for your car in the palm of your hand? Yes, basic safety parameters like vehicle status and health check, tyre pressure alerts and vehicle over-speed alerts of your Hector can be viewed on your phone. There is a vehicle security alarm too in case someone is trying to steal your car. Also, you can set a geofence for a particular distance on the app if you’re handing over your Hector to an unknown person. And if your vehicle is involved in a collision, a notification is sent to the owner.
- Convenience: To make your life easier, the app also offers some convenient features like vehicle information which displays the average economy, distance to empty and other parameters. It also displays your driving information like harsh braking, vehicle idle time, drive time etc. Apart from that, you can send your trip plan from your smartphone to the head unit and give feedback to MG regarding your experience with the carmaker. Also, if you have two or more MG cars, both of them can be controlled from a single app.
Yes, all these features sound tempting as the MG Hector is the first connected mid-size SUV in the segment. It will be launched next month and is expected to be priced at Rs 15 lakh to Rs 20 lakh ex-showroom. At this price point, the Hector will take on the likes of the Hyundai Tucson, Jeep Compass, Mahindra XUV500 and Tata Harrier.
While we are waiting to get our hands on one, head here to know how the Hector fares against its rivals in a detailed spec comparo.