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MG Motor entered the Indian Market with the Hector SUV last year in the month of June. After the launch of the Hector, the SUV created a buzz around and attracted a lot of customers since it was a feature-loaded big vehicle. After that, MG went all-electric with the ZS EV, which also sold in decent numbers.
The third product from their portfolio, that was launched a couple of months back, was the Hector Plus SUV. It was essentially a slightly bigger, six and seven-seater version of the Hector SUV and had some additional features. And now, the fourth product, which the company likes to call India's first autonomous Level-1 premium SUV: MG Gloster is all ready to hit the Indian roads.
We first saw the Gloster SUV at the 2020 Auto Expo, and thankfully the production variant remains almost identical to the production-spec one, with of course a few changes here and there.
We got a chance to drive the all-new Gloster for a brief period of time. The vehicle that we were given to test was the 4X4 twin-turbo variant, which is an absolute beast, is loaded with tech and is ready to take on any terrain that is thrown at it. In the couple of hours that we had with the Gloster, the car did not stop to surprise us and here is what we have to say about it.
Design & Style
The all-new Gloster SUV is based on the Maxus D90 SUV that is currently sold in the international markets and yes, it is a big SUV. Let's talk some numbers, the Gloster measures 5,005mm in length, 1,932mm in width, 1,875mm in height and has a wheelbase of around 2,950mm. You will have to see the Gloster in person to feel its sheer road presence.
At the front, the SUV features a sleek looking headlight unit that has a badge inside saying 'Full LED Tech'. Which means that high and the low beam both feature a LED projector setup. The turn indicators are integrated into the LED DRLs, which are pretty bright. Now sadly the fog lights on the Gloster get a halogen bulb setup instead of LEDs.
Now there is a fair amount of chrome present on the SUV. It gets a big grille with three horizontal slats that are finished in brushed aluminium. However, there are chrome accents present around the grille, inside the headlight and on the lip of the front bumper. Also, the hood of the car features lines and creases that further enhance the SUV's muscular stance.
Coming to the side of the vehicle, the first thing that will catch the eye is the 'Brit Dynamic' badge that is present on either side. This badge actually makes the SUV look like it is a limited edition, but, no doubt it looks pretty cool. Also, the SUV sits on beautiful 19-inch dual-tone multi-spoke alloy wheels. The size of the alloy wheels looks slightly small compared to the overall size of the vehicle. But, it has got a big wheel arch, which means that you can even go for a 21 or a 22-inch wheel.
It also gets body-coloured ORVMs, that have a camera on it on either side of it, which is for the 360-degree view, that helps during parking at tight spaces. surrounding the windows is the same brushed aluminium material that is present on the grille and it continues to the top on the roof rails.
Moving on to the rear, the Gloster gets a sleek-looking LED tail light unit. Other than that you have quite a few badging available and one of them is the GLOSTER badge that is written in big bold fonts across the boot. The SUV gets an electric boot lid and also gets the hand's free tailgate opening feature. Also, there is a chrome strip that connects both the taillights.
It also gets a rear parking camera that features adaptive guidelines, but to be honest, we did not like the video quality of the camera. We expected the camera to deliver HD video quality since this is a premium SUV.
Interiors, Features & Practicality
Step inside the car and you will be welcomed with a spacious cabin. Leather and soft-touch materials have been used all over the interiors and there is very less amount of plastic panels present. The dashboard is finished in dual-tone colour and looks pretty amazing. The SUV also gives you an option to select from 64 different ambient light settings.
One thing that we did not like about the interior is that the AC vents are placed quite low, so to get the air-flow directly towards your face will be challenging. The centre stage of the dashboard is taken by a 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system. Yes, it is a big screen and the touch is quite responsive. Since you have the internet inside the car, you can listen to songs through the Ganna app, use navigation, check the weather, stream videos and much more. The system also supports AndroidAuto and AppleCarPlay.
The instrument cluster on the Gloster is a semi-digital one, you have an eight-inch LED MID screen that gives you a ton of information about the vehicle. Flanked on either side of the MID screen are the tachometer and the speedometer. However, the tachometer revs in a counterclockwise direction and you will take some time to get used to that since most of the cars have it clockwise.
The Gloster also gets a chunky looking flat-bottom steering wheel with a lot of mounted controls. The buttons on the left are to adjust the cruise control settings and On the right, you have the buttons to control the infotainment system, voice command and the emergency help-line call centre.
Now let us talk about the seats on the Gloster. The SUV comes in a six and seven-seat setup. We were driving the six-seater version that had the individual captain seat for the second row. Both the front seats can be electronically adjusted, but only the driver's side gets the seat memory function. Both the seats are ventilated but again the driver's side gets the heating option too. One more extra feature that the driver's side gets is the 12-way massage function.
The seats offer good side bolsters and under-thigh support. But we must mention one thing that after reducing the lumbar support to its lowest setting, there was still a slight bulge on the backrest, which will be slightly uncomfortable at first, but one will get used to it in a while.
Now, coming to the second row, since there were captain seats, both got an adjustable handrest and retractable cup holders on the sides. Moreover, the seats could be adjusted manually for legroom and backrest. Since the Gloster features a three-zone climate control system, the middle row also gets centre AC vents with the temperature and airflow controls.
There are vents also present on the side of the roofs that help cool the cabin faster. In the seven-seat version, there will be a bench setup instead of the captain seats, with a 60:40 split. However, getting into the third row is slightly challenging as the middle row does not lift up, instead moves forward.
Speaking about the third row, yes, there is enough headroom but, it is best suited for children or an average size person. Tall people will fit in the third row but will start feeling uncomfortable after munching a few miles since there is not enough legroom.
Now the boot space on the Gloster with the third row up is around 343 litres, which is decent enough to put two bags. Need more space? Fold-down the third row completely and you will have 1350 litres of boot space, that can accommodate almost anything.
Engine, Performance & Handling
Under the hood, the Gloster SUV gets a 2-litre, twin-turbo, diesel engine. The unit is mated to an eight-speed torque converter and pumps out 218bhp of power and 480Nm of peak torque. It also gets ON DEMAND four-wheel drive, rear differential and a BorgWarner transfer case. MG has also fitted the Gloster with a terrain response system, basically driving mode, that includes normal, eco, sport, sand, mud, rock, snow and auto along with hill descent.
Depending upon the model selected, the throttle and the steering response changes. The car definitely feels lively in the sport mode as the throttle response becomes crisp. Speaking of power delivery, the MG Gloster is a two-ton SUV, so do not expect it to respond immediately. It has a linear power delivery and posts 2200rpm as the boost builds up, that time you can feel the surge in the acceleration.
The SUV has a punchy mid-range, but again, lacks out on the top end and redlines till almost 4800rpm. The gearbox feels smooth but is laggy. However, in the manual mode, when you have taken control over the gearbox, that time the shifts are slightly sharp. It is best to put it in the D mode and cruise and let the car do the shifting. You also get paddle shifters that make your shifting gears easy when you are in the aggressive mode.
Ride quality is fantastic, all the bumps and potholes and just eaten by the Gloster, thanks to the soft suspension setup. I mean the SUV just glides over the small potholes and bad roads and since the insulation and the NVH levels are extremely good, road and engine noise is almost unheard. However, on the flip side, since the suspension is way on the softer side, the Gloster has too much body roll.
Done, even try to show the SUV corners as it tends to understeer and even at low speeds if you corner hard, you can hear the tyres screeching. We think a bigger set of wheels will sharpen the handling of the car and also reduce the amount of travel it has. Hence, you will get a slightly noisy cabin, but a better handling SUV.
The steering wheel on the Gloster is extremely light for an SUV that size. The steering does not stiffen-up at high speeds, which sometimes can get risky. But on the flip side, the response from the steering wheel is not up to the mark. Flicking the steering wheel and shifting lanes is not its cup of tea.
There is a camera present behind the IRVM, which is basically for adaptive cruise control. So how does that work? Once you have set the cruise control on the vehicle and if through the camera if it identifies a vehicle at the front, it will automatically slow down the speed. Again when it finds a clear path in front, it will set the speed back to your original setting. All this is done with the help of the inbuilt GPS system.
Other technologies (ADAS) on the Gloster are Lane Departure Warning, Front Collision Warning, Autonomous Emergency Braking and Auto Park Assist. That is why the company has dubbed it as India's first autonomous Level-1 premium SUV. It also gets a Fatigue Reminder System that tells you to take a break if the sensors in the car detect that you have been driving continuously for a long duration.
The Gloster gets a ground clearance of about 210mm, which is more than enough to take on almost any terrain (not the extreme ones). The SUV also has a wide turning radius as it is a big car, but not every time you will have to take a three point turn. We had the car for a very short period of time so we could not take it off-roading and neither could we test the mileage figures. We will definitely do that once we get it for a longer duration, so stay tuned till then.
MG has had a lot of fan following after they launched their first SUV the Hector. However, the Gloster SUV is a different league altogether. It is big, spacious, loaded with technology and very comfortable to drive around in. Not only that the MG Gloster if capable of some hardcore offroading. So those who are looking out for a big SUV that can be driven daily and at the same time help you explore the undiscovered, the MG Gloster will be a suitable choice for such buyers.