When MG Motor India announced that they will start their India operations with an SUV, speculations hinted at a compact SUV. Later, at a press event in China, MG revealed that their SUV will be larger than the present Honda CR-V, which means it would be a bit smaller than the Toyota Fortuner. Sources close to the development have informed Express Drives of some unique features in the upcoming SUV and its prices and segment positioning too. It is already knwon that at the SUV will have more than 75 % localisation at the time of its launch, which would be in the 1st half of 2019. The MG SUV in India will compete with the likes of the Tata Harrier, Jeep Compass, Nissan Kicks, Hyundai Tucson and top variants of the Hyundai Creta as well.
Let’s start with the design-related features that we know will adorn the new upcoming MG SUV. The SUV will come with full LED lighting so the headlamps, tail lamps, DRLs and front fog lamps too will be fully LED. Not only will this provide a modern and premium look to the SUV, illumination and visibility too will be better. The turn indicators will be feature progressive illumination, which means that the indicator strip will light up from one end to another in a flowing manner, similar to what we’ve seen on recent Audi models.
Inside the cabin, the MG SUV will be loaded to the brim with features and our sources have confirmed that the feature offering will be better than the present models in its segment. Not only that but the MG SUV will have more features than the upcoming Tata Harrier too! While we do not yet have the entire feature list, we do know about some important ones. First and foremost is the 360-degree parking camera, which will provide the driver with a view of the car from all angles, thereby proving helpful in tight parking spots. Presently, the only vehicle in the MG SUV segment that has such a system is the Nisan Kicks, which is known as All Round View Monitor.
Other features include a flat-bottom steering wheel with mounted controls for audio, phone and cruise control. The dashboard will feature a dual-tone colour setup, which is presently the trend in this segment. Another key comfort feature in this SUV will be a completely flat floor for the middle row of seats. Not having a transmission tunnel will mean three passengers will find it more comfortable to be seated. Talking of seats, the SUV will only come with a five-seat layout at the time of its launch.
In terms of powertrain, the MG SUV in India will come with both petrol and diesel engines. The diesel engine will be the same 2.0 litre diesel unit from Fiat that powers the Jeep Compass and the Tata Harrier. However, unlike the Tata Harrier’s lower output of 140 hp, the MG SUV will have 170 hp, similar to the state of tune for the Jeep Compass. The more interesting option here though is the 1.5 litre turbocharged petrol engine with a healthy 150 hp of power output. Gearbox options will include manual units for both petrol and diesel but the petrol one will also come with a 6-speed Dual Clutch Transmission (DCT). This means that with a compact engine with 150 hp and a DCT gearbox, the MG SUV should be fun to drive as well! Definitely not what we expected but we won’t complain.
Another advantage the MG SUV will have is the fact that despite competing with the likes of Tata Harrier, Nissan Kicks and Jeep Compass it’ll be larger than the present Honda CR-V. This clearly means that it wouldn’t be wrong to expect segment-leading space not only for occupants but in the boot as well. Add to it the fact that Indians love big SUVs, there is a good chance that buyers from a higher price range too might consider this if the feature list is best-in-segment.
Now with all these details known, the most important thing left is the price. Here also we have great news for you since despite having more features than the competition and being larger than vehicles from a segment above the MG SUV will cost less than Rs 20 lakh! Yes, under Rs 20 lakh and that too for the top variant with all the bells and whistles. We expect the prices to start at around Rs 15 lakh and if MG can equip base variants smartly, they could also attract buyers from a lower price segment.
Add all these things together and you can expect a compelling SUV in terms of design, features and value-for-money. The company will also have 100 operational touch points across the country before the SUV goes on sale. The only thing that they need to get right now is the marketing part as being a new brand with Chinese association the company will not find it challenging to convince some potential buyers. If they get that right there is a good chance the first MG SUV in India will lay a solid foundation for the company including its second product, an all-electric car due to be launched within one year of the first SUV’s launch.
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