Hyundai has finally launched the much-awaited Alcazar SUV which means that there is fresh competition in the three-row SUV segment. Right now, the vehicle faces competition from two major contenders – Tata Safari and MG Hector Plus. All of these vehicles have 6 and 7-seater versions and if you are in the market for an SUV that is big in size and can seat more than 5 people, you might want to take a look at these three products. Let us see how the new Alcazar fares against the competition in terms of its size, capabilities and pricing.
All three SUVs are big in size as they have to accommodate three rows of seating inside. However, if we take a closer look, we will find that the Hector Plus is the longest out of the three, Alcazar is the shortest and Safari sits in the middle. Despite this, it is the Alcazar that sports the longest wheelbase in the segment, which stands at 2750mm. This means that the Alcazar makes the most efficient use of space and has loads of room on the inside despite having the shortest length. Tata Safari wins when it comes to comparing widths and height.
Let us now see what kind of features these vehicles offer. All three vehicles are pretty neck and neck in this department and even get connected car technologies. However, the Alcazar comes with an 8-way power-adjustable seat while the other two vehicles come with 6-way adjustment. It also has a large 10.25-inch digital MID console that looks very good. Even though all three vehicles come with ambient lighting, the Alcazar has 64-colour ambient lighting which is way ahead. It even gets a wireless smartphone charger for the second-row occupants.
The Hector Plus has its own set of unique features like a vertically mounted touchscreen, hinglish voice command support and hands-free tailgate operation. The Safari misses out on a 360-degree camera which the other two have but does get a 9-speaker JBL sound system. The Alcazar and Hector Plus both come with an 8-speaker sound system by Bose and Infinity, respectively. Tata Safari also has a handy ‘boss mode’ which lets the occupant seated in the second-row adjust the co-driver seat from behind.
Coming to the all-important engine comparison and there is a lot to unpack here. While Hyundai and MG are offering their respective vehicles with petrol and diesel engine options, Tata sells the Safari with just a diesel engine. The Safari is powered by a 2.0-litre turbocharged, diesel engine that makes 167.6hp and 350Nm. This engine comes with the option of a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission. Interestingly, the same engine is also being offered in the MG Hector Plus and it is essentially in the same state of tune as well, however, here it is only being offered with a 6-speed manual gearbox. The other engine you can have with the Hector Plus is a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol that puts out 141hp and 250Nm. This same engine is also being offered with a 48V hybrid system. Even though the normal gasoline variant of Hector Plus comes with a variety of transmission options including a 6-speed manual, DCT and CVT, the hybrid is only offered with a CVT.
Finally, coming to the Alcazar, the 1.5-litre diesel engine is the same unit that was seen in the Creta previously. It has a peak power output of 113.4hp, 250Nm of peak torque and comes with 6-speed manual and automatic transmission options. If you want a petrol engine then Hyundai is also offering a 2.0-litre motor that makes 156hp and 191Nm. This engine also gets the choice of either a 6-speed manual or automatic transmission.
Clearly, if you want a petrol-powered SUV, the Tata Safari is out of the equation and the Alcazar comes with a more powerful petrol option. However, since all three vehicles do offer a diesel engine, the decision could depend on what you want out of the vehicle. If you want a more fuel-efficient motor, the smaller diesel engine in the Alcazar would do but if you want power, you could go for either the Safari or Hector Plus since they essentially have the same engine.
Let’s talk about pricing now. The Alcazar has been launched at an introductory starting price of Rs 16.30 lakh (ex-showroom) for the 7-seater, petrol variant and goes all the way up to Rs 19.99 lakh (ex-showroom). Hyundai is offering the Alcazar across three trims – Prestige, Platinum and Signature. MG Hector Plus has the lowest starting price as the 1.5-litre, petrol Style variant that comes with a manual transmission costs Rs 13.62 lakh (ex-showroom). The MG Hector Plus range is offered in Style, Smart and Sharp trims and tops out at Rs 19.60 lakh (ex-showroom). While the Tata Safari range starts at Rs 14.99 lakh for the base XE model, it goes all the way up to Rs 21.81 lakh, all prices are ex-showroom.
Which vehicle you prefer will depend on the specific things that you are looking for in your SUV. Is it a punchy petrol motor? Then the Safari and Hector Plus are not going to interest you. But if you want a diesel-powered beast? The Safari would be your weapon of choice then since it gets both manual and automatic options. If you are looking to something that is not too heavy on your pocket, maybe Hector Plus’s attractive pricing might lure you.
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