It’s heartening to see a relatively new market player like MG Motor not playing safe and offering a diversified bouquet of SUVs in India. Their latest offering is a full-size 7-seater SUV called the MG Gloster. While every other manufacturer in the country has either launched or is in process of launching a compact or Mid-SUV, it takes a nerve to launch a vehicle of this size in a country largely obsessed with mileage and affordability.
Nevertheless, MG took a step ahead and showcased the Gloster at the Auto Expo 2020. Based on the MG Maxus D90 sold elsewhere, the brand has high aspirations from this upcoming SUV. On the one hand it aims to target Endeavours and Fortuners of the world and the on the other hand, it aims to target Prados and Pajeros. So what’s so special about this SUV that makes MG so optimistic? Here’s our MG Gloster first drive review-
Looks are a crucial decision maker for the buyers looking to buy a SUV of this size. Interestingly, MG Gloster has many things going its way right from a massive grille upfront with brushed finish and horizontal slats, C-Shaped fog lamp enclosures and a large bonnet with creases.
At the side are nicely designed alloy wheels and a high placed brushed beltline that highlights the length of the car measuring at 4985 mm. The faux air vents and the doors that need an additional push to close completely could have been better. Another thing to notice is the ‘Brit Dynamic’ plate with UK’s flag on both the side, highlighting the heritage of MG Motor.
MG Gloster side profile. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
Lastly, the rear of the MG Gloster is a mix bag of emotions. While the quad chrome-tipped tail pipe is a nice touch, the Gloster brand embossed on the boot door looks over the top. Overall, we wouldn’t say that the Gloster stands out of the crowd in terms of the design, but gets its fair share of interesting elements.
The very first thing you notice as soon as you enter the cabin of the MG Gloster is the fact that how German the design feels, but in a good way of course. Elements like a large-floating system on a clutter free dashboard, digital display, beautifully crafted gear knob and the use of tan brown leather makes it look unique and premium.
MG Gloster cabin. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
And that’s the best thing we liked about the MG Gloster. Not the engine, not the design, but the cabin design and the exhaustive feature list that can put any luxury car to shame. The cabin has a minimalistic design with tan brown diamond-stitched seats and door pads. The brown leather continues on the dashboard while the rest of the cabin is black.
The centre of attraction is a large 12.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system that gets MG iSMart connected technology featuring multiple in-built apps and connectivity features for remotely accessing your car. The system is supported by 12 speaker system and the sound quality is delicious. While there are no rotary knobs for the system, MG has given volume and home button separately.
MG Gloster front seat. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
Beneath the system are horizontal AC vents followed by AC control buttons. The waterfall console continues with a central tunnel that gets a fantastic looking gear knob, a rotary dial for mode selection, and a bunch of other buttons as well. The instrument cluster has a large digital display flanked by analog meters.
While the buttons on the multifunctional steering are of good quality, the steering itself is not chunky enough. Having said that, the voice command in the MG Gloster, like in the previous MG Cars is top notch and is actually easy to use as compared to other cars. It’s pretty easy to set temperature, control volume and open close sunroof with by saying ‘Hello MG’.
MG Gloster middle seat. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
Speaking of more features, the MG Gloster is loaded to the brim with anything and everything you need from a luxury car. There’s a dual pane panoramic sunroof, electronic seat with massage and ventilation, hands free automatic tail gate, TPMS, wireless charging, auto headlamps, rain sensing wipers just to name a few.
However, the limelight is stolen by ADAS or Advanced Driver Assistance Systems offered by MG similar to SUVs double the price of Gloster. The ADAS system includes forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, lane departure warning, blind spot detection and automatic parking assist.
MG Gloster boot space. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
And now the quintessential question. How much is the space inside the MG Gloster? Well, for starters, Gloster is a 7-seater SUV with no dearth of space inside the cabin. While we drove the version with captain seats, there’ also a bench type middle row seating option. Accessing the last row was a task in the variant we drove but the seat at the rear is amply spacious with enough legroom and headroom.
Like all the 3 row cars, the thigh support is negligible and also keeping your foot at the right place is bit tedious. Practicality wise, there’s enough space to hold your stuff, right from a large box underneath arm rest in the front seat to flat folding rear seats that generates a lot of space in the boot, which is decent enough to hold 2 vertically placed bags.
MG Gloster engine. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
The MG Gloster we drove gets a 2.0-litre twin turbo diesel unit with an 8-speed automatic transmission producing 218 PS and 480 Nm of output. There’s also a four wheel drive system. The thing to remember here is that this engine is a twin turbo hence the output is massive, but then, so is the turbo lag, which leads to a slow start when you set your foot on accelerator. Having said that, once you cross the threshold of 2000 rpm, there’s no looking back and the SUV gives you decent driving pleasure.
The 8-speed automatic gearbox which MG is calling an e-Shifter is actually a fly-by-wire technology and complements the engine well in both high and low speeds. Put it in the manual mode and you can harness even more driving fun using paddle shifters.
MG Gloster 8-speed AT gearbox. (Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
MG is claiming the Gloster as not a soft-roader but a proper off-roader and gets a 4-wheel drive system with terrain selection system. You have various drive and traction modes to select from including Sport, Eco, Mud, Snow, Sand, Rock, and Auto. We couldn’t get much chance to do off-roading in the Gloster but there were few dirt tracks on the outskirt of the city to check the ability of the Gloster and it did perform well in those conditions.
NVH levels are well in control, only that twin turbo is audible while accelerating. Suspension setup is tuned to offer a plush ride and is on a softer side. It also helps in controlling the body roll and pitch movement, although for a car of this size, these things can’t be ignored completely. We have also learned that MG will offered another engine, a regular 2.0-litre unit with regular auto gearbox to touchbase with the SUVs like Fortuner and Endeavour.
MG Gloster rear profile.(Image: Arjit Garg/ News18.com)
The MG Gloster has managed to impress us on many fronts, but has certain hard-to-ignore shortcomings as well and that’s a trend we have seen with all the MG cars in the past year or so. While it’s loaded with convenience and comfort features that you can only see in luxury cars, the design is unimpressive and fails to grab much eyeballs. Having said that, the MG Gloster, in our personal opinion, won’t be a primary choice anyways for those looking to spend so much money on looks alone. All we can hope now is that the MG gets the pricing right for the Gloster to make it reach a wider audience.