Check out our on-paper comparison between the recently-unveiled new-generation Tata Safari and MG Hector Plus
After a hiatus of a little over a year, Tata Safari has returned to the Indian market in a new-generation avatar. The newly-unveiled Safari is the three-row version of the Harrier, with the two vehicles sharing the same architecture and powertrain options. In the Indian market, the 2021 Safari will compete with the likes of Mahindra XUV500 and MG Hector Plus.
Here, we pit the 2021 Tata Safari against the MG Hector Plus, in terms of their design, dimensions, styling, specs, etc, to see how these two compare with each other on paper.
The new Safari shares most of its exterior design with the Harrier, especially at the front end. The vertically split headlamps and the front bumper are the same, although the grille gets a new chrome tri-arrow mesh (higher trims). At the rear, the Safari is slightly longer, although the wheelbase will have the same length as the Harrier. The taillight design is slightly different, and the Safari gets a pair of roof rails as well.
The MG Hector Plus gets a vertically split headlamp design as well, with a massive front grille. Interestingly, this front fascia is different from the Hector, and even the tail section is slightly different, which helps visually distinguish the two vehicles. The Hector Plus is longer than the Hector, to accommodate the extra row of seats at the rear.
|Dimensions||Tata Safari||MG Hector Plus|
The MG Hector Plus is longer than the Safari, with a slightly longer wheelbase as well. That said, the Safari is wider and taller, which should give it better road presence and a more rugged appeal overall. However, both are handsome-looking SUVs, and are sure to turn heads wherever they go.
The interior design of the new Safari is also similar to the Harrier, but with a different colour theme; the dashboard design is the same, including the AC vents, floating 8.8-inch touchscreen infotainment system, and semi-digital instrument cluster (analogue speedo with a 7-inch MID). The new Safari also gets connected car tech, along with other premium features like electronic parking brake and panoramic sunroof.
The MG Hector’s interior has the same design as the regular Hector, but with a different colour scheme. It gets the same 10.4-inch infotainment touchscreen (in portrait orientation) with vertical AC vents flanking it. The instrument console gets a 7-inch MID in the instrument cluster (3.5-inch on lower variant). Other features on offer include a hands-free tailgate, panoramic sunroof, and connected car technology.
Both the Safari and Hector Plus get a 6-seat and a 7-seat option, with captain chairs on 6-seater and bench seats on 7-seater versions for the second row. However, the Safari gets the 6-seat option only on the top-spec XZ+ and XZA+ trims, while Hector Plus gets it on multiple trim levels.
Engine and Transmission
The new Safari draws power from the same 2.0-litre turbocharged diesel engine as the Harrier. This motor is capable of developing 170 PS and 350 Nm of peak power and torque, respectively, and comes mated to either a 6-speed manual or a 6-speed automatic. Currently, the SUV is only available in FWD format, although there is a possibility of getting a 4×4 variant in the future.
|Specifications||Tata Safari||MG Hector Plus|
|Engine||2.0L, inline-4, turbocharged, diesel||2.0L, inline-4, turbocharged, diesel||1.5L, inline-4, turbocharged, petrol|
|Maximum power||170 PS||170 PS||143 PS|
|Maximum torque||350 Nm||350 Nm||250 Nm|
|Transmission||6-speed MT/6-speed AT||6-speed MT||6-speed MT/6-speed DCT|
The MG Hector Plus gets two engine options – a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel and a 1.5-litre turbo-petrol. The former can generate 170 PS and 350 Nm, while the latter can deliver 143 PS and 250 Nm (with mild-hybrid assistance in select trims). A 6-speed manual gearbox is available as standard, and the petrol version gets the option for a 6-speed dual-clutch automatic as well, with power sent exclusively to the front wheels.
The 2021 Tata Safari is expected to be priced between Rs. 14.89 lakh to Rs. 21.75 lakh. As for the MG Hector, it is currently priced from Rs. 13.34 lakh to Rs. 19.12 lakh. In this preliminary comparison, it does seem like the Hector Plus is the better buy, as it offers more engine options and more versatility, while also being seemingly more affordable.
However, we’ll have to wait for Tata Safari’s price reveal, in order to determine which of these two is truly the better option in terms of value for money.
All prices mentioned are ex-showroom, New Delhi