The MG Gloster is a mysterious proposition because its pricing still hasn’t been revealed. Instead of rivalling the likes of the Fortuner and the Endeavour, it will position itself as a notch above these two for offering more kit and luxe. The Gloster is a proper 7-seater SUV with some never seen before features in its class. We got to drive this imposing SUV to find out, does it have what it takes to exist in a segment above the likes of Fortuner and Endeavour?
Big and Burly!
The first and foremost thing you will notice is its humongous size. The MG Gloster is bigger than any of its rivals, except the Mahindra Alturas G4 which is wider than the Gloster. It has a commanding road presence and given its propositions, it’s definitely hard to ignore.
The front is very muscular and imposing. The chiselled bonnet accompanied with a large front grille come together to form an authoritarian appeal. If you see it in your rearview mirror, you better change lanes because it might eat you up or better, might stomp you down. It is that huge and imposing. The exterior is flanked by cameras all around. The LED headlamps come equipped with automatic function and the fog lamps are halogen units. Adding to its SUVish appeal is the skid plate and additional protection.
The side profile isn’t as detailed as the front and cuts a traditional picture. It still looks huge because well, it is huge! The cosmetic baton of the side profile is carried by dual-tone finished 19-inch alloy wheels and satin inserts near the wheel arches as well as the satin-finished roof rails. Another thing which stands out is the window size which is again, huge. Does Gloster mean ‘huge’ in some other foreign language?
Things do get a little busy when you shift focus on the rear end. The quad-pipes legit scream for attention from their wide openings. Just so you know, only two exhaust outlets are real. Gloster being MG’s flagship SUV, is like that oldest kid every parent is proud about. And that shows in its badging. The massive ‘GLOSTER’ lettering on the tailgate is flashier than being classy and we think a smaller badge for identity would’ve gone well with the image. The boot space is again, no brownie points for guessing the term we were about to use here. With all the three rows up, it can still hold 343 litres of luggage. To all the pseudo ‘SUVs’, this is how it is done. In the absence of the third row, the overall boot space increases to 1350 litres.
The cabin reeks of luxe and comfort. Inside, the highlight on the minimalist dashboard is a large infotainment screen which offers plenty of functions. It also gets MG i-SMART technology that considerably adds to the vehicle’s overall experience, which includes some industry-firsts including Critical Tyre Pressure Voice Alert, Shortpedia App that gives short news summaries, and Anti-Theft Immobilization via Smartphone that remotely halts the engine ignition. It also comes with 3D maps from MapMyIndia which includes COVID testing centre locations in maps apart from various alerts like potholes and speed alerts. In addition to these, Gloster customers will also get Apple Watch Connectivity and can operate their Gaana app with voice control, alongside personalized welcome and greeting messages.
The interior is draped in tan leather upholstery which makes it the most visually appealing cabin in its class. The driver and passenger seats are electrically adjustable while the former also gets a massage function. Other features include D-cut steering wheel, ambient lighting, TPMS, 12-speaker sound system with sub-woofer and an amplifier, wireless charging, panoramic sunroof and heated seats. MG has thrown in some soft-touch materials here and there to amplify its luxurious appeal. The cabin is well attended but there’s something which makes the overall experience a little less satisfactory.
The plastic quality could have been a little better and the whole layout of the cabin looks, well, a little out of place. Even though the 12.3-inch infotainment screen is loaded with features, we feel that the resolution and the brightness could have been a little better. Same goes for the 360-degree camera projection as well. Another chink in its armour is its steering wheel-mounted control which could have worked in a better way.
The seats, however, are among the best in business and provide good bolstering. The driving position is very commanding and you get a nice, wide look at the front. It makes you feel like you own the road and are driving something well, authoritarian. It scores high on the safety front as well with its 5-star safety rating and 6 airbags among many other safety features. Things are spacious even when you move back. The second row consists of two captain seats which again, are among the best of the lot. There’s a 3-zone climate control which kept us all cool and composed even after the climate was warm and humid. The captain seats also come with adjustable armrests, cup-holders and side bolstering for the headrests as well. Occupants will really appreciate the sense of space, amplified further by the huge windows.
The third row is where the Gloster scores big. Having the longest wheelbase in its class certainly pays off. While the third-rows in other cars in its segment are best suited for children or for the people you really hate, the Gloster marches ahead with its overall comfort. It can accommodate fully grown adults with ease and no one will complain as long as you aren’t on an intercontinental escapade.
Engine and performance
On the performance front, the MG Gloster is powered by a 2.0 Diesel Twin Turbo engine at 217bhp of power and 480 Nm Torque, making it the most powerful SUV in its category. It managed to clock the 0-100 run in 12 seconds which is impressive for a vehicle of this size. The engine is mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission which is very slick and smooth but isn’t as quick as some of the enthusiasts would have wanted it to. The engine is smooth and is an able performer with strong mid-range grunt.
The engine-gearbox combo is best suited for relaxed highway driving and proves to be very adequate. Though MG hasn’t revealed the official fuel efficiency figures we managed to squeeze around 10 kmpl out on the highway. If you are driving this behemoth in the city, it will return around 7-8 kmpl. MG has also thrown in paddle shifters to add to the overall driving experience. It also comes with multiple driving modes which include: sport, eco, snow, mud, sand and rock.
Ride and handling
The ride quality of the Gloster is exceptional and the suspension setup works brilliantly on our pothole-ridden surfaces. The NVH levels are well contained too and you would really appreciate how well insulated the cabin is. The steering is light which makes it easier for the driver to move this humongous piece of machinery even in tight spaces. It does weigh up a little in the sport mode but the steering wheel is nonetheless, devoid of sharp precision and feedback. Unsurprisingly, body roll is present and its heft becomes quite pronounced when you start pushing it around the corners.
The Gloster is an SUV and to justify it being so, it has to be capable off the road too, right? Though we didn’t get a chance to test its off-roading capabilities, the Gloster looks impressive as an SUV, at least on paper. It comes with on-demand four-wheel-drive which is a must when the going gets tough. What accentuates its off-roading capabilities is the inclusion of a separate rear differential lock button with Borg Warner Transfer Case and a Five Link Integral Rear Suspension.
MG has been marketing the Gloster as a level-1 autonomous car. This has been its main talking point since the time MG started teasing its India launch. The SUV comes with a feature called Adaptive cruise control, which helps in maintaining a safe distance with other vehicles by adjusting speed. Apart from this, the other autonomous aids include Automatic Parking Assist, that ensures automated parking, FCW alerts a driver about a possible collision via visual and acoustic signatures, AEB, that activates braking intervention to prevent a collision with any four-wheeler or to decrease the speed of the same and LDW raises an alert upon departing from lanes.
Besides these autonomous aids, Gloster is also equipped with AI technology and Computer Vision, under which, MG has integrated cameras and sensors to eliminate all blind spots with Blind Spot Detection. These features are unheard in this segment and will remind you of Volvo cars which are acclaimed by everyone for their safety net.
The MG Gloster scores big on every front, be it its size, its performance or features on offer. Though MG hasn’t revealed its price, we expect it to hover in the range of INR 40-45 Lakh (On-Road). It is pretty evident by now that it will slot in a segment above the likes of the Ford Endeavour and Toyota Fortuner. In this battle between David and Goliath, the Gloster is certainly the latter. And this time around, chances are that this Goliath will stomp on all the Davids.