MG Gloster Road Test Review – Premium, Dominating & Deserving?

MG Motor set shop in India with the Hector as their very first model that was received very well. Their second model for India was the ZS Electric Vehicle that launched late last year again received very well in its niche segment. Recently MG introduced the Hector Plus which is the 6-seater version of the Hector. Now the Halol based car maker is all set to expand its model lineup and enter the full sized SUV segment with the Gloster. We drove the huge SUV to get you our detailed road test review on what is the largest sized SUV in its class.

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Food for Thought

The Gloster is the rebadged version of the Maxus D90 which is sold in many countries including Europe, America, Asia and Oceana. The Maxus brand is owned by SAIC Motor that also owns MG Motor and specializes in SUV’s and Commercial vehicles. Brand Maxus also has its lineage to LDV Maxus which belonged earlier to British commercial brand LDV Group. The Maxis D90 first debuted at the 2016 Guangzhou International Motor Show in Guangzhou, China. The MG Gloster will be India’s 1st level 1 autonomous vehicle once launched.

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Exteriors

You cant miss out on seeing the Gloster if you happen to spot it, the sheer size and its huge proportions ensure that the SUV gets surely noticed everywhere. The Gloster stands at 4985mmin length, 1926mm in width and 1867mm in height with a overall wheelbase of 2950mm. Now these dimensions are larger than the segment rivals the Toyota Fortuner and the Ford Endeavour to a large extent. The dimensions of the Gloster put it directly in the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado category.

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Gloster gets the typical robust SUV silhouette with the face getting a huge grille with three horizontal slats all finished in satin silver shade. The slim style headlamps are neatly flushed into the body and come with dual projector beams and DRL’s in them with white glow.  The front bumper is XXXL in size going with the overall proportions gets its lower section neatly infused with the faux skid plate finished in chrome and satin silver area running above it. The fog lamps are placed vertically with ‘C’ shaped chrome inserts running around them. The huge bonnet gets character lines that define the front end.

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The side profile of the Gloster is again drastically impounding and typical SUV like. I am myself 5feet 7 inches in height and the bonet came to my chest level when I stood next to it, that how huge the Gloster actually is in person. The side profile is highlighted by this unique chrome band that runs across the lower section of the windows and meets the roof rails across the D pillar making a unique ‘C’ like pattern. Other highlights on the side profile of this SUV include the large wing mirrors, huge sized glass area including the fixed rear quarter glass, the unique satin silver insert placed vertically on the fenders giving that Range Rover Vogue look and the extra heavy duty all metal step board that completes the brute SUV look here. The Gloster drives on 19 inche tyres loaded to dual tone multispoke design alloys.

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Coming to the rear section the beast of an SUV continues its XXXL proportions on the tailgate and the rear bumper. The all LED neatly flushed wraparound tail lights look classy while the tailgate also gets a spoiler and a chrome band running across the width of the lid just above the license plate. The boot lid also gets the G L O S T E R badging in large font placed below the license plate while the rear bumper comes with unpainted area along with dual exhausts placed on either corners. The bumper also gets slim style stop reflectors placed vertically on the far ends.

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The overall exteriors of the MG Gloster is gigantic, oozes tons of road presence, looks dynamic and is well built with good levels of paint finish and body panel fitment.

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The Gloster has a boot capacity of 343 liters with all the three rows of seats up and can be further increased to a massive boo area of 1350 litres.

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Interiors

You cant step into the Gloster, instead you need to climb into one stepping on the stepboard. Once in you can literally gauge the sheer dimension of the cabin if you look around and notice how far away the passenger seat and door actually is. Once seated on the drivers seat which gets 12 way electric adjust with heating/ cooling feature and also massage function is on the list. The passenger seat gets 8-way electric adjust with ventilation function. The Gloster gets tan leather upholstery with special diamond quilt pattern stitch that looks premium and rich. The dashboard reminds you a lot of the BMW X5’s dash and is wide, large in size. The dash is made of soft rubbery material like seen on premium cars and comes in dual tone finish with the top area in black while the lower dash getting tan leather wrapping.  The highlight on the dash is the 12.3 inch widescreen HD touchscreen infotainment system that is joy to use and something that the segment hasn’t seen yet.

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This AVN system is compatible with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with other connectivity feature, Bluetooth and FM etc. You also get the typical MG style internal SIM powered i-Smart connected car features loaded to the system which can be also controlled by voice inputs, mobile app and also for the 1st time via the Apple watch. The AVN system on the Gloster also gets a 12 speaker setup with an subwoofer and a amplifier.

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The flat bottom steering gets leather wrapping and neatly laid out large sized multi function control buttons along with metal inserts on it. You also get nice XXL sized paddle shifters in metal finish on the equipment list. You can manually adjust this steering for height and reach. The instrument cluster is in typical MG fashion with the needles running upwards in opposite direction on both the speedo and tacho-meters. The center of the cluster also gets a color TFT display that reads out all the tell tale information in graphical form.

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The climate control unit is a three zone unit with temperature and blower setting available for the middle row passengers. The center console gets its highlight with the unique aircraft joystick design transmission shifter that gets metal finish and leather insert on it. Placed along this shifter are the control buttons for auto start stop, hill descent, parktronics, auto parking, seat cooling etc.

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Also placed here is the electro mechanical handbrake control button and auto hold button. The Gloster also gets Terrain control modes that can be controlled using the dial that’s placed on the center console. You can toggle between Auto, Sport, Eco, Mud, Sand, Snow and Rock modes using this control dial. The center armrest is a twin opening unit that looks exactly like the one seen on the BMW SUV’s, there is also a large deep storage area under this armrest.

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The front row seats offer excellent comfort and the seating position is very imposing and commanding due to the height the SUV is at. The driver’s seat massage option is good for those long drives and can be combined with heating or cooling feature to add to the comfort level. The middle row gets two captain seats that can be manually slide forward and also adjusted for back support as per comfort. Adding to the comfort level are the individual foldable arm rests. These seats offer unparallel comfort, tons of leg knee and head room and the leg room available here is so much that you can literally fold your legs and sit.

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Getting into the third row is a breeze, you can either fold down the middle row seat or just walk past the seats in-between them to reach the last row. Once you are in the third row due to the sheer size of the Gloster you get loads of space to comfortably seat two passengers, a third lean passenger would also fit in here easily with good amount of legroom, knee room and shoulder room not forgetting that the middle row captain seats can be pushed ahead to extend the third row leg room.

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Also on the feature list is the extra large sized panoramic electric sunroof that helps get in some more light into the cabin. The cabin of the MG Gloster feels extra generous in terms of space, very well appointed, premium and extra comfortable.

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Engine – Transmission – Drive

Powering the MG Gloster is a 2.0-Litre Twin Turbo Diesel engine. This 1996cc oil burner makes 218PS @ 4000rpm and belts out 480 Nm of torque between 1500-2400rpm. This motor is mated to a 8-speed automatic transmission with a 4 wheel drive unit.

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On the move the Gloster feels extremely easy to drive around thanks to the super light steering and the excellent drivers seating position. You feel strong, powerful and invincible driving this SUV. Comfort levels are very high and the overall feel is premium. This 2.0L Twin Turbo oil burning motor is highly refined and its power delivery is very linear. The 8-speed automatic transmission shifts between the gears very nicely and effortlessly. As mentioned the steering feels super light and driving a car this huge around busy city roads is effortless and in fact inspiring at times.

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There is no instant burst of power from the word go, but be noted that once the twin turbo kicks in there is no looking back and the Gloster chugs ahead in typical premium SUV style. The suspension setup is again typical premium SUV like absorbing all the bumps and undulations with precision. On the move the overall comfort levels are extremely high on the Gloster with all seven occupants experiencing premium levels of long distance travel in it.

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Level 1 Autonomous Tech Gadgetry 

Well this easily is the feature that makes the MG Gloster superior over the competition. The Gloster becomes India’s 1st Level-1 Autonomous vehicle.  The package includes ADAS (Advanced Driver Assist System). Now what does the ADAS package include, firstly you have adaptive cruise control which is the better version of a normal cruise control. In ACC you can set the cruising speed of the Gloster and the desired interval. You can take off your foot from the gas pedal while the car will cruise at the set speed. Now this radar driven feature applies brakes on its own just when it senses the car that it is following has applied brakes or slowed down. If the car that you are following comes to a complete halt the Gloster also comes to halt but maintains safe distance and when the car ahead start back the ACC accelerates the Gloster back on the move.

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The second feature is Front Collision Warning (FCW). This again is a radar based system where if the Gloster is set to crash the system alerts the driver in form of beeps to take necessary action. If the driver fails to take any action the system activates Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB) to reduce the impact.

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The next ADAS feature is the Lane Departure Warning (LDW) which activates above 60kmph and you try to change lanes quickly the system prompts a graphic and beeps warning the driver that this could be dangerous.

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The Gloster also gets Auto Park Assist (APA) on the ADAS package, when active the car searches for a parking slot as per its size and then prompts the driver to shift to reverse or forward while the steering is controlled automatically to aid perfect parking. All these features work in tandem using the radar that fitted just behind the center rear view mirror.

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Safety

Apart from the ADAS feature package the MG Gloster also comes loaded with long list of advanced safety features that include, dual front, side and curtain airbags, electronic stability program, traction control, roll movement intervention, hill assist, ABS with EBD, hill descent assist, all wheel disc brakes, 360 degrees camera, driver fatigue alert, ISOFIX child anchorage to name a few.

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Verdict

The MG brand in India has already established itself very well and now with the Gloster it will surely get a lot stronger. The Gloster is a perfect model to be MG India’s flagship model. It has tons of space on the inside, looks huge and dominating, has all the right features loaded to it plus also gets the unique and unseen India’s first level-1 Autonomous feature. The Gloster is huge in size, easily feels and is more premium than the competition, it drives well and has tons of comfort level on it. The competition better be on your guard as the Gloster can very well smartly ruin your party.

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Words – Ritesh Madhok
Photography & Videography – Govind Gadekar

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