Why would I buy it?
- Many segment-first features
- Spacious cabin
- Refined powertrain
Why would I avoid it?
- Availability of well-established rivals
- Excessive body roll
Engine and Performance
We’re simply enthralled by the refinement and subdued NVH levels within the Gloster’s pristinely insulated cabin. The 215bhp/480Nm 2.0-litre turbo diesel mill makes ideal use of an eight-speed automatic gearbox and an AWD system to lay down its power on the road. And it’s got drive-modes like Auto, Eco, Sport, Mud, Sand, Rock, and Snow. What caught us off-guard is the manner in which its mammoth 480Nm of torque is unravelled from as low as 1,500-2,400rpm, tugging this 2.7-tonne of mass into motion quite effortlessly; even with a full load.
So much so, that the Gloster gets on the move in a smooth, progressive fashion with no nasty jerks whatsoever from the gearbox. Plus, we cited the preference to shift cogs around the 2,000rpm mark on a steady throttle. As such, the gear shifts are largely throttle-dependent. So, the more one mashes their right foot, the longer a lower gear is held to improve the response. What’s even nicer is that the downshifts under full throttle (kick-down) are quick and seamless too.
Also, with a substantial surge of power from about 2,500rpm that lasts till around 4,000rpm, hovering around these rpms will make quick work of any speedy/overtaking manoeuvres. Better so, one can easily take full control of shifts via the paddle shifters. Next up, switching to Sport mode makes the power delivery aggressive, but it’s at the cost of being jerky at lower revs. Consequently, we ascertained that maintaining highway speeds all day long is a child’s play for the Gloster; making it a great tool for long-distance touring.
Ride Quality and Handling
Since the Gloster happily swallows even the greater potholes with ease, it goes without saying that the everyday bumps and undulations are trampled over without the occupants feeling much. This means a lot, considering the overall condition of our roads, and this is only possible due to the immense travel in the suspension. Nevertheless, as a result of the extremely absorbent nature, it takes a second or two to settle down after some heavy duties.
Likewise, there’s considerable body roll too whilst cornering. And, what doesn’t help matters here is that the steering has almost three and a half turns from lock-to-lock; making it far from quick and arm-wringing at times. In spite of this, the steering is still reasonably confidence inspiring owing to the fair amount of feedback the wheels throw back, along with the tenacious grip from its 255-section tyres. Impressively, large discs on all four corners translate into some much-needed braking power for this behemoth.
Comfort, Convenience, and Features
It’s a bit of a climb to get into the Gloster, but once in, you’ll thoroughly appreciate the refreshingly airy and modern layout with soft-touch and premium quality materials used throughout. Even fit and finish is top class. Ergonomics too is fair for most of the part, but we just couldn’t wrap our head around the weird vertically-positioned wireless charging pad.
Otherwise, it’s a practical and spacious one, this cabin, with ample storage spaces throughout. Moreover, it offers mind-blowing visibility through the immense glass area with minimal pillars and towering height that makes one look down at other motorists. Now, although the front seats offer good lateral and back support, they could’ve offered more of the thigh and shoulder variety. Nevertheless, I won’t complain because the driver’s seat gets my favourite massage function! These traits are also carried over to the middle row captain seats, with the added benefit of separate climate controls.
Again there’s commendable headroom and legroom here too. Surprisingly, these characteristics trickle down to the third row as well. And that too, given my healthy adult proportions, there’s adequate knee- and shoulder-room for two in the last row along with other necessities such as air vents, cup holders, and speakers. To suffice, the Gloster’s cabin is a nice place to be in. Boot-wise, with the third row up, the resultant 343-litres of space is good for a few laptop bags. But this expands substantially to 1,350-litres when folded; good for everything decent that comes to one’s mind.
On the features front, there’s a 12.3-inch HD infotainment touchscreen that’s responsive and intuitive to use, MG’s iSmart tech with more than 71 connected car features, the excellent multi-information driver’s display, auto headlamps, rain-sensing wipers, adaptive cruise control, and an auto park assist. There are also ventilated leather seats with heating function, a 360-degree camera, ambient lighting, a large panoramic sunroof, wireless charging, and a powered tailgate.
Safety-wise, there are dual front, side, and curtain airbags, ESP with traction control, roll movement intervention, hill-start and hill descent assist, ABS with EBD and brake assist, and electro-mechanical differential lock (EDL). Then, there are others such as the Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS), lane departure warning, along with front collision warning system, automatic emergency braking, and blind-spot detection.
The MG Gloster may not be as intimidating as the Fortuner or even the Endeavour. But it’s dimensionally not just longer, but taller and wider than both. Upfront, an enormous octagonal grille with thick chrome elements adorn the nose alongside the sleek LED headlamps and sharp fog lamp housings. In profile, there’s not much drama apart from the tall shoulder line and the 19-inch wheels, the design of which could have been tastier. Nothing fancy going on at the rear either. Just the corporate looks with the nice LED wraparound tail lamps and a huge Gloster badge running below. On the contrary, the quad exhaust tips do hint at something special under the hood. But overall, it’s a bit like grandma’s nightgown; it covers everything.
The MG Gloster undeniably sets the benchmark in terms of features, being modern and spacious, and power delivery at large. We have to admit that MG picked a hell of a model to go up against the likes of established players such as the Toyota Fortuner, Ford Endeavour, Mahindra Alturas G4, and the Isuzu MU-X. While the MG Gloster makes a strong case for itself, we especially see it fit for those who’d like to try something new but don’t want to deviate heavily from the benefits of the segment. A nice one, MG!
Pictures by Kapil Angane and Kaustubh Gandhi