MG Motors has established itself quite well in the Indian market. With the blockbuster launch of the Hector, following up with the cars like ZS EV and the Gloster, MG Motors is doing a decent business in the Indian market. The brand will now take the challenge to one of the most popular cars in the Indian market – the Hyundai Creta. While the official launch of the all-new Astor is a few weeks away, we got a chance to meet the car personally. Here is a walkaround of the upcoming MG Astor.
MG Astor: Looks compact
The mid-size SUV segment is currently populated by the likes of Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and even products like the Nissan Kicks and Renault Duster. However, only the Korean twins are churning the segment with large sales of the Creta and the Seltos. Both Seltos and Creta look substantial on the roads. The Astor, in comparison, looks compact yet it is big enough to make an impact on the roads.
This is based on the new MG ZS facelift launched in the international markets sometime back. Even though it is a facelift version of the ZS EV that is already on sale in the Indian market, the updates on Astor definitely makes it look sportier and modern. MG has added a new grille and on the flanks, full-LED headlamps take up the space. The headlamps are full-LED on the top-end version with projector set-up. There are nine crystals that add a jewel effect and makes the car look more expensive.
The fog lamps are halogen as they should be on all the cars. The Astor looks friendly and even though you get a sporty spirit looking at it, there is no air of aggressiveness in the Astor.
On the side, you get to see 17-inch windmill style alloy wheels. While the design of the alloy wheels may not be compelling enough, the red callipers at the front and rear do catch a lot of attention. Yes, the Astor offers disc brakes at the front and rear. The Astor also looks quite tall, especially because of the roof rails. MG did not have a number on the load-bearing capacity of the roof rails but said that MG will official accessories to mount objects like cycle to the roof. This is interesting as the Astor offers a full panoramic sunroof.
The rear of the Astor gets split LED tail lamps with elements that mimic the DRL in the headlamps. There is a twin exhaust set-up and a shark fin antenna definitely adds the pinch of sportiness to the car.
MG Astor: AI Inside
The Astor comes with a physical virtual assistant like the Alexa devices. The top-end variant gets a screen and the AI assistant that controls a long list of features in the car including the windows, climate control, infotainment system, sunroof and almost everything in the vehicle. The assistant is smart enough to tilt in the direction of the person who is giving the command.
This is bundled with features like a mobile application that will allow the owners to use the phone as a virtual key and also do a plethora of other remote functions like start and stop the engine, track the car and more.
The centre of the dashboard holds the 10.1-inch high-resolution head unit that offers a crisp clear display. It can also play videos through USB and offers connectivity features like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There is no wireless charging with the Astor though.
Segment first ADAS
While Mahindra XUV700 showcased its ADAS or Advanced Driver Assistance System, the Astor will take up the space in a segment below XUV700 to become the most affordable car to offer the advanced feature. The Astor gets radar at the front and a bunch of cameras that will do quite many things.
The ADAS in the Astor is level-2 autonomous level. Even though we did not test the features, the Astor will allow the driver to use features like lane keep assist, automatic emergency braking, pedestrian braking, adaptive cruise control, road speed sign reading and much more. We will bring more on it when we drive the car.
A good amount of space as well
The Astor offers a decent amount of space. The cabin with a dual-tone theme gives a sense of space inside the vehicle. The front seats are perforated but there are no vents in the seats to throw cool or hot air. The ORVMs are heated though and will be very useful during the rainy season and winters of north India.
The seats offer a good amount of space, shoulder room and the driver-side seat is electrically adjustable as well. There is space under the front armrest and ample space to keep two cups and small knick-knacks. The glovebox is quite small though.
MG offer large bottle holders on all the doors and even the rear seat gets folding cup holders that can retract to make space for the third passenger. The rear seats of the MG Astor offer a decent amount of space and I could fit in easily. There is a transmission tunnel and the third passenger will feel uncomfortable over long durations. However, you do get rear AC vents and charging ports.
MG Astor engine options
Coming to the engine options, MG only offers petrol engine options and there are two of them. The 1.5-litre naturally aspirated engine produces a maximum power of 118 Bhp and 150 Nm of peak torque. There is a more powerful 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine too and it produces a maximum power of 161 Bhp and 230 Nm of peak torque. Both the engine options get automatic transmission options but the manual transmission is only available with the naturally-aspirated engine.
Worth the wait?
MG has done interesting price reveals in the past and we are sure that they will have a great price strategy for the Astor too. That’s because the Hector is positioned just above the Astor and is priced at around Rs 14 lakh ex-showroom. The top-end version of the Astor will be priced around the mid-level variant of the Hector. The base variant of the car is most likely to undercut the Creta and the Seltos in the market. It sure will be a high volume product. Stay tuned as we bring the drive review of the Astor and test the interesting features in the coming weeks.