Competition has been fierce for MG Motor India ever since its 2019 debut with the Hector, with the likes of the Hyundai Creta and the Kia Seltos also making their debuts in India in the same year. While Hector hasn’t been without its challenges for MG, the large car’s segment-first features, bold styling, and massive size have helped it establish itself. MG is not a firm to rest on its laurels, so when it introduced the Astor, it effectively doubled its market share in this class. Astor will compete with the likes of the Skoda Kushaq, Nissan Kicks, Volkswagen Taigun, Seltos, and the market-leading Creta, so MG knows it has its work cut out for it. Nonetheless, with this bold move, the company hopes to bowl a bouncer and shake up the crowded SUV market.
MG Astor Engine Options & Power
There are two engine options for the Astor, both of which are petrol-only (like the Kushaq, Taigun, and Kicks), with the smaller 1.5-liter engine producing 108 horsepower and 144 Newton-metres of torque, and the larger 1.3-liter turbocharged unit producing 138 horsepower and 220 Newton-metres of torque. Both a 5-speed manual and a continuously variable automatic gearbox (CVT) are available in the former, while only a 6-speed torque converter automatic transmission is available in the latter. The smooth engine in the turbo-petrol model pleasantly pleased us during our test drive. The engine’s hum is completely silent even when you’re giving it your all, demonstrating its stealthy nature. In addition to its slick handling, it has sufficient power to make the Astor rather quick.
The reaction is linear, but MG earns bonus marks for keeping the turbo lag under control. The Astor has enough oomph to handle the challenges of city driving, including overtaking when necessary, thanks to the swift delivery of power from the engine.
The Astor does not appreciate being pushed or rushed while on the roads. Gradually gaining speed, it reaches full gallop as the needle hits 3,000 rpm. The 6-speed torque converter adds a second to the time it takes to decide whether to downshift or not, so even if the 1.3-liter turbo has adequate zip, it seems slower than the competition. While it’s true that the transmission isn’t the quickest in its class, you’ll find that its silky features make for a very relaxing drive in everyday situations. Even while the Astor doesn’t come standard with paddle shifters affixed to the steering wheel, this isn’t a huge disadvantage because few owners would ever use them.
MG Astor Ride Modes
Astor has attempted variety by providing the driver with three distinct steering wheel settings: urban, normal, and dynamic. The Urban’s ability to make the steering wheel feel weightless is a welcome relief after a hard day at the office or in bumper-to-bumper traffic. When in dynamic mode, the steering wheel becomes heavier, allowing for a more balanced and responsive driving experience. The change is now barely perceptible, but it no longer has a fake quality.
While most MG vehicles feature a pampered, soft suspension setup, the Astor departs from this trend by adopting a more typical European firmness. Well sprung, it glides effortlessly over rough terrain and puddles. Rough pavement may cause the cabin to shake vertically, but otherwise the ride is soft and smooth.
Many drivers will appreciate the Astor’s car-like manoeuvrability and its ability to weave through dense metropolitan traffic. Body roll is noticeable in bends, but the vehicle is still stable and surefooted, which is to be expected from an SUV or crossover.
ADAS On Astor
The Astor is the first car in its class to provide an Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) with capabilities up to and including Autonomous Level 2. First, we’ll discuss the lane-keeping aid. In the event that the car begins to drift towards oncoming traffic, the driver will either receive a visual warning on the dashboard’s display, feel a vibration via the wheel, or have the vehicle autonomously correct its course. Keep your hands on the wheel and don’t let the system take over totally; it only goes into autopilot mode for a brief while.
The Astor’s adaptive cruise control allows you to choose a speed and the car will automatically keep it constant by using the brakes and accelerating or decelerating depending on how far in front it is. The outer rearview mirrors are equipped with LED warning signs that illuminate whenever an item is detected in the vehicle’s blind area. To prevent a catastrophic catastrophe, modern vehicles are equipped with forward collision warning systems that send out emergency alerts to the driver if a pedestrian or another vehicle gets too near. A speed assist system, smart high-beam adjustment, and many other safety measures are included. In addition to advanced driver assistance systems, the top-tier Astor model comes with features like six airbags, traction control, hill hold and descent control, and more.
MG Astor AI Assistance
When it comes to cutting-edge innovation, MG is known for always being one step ahead, and the Astor is no exception thanks to the help of artificial intelligence. It handles in-car tasks, keeps you informed on current events, and even attempts to cheer you up on a Monday by offering jokes. All you have to do is say “Hello Astor!” before a command like “please open the sunroof” or “please tell me a joke,” and the car will reply perfectly since it recognises the Indian accent. Commands within the vehicle are executed instantly, but those requiring access to the internet may take a few seconds longer to execute, depending on the quality of the network in the area. Does the in-car AI assistant relieve boredom, or is it only a showpiece? The truth is, this is a matter of subjective opinion.
MG Astor Exterior Design
The chrome Celestial Grille in front of the Astor’s is a nice touch. Unlike the usual assertive MG front grille, this one is understated but yet very recognisable. The chiselled sculpted full LED Hawkeye headlights and the black lower lip of the bumper, which contains the radar system, cameras, and Advanced Driver Assistance System sensors, are also nice touches that add to the modern feel of the vehicle. The Astor resembles the ZS EV from the side, but its four-disc brakes and 17-inch turbine-inspired alloy wheels set it apart. To the back, it carries over the Hawkeye motif to the LED taillights. The twin exhaust arrangement is just cosmetic, as the single exhaust pipe is tucked away behind the car’s bumper.
Interior Of Astor
The Astor’s interior is luxurious and exudes a sense of high-end sophistication. In terms of upholstery, MG provides a wide variety of colour combinations, including the more conventional beige and black. The inside materials are a significant improvement over those utilised by Hector. As the first car in its class to include premium soft-touch materials, MG has given the cabin a posh vibe by using a leather cushioning strip on the dashboard. There is a 7-inch LCD all-digital driver’s console with digital dials and a multi-information screen in the centre, giving the cabin a luxurious air. By going the conventional approach, MG equipped the Astor with a 10.1-inch touchscreen display, which is both large and easy to use. There is an inbuilt Jio e-SIM, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto on the infotainment system. You can adjust the temperature of the cabin and fan speed with a minimum of distraction thanks to the physical controls located below the touchscreen. Auto-on/off headlights, rain-sensing windshield wipers, automatic parking brakes, and a 360-degree camera are included, albeit higher-resolution, more lifelike visuals would have been welcome. The Astor is lacking in a number of convenience amenities such as heated front seats, a wireless charger, a telescoping steering wheel, and an automatic dimming rearview mirror.
MG Astor Seating Comfort
The Astor is bigger in length, width, and height, while the Creta is bigger in width and height but has a larger wheelbase by 25 millimetres. How does that affect the amount of room in the cabin? What is it? The seats are comfortable and provide enough back support, with the driver’s seat being electrically adjustable. There is a lot of space for passengers’ legs and heads in the back. However, there was insufficient head and shoulder space for three persons in the back seats. The huge panoramic roof makes up for the high window line and heavy C-pillar, which would otherwise make the back passengers feel cramped. The middle seat is rather comfortable because of the relatively level floor. The seat’s cushioning should have been more comfortable, but at least there’s a headrest that can be adjusted. Two USB connections are available in addition to the rear air conditioning vents.
The Astor is reasonably priced considering the large list of technologies it is equipped with, such as ADAS and AI assistance, and goes head-to-head with the Creta turbo-petrol range (at a price of Rs 16.18 lakh to Rs 17.73 lakh, ex-showroom Delhi). The Astor’s interior features premium-grade materials that are the best in its class. The 1.3-liter turbo is smooth and powerful enough for most situations, but the focus is on convenience and ease of use. The design may not be appealing to SUV customers because it does not have the usual rugged appearance. The trunk is small, and the high loading bay doesn’t improve matters. MG could have done better. The Astor is a worthy alternative in the midsize SUV market, so you should give it some thought if you’re in the market for a new vehicle.