MG Motor unveiled its compact SUV Astor for the Indian market. It will be on display at MG showrooms from September 19 and bookings will start soon thereafter. The Astor is MG’s new offering in the mid-size SUV space that sits below the Hector. Given the Astor’s smaller 4.3m length (compared to the Hector’s 4.6m), MG aims to compete more directly with the current segment leader – the Hyundai Creta.
MG Astor will get a segment-first personal AI as well as Level-2 ADAS (Advanced Driver Assistance Systems) functions which brings with it multiple active safety features. These include Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Prevention and Speed Assist. While we have seen ADAS on other SUVs like the MG Gloster and more recently the Mahindra XUV700, the Astor will be the first model in the midsize SUV segment to offer the new safety tech.
The car comes with 14 Autonomous features. In order to provide new features, the company will be partnering with various companies such as MapMyIndia, Park+ and Jio.
In terms of styling, the MG Astor for the most part looks just like its all-electric counterpart – the ZS EV. However, the Astor carries the styling of the facelifted ZS available abroad on which it is based. The Astor gets a new front end with a hexagonal ‘Celestial’ grille, revised front bumper, new fog light housing and new headlights with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs).
In profile, the Astor looks just like the ZS EV, though the rear sports a new bumper with faux dual exhausts and a faux skid plate integrated in it. The Astor’s new diamond cut 17-inch alloy wheels also help differentiate the two models.
MG Astor comes with 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system which will feature a Jio e-SIM for connected car features. It also gets an AI-based personal assistant that can follow voice commands and answer queries from online sources. Besides this, the top-spec model also comes with a panoramic sunroof, heated ORVMs, digital key, automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, 6-way electrically adjustable driver’s seat and leather upholstery for the seats, door cards and dashboard. There will also be three interior colour schemes on offer, including a dual tone Sangria red, dual tone Iconic Ivory and Tuxedo black.
Powering the new MG SUV are the choice of two petrol engines. The first is a 1.5-litre, naturally aspirated petrol engine developing 110hp and 144Nm. The other is a more powerful, 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine that churns out 140hp and 220Nm. The latter is aimed to give competition to the high output, turbo-petrol variants of the Creta, Seltos, Kicks, Duster and Kushaq. The 1.5-litre petrol engine will be offered with a manual gearbox as well as an 8-step CVT automatic gearbox, while the 1.3-litre turbo-petrol will only be available with a 6-speed automatic gearbox.
The MG Astor is set to make its market entry in October. It will compete with other similarly sized SUVs (around 4.3m long) such as the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Nissan Kicks, Renault Duster, Skoda Kushaq and the upcoming Volkswagen Taigun.