The new MG Astor for India was revealed after the automaker posted numerous teasers before the event. It is MG’s first SUV in the midsize SUV segment, sitting below the Hector. MG aims to compete more directly with the segment leader, the Hyundai Creta, as the Astor is shorter at 4.3m (compared with Hector’s 4.6m).
MG Astor’s styling is similar to that of its all-electric counterpart – the ZS EV. However, the Astor is based on the facelifted ZS available abroad while the ZS EV in India is based on the pre-facelift model. As a result, the Astor gets a new headlamp with LED Daytime Running Lights (DRLs), a new grille with a hexagonal ‘Celestial’ motif, and a revised front bumper. Astor’s profile resembles the ZS EV’s, though its rear bumper has an integrated faux skid plate and dual faux exhausts. Lastly, the wheel design of the 17-inch alloy wheels provided by the Astor helps distinguish the two models.
This aggressive segment demands new technology and features so MG has injected the Astor with them. It will be equipped with a new 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with a Jio e-SIM for connected car features as the star of its dashboard. In addition, it comes with a personal assistant powered by artificial intelligence that can follow voice commands and answer queries from online sources. The top-spec model also has a panoramic sunroof, heated ORVMs, digital key, automatic climate control, rain-sensing wipers, 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, and leather upholstery for the seats, door cards, and dashboard as well. Additionally, three different interior colour schemes will be available, including a dual-tone Sangria red, a dual-tone Iconic ivory, and a dual-tone Tuxedo black.
The major feature of the Astor is its advanced driver assistance system (ADAS) features, which provide numerous active safety features. Among these are Adaptive Cruise Control, Forward Collision Warning, Automatic Emergency Braking, Lane Keep Assist, Lane Departure Prevention and Speed Assist. The Astor will serve as the first model in the midsize SUV segment to offer ADAS, as the new technology is already present in the MG Gloster and the Mahindra XUV700.
There is a choice of two petrol engines in the new MG SUV. The first is powered by a 1.5-litre, naturally aspirated engine that develops 110 horsepower and 144Nm of torque. Alternatively, there is a 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine that generates 140 horsepower and 220 lb-ft of torque. As such, the latter is intended to compete with the high-performance, turbo-diesel variants of the Creta, Kicks, Duster, and Kushaq. There will be manual and CVT automatic gearboxes offered for the 1.5-litre petrol engine, whereas only the 6-speed automatic gearbox will be available for the 1.3-litre turbo-petrol engine.
The MG Astor will hit the market in October. There will be competition with other similar-sized SUVs (around 4.3m long), such as the Hyundai Creta, the Kia Seltos, the Nissan Kicks, the Renault Duster, the Skoda Kushaq and the new Volkswagen Taigun.