MG Astor (ZS Petrol) SUV's first impression: A smart crossover
After the success of the Hector and Gloster, MG Motor has now turned its attention toward the lucrative crossover segment with its upcoming Astor SUV. In essence, this is the petrol-powered iteration of the ZS EV on sale in India and would be aimed squarely at the likes of Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos. But how good is it? Here's our first impression.
In terms of design, the Astor is a heavily updated version of the ZS EV. It sports a revised front section with a new hexagonal grille, swept-back LED headlamps and an aluminium skid plate. It also gets 17-inch alloy wheels, slimmer taillamps at the rear, roof rails, and a roof-mounted spoiler. The Astor will be offered in some exclusive color options as well.
Inside, the Astor is fairly well-built while the overall design is less radical than the Hector with more physical buttons. We also noticed soft-touch materials and contrast stitching all over the cabin. The steering wheel looks sporty while the digital instrument cluster is easy to read too. The Astor is also spacious for its size and has adequate legroom as well as headroom.
The Astor will have a slew of new-age features, including a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment console, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, automatic climate control, an electric sunroof, a 360-degree-view camera, and connected car technology. It will also offer a premium audio system, wireless charging, an air purifier, rear AC vents and armrests, and voice commands for operating the sunroof, among other features.
Unlike the Hector, the Astor will be powered by petrol engines only, with the mainstay expected to be a 1.5-liter naturally aspirated motor developing 120hp/150Nm. Additionally, a 1.3-liter turbocharged petrol engine will be optional with the higher trims. Standard will be a 6-speed manual gearbox while a 6-speed DCT (dual-clutch transmission) will also be available along with various drive modes.
The MG Astor, likely to be launched in India by October, will be positioned as a premium crossover. That said, due to heavy localization, we expect it to start at around Rs. 10 lakh (ex-showroom). All things considered, the MG Astor seems like an impressive product that looks primed to take on established rivals like the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos.