MG Astor turbo-petrol's first impression: An SUV loaded with technology
MG Motor is readying its first compact SUV for India called the Astor. It will be slotted below the Hector and has many segment-first features on offer, including Autonomous Level 2 technology and an onboard AI assistant. To be available solely with petrol powertrains, the Astor aims to grab a large slice of the highly lucrative compact SUV segment. Here's our first impression.
The car gets an unique hexagonal front grille
With a length of 4,323mm, the MG Astor is considerably longer than rivals but its stance is more like a crossover. On the front, it gets a hexagonal grille with a unique 3D pattern and slim LED headlamps that are slightly swept back. The side cladding, skid plate, roof rails, 17-inch alloy wheels, and dual exhausts further enhance its presence.
You can choose from three color options for the cabin
There are three interior color schemes on offer: Sangria Red, Iconic Ivory, and Tuxedo Black. We think the red dual-tone upholstery looks sportier while the overall cabin quality is very impressive. Space on offer is decent but best for four passengers only. What will grab your attention is the new dashboard-mounted AI assistant that has a circular design with "eyes" and shows "human-like emotions."
From Autonomous Level 2 technology to a panoramic sunroof
Where the Astor scores more than the rivals is its long equipment list. Alongside standard features like a 10.0-inch touchscreen, a 7.0-inch digital instrument cluster, cruise control, and a 360-degree-view-camera, it also boasts of the biggest panoramic sunroof in its class as well as an AI assistant and Autonomous Level 2 driving technology. Just like the Hector, the Astor also gets connected car technology.
The turbo-petrol offers steering modes to alter steering response
The Astor will be launched with two petrol powertrains: a 1.5-liter motor with 110hp/144Nm and a 1.3-liter turbo-petrol with 140hp/220Nm. While the turbo-petrol gets a 6-speed torque converter automatic as standard, the 1.5-liter petrol will either have a 5-speed manual gearbox on offer or an 8-speed CVT automatic. The turbo-petrol gets steering modes to alter steering response but misses out on paddle shifters.
How much will it cost?
To be launched next month, the MG Astor is expected to carry a starting price-tag of Rs. 10 lakh while the top-end turbo-petrol automatic will command around Rs. 17 lakh (both prices, ex-showroom). Overall, the MG Astor is a very impressive product notably because of its sporty design, interior quality, and many segment-first features. It is certainly an SUV worth waiting for.