MG Astor makes India debut: Midsize SUV to be offered with two petrol engine options, Level 2 ADAS

The MG Astor has been revealed in full ahead of its launch in the coming weeks. Set to be the fourth – and most affordable – MG offering for the Indian market, the MG Astor will slot in below the MG Hector in the company’s India portfolio. Today, MG Motor India has confirmed its new midsize SUV will be available with petrol power only, and also shared details of some of the features it will be equipped with. While there’s no word on the exact launch date, MG Motor India chief Rajeev Chaba said the SUV will be on display at the company’s showrooms starting this weekend (19 September onwards).

Bookings for the MG Astor will commence closer to the end of September. Image: MG

The Astor name is derived from Raytheon Sentinel, an airborne battlefield and ground surveillance aircraft formerly operated by the Royal Air Force. It is an adaptation of the MG ZS SUV that has been on sale in international markets for some time now, and has been available in India as the all-electric ZS EV since 2020. A key differentiator on the outside is the Astor’s ‘Celestial’ grille.

MG revealed the Astor will come with three interior colour scheme options (red and black, beige and black and all-black) and will also come with six-way power adjustment for the driver’s seat.

The MG Astor is the first SUV in India to feature an AI-powered robot inside the vehicle. Image: MG Motor India

Additionally, the MG Astor will also pack three steering feel modes - Normal, Urban and Dynamic - which will vary steering weight as per the driver's preference. The Astor will also come with a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment featuring Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity, 7.0-inch digital instruments display, heated ORVMs, a Bluetooth-enabled Digital Key, faux leather upholstery, panoramic sunroof, air purifier, electric parking brake, automatic wipers, front and rear armrests, rear AC vents and over 80 connected car features. Safety kit includes six airbags, ABS with EBD, traction control, electronic stability control and hill descent control.

Engines for the MG Astor include two petrol options – a 1.5-litre, naturally-aspirated unit (making 110 hp and 144 Nm of torque) and a 1.4-litre turbo-petrol unit (producing 140 hp and 220 Nm of torque). The 1.5 petrol will be available with both manual and CVT automatic options, while the turbo-petrol version will only be available with a six-speed automatic gearbox.

The Astor will also become only the second SUV in the midsize SUV segment to feature advanced driver assistance systems (ADAS) after the Mahindra XUV700, and also only the second MG SUV to feature ADAS after the flagship Gloster SUV. MG says the Astor will have ADAS ‘Level 2’, which will utilise mid-range radars and a multi-purpose camera to enable functions including adaptive cruise control, forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking, lane keeping assist, lane departure warning, lane departure prevention, intelligent headlamp control, rear drive assist and speed assist system.

MG has equipped the Astor with an artificial intelligence (AI) driven robot, that will act as the driver’s personal assistant. Developed in conjunction with US-based firm Star Design, the in-car assistant (with the help of natural language processing and understanding) understands Hinglish, depicts human-like emotions & voices, swivels to face the user – just like an individual would – and can provide detailed information on any general knowledge topic by tapping into Wikipedia. It can also relay news and navigation updates, critical vehicle warnings and can even crack jokes.

The MG Astor is expected to be launched this festive season, with prices expected to range from Rs 10-17 lakh (ex-showroom), and it will rival the likes of the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos, Skoda Kushaq and Volkswagen Taigun.

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