Essentially a petrol variant of the ZS EV, MG Motor’s upcoming mid-size SUV will be launched soon
The MG Astor aims to give a tough fight to other offerings like the Hyundai Creta, Kia Seltos and the upcoming VW Taigun. While launch is still a few weeks away, we do know a lot about this upcoming 5 seater SUV. So if you are in the market for a Rs 12-16 lakh SUV, should you be excited?
What is it
The Astor will be a renamed ZS EV with a petrol heart. It is already sold internationally in various markets under the ZS or ZST brand name but for India, MG Motor wants to market it differently and at a much lower price point than the ZS EV. It will make use of MG’s Car as a Platform (CAAP) concept, looks almost identical to its electric sibling and its launch is just around the corner
Heart of the matter
Powering the Astor will be the same 1.5-litre petrol engine that powers the Hector and the Hector Plus. To keep costs in check, the engine will be naturally aspirated and will put out 120 bhp of power and 150 Nm of torque. For performance seekers, MG will also offer a 1.3 turbo petrol with as much as 160 bhp of power and 230 Nm of torque. This will make the Astor more powerful than its rivals, the Creta, Seltos, Kushaq and Taigun.
In terms of gearbox options, the Astor will be offered with both a manual as well as a CVT automatic transmission
Modern and Chic?
We do admit the Astor isn’t too flashy in the way it looks and yet, carries a design that makes you want to look at it twice. Dual tone paint scheme, sporty alloys, red painted calipers and LED lights all around add to the bling appeal.
The interiors are much like the ZS EV and the overall finish levels on par with the Korean rivals. However, what will make the Astor stand out will be the long list of features, something that we see with the Hector too. And we aren’t just talking about a moonroof, or an excellent infotainment set-up but also connected features that will up the game further in the mid-size SUV market. The Astor will be the first MG car to get connected features enabled by Jio’s IoT (Internet of Things) solutions. Can’t wait!
Pricing and launch
Expect the Astor 1.5 petrol range to start from about Rs 11 lakh - even the ’base’ model for that matter will be feature loaded. The more powerful 1.3 turbo petrol might be reserved for the higher trims. The car should start arriving in showrooms this month and launch, along with price announcement shall happen in early September.