2021 MG Astor unveiled in India – Comes with ADAS and an A.I. assistant
CY Foong · Sep 20, 2021 11:30 AM
MG Motor India has just unveiled the 2021 MG Astor which is a petrol-powered MG ZS with a more quintessential British name. This isn’t the ZS’ Indian debut though as the all-electric ZS EV had been launched in the subcontinent back in January 2020.
The Astor continues MG’s unique naming scheme in India with a British-sounding name as opposed to an alphanumerical one like the rest of the world. Even the rest of MG’s Indian line-up is unique to the country – the Gloster SUV and Hector crossover are based on the Maxus D90 and the Baojun 530 respectively.
It is of note that MG, Baojun, and Maxus are subsidiaries of SAIC Motor so these models are essentially related.
Aside from the name, the Astor has a few extra features that make it different from the petrol-powered ZS that is available from the rest of the world.
First, the exterior design might look similar to the ZS facelift that was unveiled in Indonesia recently but there are some minor tweaks in the design. On the Astor, the front grille receives a hexagonal ‘Celestial’ design that makes it stand out even more than the global ZS.
Around the back, the Astor name is spelled out in full across the tailgate, though the ZS badge is still placed on the boot. Overall, the rear and side designs of the Astor differ very little from the global ZS.
Inside, the Astor is available with three interior colour schemes – dual-tone Sangria Red, Iconic Ivory, or Tuxedo Black. It also comes with a massive 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system that features internet connectivity and Apple CarPlay and Android Auto support.
The standout features on the Astor are certainly geared towards technophiles. Aside from the internet-connected touchscreen, the Astor also has a digital key that can be installed on the phone. MG claims that the SUV can be operated without an actual key fob using this feature.
Another feature is a personal robot (A.I.) assistant that is attached to the Astor’s dash. Aside from controlling the SUV’s climate control, the music, and navigation, it can also inform the latest news and also has Wikipedia built-in, so you can be a know-it-all among your friends.
The Astor will be available with two petrol engine options – a naturally-aspirated 1.5-litre engine (110 PS/144 Nm) and a turbocharged 1.3-litre engine (140 PS/220 Nm). The 1.5-litre unit is paired to either a 5-speed manual or a CVT automatic gearbox while the turbocharged motor is only available with a 6-speed automatic transmission.
While ADAS is available on the ZS EV, it is never featured on the petrol-powered ZS. On the Astor, MG claims that it is equipped with Level 2 autonomous driving which includes:
This makes the MG Astor as the only SUV in its class in India to feature ADAS. The Astor is likely to be built at the former General Motors plant in Halol, Gujarat alongside the rest of MG’s Indian line-up.
MG Motor India hasn’t announced prices for the Astor and it will be launched around the country in October 2021. However, Indian media have speculated that despite all the advanced features, the Astor could undercut its rivals including the Kia Seltos and Skoda Kushaq in price.
MG’s Malaysian return, for now, remains up in the air but it has been making waves in some of our neighbours. Will the Astor be better suited to Malaysian buyers instead of the ones sold in the region?