9 reasons why MG Astor is one of the best compact SUV to consider in 2023

The MG Astor made quite the splash in the Indian automotive industry when it was first introduced in 2021. Although less popular than its stablemate Hector, the Astor has managed to stand out for its distinctiveness in an increasingly crowded compact-to-mid SUV segment. With several new additions to the segment, we decided to revisit the Astor once again as a long termer in our garage, and see if it still has what it takes to challenge the likes of VW’s Taigun, Maruti Suzuki’s Grand Vitara, and the wildly popular duo of Kia Seltos and Hyundai Creta. Here we highlight nine standout features that still make the MG Astor a formidable buy, and an exceptionally good all round value for money package in its segment, in the year 2023.

1. Striking Design and Road Presence:

The MG Astor boasts an eye-catching design that effortlessly combines elegance and sportiness. From its sleek contours to the distinctive ‘celestial’ front grille, every design detail on the Astor’s exterior is deliberate and thought through. We especially love the ‘hawk eye’ DRLs and the dynamic LED headlights with crystal-like design elements, and the signature light bars in the tail lamps add a touch of edginess while giving the Astor a distinct presence on the road. The gorgeous Glaze Red paint option adds to this as well, and we especially love the combination of the bright red paint scheme, the blacked out details such as the ORVMs, and the unique blade-like alloy wheel design.

2. Best Interior in the Segment:

The interior of the Astor strikes a fine balance between stylish design and comfort without compromising on either. The gorgeous Sangria Red upholstery, combined with unique design elements like the turbine-style air vents, make the Astor’s cabin one of the most stylish interiors in the segment. The front seats offer good support and the driver’s seat even comes with electrical adjustment, although we wish MG would have included the feature on the passenger seat as well, at least on the top-spec variants. The rear seats comfortably seat two adults with ample leg room, and while three can fit in, it’s best left for short drives as shoulder room can be a cause of discomfort for broader built adults. Overall, the interior of the Astor is striking and bold at first glance, but as you settle in, it envelops you in a sense of comfort and luxury that is easy to get used to.

3. Uncompromising Build Quality

Step inside the cabin of the MG Astor and you’re greeted not only by an eye-catching and stylish interior, but also a level of build quality seldom seen in this segment. From the stitching on the seats to the quality of the brushed metal inserts on the doors, MG has clearly paid close attention to the quality of materials used inside the Astor. Everything inside the car feels solid to touch, with no creaking whatsoever despite our test car having run close to 25,000 kms. MG has included soft touch materials in most parts of the cabin, lending a sense of luxury that is seen in offerings in higher segments, and the Astor’s cabin quality has set a benchmark for other manufacturers.

4. Level 2 Autonomous Features:

Safety takes centre stage in the Astor, thanks to its impressive Level 2 ADAS features. The car utilises radar and camera-based systems to offer features like adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assist, and automatic emergency braking. There’s also the addition of Rear Drive Assist functions to help detect blind spots or traffic crossing from behind as you pull out of a parking spot, which has proved to be a significant help in several settings. The Astor also comes with Adaptive Cruise Control, which maintains a safe distance from the vehicle in front, and a Speed Assist System which reads traffic signs to infer speed limits, alerting the driver in case of over speeding and slowing the car down to be within limits automatically. The combination of these technologies enhances driver assistance and contributes to a safer driving experience on Indian roads. 

5. Segment-Leading Infotainment System and Digital Instrument Cluster:

Featuring an expansive 10.1″ touchscreen infotainment system, the MG Astor sets a new benchmark in its segment when it comes to entertainment and technology. With crisp graphics and an intuitive user interface, this system supports Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, allowing seamless smartphone integration. The Astor also comes with internet connectivity, built-in navigation, a well laid out touch keypad, a 360 degree camera, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, USB + FM + Bluetooth Music & Calling. However, we would have loved to see the addition of wireless Apple CarPlay and a wireless charger. The digital instrument cluster is well designed too, featuring sharp graphics and a variety of useful information to view. In addition to the usual fuel economy and trip information, the digital display gives you data on the Lane Keep Assist system, oncoming speed cameras and speed limits, and also allows you to set up and monitor the Adaptive Cruise Control system.

6. Panoramic Sky Roof:

One of the standout features of the MG Astor is its panoramic sky roof. Stretching across the entire length of the cabin, the expansive glass roof allows ample natural light to flood the interior, creating an airy and open ambiance. The panoramic roof also slides open to reveal a huge opening that’s great for long drives when you wish to feel the open sky.

7. Turbocharged Engine Options:

The MG Astor is available with two engine options, a 1.3 litre turbo petrol and a 1.5 litre naturally aspirated petrol engine. While the 1.5 litre motor produces 108 bhp and 144 Nm of torque, our pick of the lineup has to be the turbo petrol, which produces 140 bhp of power and 220 Nm of torque. The turbo petrol deliver impressive performance and responsiveness, and combined with a sharp shifting 6 speed automatic transmission, the Astor provides one of the better driving experiences in the segment. The engine has enough grunt even under spirited driving and the gearbox is quick to respond when you put your foot down. Paddle shifts would have been a great addition to further enhance the experience. While the balance between power and fuel efficiency could be a bit better, we have so far managed to clock an average of around 12.0 km/l during our test run of 1000+ kms.

8. Driving Dynamics

While the Astor comes with some great engine and transmission options, the driving dynamics of the car is even more impressive than the sheer grunt it provides. The steering, which feels feather light during low speed city driving and parking, gains some heft at higher speeds to give the driver more road feel during enthusiastic driving. At high speeds, the Astor stays pliant and stable, and the confidence that the car exudes is reminiscent of many pricier offerings in higher segments. The car stays sufficiently planted during cornering, and ride quality at higher speeds is commendable. Although the Astor’s ride does get a bit bumpy during slow speed driving, and allows a fair bit of road noise to creep in at high speed, the car manages to deal with most road undulations without fuss.

9. Value for Money:

Last but not least, the MG Astor offers exceptional value for money. Prices for the base model of the Astor, which comes with the 1.5 litre naturally aspirated engine mated to a 5-speed manual gearbox, start at INR 10.52 lacs, with the top of the line turbo petrol priced at NR 18.69 lacs ex-showroom. Between the two engine options, the MG Astor gives customers a choice of 18 different variants, ensuring that buyers are spoilt for choice. With its competitive pricing and an extensive list of features across the different variants, the Astor outshines many of its rivals in the market. It combines style, performance, and advanced technology, providing an overall package that is hard to beat.


The MG Astor undoubtedly impresses with its striking design, advanced features, well appointed interiors and confident driving dynamics. From its futuristic ADAS Level 2 autonomous capabilities to its long feature list, the Astor sets new standards for safety, connectivity, and driving pleasure. With its exciting blend of luxury, technology, and value, the MG Astor emerges as a top contender in the segment, offering a complete automotive experience at a competitive price. What’s not to like?

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