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Old 30th September 2021, 12:00   #286
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Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS) Features


A big USP for the Astor are the autonomous Level 2 safety features that MG has equipped it with. There are a lot of segment-firsts (some not available even in the next segment!), all intended to make the driver's life easier and safer, both via alerts and autonomous intervention as required. With level 2 ADAS, the car is capable of accelerating, braking and steering in certain circumstances to prevent or reduce the severity of potential accidents. However, it is NOT a substitute for the driver, and the features obviously have limitations (especially in Indian conditions) beyond which, the driver has to take charge. Level 3, in the future, is expected to bring a higher number + degree of autonomous features.

The features provide a variety of alerts; audio (chimes), visual (warning messages / icons in the instrument cluster) and haptic feedback (vibration on the steering wheel). Specific features also have options to turn individual alert types ON/OFF. All feature icons in the cluster are indicated in yellow when on standby and green when active. These icons disappear from the cluster when the features are deactivated / turned off.

Adaptive Cruise Control



Available from as low as 30 km/h, adaptive cruise control (ACC) can be engaged by pulling up the ACC stalk (push down to disengage). ACC can only be engaged with the vehicle rolling (>7 km/h). ACC can be set up for three sensitivity levels - low, medium, high (marked with lane gridlines on the cluster graphics), corresponding to time to collision (~1, 1.4 and 1.8 seconds). Rotate the knob on the ACC stalk clockwise to get closer gridlines and anti-clockwise to space them out.

ACC intelligently recognizes traffic merging into your lane ahead, and adjusts speeds in conjunction with the forward collision warning (FCW) system. It also has a 'follow to stop' mechanism, capable of stop / start in sync with traffic ahead and resuming without ACC needing to be restarted manually, as long as the stop is less than 3 seconds. Beyond 3 seconds, ACC goes into standby mode and needs manual re-engagement (pull ACC stalk up). In moving traffic, ACC also seamlessly picks up speed again when it detects the traffic ahead moving out of your path and FCW stops applying autonomous braking.

ACC goes into standby mode at any point the driver brakes manually (instead of autonomous braking via FCW). The ACC then needs manual re-engagement to resume.

Excuse us calling it 'automatic' cruise control during the conversation (duh!). It should be 'adaptive'.



Lane Assist System (LAS)



Offered in multiple modes (described below); all modes have two pre-requisites:
1. Lanes must be clearly marked (not always the case in India) and visible (system can recognize the most commonly used lane marking colors - white, yellow, orange, blue, etc.)
2. Only works at speeds of 60 km/h and above

Lane Departure Warning (LDW): Will alert the driver (chime + flashing red lane marker in the cluster) if the car is straying from its lane. No autonomous corrective intervention.



Lane Departure Protection (LDP): Will alert the driver if the car is straying from the lane due to sudden steering inputs (say the driver dozes off and accidentally jerks the steering in one direction). Will induce minor steering corrections to offset the inputs.

Lane Keep Assist (LKA): Will alert the driver if the car is straying from the lane. Will induce steering corrections. Will request manual override if a curve is too sharp and the lane cannot be kept with minor autonomous steering corrections. When LKA is engaged at 60 km/h, the lane guidelines in the cluster turn blue to confirm the engagement.

Safety Warning / Disclaimer: LAS is only capable of handling curves beyond a certain radius of curvature (MG says RoC larger than 250 meters), and sharper curves lead to the system alerting the driver to take manual control before disengaging LAS. Additionally, if LKA detects no hands on the wheel for 20 seconds, it disengages with a 'quit' alert and switches the steering back to full manual control.



In addition to the center console menu, LKA can also be engaged / disengaged via a push button on the outer edge of the light control stalk. Audio & visual alerts will confirm the action taken.

The modes are incrementally inclusive, as in LDP includes LDW, and LKA includes LDW + LDP. LAS, as a whole, also recognizes intentional lane changes in all modes (via the driver putting on either side's indicator to switch lanes), and automatically resumes once the maneuver is completed. In theory, it also allows one to drive straddling two lanes, if one so wishes. The system is not designed to intervene in circumstances the driver intentionally created and backs off to let the driver have full control.



Speed Assist System (SAS)



Available in 3 modes; all modes require Adaptive Cruise Control (ACC) to be disengaged.

Speed Warning: Can be set up to alert for a specific speed, won't intervene if exceeded.

Manual: Driver-chosen speed limit enforced. System won't allow acceleration beyond it. Speed limit numbers can be chosen & changed in 5 km/h increments using forward / back movement of the adaptive cruise control stalk.

Intelligent: Capable of detecting roadside speed signage and slowing the car down to match it. Speed reduction is designed to be gradual in the interest of safety; the car will NOT emergency brake to slow down abruptly with this feature.

The SAS can be overridden in an emergency by flooring the accelerator. SAS re-engages as soon as you lift off the accelerator pedal.



Forward Collision Warning (FCW)



Offered in two modes:

Alert: Visual warning on the cluster (yellow collision graphic).

Automatic Emergency Braking (AEB): The car will brake autonomously in an emergency if it detects a vehicle too close in the front. Sensitivity can be set to low, medium or high. AEB also provides an option to brake autonomously if a pedestrian is detected in the way - a feature that could potentially go crazy with jaywalkers around. So caution is advised.

Rear Drive Assist (RDA)



It's a safety feature to help manage rearward visibility during maneuvers. Available in 3 modes:

Lane Change Assist: With the indicators turned ON while changing lanes, the 'vehicle in proximity' warning light on the ORVM's outer edge will blink if the system detects another vehicle close to you in the lane you intend to merge into. The feature works only above 30 km/h.

Blind Spot Detection: 'Vehicle in proximity' indicator will illuminate (solid, not blinking) when the system detects a vehicle in your adjacent lane close to you and in your blind spot.

Rear Cross Traffic Alert: Works in conjunction with the reverse camera / sensor system. While reversing, if the system detects a passing vehicle approaching behind you, it will provide an audio warning and a visual overlay on the camera feed, indicating which side (left or right) the vehicle is approaching from. Rear crossing traffic detection works at less than 10 km/h (your speed, not the passing vehicle's).





Huge Shoutout to Om from MG Motors India for patiently demonstrating all the ADAS features personally, answering my questions and even helping me shoot a couple of do-overs when I didn't get them right at the first go. Top man !

Last edited by Aditya : 30th September 2021 at 12:01.
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Old 30th September 2021, 12:27   #287
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Great Review, very detailed and thorough. It might be a great car but reliability is always a concern with new brands and Chinese products. MG has upped their interiors significantly as the Gloster and ZS feel as premium as a VW/Skoda, but the IMO the Hector's interior is disappointing.
This is the hottest segment of cars in India and is exciting to see how the Creta, Kushaq, Taigun, Nexon and Seltos improve due to this threat from MG.
The only confusion is that the MG Hector costs about 1 lakh more than the Creta so how will this be positioned.
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Old 30th September 2021, 12:29   #288
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
We drove the MG Astor 1.3L turbo-petrol at the Buddh International Circuit, and here are our brief initial impressions.
Thank you Chetan. Really appreciate the details included in each parameters, especially ADAS.

What many of us are waiting for is - brief comparison with German twins and Korean twins in terms of engine and ride/handling; something like the suspension part comparison with Seltos you've already included. It Will make the buying decision easier based on trusted TeamBHP v/s other reviewers.
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Old 30th September 2021, 12:31   #289
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Fantastic review within the constraints of the location. I think the ADAS will be a bit of a handful for a lot of buyers and there will be a steep and (god forbid) costly learning curve in some cases. I just hope all stake holders (customer, manufacturer, administrators) are fully in the know of the implications of accidents where ADAS is involved. Even the western countries are still struggling with this.
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Old 30th September 2021, 12:37   #290
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Default re: MG Astor Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by KingKong View Post
....
The only confusion is that the MG Hector costs about 1 lakh more than the Creta so how will this be positioned.
We'll have to wait and see, but speaking to MG product mgmt. at the event, they seem confident of their product's value proposition.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dh.harshal View Post
...
What many of us are waiting for is - brief comparison with German twins and Korean twins in terms of engine and ride/handling; something like the suspension part comparison with Seltos you've already included. It Will make the buying decision easier based on trusted TeamBHP v/s other reviewers.
These impressions are based on a handful of laps around the track and some demos in the paddock & support parking lots, so would be unfair to make definitive comparisons until we do a comparably full test for Astor too. Stay tuned!

That said, first impressions are impressive. It drives well, is composed around corners, and the braking peformance really stood out to me (could be a USP compared to the segment leader).

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 30th September 2021 at 12:39.
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Old 30th September 2021, 12:42   #291
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Default re: MG Astor Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post

Ride Comfort



We didn't get to test the car on rough / public roads, but taking kerbs at speed (to replicate uneven roads and those increasingly ubiquitous rumble strips) transfers a rumbling resonance into the cabin without it feeling "thuddy" or crashy like a stiffly-sprung Seltos. Appears to be more compliant than the Kia. Urban sub-par roads shouldn't bother this car. Wait for our test on public roads.
Thank you, Chetan!

Any idea about occupancy in the 2nd row? Is a 5th passenger welcome or is this car more suited for 4.5 or 4 adults?
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Old 30th September 2021, 12:47   #292
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Default re: MG Astor Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by fhdowntheline View Post
...I think the ADAS will be a bit of a handful for a lot of buyers and there will be a steep and (god forbid) costly learning curve in some cases...
You're absolutely right about the learning curve part, an observation I made to MG ADAS folks too.

That said, credit to MG for attempting to idiot-proof some of the active safety functions. Intelligent Mode in Speed Assist System, for example, is capable of autonomous braking but it's designed to slow down gradually to avoid read ending scenarios. Useful in Indian traffic where tailgating is unfortunately far too common.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ashwin.terminat View Post
...

Any idea about occupancy in the 2nd row? Is a 5th passenger welcome or is this car more suited for 4.5 or 4 adults?
Very comfortable for two passengers in the 2nd row. A child or a smaller-built third adult could fit for shorter drives, but I wouldn't take one for a driving holiday sitting there.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 1st October 2021 at 01:26. Reason: Typo
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Old 30th September 2021, 12:56   #293
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post

Look what we found! Engine top cover is made out of dense foam, not hard molded plastic as is usually the case. Additional noise damping / insulation?
Could this be for pedestrian safety? If so, yet another premium engineering feature trickling into the lower segments

Last edited by GeeTee TSI : 30th September 2021 at 12:58.
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Old 30th September 2021, 13:06   #294
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeeTee TSI View Post
Could this be for pedestrian safety? If so, yet another premium engineered solution trickling into the lower segments
I asked MG. They won't put a specific number w.r.t. NVH improvement, but I suspect it helps at least a little bit with how refined the motor feels in the lower & mid rev range.

As to safety, a flexible surface is likelier to fare better w.r.t. impact absorption and dissipation. Every little bit helps.
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Old 30th September 2021, 13:27   #295
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MG sets a realistic target to its monthly sales figures of Astor. Could be due to its production constraint.

Quote:
MG India targets sale of 3,000 Astors a month
Quote:
would see it nearly maximising its 80,000-unit plant capacity at Halol, Gujarat. The company aims to optimise processes, set up a new body shop, and run the paint shop for three continuous shifts, to reach the 100,000-unit mark next year, before entering its next leg of expansion in India – investing into a new plant.

Quote:
the next big launch from MG Motor India will be a sub-Rs 20 lakh EV with a range of 500km.
Link

Last edited by volkman10 : 30th September 2021 at 13:29.
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Old 30th September 2021, 13:40   #296
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Default re: MG Astor Review

Having been on two review drives in the recent past with Chetan (Hyundai Aura 1.0 TGDi and Mercedes A Class Limousine), I know for sure that he is a more demanding driver than me and would be less forgiving to this crossover segment of cars.

If the Astor managed to come unscathed from his test - more than good enough for me to consider it seriously (against the 1.5 TSi DSG twins) when I reconsider my purchase decision next year. May not be as fun as the 1.5 TSi DSG, but if it can offer an experience midway between the 1.0 TSi AT and the 1.5 TSI DSG - that itself is a battle won, considering everything else that the MG has to offer.

Now only the pricing (Hopeful thanks to Hector positioning), safety (Wonder if everything else is good, is the compromise really is with safety - as is the case with the Koreans) and reliability (can't be predicted - see the Germans!) needs to be seen!

PS:

Any idea which Aisin 6-speed transmission is used in the ZST / Astor? Has it got anything to do with the VW-Aisin 09G 6-speed transmission used in the Kushaq/ Taigun? Wondering if MG got access to the same transmission somehow - via their Chinese partnership with VW.

Quote:
Originally Posted by volkman10 View Post
MG sets a realistic target to its monthly sales figures of Astor. Could be due to its production constraint.
MG's Halol facility from General Motors which had a capacity of 80000 units per annum and they are increasing that capacity to 1L units. They currently have about 4000 odd units of the Gloster and Hector - which leaves another 3000 odd units approx for the Astor.

However, this might also mean they may not go as aggressive with the pricing as many expect!

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 30th September 2021 at 13:44.
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Old 30th September 2021, 13:46   #297
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MG has got it Spot on? Seems like it!

I guess we all had one thing holding us from calling it death machine for Taigun/Kushaq and that was engine and driving performance. Seems like it ticks those boxes and also gets you a peace of mind with the Torque Converter gearbox.

Last edited by DeepCarTalk : 30th September 2021 at 13:46. Reason: Minor Typo.
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Old 30th September 2021, 14:01   #298
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DeepCarTalk View Post
...

I guess we all had one thing holding us from calling it death machine for Taigun/Kushaq and that was engine and driving performance. Seems like it ticks those boxes and also gets you a peace of mind with the Torque Converter gearbox.
We'll only know for sure when we do a full review, but sample this for a first impression: multiple reviewers walked into the briefing area post-drive, and one of the first things I heard said was 'Well, that thing doesn't drive like a blingy Chinese boat at all, does it?'
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Old 30th September 2021, 14:16   #299
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Default Re: MG Astor Review

Browsing through all the major auto journalist posts on You Tube, it certainly seems like this car is set somewhere between the Koreans and the Germans in terms of handling dynamics. So, daily puckered and withered road driving should be sorted. 🤞

Also, almost all journalists have said that the engine and gearbox combo is very well mated and the refinement is pretty good.

The interior has wowed everybody and some even claiming it to be the segment benchmark.

Add to that our TBHP remarks, it certainly seems to be a car with potential to do great numbers.

Now eagerly looking forward to the price discovery.
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Old 30th September 2021, 14:53   #300
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Default Re: MG Astor Review

Just read Evo India review
Not sure why Sirish Chandran is calling it 1.4 litre 4 cylinder engine

What we are testing is the 1.4-litre turbo-petrol 4-cylinder that makes 138bhp and 220Nm of torque.

https://www.evoindia.com/cars/car-re...t-drive-review
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