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Old 30th September 2021, 15:00   #301
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Default Re: MG Astor Review

XUV700 prices are out and on comparing different variant prices, seems like they have broadly considered a cost of 2.2 Lakhs for ADAS alone.

With that in perspective, given that 1.3 is 3 cylinder engine is placed between 1L of VAGs and 1.4/1.5L of VAG+Koreans - this engine compromise will lead to discounting. But if ADAS is added (keeping 2.2lakhs of M&M in mind), it will negate the discounting of engine and add to overall price.

I wonder if this would be an idea car to buy. I'm a bit confused. What is the USP of this car really?
1) Engine is 3 cylinder, a bit noisy and lacks power beyond 4000rpm (Refer ICN drive video) - It is a compromise from refinement & power side
2) Safety is 100% better than Koreans and comparable to VAG
3) Interiors with material quality is better than VAG and slightly better than Koreans
4) Space management inside - Slightly smaller than VAG and Koreans (maybe due to smaller wheelbase)
5) Outside dimensions - Perceived dimensions are smaller than Koreans and slight bigger than VAG
6) Basics missing - AD IRVM, Ventilated seats, cooled glovebox, wireless android auto and wireless charger - all offered by competition

I wish if there was an Astor with 1.5L Turbo engine with 4 cylinder with either DCT or TC of Hector. That would have been the ideal package. Right now after reading reviews here and watching YT videos, not getting confidence in spending 18-20 Lakhs for this car, as I will still be missing the power on tap and fast AT GB offered by competitors in this price.

Only if they price this car on road around 16.5-17 Lakhs, then it will be better positioned (vs. Hector and its own competition) and will justify the compromises made in engine.
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Old 30th September 2021, 15:01   #302
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Default Re: MG Astor Review

A superb drive report. MG should be optimistic if they've such a great product. My only request to MG or for the matter every manufacturer is to provide a niggle free car from day 1. Early adapters shouldn't be used as a Guinea pig.

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?
Rats! I hope this doesn't become a party ground for the rats.
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Old 30th September 2021, 15:04   #303
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Default Re: MG Astor Review

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Originally Posted by BoneCollector View Post
...
Rats! I hope this doesn't become a party ground for the rats.
It's really dense & tough foam, not a light/soft variety. Had to poke real hard to capture that!

Not saying it'll be rat-proof, mind. Those chaps are tenacious and nasty with stuff far tougher than foam, given enough time and biting opportunities.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 30th September 2021 at 15:06.
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Old 30th September 2021, 15:12   #304
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Default Re: MG Astor Review

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Originally Posted by crazyro View Post
Just read Evo India review
Not sure why Sirish Chandran is calling it 1.4 litre 4 cylinder engine
Engine sizes have never been called as per the exact round-off figures and are often approximated to the higher number if the lines are blurred. The biggest example - India's (ex-) national engine - the "1.3" Multijet was a 1248cc motor.

Coming to this segment:
MG uses a 1,349cc engine.
Hyundai / Kia uses a 1,353cc engine.

Call it a 1.3 or a 1.4, the difference in cc between these motors is negligible. I think some magazines will end up calling it a 1.4 because people will assume a 100cc difference instead of the actual 4cc between this and the segment benchmark Koreans.

The only motor that is significantly larger (obviously not considering the larger cars like the XUV 7OO with it's 2.0 motor, etc) is the 1498cc TSI motor in the Germans.
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Old 30th September 2021, 15:29   #305
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Default Re: MG Astor Review

Thanks, very nice review

Based on many photos, videos and the reviews the interior quality, fit and finish seems to be top notch for the segment. Unfortunately other than that I dont find much of an USP for the car. Its more like a mid ground on every parameter. If they price it well, it will surely be a hit.

Another question, on couple of reviews including this, the top speed is capping out at around 165 kmph. Is it because the engine is running out of steam (as mentioned in a review) or the car is not giving confidence beyond that or is it the restriction by MG / BIC for this drive?
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Old 30th September 2021, 15:37   #306
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Default Re: MG Astor Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by manpreetsj View Post
1) Engine is 3 cylinder, a bit noisy and lacks power beyond 4000rpm (Refer ICN drive video) - It is a compromise from refinement & power side
I suggest, you have a test drive first without outrightly rejecting it.
I found our TeamBHP review favorable and we always knew that the Astor will not be as punchy as the German duo. It seems to perform closer to 1L TSI with Torque converter of VAG twins.
Also, let the prices out. You might be pleasantly surprised if the top end is priced below 16 lakh ex-showroom and suddenly it will top everyone's charts on value proposition.

Coming to ICN video, it clearly seems that he had some of the ADAS options ON. His test car was actually limiting the speed and revolutions both itself. It it was revving hard and still did not accelerate, then that's a problem.
He also drove it like F1 car & was getting elated with with tire screech. Would we be driving and cornering so hard
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Old 30th September 2021, 15:40   #307
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Default Re: MG Astor Review

Thanks for the concrete review Chetan.

Saw review from ICN-Yogi, the engine seems to be less on power and behaves similar to an NA engine. Few points made in the given review:

1. 1.3L is a 3 pot motor which becomes boomy above 4000 rpm and is not revv happy.
2. No paddle shifters on offer for better control when needed.
3. Engine and gearbox combo is not meant for outright acceleration and is slower than the competition.
4. Handling is better than Hyundai, steering feedback can be better.
5. Enthusiasts choice according to him should be the German twins.

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Old 30th September 2021, 15:40   #308
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Default Re: MG Astor Review

A general view on drivability when it comes to 3-pot motors, as a lot of people still consider it a deal-breaker. Personal opinion of course, YMMV.

While 4-pot motors have better refinement in general, 3-pots have come a long way, and are no longer the coarse, thrummy, headache-inducing shake monsters they used to be.

Ford's 1.5 NA Dragon has got rave reviews for all its existence, while the 1 liter turbo-petrols from both Hyundai & VAG run close on the best small motor on the market scales (I actually prefer the Korean T-GDi more).

Do they lack top-end grunt relative to 4-pots? Sure. Would it be better if they could revv a bit more, and have poke to show for it? Yup. Is it a deal-breaker? Depends on what one's use case is.

Let me quote my own example. Obviously a vastly different segment of car, but the use case scenario applies just as well.

I drive a 1.2 liter, 3-pot turbo petrol putting out 115 PS. The redline comes up in the higher 5k rpms and I love hitting it occasionally both because the needle going red is uber-cool and the raw aural experience is just nuts! Would I want it to revv beyond 6k revs? Sure. Do I need it to? Not really. Real-world usage, the mid-range is where the fun and usable power is, and where the motor will spend a majority of its lifecycle.

Poking my car's throttle at 80kmph in 5th gear makes it lunge like a scalded cat, which is a lot more fun (and useful) than the occasional standing launch to redline. I love both aspects, but the former accounts for 95+% of real world use.

The Astor's 1.3 turbo petrol appears very competent in the low & mid revs range - where it will spend the vast majority of its usable life - both from a power delivery & refinement perspective.

Give it a try before you dismiss it as yet another small, unrefined 3-pot.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 30th September 2021 at 16:48. Reason: typo
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Old 30th September 2021, 15:50   #309
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Default Re: MG Astor Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by sunikkat View Post
...

Another question, on couple of reviews including this, the top speed is capping out at around 165 kmph. Is it because the engine is running out of steam (as mentioned in a review) or the car is not giving confidence beyond that or is it the restriction by MG / BIC for this drive?
It's a combination of track length and motor capabilities in the specific scenario.

The back straight between turns 3 & 4 lets you take it up to 160-odd kmph, progress is slow beyond that (there's also elevation changes on that section), and you obviously have to brake for the rather sharp turn 4 much in advance compared to the racing grade braking-distance markers. It might go a little faster on a flatter, longer straight, but I doubt there's much more poke left to extract in the higher rev range.

Stability, whether accelerating, at speed or under braking, was never a concern anywhere on the track, unless one was really looking for trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dh.harshal View Post
...clearly seems that he had some of the ADAS options ON...
Won't comment on anyone's driving specifically, but yes, I made a note to disable all driving aids before I left the pitlane for my hot laps to ensure I don't get artificially limited while flooring it.

The car's competent for what it is - a compact crossover - and has to been seen in that perspective. No point trying physics-defying stuff or compare to another body type.

Last edited by Chetan_Rao : 30th September 2021 at 15:55.
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Old 30th September 2021, 15:54   #310
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Default Re: MG Astor Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post

The Astor's 1.3 turbo petrol appears very competent in the low & mid revs range - where it will spend the vast majority of its usable life - both from a power delivery & refinement perspective.

Give it a try before you dismiss it as yet another small, unrefined 3-pot.
Thanks for additional inputs shared, its reassuring. Will for sure drive it before taking a call. As you rightly said low and mid revs are more important and if your experience is good with that, then there shouldn't be any problem.

Just wanted to check one more thing, how was the audio output while driving the car, given that woofer is missing. Did you get a chance to try it out? Couldn't find any mention of it in original review on how it compares to same segment cars.

Last edited by manpreetsj : 30th September 2021 at 15:58. Reason: Additional information added
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Old 30th September 2021, 17:18   #311
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chetan_Rao View Post
A general view on drivability when it comes to 3-pot motors, as a lot of people still consider it a deal-breaker. Personal opinion of course, YMMV.
Thank you for the insights. Definitely helpful .

Can you also share your thoughts on vibrations at idle? I recently got a chance to drive Ford Freestyle 1.2 3-cylinder petrol engine which had considerable amount of vibrations at idle. That's one thing which really put me off. The overall driving experience was satisfactory though.

Thank you.
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Old 30th September 2021, 17:26   #312
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Default Re: MG Astor Review

Excellent review/first impression as always.
Felt that MG is going overboard with the tech gimmicks especially with Bot and the ADAS related driving aids.
We wont take our eyes of the road anyways while driving at speeds in highways, so these assist systems won't be of help for a keen and attentive driver IMHO.
Brake assist is a welcome feature and so is the blind spot warning indicator.
The 1.3 turbo looks good on paper but not a deal breaker in comparison with some of its rivals. The ride and handling didn't look promising too in some of the initial reviews that I've seen.
Only time will tell whether the market is going to embrace this "Chinese fusion" product or not.
Fingers crossed.
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Old 30th September 2021, 17:29   #313
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Default Re: MG Astor Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by Col Mehta View Post
...
Can you also share your thoughts on vibrations at idle? I recently got a chance to drive Ford Freestyle 1.2 3-cylinder petrol engine which had considerable amount of vibrations at idle. That's one thing which really put me off. The overall driving experience was satisfactory though.
Ford added a balancer shaft to the 1.5 Dragon, but not the 1.2. There's a perceptible difference in vibrations if you try both back to back. The 1.2 is a peppy little motor though, great for urban use.

Some 3-pots are more refined than others, but none as much as a 4-pot of a comparable size. How the manufacturer offsets that natural imbalance (balancer shafts, extra damping, beefier mounts etc.) makes the difference in NVH perceived by the customer.

The Astor's motor, once warmed up, is pretty refined at idle and through the mid-range w.r.t NVH. Cabin insulation helps too. With the door open and shut standing still, there was a very perceptible change in sounds I could hear, both from the motor and the surroundings.
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Old 30th September 2021, 17:35   #314
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Default Re: MG Astor Review

Any data on ground clearance?
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Old 30th September 2021, 18:07   #315
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Any data on ground clearance?
Unfortunately, that information wasn't available in any of the promotional material provided or presented during the drive event. We'll get it clarified during our full test and review.
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