Based on our short, crisp stint with it at the BIC, here is a list of the not-so-cool things on MG Astor
A couple of days back, we had driven the all-new MG Astor on the Buddh International Circuit. You can (re)visit our first-drive review for the initial impressions of the Astor. We had spent quite some time on BIC with it, including a few hot laps, and rigorously tested the ADAS features too, all on a very sunny day. Based on the same, here are 5 things we feel, could have been better on it.
- The Cabin Can Get Hot!
No, we don't intend to say the Astor has an incompetent air conditioning system! The climate control on this car is quite strong. However, the large panoramic sunroof covers over 90% of the roof area, and in reality, lets in fair amounts of light and heat (apparently the inner sunshade is the one to blame, and there is enough room for improvement in its thickness and the material used). Also, there is no seat ventilation on offer. This essentially means that setting the optimum cabin temperature would be the sole responsibility of the air conditioning system alone, the air-con vents to be more specific.
- Minor Practicality Concerns:
There are minor practicality concerns on the Astor. The front seats are well-bolstered and get comfortable upholsteries, but might cause slight discomforts to plus-size adults. The rear seats could have offered better under-thigh support and the seating angle could be slightly more relaxing as well. Also, there is no wireless charger on offer. However, the Astor gets 5 USB charging ports inside, wiping off rooms for any complaints.'
- The Only Quality Concern!
The only place (or thing) inside the Astor's cabin that would make you raise your brows would be the rear parking camera's display. The camera quality seems sub-par with the rest of the car. The overall display quality of the HD touchscreen is top-notch and this worsens the case. The rearview camera feed strikes a sharp contrast with the rest of the display in terms of quality, something not very welcoming for the beholder's eyes.
- You Can't Be Polite With It!
The AI assistant offers great support for voice commands. You can get multiple things done via voice commands. The overall recognition and accuracy have improved. However, it can still be smarter. The algorithm could be improved for recognizing and accepting more realistic, humane voice commands. For instance, you can say 'Hello Astor, open sunroof' and get things done, but might end up nowhere if you say "Hello Astor, could you open the sunroof please?" instead!
- Mechanical Improvement Possibilities:
The 1349 cc turbo-petrol engine is quite strong in terms of performance but is not the most aggressive in the segment. There are no selectable driving modes on offer, meaning one map works for all! No complaints here, but things would be better if MG gave the Astor a set of selectable engine modes. Yes, there is a Sport mode to the 6AT. The transmission as such might feel slightly sluggish in the normal (Drive) mode. You would thus find yourself obsessed with the S mode, if you are by chance, an enthusiastic driver. This would have its take on the overall fuel efficiency as well.