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The Astor from Morris Garages (MG) packs in stunning design and many segment-first features we take an in-depth look at the British Manufactures design philosophy.

Pune. A calm and refreshing retreat for those from the financial capital of India, Mumbai in Maharashtra has a tonne to offer with its small city charm.

Pune’s Colonial Architecture can be characterised as a mother country’s architectural design that was later adapted into colonies or settlements of buildings in far-off places. When it comes to architectural beauty, Pune used to be regarded as a paradise. Many of these structures are still standing today, albeit they appear to be only a faint shadow of what they once were due to carelessness and insensitivity. One may consider the British-era cantonments which exemplify this Colonial design at its best. And I was one of them. With the new MG Astor as an apt companion, I set off for a first-hand experience of exploring the heritage of the city which has now seamlessly melded with its now bustling modern lifestyle.

An iconic British Era building has to be the Savitribai Phule Pune University building. On February 10, 1949 was when the erstwhile University of Poona was founded. The university’s grand main structure, initially constructed in 1864, served as the governors of Bombay’s monsoon palace during the British Raj; initially housing Sir Bartle Frere. The building, constructed by English architect and civil engineer James Trubshaw, was constructed at Ganeshkhind, an area than outside of Pune. This historic structure, situated over 400 acres of greenery, was also the former opulent residence of British governors in pre-independent India. It is now Pune’s largest university and the alma mater of some of India’s most illustrious thinkers.

Another such landmark in Pune is Victory Theatre: a notable theatre in the Cantonment neighbourhood. This enormous theatre opened in 1938 under the name Capitol, then in 1986, the current owners changed the name to Victory. This oldest, continuously operating single-screen theatre in Pune is found on General Thimayya Road, formerly “East Street”, which runs parallel to MG, um… Mahatma Gandhi Road.

Victory Theatre has a distinctive frontage and the two-storey main building has an elaborate form that immediately declares it a historical structure. A lobby in the shape of an arcade, complete with tall arches and decorative pillars, is located on the bottom floor. The terrace directly above the lobby creates a barrier between it and the building’s highest point, which features a tapering triangle on top.

Close by happens to be another landmark of a different sort. The popular 11 East Street Cafe is the cool choice to lounge for may of the city’s youth and it houses everything from a traditional red telephone booth to a classic double-decker bus. I can’t help but make the connection to my drive. The Astor, too, reflects MG’s British aesthetic; evident in subtle design cues like the London Eye headlamps and smooth interior styling. The Astor feels the ideal blend of global technology and British design. Having an inexpensive yet luxurious vehicle, like my choice of dinner, is something under-appreciated in today’s day and age. Like this MG, it’s new but is instilled with more than 90 years of classic design while being packed with the latest technologies.

Drawing parallel to this British Design influence the MG Astor has a distinctive exterior that gives it a sporty appeal. It’s the ideal small SUV for families. Every detail of this SUV has been carefully designed and thought out, from the swept-back trademark headlamps to the elegant lines. The MG Astor’s roomy interior provides enough space for everyone, including the family pet and additional passengers. A boot made with families in mind can accommodate everything from a pushchair to the football uniform.

Few modern automakers can rival the storied past and enduring passion of MG, a British automaker that got its start in 1924 with an inspiring idea. Morris Garages is the name given to MG by its creator, Cecil Kimber, in homage to his former employer William Morris. Nearly a century after this renowned automotive company was founded, these three pillars have remained at the heart of every new MG and guarantee that the sports-inspired ethos of MG stays genuine.

I had the turbo-petrol variant and was pleasantly surprised by the smooth and refined powertrain which made it a breeze to drive around in the city. Besides, the MG Astor has a number of industry-first features, particularly in the areas of safety and entertainment. MG are renowned for their segment-first features and ability to provide more for less–just like the city of Pune does and has been doing so for a while. As I drove around absorbing the sights and classic heritage, I realised the Astor made a significant impression, even in the fiercely competitive SUV sector space with its aggressive price and long feature list. It made my experience day even more memorable

Also, read: MG Astor:Astronomically Intelligent 

Story by Kurt Morris


About the author: Kurt Morris



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