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The Jury round is over and the winner for the ICOTY 2020 will be announced on December 18
You know what time it is, it’s awards time! We have had a year of amazing new cars, new companies entering our market and some cars rebelling against the market downturn. The nominees for the Indian Car Of The Year (ICOTY) awards include the best cars from the whole year, across various segments. This year the list looks particularly tough with some really good contenders. The jury round was conducted at the Buddh International Circuit, where experienced journalists included our very own Editor too, sat down to vote on which car deserves to win. Below is a list of the nominees, let us know your pick! The awards ceremony sponsored by JK Tyre will be held on December 18, where the winner of the ICOTY award will be revealed.
Honda Civic: The Honda Civic might just win the award for the best looking car out here. It is a car that has returned to India after skipping a generation. The original Civic was loved by boy racers and executives alike, and the new car attempts to continue in that vein. It even gets a 1.8-litre petrol engine, however the CVT gearbox and lack of a manual leaves enthusiasts wanting.
Grand i10 Nios: Hyundai priced the Grand i10 Nios a segment higher than before to pit it against the big guns in the hatchback market. We compared the i10 Nios to the Swift recently and the Nios actually won. Once you see the well laid out interiors, proportionate styling and the long feature list, it's hard to argue why the i10 NIOS has its name on the list.
Tata Harrier: The Harrier is Tata’s flagship SUV (for now), and the aggressive styling and its imposing stance made it a hit in our markets. The Harrier is underpinned by the Land Rover D5 platform, giving it a sense of sophistication that no Tata has had before. The first ever product to get direct benefits from the JLR acquisition, the Harrier is a rather rounded product.
MG Hector: MG is a new brand in India, in fact its a recently re-energised brand too, one with British history and new Chinese ownership. MG shook the market when they launched the Hector in India, offering never-seen-before features along with real estate to shame SUVs from a segment or two above. Pair that with the large chrome grille and imposing front, the Hector was an instant success.
Nissan Kicks: One of the more underrated cars in this list, the Kicks offers great driving dynamics along with good space on the inside. The Kicks is made specially for our market (the one sold internationally has different underpinnings), it takes the raw nature of the Duster which provides a comfortable ride and polishes it with fancier interiors and more comfort.
Kia Seltos: We mentioned that the Hector shook the market when it launched, the Seltos took the market and turned it on its head. It out-sold every single SUV on the market and made Kia the fourth largest car manufacturer in the country, with just one model! The sheer number of variants and gearbox options, along with the vast features list and aggressive pricing is what made it such a success.
Maruti S-Presso: The S-Presso’s looks may not be everyone’s cup of tea (or coffee rather) but Maruti Suzuki saw merit in what Renault was doing with the Kwid and wanted a piece of the pie. The S-Presso offers fresh styling on the inside and a rugged-ish look on the outside, it’s definitely a funky choice, and good value.
Renault Triber: Renault’s Triber is a different take on the sub-four metre segment. Instead of offering an SUV, Renault has gone with an estate that is priced like a hatchback but can seat seven thanks to clever packaging that lets you remove the third row entirely and slide the second row for more space or more luggage space in the back. Couple that with great features and technology on the inside and you see why the Triber has earned its spot here.
Hyundai Venue: The Venue changed the game in terms of what we can expect in terms of features in the compact-SUV segment. It was India’s first connected car and the swanky styling and good interior quality was a bonus. The Venue is keeping Hyundai’s sales up in this downturn and it’s easy to see why.
Maruti WagonR: The new WagonR offers a big increment in space, comes loaded with features and has really commendable ride quality thanks to the Heartec platform. Additionally, with its option of two engines, it caters not only to family car buyers but also fleet owners.
BMW 3 series: The “sportiest 3-Series ever” is an all-new generation of the 3-Series. It has grown in terms of size and features and become a more mature car overall. The new 3-Series has impeccable quality on the inside and the punchy 330i with the turbo-petrol engine can really get up and go, in our comparison between the C-Class and the 3-Series, the 3-er was the overall winner, even in the comfort department where the earlier generations always fell short.
Audi A6: The eighth generation A6 is quite a step ahead from the outgoing model in terms of luxury and technology offered on the inside. It sits on an all-new platform and gets marginally sharper and bolder exteriors but the lack of Audi’s quattro system and Matrix LED headlights along with the lack of any diesels are a step back from the previous generation.
Mercedes Benz CLS: Back in 2004, Mercedes-Benz introduced the first gen CLS and it was the world’s first four door coupe. This new generation gets swanky styling like its predecessors and a similar silhouette too. The great technology on offer and decent performance make the CLS an interesting pick over a standard luxury saloon.
Jeep Wrangler: Jeep overhauled the mighty Wrangler with the new ‘JL’ generation. It gets a bump in technology and refinement while still retaining its ‘go anywhere do anything’ abilities. The Wrangler’s new 2-litre turbo-petrol motor offers a good punch to tackle close to anything and the off-road goodies include an old-school lever controlled four-wheel-drive system with low ratio, locking differentials and solid axles. No luxury here, but the Wrangler is an endearing car nevertheless.
BMW X4 Coupe: The X4 is a car that straddles the line between practicality and performance. The X4 has a lot riding on it’s shoulders since BMW was the one to pioneer the Coupe-SUV segment, and the X4 does not disappoint. It looks like a million bucks, drives great and has all the technology and quality you would ever need. The X4 is also locally manufactured now so it won’t burn a hole in your pocket, not a very big one at least.
BMW X5: For this generation, the X5 has been overhauled entirely. The new X5 gets a much bigger footprint and therefore, a much more spacious cabin. The X5 always drove well but lacked in comfort compared to its rivals but for this new generation the company has worked on that front too. The interior is a great place to be, the seats are very plush and there are fantastic quality materials everywhere. The smooth gearbox and engine combination makes this a great SUV.