Hyundai Verna wins the '2018 Indian Car of the Year' title

As the curtains come down on another fantastic year for the Indian automotive industry, its time to look back and zero in on the best new car launched this year. That's precisely what the 2018 Indian Car of the Year (ICOTY) title, announced last evening at a glitzy event in Delhi. 

Sixteen new cars launched in 2017 qualified for the award out of which nine made it to the final jury round held earlier this month. The top nine finalists were the Honda WR-V, Hyundai Verna, Jeep Compass, Maruti-Suzuki Dzire, Maruti-Suzuki Ignis, Renault Captur, Skoda Kodiaq, Tata Nexon and Volkswagen Tiguan. All the contenders were evaluated on multiple parameters including price, fuel efficiency, styling, safety, performance, practicality, innovation and suitability for Indian consumers and driving conditions. 

At least four of those cars - the Hyundai, the Jeep, Maruti-Suzuki's Dzire and the Tata are remarkable launches this year that have not just done well for their respective brands but also moved the segment goal posts forward. Each of them would be a deserving winner had they come out on top.  

In what turned out to be the closest contest witnessed by the ICOTY jury panel yet, it was the Hyundai Verna that came out on top by a solitary point. Yes, a single point made all the difference out of 450 that were handed out. Maruti-Suzuki's Dzire was the first runner-up and the Jeep Compass finished third once the results were tallied and the votes counted.

Launched this September, the new Verna is a class act in the mid-size segment and an improvement over its predecessor in almost every single aspect. The newest Hyundai is a complete all-rounder offering power, fuel-efficiency, comfort, practicality and features unheard of in this price range. That it rivals two of the strongest competitors there are - Honda City and Maruti-Suzuki Ciaz - make the Verna's success all the more credible.  

2018 ICOTY Results

  1. Hyundai Verna - 118 points
  2. Maruti-Suzuki Dzire - 117 points
  3. Jeep Compass - 87 points

Previous ICOTY Winners

  • 2017 - Maruti-Suzuki Vitara Brezza
  • 2016 - Hyundai Creta
  • 2015 - Hyundai i20
  • 2014 - Hyundai Grand i10
  • 2013 - Renault Duster

Remarkably, this is Hyundai's fourth title triumph in five years. From 2014 to 2016, the South Korean car-maker won a hat-trick of ICOTY titles with the Grand i10, i20 and Creta. The Tucson finished runner-up to the Maruti-Suzuki Vitara Brezza last year and with the Verna's victory this year, the ICOTY title is back in Hyundai's lap.

This is the thirteenth edition of the award that has now clearly established itself as one of the most coveted and sought-after in India. Modeled on the lines of prestigious international titles like the North American Car of the Year and the European Car of the Year, the ICOTY award brings together a jury panel comprising of automotive journalists and experts from a myriad of publications. 

ICOTY 2018 had the maximum number of jury members in the history of the award including Yogendra Pratap & Rahul Ghosh (Auto Today), Dhruv Behl & Ishan Raghava (Auto X), Aspi Bhathena & Sarmad Kadri (Car India), Sirish Chandran & Aninda Sardar (Evo India), Kartik Ware & Raunak Ajinkya (Motoring World), Bob Rupani & Rohit Paradkar (Overdrive), Girish Karkera & Agasti Kaulgi (Top Gear) , Muralidhar Swaminathan (The Hindu Business Line), Pablo Chaterji (Man's World), Vikrant Singh and Hani Musthafa.

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