2019 Indian Car of the Year announced

The annual award season has begun and kicking things off in style is the Indian Car of the Year (ICOTY) title. Modeled on the likes of similar titles handed out globally like the North American Car of the Year and the European Car of the Year, the ICOTY is considered the most definitive award in the Indian automotive industry. That's primarily because the award sees the coming together of automotive experts and journalists from almost every major publication and website in the country. Each of the jury members have been driving and reviewing automobiles for more than a decade each and the scoring process is claimed to be simple and transparent.

This year also sees the introduction of a new category under ICOTY called the Premium Car of the Year. Aimed at cars costing over INR 40 Lakhs ex-showroom, this award intends to recognize the best set of wheels for the super-rich Indians.

2019 Indian Car of the Year

2018 has been one of the busiest in recent years in terms of the number of new cars launched but the jury members spent a day driving all the new models at the Buddh International Circuit that allowed them to shortlist 8 cars for the final run-up to the title. The ones that made the cut are the Amaze and CR-V from Honda, the Hyundai Santro, the Alturas G4 and Marazzo from Mahindra, Maruti-Suzuki's Ertiga and Swift and the Toyota Yaris. As evident, each of these models are crucial launches not just for the respective brands but also for the segments in which they retail. 

In the end, it was Maruti-Suzuki's Swift that won the coveted award. Crowned last evening at a glitzy event in Mumbai, the Swift took home it's third ICOTY trophy having already won the title in 2006 and 2012. That makes the premium hatchback from Indian's largest car-maker the only car thus far to have won the award thrice. Offering a stylish, peppy and fun-to-drive package loaded to the gills with features and protected by the country's best after-sales network, the Swift is a "You can't go wrong" choice this side of 10 Lakh Rupees. It's no wonder then the sales are shooting through the roof with each passing month.

Though the other contenders provided strong competition initially, the Swift won by a significant margin of over 30 points in the end. Hyundai's Santro finished runner-up with the Honda Amaze rounding off the podium. 

2019 ICOTY Results

  1. Maruti-Suzuki Swift 
  2. Hyundai Santro
  3. Honda Amaze

Previous ICOTY Winners

  • 2018 - Hyundai Verna
  • 2017 - Maruti-Suzuki Vitara Brezza
  • 2016 - Hyundai Creta
  • 2015 - Hyundai i20
  • 2014 - Hyundai Grand i10

2019 ICOTY - Premium Car of the Year

Premium cars aren't always assembled or manufactured in India, given the limited sales and lack of volumes. That eliminates most of the premium cars from even competing for the ICOTY title. The Premium Car of the Year award, introduced this year, aims to set things right at the upper end by separating the luxury cars whose strengths and evaluation criteria are often different from mass-market cars.

The inaugural edition of the ICOTY Premium Car of the Year title had 11 contenders. The list included Audi's Q5 and RS5, the X3 and 6-Series GT from BMW, the Mercedes-Benz E 63 S, Mini Countryman, Porsche Cayenne, Range Rover Velar and the XC40 and XC60 from Volvo.

While the jury crowned the Volvo XC40 as the winner this year, it's bigger sibling - the XC60 - finished runner-up. 

That's quite a message from Sweden to the well-established luxury marques from Germany and the United Kingdom. It's going to be really interesting to see how things in the premium segment shape up in the coming years. 

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