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New Honda City is BS Motoring car of the year
BS Motoring Desk in Mumbai | December 05, 2003 07:43 IST
The Business Standard Motoring Awards -- India's longest-running automotive awards -- for 2004 were announced on Thursday.
These awards recognise overall product excellence across various attributes and celebrate the best of the new cars and two-wheelers launched in the current year.
The new Honda City, from Honda Siel Cars India, drove away with the highest honour, winning the coveted Business Standard Motoring Car of the Year 2004 Award.
It had tough competition in the form of bigger and better performance-oriented cars like the Toyota Corolla and the Chevrolet Optra.
The exclusive COTY rating system rewards automobiles that are priced competitively and offer better fuel consumption.
The competition between the three finalists proved intense. The Toyota Corolla fared well in the performance parameters and the Chevrolet Optra showed what a value for money proposition it was.
Though the City lost points in sheer performance parameters to bigger engined cars, it more than made up for it by creating a new benchmark for fuel efficiency and competitive pricing.
In addition, it won high marks for design integrity, cab-forward styling, ride quality over Indian terrain, handling, ergonomics and other thoughtful features.
The Chevrolet Forester, brought into India by General Motors India as a completely built-up unit, was voted as the Business Standard Motoring Import Car of the Year 2004 for its brilliant on- and off-road behaviour, quality of build and overall driver involvement. And a price correction along the line helped.
The Suzuki Grand Vitara, Maruti Udyog's only CBU offering in the country, effectively proved that the Maruti-Suzuki brand can straddle two extremes, from a tiny 800 cc commuter to this, a V6-powered flagship.
Besides, the Grand Vitara's power-packed performance combined with the four-wheel drive system also worked in its favour to be given the Business Standard Motoring Jury Award 2004.
Among two-wheelers, the two main contenders for the top honours were the Kawasaki Bajaj Wind 125 and the performance-oriented Hero Honda Karizma.
The Wind 125 had an advantage with price and fuel-efficiency getting higher weight in the rating system. But in addition, the Wind 125's top-notch build quality and refined performance from the 125 cc engine make it the best offering in the growing executive commuter segment in the country. It won the Business Standard Motoring Bike of the Year 2004 Award.
The Honda Eterno built by Honda Motorcycle and Scooter India won the Business Standard Motoring Scooter of the Year 2004 Award for making Indians take a long, hard second look at geared scooters.
The Eterno is superb to ride, well put together, safe, comfortable and reliable too; it is now a benchmark among all scooters sold in the country.
The Business Standard Motoring Award winners are selected after extensive driving/riding evaluations and after subjecting the machines to an exhaustive list of parameters.
The awards have been announced since 1995, and previous Car Of The Year winners include the Mahindra Scorpio (2003), Fiat Palio (2002), Maruti-Suzuki Alto (2001), Ford Ikon (2000) and Hyundai Santro (1999). The awards will be given away at an exclusive ceremony in 2004.