Maruti Grand Vitara, Bajaj Pulsar N160 the big winners at Autocar Awards 2023
While the Maruti Grand Vitara was crowned 'Car of the Year', the Bajaj Pulsar N160 rode away with the 'Bike of the Year' accolade. Tata Motors won the 'Manufacturer of the Year’ title for the second straight year.
The 2023 Autocar Awards – billed as the automotive Oscars of India – held in Mumbai on February 23, rewarded the movers and shakers of the Indian automobile industry. It’s the annual evening when the best cars and two-wheelers launched in the year are recognised and awarded. The big winners are the Maruti Grand Vitara and the Bajaj Pulsar N160.
While the Maruti Suzuki Grand Vitara was crowned the Car of the Year at the Autocar Awards 2023, the Bajaj Pulsar N160 rode away with the Bike of the Year accolade. The Grand Vitara had to contest closely with the likes of the Mahindra Scorpio N, Toyota Innova Hycross, Hyundai Tucson and several others to bag the top honour. Maruti Suzuki India’s first midsize SUV impressed the jury with its fuel-efficient hybrid system, clever packaging and quality that Maruti's flagship has brought to the table. Launched in September 2022, till end-January 2023 the Maruti Grand Vitara has sold over 32,000 units in the Indian market.
2023 Autocar Awards category winners: Cars
The Maruti Grand Vitara not only won the top honour overall, but it also topped its own segment with the Midsize SUV of the Year title. Meanwhile, the Mahindra Scorpio N took home the Off-roader of the year award – it impressed with its fabulous engines, robust build and hardcore off-roading ability.
Moving up the price ladder, the Hyundai Tucson was declared as the Executive SUV of the year, topping others like the Jeep Meridian and BYD Atto 3. The Tucson impressed the jury for its radical looks and all the technology it has brought into the segment. The Audi Q3 was announced as the luxury SUV of the year, over contenders like the Volvo XC40 Recharge and Jeep Grand Cherokee. In the MPV category, the new Toyota Innova Hycross moved the goalposts further in its segment, and likewise, was crowned as the MPV of the Year.
While SUVs continue to be the majority, last year saw quite a few competent hatchbacks and sedans being launched in the market. The Maruti Suzuki Baleno bagged the Hatchback of the Year title, while the Volkswagen Virtus took away the award for Midsize Sedan of the Year. Meanwhile, the Mercedes-Maybach S-Class was adjudged as the Luxury sedan of the year, over its stablemates the new C-Class and all-electric EQS.
Even though styling is a subjective matter, our jury agreed that the radical looking Kia EV6 was a deserving winner of the Best Design and Styling Award. The Performance Car of the Year award went to the phenomenal driver’s delight that is the Porsche 911 GT3 RS, while the Green Car of the Year award was given to the humble and practical Tata Tiago EV.
2023 Autocar Awards category winners: Bikes
Moving on to two-wheelers, the new Bajaj Pulsar N160 was a revelation to our jurors, impressing with its brilliantly smooth engine, packaging, quality and ride and handling balance. It’s also a massive improvement over its predecessor – the Pulsar 150 – thereby deserving the top honour for two-wheelers.
Meanwhile, the 2023 Premium Bike of the Year was won by the gorgeous, inline-four Suzuki Katana, while the Import Bike of the Year was awarded to the superb and capable Triumph Tiger 1200 Rally Pro, topping some heavy weights such as the Ducati Streetfighter V2 and the BMW F 850 GS.
Last year also saw a slew of new electric two wheelers launch in the market with the TVS iQube S, Bajaj Chetak and Ather 450X Gen 3 being the most competent of the lot. Topping it all, however, was TVS' iQube S, which won the title of Green Two-Wheeler of the Year – it impressed the jury panel with its practicality, comfortable ride quality, and good performance and range figures. At the other end of the spectrum was the Ducati Streetfighter V2 that bagged the Performance bike of the Year Award.
Viewer’s Choice and Industry awards
The Viewer’s Choice awards for both the Car of the Year and Bike of the Year were won by two reputable Indian brands – Mahindra & Mahindra and Royal Enfield – for the Scorpio N and Hunter 350, respectively. Both products have hugely wowed the Indian audience for their value and packaging, and their popularity can certainly be seen on Indian roads.
On to the industry, the 2022 Person of the Year was Rajesh Jejurikar, Executive Director of Mahindra & Mahindra, while the coveted Manufacturer of the Year award went to Tata Motors, just as it did last year. Here’s the list of all the winners:
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