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Despite having to endure a tough year in 2021, automobile manufacturers did a fantastic job of rebounding, and we saw a number of new models introduced during the year. Of course, such outstanding effort had to be recognised, and that is exactly what the Car India Awards 2022 achieved.

There were plenty of new launches and candidates vying for first place. The first order of business was to shortlist the new cars and categorise them by segment, after which the members of the jury put them through rigorous tests.
This was the 17th edition of the Car India Awards, and it was no easier than the previous ones. Despite the fact that COVID-19 and the novel Coronavirus Omicron variant problems threw a wrench in the works, the challenge of analysing such closely matched competitors proved to be even more difficult than we had anticipated.

The Jury Meet


The Car India Awards 2022 lineup included new vehicles that were released from 1 December 2020 to 30 November 2021. Only the best cars in each segment are eligible to compete for the top prize: the Automobile of the Year award. Each car is subjected to equal levels of scrutiny across a range of characteristics by the jury members in order to choose a winner in each category. Value for money, technical innovation, construction quality, safety, fuel efficiency, performance, practicality, and styling are some of these factors. Of course, all of these characteristics are tailored to the unique conditions of India.

The jury is a group of well-known automotive journalists, editors, racers, and experienced mentors. A two-pronged voting system eliminates the possibility of skewed results and gives each member the authority to award points as they see fit. After the jurors’ final tabulation of scores, the winner in each category is declared. All votes are kept a well-guarded secret and only the auditors seal and validate them.

Find out which automobiles won and who took home the most accolades on the following pages. But first, let’s take a peek at the panel of judges.

The Jury

Cyrus Gazdar

A passionate automobile enthusiast is a sharp observer of the industry’s fast-shifting trends. He is the former chairman and managing director of the AFL Group, as well as the former chairman and managing director of DHL, the global market leader in the logistics business. As a jury member, he is invaluable because of his acute judgement, great eye for detail, steadfast devotion to quality, and years of driving experience.


Sam Katgara 

This seasoned businessman is an avid sportsman who has competed in a variety of national swimming and cycling championships, in addition to igniting the Indian motor rallying scene, where he holds the record for being the quickest driver from Mumbai for five straight years. Not only that, but he also holds the 24-hour speed record for our country.

Navaz Bhathena

Navaz Bhathena, an ace lady rallyist, is regarded as one of just a few successful female racers in India. She has also played a key role in bringing national competitions to Chandigarh, such as the MAI Indian National Rally Championship. Navaz’s votes on the jury panel will be influenced by her years of top-level racing experience as well as her passion for the sport.

H S Billimoria

One of the most prominent voices in Indian motor journalism requires no introduction. He is the founder and creator of Next Gen Publishing Private Limited and brings his unique observations and charm to the awards board. He is not only good at recognising prospects for the growth of the Indian automobile industry but brings his unique observations and charisma to the awards board.

Rayomand Banajee

Rayomand belongs to the exclusive club of Indian racing drivers who have had a prolific and successful racing career. He is one of the most well-known personalities in the Indian karting industry. He remains an asset even after retirement since he trains and supports fresh talent. He demonstrated his immense potential by defeating Narain Karthikeyan, and he has also won the Indian National Championship in karts in 2003 and 2004. He is dedicated to raising the quality of talent in India through his Indi-karting series.

Sarmad Kadiri

Sarmad has over 15 years of experience in the print industry as the Executive Editor of both Car India and Bike India. He has a solid understanding of technical information, having analysed vehicles and motorbikes for nearly a decade, and is adept at developing strong team environments and coordinating across numerous media platforms. As a result, he is in a position to bridge the gap between an expert and a layperson. When it comes to new features, he is quick to recognise their utility or lack thereof and is an expert at differentiating the useful from the gimmicks.

Aspi Bhathena
Aspi Bhathena, the Editor of both Car India and Bike India, is a veteran of the automotive industry with over 40 years of expertise and a 25-year motorcycle racing career. He is one of just two Indians to have competed in the Isle of Man TT races, winning a bronze replica on his debut. He is also the only Indian to complete the arduous race. He has analysed practically everything that has been sold on our borders over the years, in addition to driving/riding exotic gear. His technical acumen and experience enable him to see even the tiniest flaws in vehicles and recommend solutions.

Jim Gorde

Jim, one of the jury’s younger members, has spent many years examining vehicles on two and four wheels for both Car India and Bike India, and has also travelled the length of the country on both two and four wheels. His passion for engines, engineering, and motoring allows him to pick the finest of the bunch. He is always eager to learn new things, whether it’s technique or technical specifics. Jim is always up to date on the newest developments, which aids him in writing clear and succinct reports.

Shapoorji Pallonji Group 
The Shapoorji Pallonji Group Limited (S P Group) has a rich 150-year history and is operating in a wide range of sectors. Real estate, infrastructure (ports, power plants, highways, and toll roads, among other things), fabrication, EPC (power and steel), Gokak Textiles, construction material (pre-engineered buildings, interior, access flooring), Afcons Infrastructure (marine works, roads, bridges, tunnels, pipelines, and specialist foundation works — piling, drilling, grouting), Forbes & Company, agriculture (bio-fuels), and many more are just a few of the areas where the construction business is still at the heart of the S P Group, it is, in reality, one of India’s oldest and most quality-conscious construction firms.

The S P Group serves clients in more than 50 countries and has a strong workforce of 60,000 experts from around 40 different countries who deliver the Group’s ideals and commitments in every project.


Hatchback of the Year: Maruti Suzuki Celerio

In this segment, The Maruti Suzuki Celerio was a clear winner and the 2022 Celerio is a completely new design with more passenger room and a new petrol engine that is both powerful and efficient. The automobile also comes with an AMT transmission, which ensures a smooth ride. It wins this year’s award for Hatchback of the Year. The car also has a new style and aesthetics, better features, and a new 1.0-litre K10C DualJet, Dual VVT petrol engine with Idle Start-Stop technology that returns an ARAI-certified mileage of 26.68 km/l. On paper, this makes the Celerio the most fuel-efficient petrol combustion car in the country right now.

Entry-level EV of the Year: Tata Tigor EV

The electric revolution, or should we say the green revolution, has swept the automotive sector. The award was given to the Tata Tigor EV after a significant discussion on factors like usability, pricing, and feasibility. Tata Motors has brought a green compact sedan within reach of most prospective EV buyers with the Tigor EV. The obstacles to having an electric vehicle are slowly but surely being resolved with each passing day. With new styling to match the Tigor facelift and the existing 72V electric powertrain being replaced with the more powerful Ziptron EV powertrain technology. Tata claims the EV will sprint from zero to 60 km/h in 5.7 seconds. The additional battery pack extends the EV’s range to 306 kilometres.

Sub-compact SUV of the Year: Renault Kiger

This is without a doubt one of the most popular categories on the market right now, It was a really tough call for the jury to decide between the Renault Kiger and the Tata Punch who were in a two-horse race. Since its introduction, the Renault Kiger has been a benchmark in its sector. It’s no surprise that the Renault won this one, given its powerful engines and a plethora of goodies on the inside. The Kiger has not only had a remarkable debut, but it has also accomplished the seemingly impossible feat of becoming a car capable of dominating this segment.

 Compact SUV of the Year: Skoda Kushaq 

Smart features, powerful turbocharged petrol engines, and excellent driving characteristics combine to make the Skoda Kushaq a terrific compact SUV. The Skoda Kushaq compact SUV was the company’s first vehicle to emerge from its India 2.0 initiative. It’s based on the company’s localised MQB A0 IN platform, and our jury members liked it a lot. The Kushaq SUV is available in two petrol models from Skoda: a 1.0-litre three-cylinder TSI and a 1.5-litre four-cylinder TSI. A 6-speed manual transmission is standard, with 6-speed AT and 7-speed DSG variants available as options. This bundle is truly the best in its class.

Compact SUV of the Year: Volkswagen Taigun

The Volkswagen Taigun was launched in India in September of last year, and it competed in the tightly competitive small SUV segment. It has a lot of creature comforts, and it wowed us with its driving dynamics and performance in our exclusive comparison test with the Creta. It competes against well-known Korean rivals like the Hyundai Creta and Kia Seltos, as well as its sister brand’s vehicle, the Skoda Kushaq.The tried-and-true 1.0-litre three-cylinder TSI turbo-petrol engine powers a variety of VW and Skoda vehicles. The larger 1.5-litre four-cylinder TSI petrol engine is available with both a six-speed manual and a seven-speed DirectShift Gearbox (DSG) dual-clutch automatic transmission. The Volkswagen Taigun small SUV has been named Car Of The Year for 2022 by Car India Magazine.

Off-roader of the Year: Force Gurkha

Force Gurkha features a new bodyshell and a redesigned chassis to comply with the newest safety rules. The design of this SUV is based on the Mercedes G-Wagen, and it has a commanding presence that drew the attention of many of our jury members. As before, the SUV is equipped with a 4×4 drivetrain, a low-ratio transfer case, and live axles on both ends with front and rear locking differentials. It features a 700 mm water wading capacity, making it a true hardcore off-roader. The engine is a 2.6-litre common rail, direct injection, turbocharged diesel engine derived from Mercedes-Benz making it more than capable to tackle any off-road environment.

SUV of the Year: Mahindra XUV700

The Mahindra XUV700 has been named the SUV of the Year 2022 by Car India Magazine. Mahindra’s new mid-size SUV debuted in the second half of 2021, with a wide range of variants and a slew of tech features never seen before in the sector. When the XUV700 was up against the Tata Safari for the award, it faced tight competition. The jury members found the XUV700 powertrains and comfort to be the highlights for this SUV. The 2.2-litre four-cylinder Mahindra mHawk turbo-diesel engine has two states of tune: 155 hp and 360 Nm in the MX series, and 185 hp and 420 Nm (with manual gearbox) or 450 Nm (with automatic gearbox). Mahindra’s new 2.0-litre mStallion engine powers the petrol SUV. All models 200 hp and a hefty 380 Nm of torque.

Premium SUV of the Year: Toyota Fortuner Legender

The cars in this sector are defined by their large size and spaciousness, as well as their luxury interiors. The Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace and the Toyota Fortuner Legender faced off this year. Both cars checked a lot of the correct boxes, but the Toyota Fortuner Legender came out on top when the scores were checked after the jury had voted. The Fortuner comes with every trick in the book to entice buyers of premium SUVs. Toyota have made sure that the car’s interior appropriately represents the preferences and needs of their customers. Furthermore, while being tech-heavy and capacious, the Fortuner’s new BS6-compliant 2.8-litre diesel engine is no slacker, producing a whopping 204 hp and 500 Nm of peak torque.

MPV of the Year: Hyundai Alcazar

Look no farther than the Hyundai Alcazar if you’re looking for a new MPV benchmark. Hyundai has managed to completely rewrite our expectations of an MPV and turn it into a highly attractive vehicle. Both petrol and diesel engines are used to power the vehicle. The 2.0-litre petrol engine produces 159 hp and 191 Nm of torque. The 1.5-litre diesel, on the other hand, is capable of producing 115 hp and 250 Nm of peak torque. The Alcazar has earned itself a well-deserved award as the MPV of the year as it comes in both six-seater and seven-seater versions.

Executive Sedan of the Year: Skoda Octavia

The new-generation Skoda Octavia has been named the Executive Sedan of the Year by Car India Magazine for 2022. The Octavia wowed the jury members with its raw and powerful power as well as its excellent handling abilities. In India, the Octavia is only available with a petrol engine and a seven-speed DSG transmission. Octavia’s fourth generation is based on the upgraded MQB platform and is larger than the previous model. A 2.0-litre unit petrol engine powers the Octavia. The TSI engine produces 190 horsepower and 320 Nm of torque. The jury members were delighted by Skoda’s overall refinement.

Luxury Sedan of the Year: Volvo S60

Volvo automobiles are famed for their exquisite Scandinavian design, and the S60 does not disappoint. It’s unquestionably one of the more attractive sedans in its class. The focus on safety that Volvo as a brand focus on stood out to the jury member when driving the new saloon. The S60 is based on Volvo’s Scalable Product Architecture (SPA), and as the Swede’s are known for, it is unquestionably a 5-star Euro NCAP rated vehicle. The Volvo S60 is equipped with a sole 2.0-litre turbo-petrol engine option that generates 190 horsepower and 300 Nm of peak torque. The engine is linked to an automated transmission with eight speeds.

Premium Luxury Sedan of the Year: Mercedes-Benz S-Class

The Mercedes-Benz S-Class has been named the Premium Luxury Sedan of the Year. In this category, the luxury saloon competed against three of its competitors, including the Maserati Ghibli Hybrid in this category. The S 350 d L is powered by a 2.9-litre diesel engine that produces 286 hp and 600 Nm of torque. This engine is connected to a nine-speed automatic transmission that drives the rear wheels. In 6.4 seconds, this car can accelerate from a standstill to 100 km/h. The S-Class boasts a long list of goodies, including 64-color ambient lighting, Burmester audio, fully adjustable reclining rear seats with memory function, heating/cooling, and even massage function, with the MBUX operating system and numerous advanced assistance features, which wowed the jury.

Performance Car of the Year: BMW M340i xDrive

The excellent BMW M340i xDrive won the 2022 Performance Car of the Year award. It is certainly a class mainstay focused on the energetic side of motoring, but it also manages to provide a high level of comfort for its passengers, with high-quality materials and a high-tech cabin. Because of its great driving experience and premium presentation, the BMW 3 Series will impress both drivers and neighbours. The 3.0-litre in-line six-cylinder turbocharged petrol engine, which produces 387 hp and a hefty 500 Nm of torque, was the major factor that gained the 340i this award from the jury.

Premium Luxury EV of the Year: Audi e-tron

Last year, Car India Magazine created the Premium Luxury EV of the Year award to honour and recognise the efforts that vehicle manufacturers have made toward a more sustainable future. The Audi e-tron beat off formidable competitors including the Jaguar I-Pace, Porsche Taycan, and its own sibling, the e-tron GT. The Audi e-tron electric SUV is available in two models: the Audi e-tron 50 and the Audi e-tron 55. The Audi e-tron 50 has a 313 hp output from the front and rear-mounted electric motors, while the Audi e-tron 55 has a 408 hp output from the front and rear-mounted electric motors. As discussed earlier, infrastructure for electrics vehicle is improving slowly but surely with each passing day.

Variant of the Year: MG Hector Plus

As the name implies, this category is for new automobile introductions that aren’t technically all-new cars, but more of a refresh or makeover. The MG Hector Plus has the strongest case for winning this prize as a whole. The Hector has been around for a while, but it is impressive how it has introduced the three-row Plus variants to stay competitive in the SUV market. It has received some much-needed enhancements in this guise, and it fulfils its job admirably. The 1.5-litre turbo petrol engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system in the MG Hector Plus produces 143 hp and 250 Nm of torque with additional torque. The engine is mated to a six-speed manual transmission. The 1.5 turbo-petrol is also available with a CVT automatic.

Readers’ Choice Car: Nissan Magnite

This year’s Readers’ Choice Awards were very interesting, since our dedicated readers voted for the Nissan Magnite to win. In India, Nissan have recently passed the milestone of having produced 50,000 units of the Magnite. There are two 1.0-litre, three-cylinder petrol engine options for the Nissan Magnite: the “Energy” naturally aspirated unit with 72 hp and 96 Nm, or the more powerful turbocharged petrol engine generates 100 hp and 160 Nm of peak torque (or 152 Nm of torque in CVT automatic model). A five-speed manual transmission is standard for both, with the turbo also getting a CVT automatic.

Design of the Year: Citroen C5 Aircross

Design can be subjective at times and vary from person to person, yet the Citroen C5 Aircross was chosen by all of the jury members for Design of the Year. There’s no denying the French flair in the C5 Aircross’s design and character, which sets it apart from anything else in the country with its unique and modern design. The C5 is powered by a 2.0-litre diesel engine that produces 177 hp and 400 Nm of torque, and from what we’ve experienced, the unit performs best when driven in a relaxed manner. The engine comes standard with an eight-speed automatic transmission.

Manufacturer of the Year: Tata Motors

Even after the difficult months of lockdown and economic hardship, one brand took advantage of the situation and was the first to return to normalcy. Tata Motors simply outpaced some of their competitors and claimed this accolade by consistently topping the sales charts month after month. Tata Motors have been good to the environment in addition to surviving the lockdown as well as the Coronavirus Omicron variant, and have slowly been gaining momentum in terms of sales. In an effort to lessen their carbon impact and actually make a splash in the electric vehicle market– and become a market leader–Tata Motors have done a fantastic job.

Automobile of the Year: Volkswagen Taigun

At the 2022 Car India Magazine Awards, the Volkswagen Taigun compact SUV won the coveted Automobile of the Year honour. To obtain this prize, the mid-size SUV had to beat out some tough competition, including the Mahindra XUV700, Renault Kiger, and Hyundai Alcazar, among others. The Taigun enchanted the entire jury with its practicality and broad list of features. Furthermore, the numerous engine and transmission options can accommodate a wide range of driving tastes. Winning the compact SUV of the Year Award was only the beginning for this vehicle because, at the end of the day, it outperformed the winners in all other segments. Volkswagen India has done an excellent job of delivering a car that not only meets but also surpasses consumer expectations in an efficient, robust, safe, fun-to-drive and cost-effective package.


Read More: Car India Awards 2021 Winners

Story by Kurt Morris



About the author: Kurt Morris



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