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Recognition for Automotive Merit

The Indian Car of the Year (ICOTY) 2024 award ceremony was held last month. It happened to be the 19th edition of this prestigious award and I happened to be the only member of the jury to have taken part in the selection process over all those 19 years.

To start with, we just had the Indian Car of the Year Award. Then we added the Premium Car of the Year Award and the Green Car of the Year Award. There were a number of good contenders for the latter this year and the winner was the Hyundai Ioniq 5.

The Premium Car of the Year category witnessed contenders from all the premium brands and the winner in this segment was the BMW 7 Series. The new 7 Series has set a very high benchmark; indeed, the car boasts of features that most cars costing more than four times its price do not offer.

There was a close contest among the Toyota HyCross, Honda Elevate, Maruti Suzuki Jimny, and Hyundai Exter for the crown. Ultimately, it was the Hyundai Exter that lay claim to the top honour of being the Indian Car of the Year. Last year, Kia did the ICOTY double and this year it was Hyundai who bagged two awards.

Last month I drove down to Udaipur (Rajasthan) and back in a BMW X7 40d. The drive was absolutely effortless thanks to the big SUV. The diesel engine has tons of grunt, which makes overtaking a breeze, and one can cruise at three-digit speeds comfortably all day long with the assurance of good fuel efficiency to boot. One can throw this big SUV around corners and dart in and out of traffic with ease as if it were a small hatchback. It was only on account of the luxury and comfort of the X7 that I could I drive non-stop for 12 to 14 hours during this Pune-Udaipur-Pune trip.

I would like to conclude by wishing all our readers a safe and happy New Year.



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