2020 was a year very far from normal but that did not deter car and motorcycle manufacturers from launching new products in the Indian market. In spite of sales being shut for over a month, operations disrupted due to the pandemic, and an overall slump in the automobile industry, we saw a slew of new cars and motorcycles being rolled out in the market. And while we are already into 2021, we would proudly like to present to you the annual IndianAutosBlog and IndianAuto.com Awards video to highlight the best from last year.
Premium Car and Motorcycle of The Year 2020
2020 was a year where the premium car and motorcycle segment was hugely hit in India. That, however, did not deter a certain Mercedes-Benz from launching the all-electric EQC SUV in India. The Mercedes EQC is India's first luxury EV and it has hugely impressed us with its ability and what we can expect from Mercedes-Benz in the future. The EQC is based on the Mercedes-Benz GLC but its a completely different experience over its ICE-powered sibling. With a range of about 400km and a 0-100 kph sprint time of 5.1 seconds, the EQC has set a high benchmark for upcoming luxury EVs in India. The Mercedes EQC is thus our pick as Premium Car of the Year
As for our choice for the Premium Motorcycle of the Year, it is new Triumph Tiger 900. The new Tiger 900 range replaces the older Tiger 800 range in India. Apart from the obvious increase in engine displacement, the Tiger 900 is a completely new motorcycle based on a completely new chassis. With revised styling and ergonomics, the Tiger 900 is a much more usable and accessible motorcycle now and the updated electronics package just makes it a whole lot easier. Given the popularity of ADVs these days, the Tiger 900 was a no brainer as the Premium Bike of the Year.
People's Choice - Car and Motorcycle of The Year 2020
We conducted a public poll for the People's Choice - Car of the Year Award, and it was the Kia Sonet that came out on top with almost 16% of all votes. And we are not surprised because the sales chart does not speak very different either. The Sonet was quick to outsell its rivals and even featured in top 10 selling cars of November and December. What makes the Sonet so popular is that it very well packaged with tons of features on the inside, smart styling on the outside and a wide range of engine and gearbox options. The Kia Sonet thus wins out People Choice - Car of the Year Award. You can read our review of the Kia Sonet here.
As for the People's Choice - Motorcycle of the year, it was the Hero Xtreme 160R. The Hero Xtreme 160R secured 23.17% of total votes in our public poll, thus securing the top position. The Xtreme 160R is one of the most exciting 150cc motorcycles to come out in 2020 with very smart styling and great usability. Combined with Hero's strong network of after-sales services and ownership experience, the Hero Xtreme 160R is an obvious choice. It brings exciting performance to the otherwise boring commuter segment like no other.
Jury's Choice - Car and Motorcycle of The Year 2020
The Jury's Choice - Car of the Year award is completely based on an internal assessment by the jury of IndianAutosBlog and IndianAuto.com and the car we came away most impressed with in 2020 is the new-gen Hyundai i20. The Hyundai i20 has always been a very likeable car but Hyundai really upped the game with the latest version of the i20. Like all Hyundai's, styling and a feature-packed interior were well taken care of, but with its new engine and gearbox options, it could finally take the competition to the likes of the Volkswagen Polo TSI in terms of outright performance and that is what really impressed us. You can read our review of the Hyundai i20 here.
For the Jury's Choice - Motorcycle of the Year, it will be Honda H'ness CB350. The Honda H'ness CB350 was actually one of the biggest surprises of 2020 but when it arrived, it really had us impressed. The Indian motorcycle enthusiast finally had something else to look at, if you were considering a Royal Enfield. The long-stroke single-cylinder engine on the CB350 has a very lovable thump, with the engine certainly being a highlight of the motorcycle. Although Honda did manage to price it competitively, accessibility still remains a problem as it is retailed through Honda's BigWing dealership network.
SUV of The Year 2020
Well, 2020 was certainly a year for SUVs in India, with a majority of new car launches being of this body style. We thus created this exclusive category to honour what is arguably the most iconic SUV in India. 2020 was the year when Mahindra revived the Thar and a generation update cannot get more comprehensive than this. The core of the Mahindra Thar still remains its immense off-road ability but its a proper modern-day SUV with all the niceties you'd imagine from a modern car. With looks to kill, great everyday usability and well packaged and comfortable interiors, the Mahindra Thar is our pick for SUV of the year. You can read our review of the Mahindra Thar here.
Car and Motorcycle of The Year 2020
Finally, coming to the most prestigious Car of the Year Award from IndianAutosBlog and IndianAuto.com, it will be new-gen Hyundai Creta. The Hyundai Creta always been the undisputed king of the mid-size SUV segment and the trend continues with the new-gen model. Okay, the looks may be polarizing, but the Creta is second to none when it comes to packaging, feature-rich interiors, comfort and usability, great everyday drivability and of course, value for money. Considering all these factors, it is the Hyundai Creta that wins the Car of the Year 2020 Award in our books.
As for the Motorcycle of the Year from IndianAutosBlog and IndianAuto.com, it will be the Royal Enfield Meteor 350. This Meteor 350 was a very important motorcycle for Royal Enfield. It was the 650 twins that first showed us what RE is really capable of but it's the Meteor 350 that really brings it to the masses. It retains all that we love about a Royal Enfield motorcycle but it is modern, refined and very usable under its skin, something you couldn't really say about its predecessor. The Royal Enfield Meteor 350 is thus our favourite motorcycle from 2020.
So these were all the top honours for new cars and motorcycles launched in 2020. The slew of new cars and motorcycle launches are continuing well into 2021 and we will have a lot more exciting new cars and motorcycles in the months to come.