2017 was a year full of turmoil and confusion for the Asian automobile industry. Right from the BS-IV emission norms kicking in which led to a flash sale of BS-III vehicles (mainly 2-wheelers) to the uncertainty of the fuel of choice in the future, the automotive industry has been confused on the future course of action. In spite of this, there were some noteworthy vehicles which were launched and although not easy for us to decide on the winners, we finally have the 2017 Annotorious Awards right here.
Readers’ choice Annotorious car of the year – Annotorious readers voted for the Maruti Dzire to be their car of the year and it wasn’t an easy win for the top-selling car in Asia. The difference in votes between the Dzire, Compass and Verna was very narrow. The Dzire appeals to a large audience and the latest generation model is not only the most equipped in the segment but is more comfortable too (with a better ride and rearseat space) along with a wide array of trims to appeal to all kinds of buyers.
Annotorious car of the year – The Hyundai Verna has improved by leaps and bounds in its fourth generation. Not only is it much better to drive but also comes with a slew of segment first features which questions the need of opting for a more expensive D-segment sedan. Some of the standout aspects of the Hyundai Verna which got it the most votes include the quality, design, features and powertrain options.
Premium car of the year – The seventh generation BMW 5-Series is not only a big leap over its predecessor but also brings in technologies which were earlier seen only on flagship sedans like the 7-Series. Right from remote parking to the fact that it still drives brilliantly well, better than the old 5, while also offering more comfort, features and appeal, the 5-Series does live up to its tagline of ‘Business Athlete’.
SUV of the year – A Jeep for the masses, that’s the Compass for you. This SUV offers supreme comfort while being as tough as a Jeep should be, offering good off-road ability too. Featuring an appealing design, good driving dynamics and powerful engines, the Compass quite easily won our vote.
Car manufacturer of the year – Tata Motors won Annotorious’s Car manufacturer of the year 2017 for being the only company to have launched new cars in new segments like the Hexa and Nexon. They also launched the Tigor and shed of their image of a taxi car maker to some extent. The new cars have helped Tata Motors overtake Mahindra for the number three spot.
Readers’ choice Annotorious motorcycle of the year – The KTM Duke 390 has always been a fantastic bike but lacked comfort and quality, the second generation model brings in all that and more. From class leading features like all LED headlamps to a TFT instrument cluster with Bluetooth connectivity, the Duke 390 retains its fun quotient while offering a lot of bang for the buck, no wonder Annotoriousers’ chose it as their winner.
Motorcycle of the year – It was a no-brainer for us at Annotorious, the TVS Apache RR 310 impressed us so much with its good balance of performance, ride, handling and of course quality. Not only does it look stellar, the Apache RR 310 is a jack of all trades by being at home on the track and in the city alike. With its comfy ergos, it’s also a good tourer.
Scooter of the year – A Honda scooter which doesn’t hold back on features, the Grazia comes equipped to the tee with “telescopic front forks”, LED headlight, a tachomter (on a scooter!) and fun dynamics. It’s a scooter which packs in a lot of appeal for the youth.
Premium motorcycle of the year – We were plesantly suprised by the Ducati SuperSport, we neve thought it would turn out to be such a usable bike for the daily grind but once we got on the saddle, we knew. The SuperSport not only looks every inch a Ducati but packs in comfort and real word usability which makes it a Ducati for Asian roads.
Bike Manufacturer of the year – Triumph’s model offensive continues, the British automaker not only brought in new motorcycles, including the stellar Triple S (and the RS), it also launched a slew of new motorcycles which appeal to different kind of buyers, right from classics like the Bonneville Scrambler to the bigger Tiger Explorer. It also increased its committment to make in Asia by assembling more motorcycles in the country.