CNBC-TV18 and Autocar India have announced the winners of the fifth edition of the CNBC-TV18 Autocar Auto Awards. The event, held in New Delhi on January 11, 2006, adjudged Maruti Swift as the ‘Car of the Year’ among heavyweight contenders like Hyundai Sonata Embera, Hyundai Tucson, Ford Fiesta, Toyota Innova and Skoda Laura.
Leading the pack of bikes was TVS Apache, which bagged the ‘Bike of the Year’ award with stiff competition from Hero Honda’s Achiever, Super Splendor, Pleasure, Bajaj Avenger, Wave, LML CRD 100 and Kinetic’s 4S scooter.
Commenting on the awards, Haresh Chawla, CEO, CNBC-TV18, said, “The CNBC Autocar Auto Awards is now in its 5th year of being the benchmark in helping the Indian consumer choose the best automobiles available and make informed choices. We are proud to be a part of the ‘Great Indian Dream’, where a picture of a proud middle class family in front of their new automobile is in a way a manifestation of a new era for us all. We are at a threshold of an auto revolution today – from a consumer’s point of view as well as an auto industry’s point of view – where, today, we are part of a global league. CNBC in partnership with Autocar recognises this revolution and believes in rewarding this sector’s truly outstanding performers.”
The awards witnessed top cars being put through the stringent tests and were evaluated by a panel of experts like Dilip Chhabria, India’s leading auto stylist and designer; Hormazd Sorabjee, Editor, Autocar India; Naren Kumar, national rally champion and Asia Pacific Rally Championship driver; Rajeev Khanna, former rally champion; Shapur Kotwal, Associate Editor, Autocar India; Manvendra Singh, auto historian; and Renuka Kirpalani, former rally champion and host of ‘Speed Auto Show’.
The awards, ratified and validated by Ernst & Young, placed the strictest adherence on the eligibility criteria so as to minimise any scope for dilution or discrepancy in the evaluation process. The jury ranked the contestants based on fitness for purpose, relevance to the Indian market, value for money, design and styling, interiors, engine, gearbox, performance, ride, handling, brakes, driving pleasure, fuel efficiency and ownership experience.
In addition to the awards ceremony, CNBC-TV18 and Autocar also ran a unique nationwide contest – ‘Guess the Car of the Year’ – giving an opportunity to one lucky winner to drive away with a Maruti Swift.
Other winners included:
Best Driver’s Car – Ford Fiesta
Best Design and Styling – Maruti Swift
Best Value for Money Car – Maruti Swift
Most Technologically Advanced Car – Skoda Laura
Manufacturer of the Year – Honda India
Best Variant of the Year – Skoda Superb Diesel
Import Car of the Year – Audi A6
Car Ad of the Year and Viewers’ Choice of the Year – Maruti Swift
Best Auto Commercial – Toyota Innova