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View Poll Results: YOUR Car of the Year 2011?
Hyundai Eon 84 3.20%
Honda Brio 134 5.10%
Toyota Liva 35 1.33%
Maruti Swift 183 6.97%
Nissan Sunny 53 2.02%
Skoda Rapid 109 4.15%
Hyundai Verna 260 9.90%
Ford Fiesta 47 1.79%
Force One 18 0.69%
Mahindra XUV5OO 1487 56.63%
Renault Fluence 22 0.84%
Volkswagen Jetta 56 2.13%
Suzuki Kizashi 14 0.53%
Volkswagen Passat 23 0.88%
Renault Koleos 7 0.27%
Volvo S60 32 1.22%
Audi A6 62 2.36%
Voters: 2626. You may not vote on this poll

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Old 5th December 2011, 12:51   #1
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Default Team-BHP Car of the Year 2011. EDIT : Mahindra XUV500 it is!!

It's back again; The Team-BHP Car of the Year poll, where YOU the BHPian will choose our car of the year.

Listed below are the launches of 2011. Also listed are some relevant high-points on each car, along with the market's response to it.

NOTE:
  • The cars have been sorted in price-ascending order (cheapest first).
  • It's only the ALL-NEW cars that are included in our COTY. That excludes the "refreshed" headlamp & tail-light versions, facelifts and engine variants.
  • This is a public poll. Other readers will be able to see what car you have voted for.
  • Cars costing over 50 lakh rupees, including many fully-imported-cars (CBUs), have been excluded from our COTY. Reason = Low relevance to the marketplace.
  • Link to our 2010 COTY (Team-BHP Car Of The Year 2010. EDIT : It's the Ford Figo!).
  • As has always been the case, we insist there will be only ONE Team-BHP Car of the Year. Why? Simply because we don't believe in handing out an award for the "door of the year" (as an example). Some award ceremonies do have 20 awards, to ensure there's one for each car manufacturer in India. We have no such inclination, and will only focus on the best, most important all-new car of the year.

Look forward to your votes, and also the reasoning behind your choice. Thanks!

Last edited by GTO : 12th December 2011 at 13:24.
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Old 5th December 2011, 13:07   #2
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Default re: Team-BHP Car of the Year 2011. EDIT : Mahindra XUV500 it is!!

Hyundai Eon



• Great looking, modern design for 3 lakhs. Makes other budget cars look outdated
Best-in-class interior quality, fit & finish. Excellent air-conditioner too
• Many segment first features (driver airbag, tilt steering, gear indicator etc.)
• Frugal 3 cylinder petrol engine delivers high fuel efficiency
• Big 215 liter boot has a practical layout
• Hyundai's excellent after-sales service
• Shaky, vibrating gear lever at all speeds. Overall NVH is unimpressive
• Pricing is too close to other 4 cylinder hatchbacks (including the Santro). Top variant overpriced @ 3.71 lakh
• Ordinary commuter engine that doesn't really impress in any particular area
• Steering is too light & sensitive at highway speeds
• Hyundai's service costs are usually higher than that of the competition

Market Response: Above average

Last edited by GTO : 5th December 2011 at 14:44.
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Old 5th December 2011, 13:08   #3
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Default re: Team-BHP Car of the Year 2011. EDIT : Mahindra XUV500 it is!!

Honda Brio



• A thoroughly contemporary Honda at a sub-5 lakh rupee tag
• Entertaining performance, sweet i-VTEC engine & healthy power-to-weight ratio
• High quality interiors for the segment
• Light controls, slick gearshift and easy maneuverability for in-city commuting
• Honda reliability & fuss-free ownership experience
• Equipment list lacks rear defogger, CD player & driver seat height adjustment
• Basic, unsettled ride quality on imperfect roads. Gets choppy on uneven highways
• Small 175 liter boot
• Ordinary space for back seat passengers. Rear seat-back too short
• Quirky rear-end styling is a hit or miss

Market Response: Production hit due to Thailand floods, hence unclear

Last edited by GTO : 5th December 2011 at 14:38.
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Old 5th December 2011, 13:09   #4
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Default re: Team-BHP Car of the Year 2011. EDIT : Mahindra XUV500 it is!!

Toyota Liva



• A neutral family hatchback with the "T" badge
• Spacious interiors can easily carry 5 adults
• Super light controls, especially steering & short-throw clutch. Effortless to drive within the city
• Well-tuned suspension. Safe handling and flat ride
• Safety package (Airbags, ABS & EBD) optional on middle variant too
• Toyota’s fuss-free ownership experience & excellent after-sales
• 1.2L engine lacks bottom end; isn't a class-topper like the Etios 1.5 (from which it is derived)
• Cost-cutting glaringly obvious in many areas
• Economy-grade interior quality & unconventional dashboard
• Missing equipment (climate control, height adjustable driver's seat etc.)
• Poor insulation. Engine, suspension & road noise are prominent

Market Response: Above average

Last edited by GTO : 5th December 2011 at 14:39.
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Old 5th December 2011, 13:10   #5
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Default re: Team-BHP Car of the Year 2011. EDIT : Mahindra XUV500 it is!!

Maruti Swift



• Snazzy styling packs appeal. Interiors are well-designed too
• Competent engine range. Very refined motors
• Balanced ride and handling. Superbly tuned suspension
• Terrific fuel efficiency, especially from the diesel
• Effortless to drive in the city; lots of fun on the highway
• Maruti’s excellent after-sales service & wide dealer network
• Small, impractical boot. Luggage capacity is severely restricted
• Mediocre brakes (LXi / LDi & VXi / VDi). Inadequate for emergency braking conditions
• Looks nearly identical to the outgoing generation car
• Rear seat space, though improved, still isn't "spacious"
• Pricey ZXi / ZDi variants. Also, ABS no longer an option on the middle “V” variants
• Long waiting period for delivery. Runs over 6 months in some cities

Market Response: Super Hit

Last edited by GTO : 5th December 2011 at 14:39.
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Old 5th December 2011, 13:12   #6
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Default re: Team-BHP Car of the Year 2011. EDIT : Mahindra XUV500 it is!!

Nissan Sunny



• Spectacular rear leg room and comfortable rear bench
• Mature and compliant ride matched by predictable handling
• Excellent city driveability & low end torque
• Convenience & comfort features such as true keyless-entry & start, rear fan vents etc.
• Interior quality & cabin fit / finish
• Safety kit across all 3 variants (ABS, EBD, Brake Assist & Airbag/s)
• 1.5L Petrol engine lacks outright performance. Runs out of breath quickly
• Engine noise above 3,000 rpm is very noticeable
• Vague gearbox isn't always keen to slot into gear
• Rear head-room & under-thigh support are in short supply
• No diesel option (yet) and no automatic transmission either

Market Response: Mediocre

Last edited by GTO : 5th December 2011 at 14:39.
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Old 5th December 2011, 13:13   #7
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Default re: Team-BHP Car of the Year 2011. EDIT : Mahindra XUV500 it is!!

Skoda Rapid



• A well-built European car
• Better package than the Vento at a lower, VFM price
• Superb diesel engine; good driveability and 250 Nm of torque
• Mature ride & handling setup
• Confidence inspiring dynamics, brakes and chassis
• Easy to drive Automatic transmission. Different modes to suit your style of driving
• Skoda's scary after-sales-service
• Not as feature laden as the competition (No steering mounted controls, USB stereo, parking sensors etc.)
• Sluggish "D" mode of the Automatic gearbox. Also, no Automatic option for the diesel engine
• Petrol engine isn't as impressive as the diesel
• Tall rear floor hump makes the Rapid more suited as a 4 seater, than 5

Market Response: Unclear as it was launched very recently

Last edited by GTO : 5th December 2011 at 14:40.
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Old 5th December 2011, 13:14   #8
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Default re: Team-BHP Car of the Year 2011. EDIT : Mahindra XUV500 it is!!

Hyundai Verna



• A great looking Hyundai sedan
• Well-packaged; sufficient room front & back
• Competent 1.6L powerplants, especially torquey diesel. Wide range of engines & transmissions on offer
• Ride quality & behaviour in the city
• Several segment-first features (reversing camera, keyless entry & go, electric folding mirrors and more)
• Top notch safety equipment including 6 airbags, ABS + EBD, all wheel disc brakes etc.
• Dynamics & high speed handling capability. Softly tuned suspension
• High speed ride quality isn't flat. Suspension, especially on uneven roads, gets wallowy
• 4 speed Automatic gearboxes. This segment calls for a 5 speed
• Under-thigh support of the low rear seat not as good as that of competition

Market Response: Super Hit

Last edited by GTO : 5th December 2011 at 14:40.
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Old 5th December 2011, 13:15   #9
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Default re: Team-BHP Car of the Year 2011. EDIT : Mahindra XUV500 it is!!

Ford Fiesta



• Futuristic front-end & stylish dashboard design
• Great feature set including voice activation, auto-fold mirrors, cruise control, and more
• ABS and Dual-airbags are standard across the range, including the entry variants
• Ford’s torquey, fuel-efficient diesel engine
• Excellent driving dynamics and impressive steering feel for an EPS
• Priced significantly higher than its competitors
• Poor rear seat space. Not much of an improvement over the outgoing generation
• Disproportionate rear end due to excessive bulk behind the rear wheel arches
• Interiors at the rear look and feel like they are from a segment lower
• Lackluster petrol engine, a disappointment for enthusiasts when compared to the old 1.6
• At low speeds, the suspension firmness accentuates the imperfections of the road

Market Response: Poor

Last edited by GTO : 5th December 2011 at 14:40.
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Old 5th December 2011, 13:41   #10
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Default re: Team-BHP Car of the Year 2011. EDIT : Mahindra XUV500 it is!!

Force One

Team-BHP Car of the Year 2011. EDIT : Mahindra XUV500 it is!!-force-1.jpg

• Lots of real estate for the money. Spacious interiors
• Amazing Mercedes-Benz diesel engine
• Feature list includes projector headlamps, daytime running LEDs, cruise control et al
• Horrible fit and finish. A lot of panel gaps inside and out
• A re-engineered Chinese SUV
• Suspicious safety rating. No ABS or airbags either
• Zero brand recognition. Poor sales & service network

Market Response: Poor

Last edited by GTO : 5th December 2011 at 14:41.
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Old 5th December 2011, 13:47   #11
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Default re: Team-BHP Car of the Year 2011. EDIT : Mahindra XUV500 it is!!

Mahindra XUV5OO



• A well-engineered, contemporary SUV at a value-for-money price
• Acres of space on the 1st & 2nd seat rows
• Competent engine delivers fantastic urban driveability, as well as fast highway performance
• Mature ride quality & balanced handling. Body roll is minimal too
• Loaded to the gills with technology, equipment & gizmos
• Safety kit includes 6 airbags, ESP with rollover mitigation, ABS + EBD and all-wheel disc brakes
• Absolutely no luggage capacity with all the seats in place
• Cramped 3rd row of seats is best suited to children only. Maximum of 5 adults onboard
• Overdone front-end design is a hit or miss. Should have been toned down
• Apprehensions over niggles with a complex Mahindra SUV. Especially the electronics
• Mahindra's un-premium after-sales service experience
• Automatic transmission missing from the options list. Premium customers love ATs

Market Response: Super Hit

Last edited by GTO : 5th December 2011 at 14:41.
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Old 5th December 2011, 13:48   #12
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Default re: Team-BHP Car of the Year 2011. EDIT : Mahindra XUV500 it is!!

Renault Fluence



• Solid build quality. Feels sturdy enough to withstand abuse
• Very spacious interiors. Easily the roomiest from this segment
• Balanced ride & handling package
• Well-equipped petrol variant (including 4 airbags, ESP, dual zone climate control, digital speedo etc.)
• Choice of smooth & revv-happy petrol, or economical diesel
• Poorly equipped Diesel variant. Feels too basic (no climate control or even a proper stereo AUX input)
• The petrol engine's CVT gearbox is slow to respond. Saps the engine of power
• Messed up ergonomics. Also, many controls clearly have a left-hand-drive orientation
• Only 1 variant for either engine. No choice to the customer
• Renault's wafer-thin dealer and service network

Market Response: Poor

Last edited by GTO : 5th December 2011 at 14:41.
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Old 5th December 2011, 13:49   #13
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Default re: Team-BHP Car of the Year 2011. EDIT : Mahindra XUV500 it is!!

Volkswagen Jetta



• Classic, timeless and understated styling, mated with solid build quality
• Excellent engine & transmission combination. Manual gearbox gets full spec 138 BHP diesel (unlike Laura)
• Improved space; rear seat can easily accommodate taller occupants
• Balanced ride and handling. Extremely well-tuned suspension
• Safety kit (ESP, 8 airbags etc.) and 5 star NCAP rating
• Climate control and leather seats missing from the equipment list
• Interior quality is a grade or two lower than the previous generation Jetta
• Looks uncannily similar to the VW Vento
• Automatic Transmission (DSG) only offered with the Highline variant
• Brilliant 1.8L TSI motor not available. Petrol-heads will be disappointed

Market Response: Reasonably successful

Last edited by GTO : 5th December 2011 at 14:42.
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Old 5th December 2011, 13:53   #14
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Default re: Team-BHP Car of the Year 2011. EDIT : Mahindra XUV500 it is!!

Suzuki Kizashi

Team-BHP Car of the Year 2011. EDIT : Mahindra XUV500 it is!!-kizashi.jpg

• Clean, sporty styling
• Excellent petrol engine. Refined & powerful, both
• High level of interior quality
• Top notch safety equipment
• Balanced ride & handling
• Maruti's high calibre after-sales support
• Grossly overpriced. Positioned a full segment above than it should be
• CVT fades in comparison to the competition's Automatic transmission
• Maruti-Suzuki offers zero snob value to the premium car buyer
• No option of a diesel

Market Response: Poor

Last edited by GTO : 5th December 2011 at 14:42.
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Old 5th December 2011, 13:57   #15
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Default re: Team-BHP Car of the Year 2011. EDIT : Mahindra XUV500 it is!!

Volkswagen Passat



• Well built, solid & safe construction
• Loaded with technology (Regenerative brakes, Self-Park, rear view camera and more)
• Smooth 168 BHP engine and DSG gearbox. Refined noise levels
• Balanced ride and handling package
• Interiors boast typically German detailing, great ergonomics and A+ driver visibility
• Aggressive entry-point pricing strategy for the Trendline
• Same platform as outgoing Passat. Interiors are nearly identical
• Superb still has more legroom for chauffeur-driven sahibs
• Electric power steering takes away tactility. Keen drivers won't like understeer bias
• Climate control just about coped with Goa heat, at the back
• Long-term ownership costs & reliability are yet unchartered territory
• Highline variant goes into BMW 320d, X1 & Mercedes C Class price range

Market Response: Mediocre

Renault Koleos

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• Competent diesel engine
• Balanced ride & handling package
• OEM audio system is the best in the business
• Quirky styling might not be to your taste
• Ordinary interior part quality. Doesn't feel premium enough
• Automatic transmission has a slow response time

Market Response: Mediocre

Volvo S60



• T6 engine makes it a F-A-S-T European muscle car
• AWD variant has astonishing grip, stability and braking
• Premium build quality, inside out
• Light and easy to drive in the city. Flies low on the highway
• Loaded with kit, including turn with steering headlamps, reversing camera, adaptive cruise control etc.
• 5 star safety tech. Laser assisted braking, driver alert control, lane departure warning and more
• Lacks the badge value of chief German competitors
• No spare wheel. No runflat tyres. Ridiculous for Indian driving conditions!
• Cramped back seat. Also, rear bench placed too low
• Small 380 liter boot
• Poor ground clearance (130 mm) on rough roads. Scrapes away to glory
• Volvo's wafer-thin dealer / service network

Market Response: Poor

Audi A6

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• Classy, timeless styling
• Stunning diesel engine
• Loaded to the gills with equipment
• Blow-you-away interior quality
• Mature ride & handling set-up
• Imperfect rear seat isn't as comfortable as that of the E-Class
• Dull steering wheel (typical of many Audis)

Last edited by GTO : 5th December 2011 at 14:43.
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