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Thursday, December 29, 2016

Maruti’s Vitara Brezza wins ICOTY 2017

Vitara Brezza, the compact SUV from Maruti has been a runaway success from day 1, with waiting period piling up to 6 months, when I had visited a Maruti showroom sometime in June 2016. This is now vindicated with Vitara Brezza winning Indian Car of the Year (ICOTY) award for 2017. The ICOTY award has been announced on 20th December, about a week ago by the jury. Vitara Brezza has beaten wide range of new cars launched in 2016, including Skoda Superb, Merc GLC, Ford Endeavor, Readigo, Honda BR-V, Hyundai Elantra, Jaguar XE, Isuzu V Cross, Mahindra Nuvosport, Tata Tiago, Innova Crysta, VW Ameo, Audi A4 and Toyota Fortuner.

ICOTY is a widely respected award in Indian Automobile market. ICOTY started way back in 2005 and since then every year, one car has been winning this most coveted award every year. The jury that grants ICOTY consists of best of the automobile journalists and industry experts and they subject the nominated contenders to harsh scrutiny on several parameters- safety, fuel economy, price, performance, value for money, innovations, exterior and interior styling, comfort, everyday practicality and suitability in Indian road conditions.  Though there’re dozens of car launches every year, only one car makes it through this selection process. Most cars excel in few select areas- the most luxurious and comfortable car may not be value for money or very suitable for Indian driving conditions, an extremely cheap car may not be safe enough and so on. Scoring on all fronts is a tough challenge for any one car. If a car is declared winner, it is indeed special for everyone involved with the car.
In simple words, importance of ICOTY may be related to how an Oscar is for a movie. ICOTY is unique from other car awards, because it is only 1 for an entire year across all categories. Other competition awards sort of ensure that every brand wins a few- like Best Compact SUV of the year, best Sedan of the year, Best small car of the year, Best SUV of the year and so on- in this process they sort of dilute the significance of the award. ICOTY stands different, with only 1 model getting awarded across the spectrum. With this year’s win, Maruti is snatching this title away from its arch rival, Hyundai, who have been winning this for past 3 years consecutively (for Creta, Elite i20 and Grand i10)- this could be good ego boost for India’s largest car maker.

And indeed Vitara Brezza is a good vehicle. It falls in the compact SUV segment, with right combination of power, style, luxury and pricing. Vitara Brezza is a five seater, with an eye catching exterior design. To add to that. Top end variant of Brezza (ZDI+) is available in dual colour options- red and black, blue and white or yellow and white- hardly any competitors offer that in its price range. With its reliable 1.3 litre DDiS diesel engine, good ground clearance and lots of interior features, coupled with Maruti’s legendary reliability and aftersales service, there is no reason why one should turn down Vitara Brezza if they are looking for a compact SUV in 9 to 12 lakhs price range. Over 1.72 lakh cars have been sold since its launch and many more bookings are waiting to be delivered.

Watch a 10 sec video below.
With ICOTY in its kitty, Vitara Brezza will give even more tough time to its competitors in the highly lucrative compact SUV segment, with Ford Ecosport, Mahindra TUV300 and the likes. The award should also encourage the manufacturer to introduce more variants- like petrol engine and automatic transmission options into Brezza. Awards like this will motivate brands and its teams to be more innovative and risk taking in the future, than always playing it safe. Best wishes to Maruti. You can follow Brezza on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for their latest updates.

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