How do you celebrate an 8th anniversary? Well, one way is to take 33 of the hottest new cars to the BIC to determine which ones qualify as the best of 2014? So, turn the page to find out...
We’re at the BIC of course, but this isn’t necessarily a track test. If it were, we could simply crown the Jag F-Type the winner and go home.
We’re at the BIC because it’s the perfect venue to test cars in a controlled environment. Of course, we don’t altogether mind pounding around the racetrack in the name of science. Speaking of which, we’ve tried to be as sensible about this as possible. Now pay attention.
Each car here has been rated on the following criteria. Five points each were awarded for Quality, Comfort / Space, Refinement, Design, Drivetrain, Ride, and Practicality. In terms of Quality, for instance, the Audi A8 gets 5 points while the Toyota Etios Cross gets 2 points. The A8 may well be the benchmark, but the new Hyundai i20 gets a healthy 4 not only because its quality levels are high – which they are – but also because it ups the game significantly in the hatchback space.
X-Factor gets 15 points, because that special something is important to us in our cars. This could be anything from the famed ‘M’ badge at one end of the scale, to a perfect driving position in the Ford Fiesta at the other. Lap Time gets 20 points, because it takes into account all the dynamic aspects of a car – such as power, high-speed stability, handling, braking, etc. And, well, we all like to drive – so it’s important to us!
In an effort to be sensible however, Value for Money gets the most points – at 30. After all, it’s important to get what you’re paying for. This includes an element of resale value as well, so we’ve also kept in mind how well a car retains its value.
For this test, we attempted to get our hands on all the cars that were either new, or have been significantly revised, for 2014. So, cars like the Ford Fiesta and Fiat Punto were included because they were significantly reworked, while the Jag XF and Skoda Rapid were part of the test because they have brand new engines under the bonnet.
The entire team of five autoX road-testers voted, and the votes were averaged. Points were awarded based on feel, and each point was debated to ensure that everyone had their say. The only objective field was lap time, which was calculated using our VBOX, as well as transponders from the track. The fastest car of the bunch was the Jaguar F-Type at 2:20.3, while the slowest car was the Datsun Go at 3:06.3 – a spread of 46 seconds, which equates to .43 points per second. Each car was awarded specific points based on its deficit to the F-Type.
The important thing, though, is that the points are well balanced between the mundane and the exciting. And, more importantly, the results are completely transparent. That’s something that was absolutely crucial for us. So, turn the page to see how each of these 33 machines fared.
The Etios Cross has worked surprisingly well for Toyota so far, but can it retain these initial levels of interest? Read more
The refreshed Fiat Punto Evo offers an attractive package. But given the issues with the Fiat brand, is the Indian consumer willing to give the Punto a second look? Read more
The Nissan Sunny is the most spacious machine in its segment, but it’s best enjoyed from the comfort of the rear seat. Read more
Maruti Suzuki brought the Automated Manual Transmission to the Indian market with the Celeriohatchback. And even they’ve been surprised with the response to the AMT! Read more
In its latest iteration, the Hyundai Santa Fe offers a fascinating combination of ability, equipment and comfort. However, is it enough to disturb the status quo in the segment? Read more
With stagnating sales, Skoda will be hoping that a refreshed Rapid can put it back in the game. Read more
To understand Toyota better, you need to only look at one particular model – the best-selling car on the planet. Read more
The Aston-Martin-esque chrome grille on the face-lifted Fiesta goes a long way towards making a compelling case for this Ford sedan – but is it enough? Read more
The BMW ActiveHybrid 7 carries around an extra 100 kilos worth of battery pack and electric motor, but you can be rest assured about the fact that it can still dance around the BIC. Read more
Is the 320d GT using the Gran Turismo tag loosely, or does it actually work? Read more
There has to be a good reason to shoehorn a 5.5-litre bi-turbo V8 into a SUV. Well, what better reason than 3 letters that spell AMG! Read more
With the Mobilio, Honda chose to enter a relatively risky segment in India. So, was it the right choice to make? Read more
Having established supremacy in its segment ever since its launch, the face-lifted Superb looks to keep the success story going for the Czech manufacturer. Read more
Audi’s flagship represents an extraordinary level of attention to detail and luxury – but, somehow, it still flies under the radar… Read more
A heady mix of power and Salma Hayek gives you the CLA 45 AMG. Read more
Easily one of our favourite full-sized SUV’s – the X5 once again shows the deep depths of its abilities to excel both on track and on the road. Read more
The matte finish of this hyper Audi may ensure that it stays under the radar, but then so does a Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk stealth aircraft. Let’s just say that this Audi is brimming with virtually as much… Read more
In an ideal world, the Porsche Macan would have finished in first place. It deserves to frankly. In an ideal world, however, we would all have one crore to spend on a daily driver! Read more
There is no greater automotive thrill than the F-Type R – right from the way it looks, to how it drives, and, especially, how it sounds! Read more
The Honda City, in its latest avatar, has proven to be a formidable competitor – especially its diesel version. So, how does it fare in this varied field? Read more
Maruti is hoping that its customers will stay in the family, as they move upmarket. The Ciaz is their great white hope… Read more
The M6 Gran Coupe simply grabbed us by the collective scruff of our necks and demanded a spot in the top-five – just look at it! Read more
If it looks and feels this good, especially a hatchback in the mass segment, it is – by default – very cool indeed! Read more
The Audi A3 offers a stunning combination of practicality, quality, and drivability. But can it keep Audi at the top of the luxury sales charts in India? Read more
The new S Class certainly lives up to the reputation that this car has crafted for itself over time – the best car in the world! Read more