autoX Awards 2023: Every year, we meticulously compile the best cars, motorcycles and scooters launched in the past 12 months and put them to the test to find out which ones stand above the rest. 10 winners are chosen after thorough testing by an esteemed jury panel, with 8 winners being titled 'Best of 2023' and two awards reserved for the fastest lap time-setters, each for one four-wheeler and one two-wheeler, which are named Performance Car of the Year and Performance Bike of the Year, respectively. Our evaluation criteria encompass a thorough analysis of quality, comfort, ride, handling, refinement, design, drivetrain, practicality, value-for-money, the elusive X-factor, and the lap time achieved on our test track. Our esteemed jury comprises our in-house team of road testers, boasting a collective experience of over half a century in rigorously testing cars and bikes. To ensure impartiality, final points are averaged, eliminating any potential biases. The choice of a test track as our evaluation arena is deliberate; it allows us to push each vehicle to its limits, unveiling the true engineering prowess beneath the surface—or the lack thereof.
Who Chooses the 'Best of 2023'?
Our seasoned team of road testers, with over half a century of combined experience, carefully score each vehicle across various parameters. The final scores undergo averaging for a bias-free assessment, aligning with our commitment to transparency. Dhruv Behl, our Editor-in-Chief and part-time racer, sets the lap times for four-wheel contenders, while two-time JK 1,000cc motorcycle champion Simranjeet Singh, also known as Simran King, sets the lapt times for the two-wheel segment. Our car jury members for the year 2023 include Editor-in-Chief Dhruv Behl, Managing Editor Ishan Raghava, Digital Editor Manav Sinha, and Road Test Editor Shivank Bhatt. As for the motorcycle jury, it consists of Digital Editor Manav Sinha, Road Test Editor Shivank Bhatt, Multimedia Producer Karan Mathur, and Principal Correspondent Dhruv Paliwal.
The Testing Ground
Our mega-test this year unfolds at ICAT's 2-kilometer test track, owned by the Ministry of Heavy Industries. Renowned for homologation testing, ICAT features advanced labs for NVH, emissions, and crash testing. The track, comprising two straights connected by steep banking, incorporates cones for a chicane, slalom, and an emergency zone. Vehicles earn points based on lap times, with the fastest securing a full set. Subsequent points are awarded on a relative scale, reflecting the gap to leading contenders.
autoX Awards Best of 2023 Winners:
Here are the ones that made the cut. These are the Best of 2023!
Winners for autoX Awards Best of 2023: Performance
-Lamborghini Urus Performante (Total Points: 69.5)
Our Performance Car award is simple—it goes to the machine setting the fastest lap time in our mega test. Beyond speed, it's desirable, striking, and a sensory marvel. With a 4.0-litre twin-turbo V8 producing 657 horses, it's the perfect recipe for the 'Performance Car of the Year' title. On our test track, it effortlessly handled the banking, showcasing impeccable grip and seamlessly adjusting to undulations for impressive cornering velocity.
-BMW S 1000 RR (Total Points: 69.5)
The 2023 S 1000 RR, now in its fourth iteration, reaffirms BMW's victory in the superbike realm. Its debut generation set new standards with a powerful 190bhp output, surpassing competitors. What set it apart was its exceptional usability on and off the track—light, smooth, and forgiving. The highlight is its ability to make immense power accessible, instilling confidence in riders of all levels. While the average rider may not fully exploit its potential, the S 1000 RR offers an exhilarating ride experience.
Winners for Best of 2023: 4W
-Maruti Suzuki Jimny (Total Points: 64.7)
The Jimny is undeniably one of 2023's standout launches. Its irresistibly charming design, with boxy old-school contours and just the right mix of aggression and cuteness, has captivated everyone. Like a puppy, its adorableness transcends its capabilities, earning it high points for its X-Factor. A passing Jimny demands attention, making it undeniably cool.
-Hyundai Exter (Total Points: 66.5)
The Exter stands out for its extensive standard equipment, including six airbags for safety. The top-end variant goes above and beyond with features like projector headlamps, LED taillights, a sunroof, a multimedia system supporting Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless charging, and more. Considering its price range and the comprehensive package, the Exter clearly excels in the value-for-money category in this year's test.
-Honda Elevate (Total Points: 68)
Despite its late entry into the SUV segment, Honda's Elevate presents a compelling package. Its standout feature, however, lies in its interior design and space utilization. With a clean layout, remarkably comfortable seats, and ample space, the Elevate's cabin offers a refreshing and practical experience. Boasting a competitive price, it scored a high 24 points in the value-for-money category. The Elevate, with its well-rounded performance and value-driven offering, checks all the right boxes, earning it the well-deserved Best of 2023 honour.
-Hyundai Ioniq 5 (Total Points: 67.2)
Not only is it among the best cars launched in the past year, but it's also uniquely styled and highly practical. With a claimed 631-kilometre range and a spacious 584 litres of boot space, this EV is suitable for both daily commutes and occasional road trips. Its refinement, speed, and rear-wheel drive chassis add a fun factor to the driving experience. The Ioniq showcases that cutting-edge EV motoring can be practical and relatively affordable. Having claimed prestigious awards in 2022, including World Car of the Year, it now secures an autoX Best of 2023 award, fittingly so.
-BMW i7 (Total Points: 70.3)
For three consecutive years, BMW has dominated our mega test—M340i in 2021, i4 last year, and now, the paradigm-shifting i7! Despite its 2.7-ton weight and 5.4-meter length, the i7 surprises from the driver's seat. As an all-electric luxury sedan, it ranked as the third fastest car on our test track. Instant power delivery, coupled with four-wheel steering, gives it a hot hatch feel around the slalom, navigating cones effortlessly. The cabin is both cocooning and cutting-edge, adorned with numerous screens and digital displays.
Winners for Best of 2023: 2W
- Ducati Monster SP: (Total Points: 72.3)
The Ducati Monster SP is a radical departure from the regular version, with virtually everything, except the engine and frame, being new. While it enhances the Monster's performance, it maintains practicality and even improves comfort. The 937cc V-Twin motor and 109 horses add an addictive thrill when desired. It's an irresistible indulgence, earning the Monster SP a spot in the 'Best of 2023' for its compelling blend of performance and comfort.
- KTM 390 Duke: (Total Points: 73.6)
The third generation of KTM 390 Duke has transformed into a more rider-friendly motorcycle, notably resolving the heating issues that plagued earlier models. KTM has effectively addressed the problem, making it a thing of the past, except under extreme summer conditions. By reducing the compression ratio and increasing displacement, they've successfully mitigated previous heat concerns. The 390 Duke's impressive lap time outshone competitors, with only higher-priced motorcycles from Ducati and BMW managing to surpass it.
- Triumph Speed 400 (Total Points: 76.1)
The Triumph Speed 400 clinching the 'Best of 2023' was almost a given. Its allure extends beyond the tempting price, surpassing expectations for a made-in-India Triumph.
Mimicking larger Triumph modern classics, like the Speed Twin 900, its design is flawless from every angle. Striking a perfect balance, the Speed 400 exudes confidence on apexes yet remains comfortable for daily commutes, making it a nearly perfect motorcycle in every aspect.