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Autocar India Awards 2012 Jan 13, 2012
Results of the most hotly contested and respected auto awards in India, the Bloomberg-UTV Autocar Awards 2012, are out and here are the deserving winners.

Car of the Year – Maruti Suzuki Swift
The Swift won our Car of the Year in 2005. And it wins it yet again this time. Though the new Swift looks exactly like the old model, this car is a grounds-up new generation of the Swift. This model is based on an all-new platform and is now both longer and wider. The Swift’s interior styling, which is heavily borrowed from its Kizashi sibling, is now plusher.

The car is now sportier to drive and the 1.2 K-series petrol gets variable valve timing (VVT) to bump up power to 86bhp. The 74bhp 1.3 diesel Multi-jet engine remains largely unchanged but the carmaker’s effort to make the cabin a quieter place is evident. Maruti Suzuki has taken an already good car and made it even better by ironing out the flaws in the older car. Despite stiff competition this year from among nearly all the world’s majors, Maruti Suzuki’s new Swift shows the competition a clean pair of heels to pick up the prestigious award of the Bloomberg-UTV Autocar Car of the Year 2012.

Bike of the Year – Honda CBR250R
The Honda CBR250R came like a breath of fresh air for Indian motorcycle enthusiasts long stuck between underpowered city commuters and horrendously expensive imported superbikes. Here was a motorcycle that offered great styling, zippy performance, street-friendly handling with a price tag that did not need you to mortgage your house. The CBR250R has all the big bike visual cues with its VFR 1200 inspired headlamp and CBR1000RR fairing. It ticks all the right boxes in the design and styling department. For its combination of style, performance, streetfriendly handling as well as advanced technology at a decent price, the Honda CBR250R is the Bike of the Year.

Compact Car of the Year – Maruti Suzuki Swift
The Swift was already a favourite in the competitive compact car market. And the new Swift promises to continue Maruti Suzuki’s winning streak. Though the new Swift looks the same as the old car, it is a completely new model built on a new platform. Ride and handling have been tweaked and they are even better now. The new Swift is larger, more spacious, delivers better performance, has better driver dynamics and gives you enhanced fuel economy. The Swift, always a great car, is now even better and is quite definitely the Best Compact Car of the Year

Mid-size Saloon of the Year – Skoda Rapid
Under the skin the Skoda Rapid is a VW Vento. However, dig deeper and the Rapid proves to be much more than a Volkswagen clone. Skoda has ironed out many of the Vento’s shortcomings. The diesel engine is more linear but just as punchy, the shorter geared petrol now works much better and ride and handling are much improved as well. Spacious, fast, frugal, reasonably well-built and good value, the Rapid has a lot going for it. In fact, it actually beats its twin to win the crown of the mid-size saloon Car of the Year.

SUV of the Year – Mahindra XUV500
The XUV500, designed and developed completely in-house, is a quantum leap forward by Mahindra & Mahindra – it’s the company’s first serious attempt at developing a global product. The price at which Mahindra has launched the SUV makes it shattering value-for money. You get a lot of car for the price. You get a fantastic-looking SUV that dominates the road with its presence. An excellent package makes the XUV500 a worthy winner.