For Indian auto aficionados, 2014 will go down as a year that kept its promises with interesting and exciting launches, even as leading automakers doubled their efforts to gain a foothold in what is proving to be an enviable automobile haunt.
The year began with the annual Delhi Auto Expo that set wheels revving with a range of vehicle launches from small cars and sedans to SUVs and crossovers. Below we list the best car launches of 2014 in India by different automakers, some of them just exceptionally brilliant and worth the money.
Launched on 6 October, Maruti Ciaz has been earning good response from auto lovers in the country for its styling. Priced in the range of ₹6.99 lakh - ₹9.80 lakh (ex-showroom, Delhi, not revised), the car is offered in both diesel and petrol engine options.
Under the hood, the new Ciaz packs 1.3 litre Multijet diesel or 1.4 litre K Series petrol engine and is available in a total of ten trims; 6 petrol variants V, V+, Z, Z(O), V+(AT) and Z AT and 4 diesel variants V, V+, Z and Z(O). The petrol Ciaz churns out 95 PS power at 6,000 rpm and 130 Nm peak torque at 4,000 rpm and comes coupled to a five speed manual or four speed automatic transmission, while the diesel model of the car is tuned to churn out 90 PS at 4,000 rpm power and 200 Nm peak torque at 1,750 rpm and gets five speed manual gearbox.
Honda Mobilio, the first MPV from the Japanese auto maker in India is offered in three trims in both diesel and petrol. The diesel engine of the Mobilio delivers 100 ps @ 3,600 rpm, maximum torque of 200 Nm @ 1,750 rpm and the petrol model promises to churn out a maximum power of 119 ps @ 6,600 rpm, maximum torque of 145 Nm @ 4,600 rpm. Both the engines come mated to a five-speed manual transmission.
Tata Motors surprised everyone when it launched its new sedan Zest in India that came with unprecedented finish and styling. Launched on 12 August, Tata Zest has been giving cut-throat competition to its rivals in the country and on many occasions took over the sales of its closest rival Honda Amaze.
Under the hood, the petrol model of Zest packs turbocharged 1.2-litre Revotron engine, which is tuned to produce a 90PS (88.73bhp) of power and 140nm of torque, while the diesel Zest model comes with 1.3-litre Multijet motor that is capable of churning out 88.8bhp of power and 200nm torque.
Based on Tata Motors' "DesigNext, DriveNext, ConnectNext" philosophy, Zest also offers Automated Manual Transmission (AMT), but only on Zest XMA diesel model.
UV maker Mahindra's Scorpio has always been in the list of India's favourites SUVs and in the year 2014, the iconic Scorpio got a facelift. In terms of design and styling, the new Scorpio adheres completely to the Scorpio heritage, but sports changes in the front and rear profile.
The base variant of the new Scorpio gets power from 2.5-liter four cylinder m2DiCr diesel engine, which can churn out a power of 75bhp @ 3,200rpm and a peak torque of 195Nm @ 1,400-2,200rpm, coupled to a five-speed manual transmissions. Other variants S4, S6, S6+, S8 and S10 get the power from 2.2 litre mHawk engine that can churn out 120bhp @ 4,000rpm and 280nm @ 1,800 to 2,800rpm.
Hyundai Elite i20
Elite i20, the latest in the i20series , is a great looking car and recently bagged the Indian car of the year award. Offered in both petrol and diesel engine options in India, Elite i20 comes in five trims -- Era, Magna, Sportz, Sportz (O) and Asta.
The feature rich Elite i20 packs multi-steering mounted audio controls, Bluetooth integrated 2 Din audio with USB and Aux-in and 1GB internal storage, rear AC vents, push start-stop button and automatic temperature control. There are also safety features like Anti-lock Braking System (ABS) with Electronic Brake-force Distribution (EBD), four-passenger airbags and reverse-parking camera.
City made a great comeback this year in India and now it is also offered with a diesel engine. This is the first time Honda is offering its City sedan in both petrol and diesel options in the country. Honda City diesel gives a fabulous 26kmpl mileage. The petrol version of the City sedan packs a 1.5-litre i-VTEC engine, which churns out a power of 119 PS @ 6600 rpm and 145 Nm torque @ 4600 rpm. The diesel variant comes with a 1.5-litre i-DTEC engine, which is also used in the Honda Amaze. It is mated with a 6-speed manual transmission and pumps in 100 PS power @ 3600 rpm and 200 Nm torque @ 1750 rpm. The petrol model of City comes in two variants: 5-speed manual and automatic, which is offered with a CVT automatic gearbox.
Audi A3, the cheapest offering from the car maker, is also the first car from the luxury maker to be produced locally before its launch in the country. Offered in both petrol and diesel engines in the country, the new compact sedan of Audi is available in four trims. The petrol model of A3 is powered by 1.8L turbo-charged inline four-cylinder engine, which can churn out 177 HP at 4,500 rpm and 250 Nm of torque and the diesel gets power from 2.0 L TDI engine that can generate 141 HP and 320 Nm of torque.
A stunning creation from the luxury maker's stable, GLA-Class SUV made its debut in the country in 2014. Mercedes-Benz GLA-Class, which made its India debut in September, is powered by two litre petrol engine and 2.2 litre diesel motor. The 2 litre petrol engine produces 135kW@ 5500 rpm with a peak torque of 300Nm @ 1,200-1,400 rpm .On the other hand, the 2.2 litre diesel engine produces a maximum output of 100kW@ 3,600–4,400 rpm with a torque of 300Nm@ 1,600-3,000 rpm.