South Korean carmaker Hyundai's new Verna sedan won coveted Indian Car Of The Year (ICOTY) award for 2018 at a ceremony held in New Delhi on Wednesday. In a close final round battle, the Verna sedan kept Maruti Suzuki's Dzire and Jeep Compass at bay to win the top honour.
For the 13th edition of the ICOTY, 16 cars launched in 2017 were nominated. Among them, nine models made it to the final round held on December 4 in Lonavala. The finalists were Honda WR-V, Hyundai Verna, Jeep Compass, Maruti Suzuki Dzire, Maruti Suzuki Ignis, Renault Captur, Skoda Kodiaq, Tata Nexon and Volkswagen Tiguan.
Hyundai Verna emerged the winner with 118 points, while Maruti Suzuki's new Dzire gave a tough battle scoring 117 points. The Jeep Compass secured 87 points to take the third spot.
ICOTY was declared after 18 senior Indian automotive journalists cast their votes. The jury team included Yogendra Pratap (Auto Today), Rahul Ghosh (Auto Today), Dhruv Behl (Auto X), Ishan Raghava (Auto X), Aspi Bhathena (Car India), Sarmad Kadri (Car India), Sirish Chandran (Evo India), Aninda Sardar (Evo India), Kartik Ware (Motoring World), Raunak Ajinkya (Motoring World), Bob Rupani (Overdrive), Rohit Paradkar (Overdrive), Girish Karkera (Top Gear), Agasti Kaulgi (Top Gear), Muralidhar Swaminathan (The Hindu Business Line), Pablo Chaterji (Man's World), Hani Musthafa (Flywheel) and Vikrant Singh (CarWale).
Hyundai had launched the new Verna in India on August 22. Priced from Rs 7.99 lakh to Rs 12.87 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), the latest version of the sedan has garnered a lot of positive interest from public. The sedan has received over 24,000 bookings within four months of launch.
The new Verna is powered by 1.6-litre petrol and diesel mills. While the 1.6-litre petrol engine churns out 121 bhp and 151 Nm of peak torque, the diesel engine makes 126 bhp and 260 Nm of torque. Both the engines come mated to either a six-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic torque converter unit.