Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza
Maruti Suzuki Vitara BrezzaMaruti Suzuki

Maruti Suzuki's first compact SUV, the Vitara Brezza won the prestigious Indian Car of the Year (ICOTY) 2017 title. The consortium of 15 top automobile journalists selected the Vitara Brezza among all the cars launched in 2016. In the final round the Vitara Brezza battled it out against the Hyundai Tucson and Toyota Innova Crysta.

In the 12th edition of the ICOTY, the parameters for selection included a number of factors such as price, fuel efficiency, styling, comfort, safety, features, performance, practicality, technical innovation, value for money and suitability to Indian road conditions.

The Vitara Brezza launched on March 8 is a runaway success for Maruti Suzuki and the ICOTY award is the icing on top. The Vitara Brezza is Maruti Suzuki's first model to be fully developed in India by its R&D team led by CV Raman. The compact SUV from Maruti Suzuki has racked up over 1.72 lakh bookings in less than eight months since its launch.

Maruti Suzuki has sold over 70,000 units of the Vitara Brezza thus far. The current waiting period for the Vitara Brezza stands at seven months, depending on the variant. Despite an increase in production of the compact SUV to 10,000 units from July, Maruti Suzuki is still struggling to meet the rising demand.

Maruti Suzuki wasn't a significant player when it came to utility vehicles until the arrival of the Vitara Brezza. The new compact SUV powered Maruti Suzuki to the second highest UV-seller in India with 1,09,967 units sale during April-October 2016. The company also registered 139% growth in UV sales against 46,068 units sold during the same period last year.

Priced in the range of Rs 7.19 lakh to Rs 9.88 lakh (ex-showroom Delhi), Vitara Brezza is powered by a 200 DDis 1248cc diesel engine that develops 88.5bhp at 4,000rpm and 200Nm of torque at 1,750rpm mated to a five-speed manual gearbox. It boasts a best-in-class fuel efficiency of 24.3 kmpl.

The jury for the awards was headed by veteran automobile journalist Bob Rupani (Overdrive). Other team members were Bertrand D'souza (Overdrive), Yogendra Pratap, Rahul Ghosh (AutoToday), Druv Behl, Ishan Raghava (AutoX), Girish Karkera, Sriram Narayanan (BBC TopGear), Aspi Bathena, Jim Gorde (Car India), Sirish Chandran, Aninda Sardar (evo India), Pablo Chaterji (Man's World), Kartik Ware (Motoring India) and Muralidhar Swaminathan (The Hindu Business Line).