Petrolheads will certainly look back at 2017 with a sense of satisfaction. Major carmakers turned experimental, while new entrants also made their presence known with some pathbreaking products. From SUVs to hatchbacks, there was something in it for everyone.
Maruti Suzuki Dzire
The 2017 version of the car has changed the way we’ve looked at the Dzire. The redesigned car makes for a premium proposition even for the entry-level sedan market space. It comes with a host of features, including ABS and front airbags, as standard. The biggest game changer is the option of AGS in three variants with both engines — 1.2-litre VVT petrol (82 bhp/113 Nm) and 1.3-litre DDiS diesel (74 bhp/140 Nm) — beginning at Rs 5.43 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai).
If the new Dzire caught your fancy, the 2017 Verna would have left lasting impressions as well. The car certainly seems to have evolved in terms of design, and now looks more subtle. Under the hood is either the 1.6L Gamma Dual VTVT petrol, that dishes out 121 bhp and 151Nm, or the 1.6L U2 CRDi diesel, that’s good for 126 bhp and 260 Nm. You can also choose between the 6-speed manual or automatic transmissions, starting at Rs 7.99 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai) for the base variant.
This baby Jeep was one of the biggest surprises of the year. The slick-looking SUV is plush even on the inside, is a real beast off the road and a dream on tarmac. You can pick between the 2-litre Multijet II diesel (170 bhp, 350 Nm) and the 1.4-litre Multiair petrol (160 bhp, 250 Nm) mills, and the power is transmitted to all four wheels via a 6-speed manual. A price tag of Rs 15.07 lakh (ex-showroom Mumbai) doesn’t sound like too much money for that package, does it?
Skoda Octavia RS
Talk of the budding ‘affordable performance’ car market in India and the first name that comes to mind from 2017 is definitely the RS. The mind-blowing numbers are obtained from the 2-litre petrol engine, that spits out 227 bhp and 350 Nm. It’s the same engine from the likes of the Audi TTS and Skoda Superb abroad, while the gearbox being used here is the 6-speed DQ250. The highly-anticipated car was launched in India at Rs 25.49 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai, including GST) earlier this year.
BMW 5 Series
The new 5 Series is so well sculpted that the predecessor looks like a mere shadow when parked beside it. Under the hood, it gets the option of a 2-litre four-cylinder diesel engine or a 3-litre in-line six-cylinder diesel engine. Codenamed ‘B47’, the 2-litre motor produces 190 hp and 400 Nm, while the new ‘B57’ 3-litre straight-six churns out a solid 265 hp and 620 Nm. At Rs 52 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai including GST) for the base 520d model, we are not complaining.
Mercedes-Benz E 220D
The reason why this was one of the most awaited cars of the year was its powerplant. Along with the sedan debuted the 2-litre, fourcylinder diesel engine from the manufacturer with the three-point star, which when paired with the venerable 9G-Tronic nine-speed automatic gearbox, produces 194 hp and 400 Nm. Not only is this car a point of transition for Merc diesels, it’s also a whole lot of affordable, at Rs 57.47 lakh (ex-showroom, Mumbai including GST).
Audi A5 Sportback
The appeal of the new A5 Sportback, that’s been parcelled fresh from Germany, lies in its style, impressive ride quality and a plush cabin. Like the A4, the A5 is built on the VW Group’s MLB platform, so it powers the front wheels or all four wheels via quattro all-wheel drive. India gets two versions of the A5 Sportback – the sporty 354 hp, 3-litre V6 petrol engine-powered S5 and the more mainstream diesel, a 190 hp 2-litre TDI. Priced at Rs 54.02 lakh (ex-showroom, India), the car is your ticket to exclusivity and elite company.
Volvo V90 Cross Country
It’s safe, it’s a great off-roader and it works well in Indian conditions too. The V90 CC is the second Volvo after the XC90 to get the new D5 engine. This motor produces 235 hp and 480 Nm, making it one of the most powerful 2-litre diesels available in India. So if your budget is around Rs 63.99 lakh (exshowroom, Mumbai) and you’re looking for some sturdy attributes, this Swedish machine might be a worthy option.
Lamborghini Aventador S
Having made its global debut late last year, the Aventador S replaces the standard Aventador in the company’s lineup in India. It is powered by the familiar 6.5-litre, naturally aspirated V12 that churns out around 750 bhp of power and 690 Nm of torque. The biggest talking point in terms of new technology on the car remains the four-wheel steering, which is also the first such addition on a Lamborghini. Got Rs 4.77 crore (ex-showroom, Mumbai, including GST) to spare? Spend it wisely, here.
Lexus LX 450D
The LX is technically a re-badged version of the Toyota Land Cruiser LC200, and is the only diesel model in the company’s stables that have been finally set up on Indian shores this year. It borrows its 272 bhp, 4.5-litre diesel from the LC200. The car’s tank-like dimensions should not be confused for anything but luxury on the inside. In fact, the whopping price tag of Rs 2.16 crore (ex-showroom, Mumbai, approx GST included) hasn’t proved to be a deterrent for buyers who know what Lexus stands for.