2014 has been a good year for many automakers and there were some stand out vehicles which went on sale. Although many expected launches did not happen, there were still products which caught the fancy of Indian buyers. With a temporary concession on excise duty and a new government at the helm, demand for both cars and bikes was good (although not great) last year. Like always, we had a slew of contenders for the top honours and had to put in much more effort to evaluate the winners of the respective categories. Here are the winners –

Hyundai Elite i20 Test DriveReaders’ choice MotorBeam car of the year – The Hyundai Elite i20 got the most votes from readers, garnering 31% votes. It was closely followed by the Tata Zest while coming third was the Honda City. The new i20 has become Hyundai’s top selling car in India and the demand for the vehicle is impressive considering it’s a premium hatchback, costing as much as a compact sedan. European styling, improved dynamics and a feature loaded interior have made the Elite i20 so popular.


Tata Zest Test Drive ReviewMotorBeam car of the year – Tata Motors hasn’t been in action for sometime now and their comeback vehicle, the Zest has shone really bright. The Zest is a terrific effort from the Indian car maker and not only is it the best Tata car till date, it’s also our pick in the compact sedan segment where competition is intense. Loaded with features, aesthetically pleasing both inside-out with the best in class ride quality makes it our car of the year.


2014 Mercedes S-Class Diesel ReviewPremium car of the year – There are cars and then there is the Mercedes S-Class, often referred to as the best car in the world. Mercedes-Benz launched the sixth generation S-Class early last year and it immediately made all its rivals look severely dated. Not only is this big German saloon loaded with tech and luxury, it also drives brilliantly and offers a ride quality which defies the actual road surface. In spite of being the flagship Mercedes, the automaker has priced it attractively vis-a-vis its rivals.


Jaguar F-Type Coupe R Road TestImport car of the year – A difficult category to decide as there are lots of CBU models being launched in our country, still the hooligan Jaguar F-Type Coupe didn’t have a tough time in winning our import car of the year award. After all, its 5.0-litre supercharged motor thrusts out 550 PS of raw power which is enough to help us make a quick decision in its favour. Did we mention the sound, well that certainly deserves a separate award.


2015 Mahindra Scorpio ReviewSUV of the year – The Mahindra Scorpio never impressed us but the new model is a big leap in the right direction. Mahindra has done a fantastic job in improving the Scorpio and the overall package has improved so much that it’s also our pick in the segment. With improved driving dynamics, a better gearbox, much more equipment and an all new dashboard, the new Scorpio rehashes its tagline, ‘Nothing Else Will Do’.


Hyundai Santa Fe Expert ReviewPremium SUV of the year – Not an easy award to win (especially with a slew of German SUVs in the market) but the Hyundai Santa Fe managed to get top votes from our jurors. Yes, it’s expensive for a Hyundai but it’s a brilliant SUV in multiple ways. It’s also one of those rare Hyundai cars you will have immense fun driving fast around the twisties. Loaded with features and carrying a striking appearance, this Hyundai lives up to its name of being ‘The All New Dynamic Santa FE’.


Mercedes CLA45 AMG India ReviewCar manufacturer of the year – Mercedes-Benz called 2014 as the ‘Year of Excellence’ and lived up to it by launching an array of models across segments. Whether it was the next generation versions of the new C and S-Class or the arrival of the GLA, the company had no second thoughts with its product onslaught. That’s not all, an array of AMG models also went on sale, including the ML63, GL63, CLA45 and GLA45. The company also launched new variants of existing models and further expanded its dealership reach.


KTM RC 390 ReviewReaders’ choice MotorBeam motorcycle of the year – KTM has been a big contender for top honours every year, right from their year of arrival in the country. In 2013 it was the Duke 390 while last year, its faired sibling garnered the highest votes, with the Suzuki Gixxer coming second and its small capacity brother, the RC 200 coming third. Terrific performance, top-drawer hardware and still an attractive price makes the RC 390 a clear winner while the faired design gives it quite a lot of eye candy too.


Suzuki Gixxer Test Ride ReviewMotorcycle of the year – There was absolutely no doubt in our minds about the winner of this category, it had to be the Suzuki Gixxer. A motorcycle which comes and challenges the supremacy of the Yamaha FZ while being priced sans any premium is sure a formula for success in the 150cc space. Fun to ride, sorted dynamics and an excellent engine make the Gixxer a hot favourite for us and also brings back Suzuki in the 2-wheeler game.


TVS Scooty Zest Test Ride ReviewScooter of the year – The TVS Scooty Zest is proof that a feature packed scooter need not come with a premium price tag. Even though it’s an entry-level scooter, the Scooty doesn’t skimp on performance or dynamics while also behaving like a more expensive scooter. It is also very practical and the value offered is unbeatable. TVS’ latest scooter offerings are so good that the increased volumes has helped it beat Bajaj Auto in monthly sales.


Indian Chief Vintage Test Ride ReviewPremium motorcycle of the year – The level of attention to detail on the Indian Chief is simply jaw dropping. A motorcycle which takes style to the next level by merging modern day elements with retro charm, the Chief Vintage is a bike which oozes premium-ness like no other. It also packs in good performance, a ton of features (including cruise control, button start, fog lamps, etc.) and makes you feel very very special. The Chief is proof that cruiser bikes can be good performers too.


Hero MotoCorp Hastur 620ccBike Manufacturer of the year – Hero MotoCorp was our winner in 2013 and has managed to win the same award in 2014. The Indian automaker has shown huge promise and revealed a ton of products which are very unique. In spite of not launching many new models, Hero MotoCorp has maintained its leadership position, expanded overseas and refreshed a few models. With sales of 66.45 lakh 2-wheelers last year, the Splendor maker continues to grow in volumes.