This happens to be the last weekend of the year 2018 and we've all got plans to make the best of what's left of this year. While partying will be a prime objective for these two days, how about a look back at the year and what it brought with it. We're of course talking about cars and motorcycles. If you're planning to buy a new one in the coming year, this list might help as it also has what is soon to launch. While Tata Motors and Mahindra revamped their reputations with premium offerings, Maruti and Hyundai updated their best-sellers.
Moving over to two-wheelers, India is now a much more exciting two-wheeler market with several options in the quarter-litre motorcycles (which are proper performance machines with price tags not very big) and scooters that a lot more premium than the previous generation of scooters, thanks to TVS Motor Company and Suzuki. So, here's a look back at the top auto news highlights from 2018.
The big news at 2018 Auto Expo was the launch of the new 2018 Maruti Suzuki Swift. It is available with engine options of 1.2-litre petrol and 1.3-litre diesel, with manual and automatic gearbox options. More good news on this front – Maruti Suzuki is expected to launch the Swift RS in the first quarter of 2019.
When it comes to premium hatchbacks, the Swift directly competes with the Hyundai Elite i20, which was updated this year with the new facelift model. While the update was mostly cosmetic, the tweaks to the exterior are also subtle. It was also launched during the 2018 Auto Expo, and is available with the same engine options of 1.2L petrol and 1.4L diesel.
These two were followed by another big launch by Maruti Suzuki, the new Ciaz in August this year. The biggest upgrade in the new Ciaz is the new 1.5-litre K15 petrol engine, along with Suzuki's smart hybrid tech with a Lithium-ion battery. A first in the segment, the hybrid tech is available in all petrol variants as standard.
Mahindra Marazzo, the manufacturer's most premium offering yet, was launched at a starting price of Rs 9,99 lakh (ex-showroom). It is powered by a 1.5L diesel engine which Mahindra says is BSVI compliant.
The likes of Hyundai Creta and Jeep Compass will see more competition in the compact SUV segment in the form of the recently unveiled Nissan Kicks and Tata Harrier. The bookings for the Kicks and Harrier have been opened at Rs 25000 and Rs 30000 respectively.
While Nissan has not announced a date for the Kicks launch, it will formally be introduced in January next year. The launch date for Tata Harrier is 23 January.
Watch Auto News Highlights 2018 below:
Mahindra recently released images of its new sub-compact SUV, which has been names – XUV300 (pronounced of course as three double O). Expected to come with engines options of a 1.5L diesel and 1.2L petrol, the XUV300 will launch February 2019 and the bookings have been opened at Rs 50,000. The Maruti Suzuki Vitara Brezza rival will also get an all-electric version in 2020.
And now, let's talk scooters and motorcycles:
TVS Ntorq 125 was launched in February this year as the first scooter in the country to feature smartphone connectivity and navigation. Launched at Rs 58,750 (ex-showroom), the NTorq boasts of sporty styling and handling.
Another notable scooter to launch this year was the Suzuki Burgman which is a slightly more premium offering at Rs 68m000. Both the 125cc scooters are in our long terms fleet, click the following link for a comparison review. TVS Ntor125 vs Suzuki Burgman 125
A new rival to the likes of TVS Apache RS 200 and Bajaj NS 200, Hero Xtreme 200R was launched at a starting price of Rs 89,900. The Xtreme 200R is the most powerful motorcycle in Hero's lineup that was developed stand alone by the manufacturer.
This year saw the launch of the most affordable motorcycles in BMW Motorrad's lineup - the G310 R and G310 GS. Powered by the same engine that powers the TVS Apache RR 310, the G310 R and G310 GS are priced at Rs 2.99 lakh and Rs 3.49 lakh, respectively.
Royal Enfield launched two of its most powerful motorcycles in India and international markets this year – the Interceptor INT 650 and Continental GT 650. Powered by a new 648cc parallel twin engine that makes 47 bhp, the Interceptor and Conti are priced at Rs 2.5 lakh and Rs 2.65 lakh, respectively.
2018 was marked by the return of an iconic motorcycle manufacturer – Jawa. Jawa Motorcycles was re-launched in India with the introduction of three new motorcycles – the Jawa, Jawa Forty Two and Jawa Perak. The most affordable Jawa is the Forty Two at Rs 1.55 lakh, followed by the Jawa at Rs 1.64 lakh and finally the Perak at Rs 1.89 lakh. The Jawa and Forty Two notably have been sold out until September 2019.
That's all about 2018, the coming year will see a lot of exciting launches. Watch this space for all updates.