The ‘Urban Car’ category at the 2017 World Car of the Year awards features two entries from Suzuki. Among the two nominees is the Suzuki Baleno that was first sold in India last year and then later offered in Europe.
To be eligible for the category, the car must be suitable for driving in city conditions (check), should be on sale across at least two continents (check) and must have a length under 4 metres (3.7 metres for the Baleno – check).
One of the key features of the Baleno is that it’s one of the first cars of its kind to be offered with the Smart Hybrid Vehicle System or SHVS (Read more on that: What is SHVS). Internationally, the car is powered by a 1.0 litre Boosterjet engine and a 1.2 litre Dualjet engine. But the India-spec Baleno shares the 1.3 litre DDiS and the 1.2 litre petrol units with the Maruti Suzuki Swift. The premium hatchback is sold exclusively through the Nexa showroom in India.
Also read: DESIGN DIARY: 2015 MARUTI SUZUKI BALENO
The other Suzuki nominee for World Car of the Year is the Ignis crossover that’s powered by a 90PS 1.2-litre Dualjet petrol engine and offered with an optional four-wheel drive. The World Car of the Year is judged by a panel of 73 autojournalists out of which eight belong to the UK and the Republic of Ireland.