Suzuki Baleno, Ignis
Suzuki Baleno (top), Ignis (bottom)Suzuki

Suzuki's Baleno premium hatchback manufactured in India and the Ignis compact crossover has been nominated for the new Urban Car category of the 2017 World Car of The Year. The World Car of the Year judging panel comprises 73 automotive industry journalists.

To qualify for the category, vehicles must be less than four metres in length with everyday practicality in an urban environment and also be on sale in two continents by the end of this financial year. The Baleno hatchback measures at 3.99 metres and the new Ignis mini crossover at 3.70 metres both qualify for judging. There are six other new cars listed in this category that include BMW i3, Citroen C3 and E-Mehari and Ford KA+.

The Baleno was first launched in India in October 2015 and then introduced in Europe in June 2016. The first premium hatchback of Maruti Suzuki is sold 1.2-litre K-Series petrol engine and a 1.3-litre DDiS diesel engine. In Europe, the Baleno is available with SHVS (Smart Hybrid Vehicle by Suzuki) technology and is equipped with a lithium–ion battery and Integrated start generator. The Baleno is also available with 1.0-litre three cylinder Boosterjet turbocharged engine in Europe.

The Ignis crossover model was first launched in Japan and more recently unveiled for Europe at the Paris Motor Show. The model will go on sale in India and Eurpoe from January 2017. Though engine specs for India has not finalised yet, the Euro-spec Ignis will be powered by a 89bhp 1.2-litre Dualjet petrol engine and will be available with optional four wheel drive. It will also offer optional SHVS technology.