From £16,501
Good value, well-judged dynamics and confusing market position

Our Verdict

Hyundai ix35 crossover
Style-conscious soft-roader has lots of kit, but what about ability?

The Hyundai ix35 is a style-conscious soft-roader with lots of kit, but what about ability?

What is it?

This is the top-spec, four-wheel drive Hyundai ix35 Premium, complete with 134bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine, six-speed manual gearbox and multiple market sector targets.

Although it is (intentionally) designed to look like an SUV, Hyundai wants to target the crossover segment whilst also taking sales from hatchbacks such as the Ford Focus by offering competitive pricing.

What’s it like?

High equipment levels - Bluetooth, heated seats and parking sensors - are standard even on the base trim and low price is key to the iX35's appeal, because in action it does everything well and nothing brilliantly.

The part-time four-wheel drive system is 100 per cent front wheel drive in normal conditions and can send up to 50 per cent of the power to the rear wheels if any slip is detected. This means that there is little compromise in emissions and economy for the extra driven wheels, and at just £1000 over the 2WD variant it's expected to be popular.

Having four-wheel drive does prevent loss of traction out of damp junctions, but otherwise makes little difference to the ix35's handling in normal circumstances, which is faithful to steering input and predictably will slide into understeer if pushed too hard, and tighten its line again if you come off the throttle.

Ride quality is firm, and can be choppy over undulating surfaces but it copes well enough on the usual rutted tarmac and rarely feels uncomfortable. The diesel engine is well suited to the ix35 and offers useful levels of performance but the noise intruding through the bulkhead into the cabin is very noticeable.

Should I buy one?

The ix35 is a tempting prospect thanks to its affordability, decent interior space and quality, as well as the sharp looks. But it is not a new niche, nor does it offer anything more than most other small SUVs excepting its benchmark running costs and list price.

It doesn't set new boundaries, but it does offer SUV style and ability at hatchback costs, which will be tempting enough for many.

Join the debate

Comments
24

5 March 2010

So, it's just... a car. A well-speced, rational, innofensive, appliance-type thing. Like what Toyotas used to be, but from Korea.

 

Please insert paragraps where needed.

5 March 2010

But what about the models from press releases? quote:

European diesel lineup includes two all-new engines: the R 2.0 and the U-II 1.7, which will be available from November 2010. The R 2.0 will come in a choice of two outputs: high (184ps/40kg.m) and low (136ps/32kg.m) producing CO2 emissions of just 165g/km (2WD MT) and 158g/km (4WD MT), respectively

A 4 wheel drive manual with 184ps and 158g/km CO2??? being below 160 it would still be on most company car lists and I bet would sell like hot muffins!!!

Hyundai must be totally insane not to get it out now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

5 March 2010

I thought Korean cars were supposed to be exceptional value for money, wiping the floor with all and sundry and on-course to destroy the Europeans? Eh?:

Skoda Yeti 2.0 TDi 140hp 4x4 SE £19,825

140 hp, 236 lb.ft 0-60mph 9.9s Vmax 118mph 46.3mpg 159g CO2/km 1,530kg weight.

5 March 2010

[quote nicksheele]

I thought Korean cars were supposed to be exceptional value for money, wiping the floor with all and sundry and on-course to destroy the Europeans? Eh?:

Skoda Yeti 2.0 TDi 140hp 4x4 SE £19,825

140 hp, 236 lb.ft 0-60mph 9.9s Vmax 118mph 46.3mpg 159g CO2/km 1,530kg weight.

[/quote]

Jesus, a same-sized, proper 4WD, 2 litre common-rail diesel VW Tiguan is less than £1,500 more than this 'good value' Korean thing; a front wheel drive 2.0TDI CR Tiguan less than £900 more. Can we stop with this nonsense of Korean automatically equals 'good value' as it doesn't stand up to the facts.

5 March 2010

This is one fussy looking non - SUV.

The old Tucson had a chunky, clean lined appeal to it - this one is all swoopy conflicting lines and a nose job like a bulldog chewing a wasp.

Once again it looks like sister company Kia have done the better styling job with the new Sportage.

5 March 2010

Arn't you comparing the base model price of the Tiguan against the top model of the Hyundai. Have you checked out the price of extras with VW? Like-for-like specs will show £5000 difference

5 March 2010

[quote sierra]

Arn't you comparing the base model price of the Tiguan against the top model of the Hyundai. Have you checked out the price of extras with VW? Like-for-like specs will show £5000 difference

[/quote]

yes. My point, Sierra, is the Tiguan is the class-leader, yet its pricing starts at £900-£1,500(depending on how you view the Hyundai's '4WD'). My other point was the admittedly slighltly shorter Yeti, although still essentially based on the same Golf/Tiguan floorpan, powertrain and mechanics, and due to its boxy shape, similar internal space, is cheaper in 'SE' spec than the Hyundai. The 'SE' spec is well-appointed, similar to the Hyundai shown here - with its by the looks of it cloth seats - and the top spec 'Elegance' Yeti is only a grand more than the Hyundai yet has full leather, dual-zone climate control etc. and to me is objectively the better car, as it's quicker, lighter, will carry as much and to me is more characterful, and to cap it all Autocar called it 'over-priced', yet this anodyne Hyundai is by Autocar 'good value' - utter hypocrisy and ridiculous.

The Tiguan(2 litre diesel 140hp 4motion) in 'SE' spec is around £2,500 more than this Hyundai, but to me is objectively the better car, not least due to its proper Haldex 4motion 4WD system. My point in summary was you cannot get away with calling this bland thing 'good value' when a competent competitor - the Yeti - is cheaper and the class-leader is at most a couple of grand more. Either knock off trashing the Skoda with the 'over-priced' tag or describe this thing as 'over-priced' too - you can't have it both ways and expect people to take you seriously.

5 March 2010

It has a wierd look to it!

6 March 2010

bland, copied, korean, cheap alternative, what was it again....?

6 March 2010

[quote sfxrules]bland, copied, korean, cheap alternative, what was it again....?
[/quote]

Copy of what exactly?

Have you seen a Tiguan? (or better descibed as a featureless coma inducingly dull 4 wheel drive Golf Plus for grannies to tow their sad little caravans to Torquay with)

Usual blind prejudice from people that never try the cars so only punish themselves by missing out on excellent cars because they can't see past the badge on the bonnet.

Come back when you have owned some Korean cars.

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