The ix35 is clearly designed to appeal to style-conscious buyers, whichever demographic they fall into. The first Hyundai model to showcase the company’s ‘fluidic’ design language, the car's angular grille is a particularly distinctive feature, and to our eyes it suits the ix35 very well.
There is a pronounced sporty stance to the ix35. Its tapering side windows and roofline are designed to create a coupé look, and the sharply defined headlights and bonnet strakes are also intended to give the car a more aggressive character. It represents a bold leap forward from the often bland styling practised by Hyundai before, and makes it clear that the ix35 is a revolution next to the Tucson, its distinctly forgettable predecessor.
The ix35 is about the same length as a typical family hatchback. Hyundai points out that the ix35 is shorter than many C-segment hatches, although it is, in fact, longer than a Nissan Qashqai and by no means a small car at nearly 4.5 metres long.
It uses a platform that includes two separate lightweight subframes, from which MacPherson strut suspension is mounted at the front, with a multi-link set-up at the rear. Two-phase dampers adjust automatically for soft or firm settings, according to speed and road surface.
The four-wheel drive system is the same as that used in the bigger Santa Fe so it is a part-time system that, in normal conditions, sends 100 percent of the power to the front axle. If there is any loss of traction at the front, it can send up to 50 per cent of the power to the rear wheels. There’s also the option of locking the differential into 50/50 four-wheel drive mode at up to 25mph.