What is it?
The model was launched just over three years ago, and quickly became one of the best-selling cars in Hyundai’s European history.
It helped to cement the firm’s rising reputation and elevated position on Europe’s car sales charts, as well as introducing the world to the ‘fluidic sculpture’ design language that’s since been rolled out across the rest of the model range.
With this mild overhaul – developed at Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Centre in Rüsselheim, Germany – the company is promising greater refinement both inside and out, powertrain efficiency upgrades and a wider choice of equipment. The fundamental underpinnings of the car remain the same, offering 591 litres of usable seats-up boot space and room for five to travel in comfort.
This diesel variant is the big seller in the UK range, managing to strike the sweet spot between good fuel economy, a comparatively low price and a decent standard specification. The assembly line for the refreshed ix35 doesn’t get into gear until August, but we’ve tested a very late pre-production version.
The UK model range line-up is due for some realignment of the specifications to bring it into line with its big brother, the Santa Fe, but the left-hand-drive GLS variant we drove near the Hyundai factory in the east of the Czech Republic broadly equates to the top-specification ‘Premium’ model in the UK.
It comes with highlights including a heated leather steering wheel, a panoramic sunroof, front and rear parking assist, a 7in TFT satnav screen and dual-zone aircon.