From £16,5017
The 2014 version of Hyundai's ix35 soft-roader is a good-looking choice for style-focused buyers, although it lacks the driving enjoyment of some rivals

Our Verdict

Hyundai ix35 crossover

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

What is it?

The 2014 version of Hyundai's ix35 soft-roader. Visually the ix35 looks more stylish than ever, with its high front end and prominent Hyundai badging alluding to the brand's continued move upmarket.

The version we tested was a near top-spec Premium model, which came with 18-inch alloy wheels, Bi-Xenon headlights, keyless entry and go, cruise control, rear parking sensors and heated seats. It costs £27,205 as standard, with the metallic paint on our car taking the total price to £27,725, still below the price of similar 4WD rivals like the Nissan Qashqai.

Inside the ix35 looks and feels premium in most respects. The materials used are of a good quality and it feels well put together. The centre console is a little low for our liking, as it's hard to reach, but most controls are otherwise easily accessed. The seats are comfortable but could do with being more supportive, especially if you're off-roading.

There's plenty of space on offer, with the standard 591-litre boot extending to 1436 litres with the rear seats down. That's more than the seats-down capacity of the previous model, and also more than rivals including the Nissan Qashqai and the Kia Sportage.

What's it like?

Quite competent – the ix35 does everything you expect it to do. We tested the ix35 at the Millbrook Proving Ground, rather than on public roads, but the centre's alpine hill handling course is supposed to emulate the majority of driving conditions you might find on UK roads.

Under these conditions we found the ix35 is capable of tackling rough roads and twisting routes with ease, and the 2.0-litre CRDi diesel engine we tried held its own for most of the time.

Peak torque of 236lb ft arrives between 1800-2500rpm, so when pushed the engine runs out of steam quite soon. It's also quite loud and there's quite a lot of noise intrusion into the cabin above 50mph.

The six-speed automatic transmission fitted to our test car was good enough but at times it changed down far too early. On hill ascents you'll find the manual override quicker than waiting for the gearbox to select an appropriate gear.

The ride is also unusually firm, especially at low speeds, and it's something we suspect would quickly become an annoyance rather than a mere distraction over long journeys.

That said, for the sort of routes the average ix35 owner will cover, the car is more than adequate. We'd hope for a little more grunt from the engine at times but overall it's a relatively capable, relatively economical choice. Hyundai says this version of the ix35 can return up to 41.5mpg on a combined cycle, and CO2 emissions of 179g/km.

Handling-wise the 2014 ix35 feels well planted on the road and it's only when really pushing the envelope that you'll run into understeer. For the most part the car's steering is light, relaxed and accurate, although there's predictably little feedback through the wheel.

Should I buy one?

If style is at the forefront of your cost considerations for a soft-roader, then this is a likely candidate for your shopping list. There's less dynamic ability here than offered by rivals like the Qashqai, but the new ix35 is nonetheless an improvement over the old model.

If you opt for a variant lower down in the range and without 4WD you could pay as little as £17,000, so the ix35 can represent decent value for money too.

2014 Hyundai ix35 Premium 2.0 4WD A/T CRDi

Price £27,205; 0-62mph 12.1sec; Top speed 113mph; Economy 41.5mpg; CO2 179g/km; Kerb weight 1712kg; Engine 4cyls, 1995cc, turbodiesel Power 134bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 236lb ft at 1800-2500rpm; Gearbox 6-spd automatic

Join the debate

Comments
10

25 May 2014
Is this another revision for 2014 or the same model as was revised late 2013 but you only just got round to testing it?

The reason I ask is I have a demo car arranged soon and obviously want to be sure of testing the 'current' car not a previous one.

25 May 2014
but how can a car as pig ugly as the ix35 ever be called stylish?

26 May 2014
Jeremy wrote:

but how can a car as pig ugly as the ix35 ever be called stylish?

Is that why the new Qashqai aped the ix35's side profile and rear design?

Make no mistake- the ix35 is a stylish crossover- much more so than the bland and generic looking qashqai.

25 May 2014
remains curiously commendable but I too am not particularly fond of this car's styling. The new Nissan Qashqai is a looker in comparison - low-slung, squat and mean. On top are better driving dynamics, comfort and refinement. MPG and emissions are way ahead of the competition too.

25 May 2014
fadyady wrote:

remains curiously commendable but I too am not particularly fond of this car's styling. The new Nissan Qashqai is a looker in comparison - low-slung, squat and mean. On top are better driving dynamics, comfort and refinement. MPG and emissions are way ahead of the competition too.

I have tried both (although it was a 1.7 IX35 soon to test 2.0 though) The Qashqai is lower but that sort of defeats one of the main attractions of an SUV. Dynamics better, yes. Comfort and refinement I would dispute having done a 6 hour return trip in the IX35 I found it surprisingly good in this area. MPG and emission, the IX35 is at a disadvantage as its a fair bit bigger than the numbers suggest.

And if you need that extra 170 litres of boot in the IX35 to be able to do your work any other advantage in the Qashqai is meaningless. To me they are a different class of size anyway so not directly comparable.

Having also recently tried the Suzuki S-Cross it puts the Qashqai in a different perspective, the Suzuki is far cheaper, a shade quicker in real life due to low weight, much cleaner in 4WD spec, the same size interior and boot (even with a proper spare), drives similar, comfortable, just as safe and only costs half the company car tax of the Nissan due to lower list and CO2.

26 May 2014
The Apprentice wrote:
fadyady wrote:

remains curiously commendable but I too am not particularly fond of this car's styling...

I have tried both...

Since you've tried both and I've neither, I will have to take your word on what they're like. However going by the reviews I've read so far, Hyundai's only major advantage over Nissan seems to be their longer warranty.

26 May 2014
fadyady wrote:
The Apprentice wrote:
fadyady wrote:

remains curiously commendable but I too am not particularly fond of this car's styling...

I have tried both...

Since you've tried both and I've neither, I will have to take your word on what they're like. However going by the reviews I've read so far, Hyundai's only major advantage over Nissan seems to be their longer warranty.

As I mentioned also about 170 litres (even more if you want your Qashqai to have a spare wheel). Which for many field engineers is the difference between going to a job with a full toolkit/parts and doing the job or not.

Different size classes to me, IX35 is nearer the CR-V, Q5, CX-5 range to me. The Qashqai is more BMW X1, Mitsubishi ASX, Skoda Yeti range so direct comparison isn't fair.

26 May 2014
The Apprentice wrote:
fadyady wrote:
The Apprentice wrote:
fadyady wrote:

remains curiously commendable but I too am not particularly fond of this car's styling...

I have tried both...

Since you've tried both and I've neither, I will have to take your word on what they're like. However going by the reviews I've read so far, Hyundai's only major advantage over Nissan seems to be their longer warranty.

As I mentioned also about 170 litres...

I'll have to take your word for the two car's sizes too. I've been briefly in both but I couldn't tell that the IX35 was significantly larger. And although in your job carrying what you carry makes the extra boot space the deciding factor, for many an owner it may not be the deal maker or breaker. You may agree that the efficiency and MPG of the two are a world apart.

25 May 2014
It's a car review right!
So why no pictures of the boot? I would think that the average buyer would be far more interested in boot capacity/shape than how quickly it drops into understeer.
Quick remap and it would be a decent thing.

MB

26 May 2014
Quite liked 'em at first but they seem to have hit it with the ugly stick with every new release. I'm not sure if 41.5 mpg is that great either for something that takes over 12 seconds to reach 60 either

 

Hydrogen cars just went POP

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