The petrol model is the cheapest way into ix35 ownership
There is very little performance low down the rev range
There is no problem with the way the ix35 drives in general, however
The interior is very well equipped for this price
First DriveThe 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
First DriveA mild refresh ensures the Hyundai ix35 remains a strong option among the soft-roader frontrunners
What is it?
This is the cheapest way into the new Hyundai IX35. Price is only one of the elements of this car that, on paper, make the IX35 2.0 petrol model look great buy.
It has huge amounts of standard spec, including heated front and rear seats, part-leather interior and Bluetooth phone connection. It looks pretty good and it is also very spacious, as well as being thousands less than most other soft roaders.
When fitted with this engine the ix35 is only available in one trim level – the base Style trim – and it only comes with front-wheel drive and a five-speed manual box, so there aren’t many decision to make beyond whether you want to save the £1500 on list price and go for the petrol ix35 over the diesel.
What’s it like?
Well the saving you could make by buying petrol instead of diesel certainly isn’t worth it. The Hyundai ix35 CRDi is good, solid transport that will make a lot of sense to some buyers, but the petrol engine is unrefined and despite its misleadingly high power figure of 161bhp, there is very little performance low down the rev range so you are forced to stay high up in the boomy upper ranges where you will eventually find the 143lb ft of torque when you hit 4600rpm.
The five-speed box is also less than entertaining to use thanks to its rubbery, imprecise shift.
There is no problem with the way the ix35 drives in general, and the lack of the four-wheel drive system doesn’t detract from the predictable, stable dynamics. But the combination of the lacklustre engine and five-speed gearbox, plus the lack of economy in comparison to the diesel, is enough to counteract any benefit gained by opting for the cheaper petrol model.
Should I buy one?
No. Despite the many merits of the ix35 it can’t mask the shortfalls of this engine and gearbox. If it is the low list price that appeals, you would be well advised to look to the various excellent family hatchbacks and crossovers available for the same price.