RAC Cars News


Hyundai ix35 - Quick Review

By raccars Published

Hyundai was right there on the launching pad of the compact 4x4 crossover market with its Tucson in 2004, when it was a big fish in a small pond. Many successful years later, the ix35 is being launched as a replacement to that car, which gives it some large shoes to fill in a 4x4 market landscape that's dramatically different from that faced by the Tucson upon its arrival.

Fortunately, Hyundai has an impressive weight of experience in this market sector compared to some of its more recent challengers – which are numerous. This is obvious in the sensible balancing act of aesthetics and blacktop performance versus off-road capabilities achieved by the ix35.

This car is sized to nip deftly into the tiny gap between the beefier elements of the market sector such as the Toyota Rav4, Mitsubishi Outlander, Honda CR-V and Nissan X-Trail and more compact candidates like the Nissan Qashqai, Peugeot 3008 and Toyota Urban Cruiser.

For the Chelsea tractor seeking market share, the ix35 gives you a front-wheel drive only variant for improved road manners and better fuel economy. This version isn't for mudpluggers but that ride height gives comfortable ground clearance for negotiating lumps and bumps and imposing kerbs. However, you can shell out a little more cash for a very capable four wheel drive ix35, which comes equipped with useful features for weekend adventures, such as Downhill Brake Control and Hill-Start Assist.

Hyundai is one of those quiet Eastern companies steadily creeping up on European rivals by providing excellent build quality and generous equipment levels at an attractive price point. However in the past, the styling of these vehicles has let them down. Evidence that Hyundai has ramped up the stealth attack on market share comes in the form of the ix35's visual flair. The purposeful front end and shapely flanks lend it a hipster air of agility reminiscent of the Ford Kuga. On the inside, the cabin is comfortably roomy for heads and for feet.

The engine choice available is wide enough to please just about anybody. The 1.6 and 1.7 litre petrol units have won fans for their fuel economy, while the range topper is a 2.0 litre diesel unit. All models are well-kitted out and the ix35 is an even more attractive buy, thanks to Hyundai's excellent, class-leading five year warranty package.

Hyundai may not be the coolest badge to have parked on the driveway, but it is building a roster of rewarding and reliable vehicles. Those searching the compact 4x4 market would do well to put aside any brand snobbery and take another look at the Japanese manufacturer.

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