Hyundai ix35 car review
- We like...Looks; long warranty; low price
- We don't...Noisy engine; choppy ride
Long warranties and low prices. As incentives to buy go, they’re powerful. But they’re not going to make you reach for your cash unless the car that’s up for grabs is, at the very least, averagely good. Now Hyundai has had cheapness and a generous warranty on its side for some time. But it’s only with the likes of the new ix35 that its cars are, at last, up to sniff.
It replaces the Tucson in the company’s line up and is intended very much for buyers who like the bulk, space and style of an off-roader but who also couldn’t give a stuff about actually venturing away from Tarmac. For that reason, cheaper models are front-wheel drive only – though you can have an all-wheel-drive system that includes all the gizmos needed to get you through the mire if you want it.
So like its closest rival is Nissan’s Qashqai – another car that looks like an off-roader but needn’t be one – Hyundai expects the ix35 to scoop sales away from regular five-door hatchbacks like the Volkswagen Golf or Ford Focus: its prices are pitched level with these cars.
What do you get for your cash? A classy if bland-in-looks soft-roader. If your first glance missed the Hyundai badge, you’d guess it as a new Toyota or Vauxhall. Not only is the driving seat pitched usefully higher than in a Golf or Focus, the cabin is taller and a touch roomier elsewhere, while the boot in this five-seater is big and usefully square-shaped. As you’d expect, too, you can drop the rear seats to free up space enough for a couple of bicycles or a weekend’s camping gear. And, like every Hyundai, it's covered by a five-year, maker-backed warranty.
Our test car is the top-line Premium model, kitted out with optional full-leather seats, touch-screen sat-nav and camera for reverse parking. But the entry model, Style, comes amply kitted out for most tastes. Equipment highlights include heated seats front and rear as standard, plus air-con, parking sensors and leather on the wheel rim and gear shift top. It’s attractively priced against the competition but the real value lies with the Style models, which still come with air conditioning, alloy wheels and those all-round heated seats but are a fair bit cheaper.
The ix35’s an easy drive and we reckon that even owners who’ve only driven a small hatchback would quickly feel at home. The one time they’ll feel caught out is when reversing, when the high rear window line and the thick pillar make for a sizeable blind spot. It’s just as well that all models have parking sensors fitted as standard.
The ride over the poorly made roads you’ll find everywhere now tends towards the choppy, though it’s rarely bad enough to spoil your journey. The 2.0 diesel motor in ours pulls hard from low revs but you’ll want to change up as often as the indicator arrow on the instrument panel nags you to because it’s noisy otherwise. It is reasonably economical although we didn’t get close to its claimed 49.6mpg overall.
Should you buy one? Its keen price, pleasing looks and long warranty will we reckon ensure a queue of ready would-be owners. And while it is no better or worse than anything already out there, it is plenty good enough to compete on its own terms. And, until not so long ago, that wasn’t something you’d say of a Hyundai 4x4.
- Engines2.0 CRDi
- 0-60 mph10.4mph
- Insurance groups
Motors.co.uk value verdict: