It’s probably fair to say that, as a crossover, the Hyundai ix35 belongs in a market segment that’s a little bit overcrowded.
In response to heaving market demand for bigger, more practical and more capable vehicles that are also better equipped than ever before, it seems as though every automaker on the planet is looking to tap into the crossover vein.
Going up against well-established rivals like the Nissan Qashqai and the Mazda CX-5, the ix35 certainly has its work cut out for it, but a string of numerous critical successes proves it to be more than just a cheap imitator.
Still, the last full generation refresh of the ix35 was way back in 2010, and even with a mid-life facelift in 2013, there are still hordes of brand new crossovers coming to market to chip away at its success. So does it still have what it takes to stay competitive?
The problem that many buyers have with crossover SUVs is that some of them can look just a little bit, well, frumpy. However, Hyundai has clearly designed its ix35 to appeal to the style conscious, with a distinctive and angular grille and a pronounced, sport stance.
Its bodywork features tapering side windows and a swept-back roofline for a look that echoes that of a coupe more than the typical 4×4, while sharply defined headlights and streaks on the bonnet lend a dynamic and assertive character.
Clocking in at around the same length as your typical family hatchback, the ix35 is compact enough to not be a hassle around town, but still tall enough for better visibility and it’s actually longer than the Nissan Qashqai at nearly 4.5 metres long, meaning extra space on the inside.
That long body translates into an extremely spacious interior, despite its small on-road footprint. Its boot is also impressively large, with 591 litres of storage space – considerably bigger than that of the Qashqai – while there’s loads of room in the back for passengers.
As well as that, the cabin is solid and well-designed, with a generous list of standard kit which includes alloy wheels, Bluetooth smartphone connectivity and air conditioning.
Higher trim levels add on a range of other desirable features like larger wheels and a sat-nav, along with a reversing camera, bi-xenon headlights and a panoramic sunroof in addition to leather upholstery.
On the road
The ix35 comes with a choice of two petrol and two diesels, with our pick being the 134bhp 2.0-litre diesel, which is powerful enough to take the ix35 from 0-62mph in under ten seconds, which isn’t bad at all for a car of its type.
It’s also got plenty of torque, so if you’re planning on a little off-roading or towing the ix35 will do you no wrong, while it’s also refined and easy to live with in normal driving conditions.
The most efficient option is the 1.7-litre diesel, which emits only 139g/km of CO2 and delivers an average of around 50mpg, which is more than reasonable for a car of its kind.
Hyundai also offers the same four-wheel drive system as on the larger Santa Fe, which delivers extra power to the back wheels as and when needed, in order to cope with any loss of traction at the front, which lends extra confidence in corners and adverse conditions.
The compact size of the ix35 also makes it easy to navigate around tight streets and small country lanes, while opting for a model with the built-in reversing camera makes it a real doddle to park too.
In terms of price, the ix35 is miles ahead of the pack with more standard equipment than the standard Ford Focus for less than the cost of the Focus, while it also benefits from the space and practicality that comes with an SUV but with the manoeuvrability of a large hatchback.
It mightn’t be the most exciting model when it comes to performance, but it’s unfair to be too critical of the ix35 in this respect as it was never designed to be a racer. What it was designed for, however, was to be a practical and stylish alternative to models like the Qashqai, and in that respect it trounces its competitors by a long shot.
Prices for the new Hyundai ix35 currently start from only £17,000 and the car is available to buy from Perrys Hyundai dealership in Luton. For more information, check out our website or get in touch with us today!