The Hyuandai ix35 is an unpretentious and affordable vehicle with design and ability to match its rivals. It sports a sleek design and a compact yet capable off-road look.
The exterior has been designed with style and fluid lines with the distinct angular grille. The side windows and roofline are tapered to create a coupé look and the sharply defined headlights and bonnet strakes are intended to give a slightly sportier look, a definite improvement compared to its predecessor the Tucson. The ix35 is the same approximate length than most family hatchbacks and by no means a small car at about 4.5 meters long.
The design includes a platform that includes two separate lightweight sub-frames, from which the suspension is mounted with a multi-link set-up in the rear. Two-phase dampers adjust automatically for soft or firm settings, according to speed and road surface. The four-wheel drive system is a part-time system that, in normal conditions, sends 100% of the power to the front axle. If there is any loss of traction at the front, it can send up to 50 per cent of the power to the rear wheels. There’s also the option of locking the differential into 50/50 four-wheel drive mode at up to 25mph.
Interior design in the Hyundai is satisfactory and constructed with visible precision. Systems and equipment available are plenty. Heated front and rear seats, ESP stability control, Bluetooth, panoramic glass sunroof, part-leather interior, rear parking sensors and automatic wipers and headlights are all included. Optional extras include satellite navigation systems, metallic paint or full interior.
The main interface is clear and usable, with solid switchgear, easy to handle. The driving position is ergonomic and comfortable. Interior spacing is well designed and can seat 3 passengers and a driver with reasonable ease. Boot space is very good, at 591 litres with the seats up.
The Hyundai ix35 is available in a range of options from 1,6 GDi petrol engine to the more pricy and flagship 2.0 turbo diesel option. The pace and fuel consumption compares well with its competitors. The big seller in this range is however the 1.7CRDi engine which is only available in two-wheel drive, as with the 133bhp 1.6 GDi petrol motor that forms the entry-level option. For all-wheel drive or an automatic transmission, you have to opt for the bigger 2.0-litre diesel.
The ix35 offers a direct and firm drive because of its damper settings. On a long-distance drive the ride is smooth as the chassis integrates bumps and undulating surfaces better as speed increases. In general, the all-wheel drive makes no difference to day-to-day handling but adds an element of safety on wet or slippery surfaces.