Take a look at the ix35 and at first glance it could be mistaken for any other medium-sized SUV on the market. Study it closer and you’ll start to notice Hyundai has applied some really smart design touches like a very distinctive grille and contoured doors to help it stand out from the crowd.
It also has the vibe of a genuine off-roader, although it’s worth noting that not all versions of the car are 4-wheel drive so sticking to the roads and out of the mud could be a wise move instead.
It’s also what many would describe as an upright car and that means it offers a high driving position with pretty good all-round visibility.
It also has the vibe of a genuine off-roader.
What’s it like to drive?
Whether you’re popping over to the other side of town or other side of the country, you’ll find that the ix35 is a pretty good way to get there. The suspension is stiff enough to make handling good but forgiving enough to absorb most of the bumps in the road that can make driving in town a teeth-rattling experience.
The steering is light - maybe too light for some drivers - making parking and other manoeuvres a breeze. For motorway trips, the more powerful diesel engines make the most sense and the 2.0 litre engine also comes with the option of an automatic gearbox for even more relaxed driving.
The steering is light - maybe too light for some drivers - making parking and other manoeuvres a breeze.
Hyundai aren’t really known for the stylish interiors of their cars. So, the first time you climb into an ix35 get ready for quite a surprise. One of the first things you’ll notice is the steering wheel with its metal inlays, followed by the general use of high quality materials throughout - even on the more base-level models.
The simple act of making the instrument display glow blue adds another classy touch, especially at night when the cabin is dark. A neat infotainment screen sits in the middle of the dash, which houses the sat nav and a number of other controls - and there are also a number of handy buttons on the steering wheel.
There’s also a surprising amount of headroom in the car and a driver’s seat that can be adjusted in a number of ways means that finding the perfect driving position is easy. In all but the most basic spec ix35, all the seats are heated – perfect for frosty mornings. For those rare days when air-con is needed, this is also included as standard on all models.
There’s plenty of room on the back seat for 3, although the seat in the middle is quite hard. On the plus side, there’s no central transmission tunnel to get in the way of the middle passenger’s feet.
Good sound-proofing also means that it’s a pretty quiet car, even on motorway journeys and even when the noisier diesel engines are working hard.
Take a look in the boot and you’ll find that there’s all the room you could need for when you’ve done a trolley dash round the supermarket or are heading off on your holidays. There’s even more room when you fold the seats down and the lack of a lip in the boot makes it easy to slide boxes in and out. There are also hooks and a luggage net to hold your cargo in place.
Inside the cabin, generous door bins have plenty of room for all those travel essentials and there’s even an air-conditioned glove box, as well as a central console that doubles as an arm-rest.
Running costs and reliability
For a family-sized SUV, the fuel consumption of the ix35 is pretty impressive. If you choose the 1.7 litre BlueDrive engine then you’ll be looking at over 54mpg. If you go for the 2.0 litre version with 4-wheel drive, this goes down to 40.4mpg. Lower, but still pretty impressive.
For a real off-the-wall choice there’s the hydrogen-powered FCEV power cell. With only around 15 service stations in the UK that sell hydrogen at the moment, this is probably a fuel-source best left for the future.
As far as reliability goes, the fact that Hyundai are happy to give a 5-year unlimited mileage warranty is probably all you need to know. Consider signing up for cinchCare though to ensure that if anything goes wrong, you’re covered.
What cinch loves
We love the fact that Hyundai hasgone the extra mile to create a car that’s as good on the inside as it is on the outside. It’sfunto drive,pretty economicaland comes witha wide rangeof features as standard. Go for a model with heated seats all round and you really will be sitting pretty.