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Hyundai ix35: Test Drive Review

Date: 08 March 2010   |   Author:

Category: Lower medium
P11D price: £19,745
Key rival: Nissan Qashqai

Hyundai is hoping the new ix35 'crossover' will be the first vehicle to add some prestige and appeal to its good quality but arguably uninspiring core model line-up.

The i10 city car, i20 supermini and i30 lower medium models have worked to lift the brand's reputation but are styled in a safer, unobtrusive way and chosen for financial reasons, whereas Hyundai hopes the new model - built to rival Nissan's successful Qashqai, the well-received new Peugeot 3008 and Ford's Kuga 4x4 - will be chosen for style reasons as well as its value. It's an imposing look rather than particularly elegant or attractive, with hints of the big-grilled Peugeot design at the front end.

The focus on appeal doesn't mean the brand has neglected the financials. The lower of the two trim levels, Style, costs £17,995 for the 134hp 2.0-litre diesel and comes with a spectacular amount of standard kit including alloys, aircon, Bluetooth, rear parking sensors, ESP anti-skid control and heated front and rear seats. Step up by £1750 to Premium level and larger alloys, dual-zone climate control, panoramic sunroof, part-leather seats, keyless entry, cruise control and privacy glass are all thrown in. As Hyundai was keen to point out at the launch event, that's over £1000 cheaper than the equivalent diesel Ford Focus, and leaves buyers with the choice of more established fleets brands such as Ford, Nissan or Peugeot in their middling trim levels, or the slightly cheaper ix35 in all singing and dancing fully loaded form. Either that or, spec-for-spec, savings of several thousand pounds.

So company drivers will struggle to add to the P11D with options, and the news gets better with the emissions figures. Despite its small off-roader looks, the front-wheel drive ix35 emits 153g/km, putting it three benefit-in-kind bands below the equivalent Qashqai, and that drops to 147g/km with the Style model and its smaller wheels. Average fuel economy of 47.9mpg isn't bad for the class, either, although, again, it's better with the smaller wheels of the lower-specced model, which comes in at 51.4mpg, just above the Focus 2.0-litre TDCi. Four-wheel drive is a £1,000 extra and adds 2g/km to the emissions figures, keeping the Style 4x4 below 150g/km. There's also a four-wheel drive ix model that's one BIK band higher with emissions of 155g/km.

To drive, the ix35 is around par for the class, and not quite as enjoyable as the excellent Qashqai. But there's nothing bad to say about the driving experience, save a diesel engine that's noisier than the average.

The cabin quality is good, if not outstanding, but certainly better than the price tag would lead you to expect, and rear space is fine for adults. The boot is a huge 591 litres too.

Hyundai has succeeded in making the ix35 the most appealing model it has launched in many years, and adding something to the range that will have fleet appeal outside the job-car fraternity. Although the company expects the ix35 to be heavily retail-biased, it makes financial sense to company car drivers, and is so well-stacked with equipment versus its more favourably badged rivals, that it could be worth considering for fleets and corporate drivers looking for an efficient, practical and interesting model.

If the whole-life costs, not yet available as BusinessCar went to press, are as good as expected, this is a car that could make people start to take Hyundai more seriously.

Hyundai ix35 2.0 CRDi Premium
P11D price£19,745
Model price range£16,495-£20,745
Fuel consumption47.9mpg
CO2 (tax) 153g/km (%)
BIK 20/40% per month£59/£118
Service interval20,000mls mls
Insurancegroup 19
(new 1-50 bandings)
Warranty5yrs/unlimited mls
Boot space (min/max)591/1436 litres
Engine size/power1995cc/134hp
Top speed/0-62mph113mph/9.4secs
On sale 25 March 2010
VerdictThe car in Hyundai’s
line-up with the most
corporate appeal



The car in Hyundai’s line-up with the most corporate appeal