Hyundai ix35 – Yahoo Cars

5 Jan 2015 | Author: | Comments Off on Hyundai ix35 – Yahoo Cars
Hyundai ix35

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The crossover class was an exclusive niche only a couple of years ago, but it is now one of the most rapidly expanding sectors. Hyundai is the latest to join the crossover ranks with its new ix35, which has the looks of a four-wheel drive SUV but aims to offer more hatchback-like comfort, driving manners and running costs. Hyundai also reckons the ix35 will appeal to buyers who might otherwise opt for a compact MPV such as the Ford C-Max.

So, no small order for this new car to live up to.

What are its rivals?

As the name of this sector implies, crossovers are cars trying to do more than one thing well. In some cases, this has ended up in mixed messages as with the BMW X1, Fiat Sedici and Toyota Urban Cruiser. In others, it has resulted in brilliant cars that offer superb all-round ability. From this camp, the Hyundai has to fend off competition from the Nissan Qashqai, the car that defines this sector and offers a good range of engines, comfort and quality.

The Skoda Yeti errs more towards the SUV side of the crossover equation but it#39;s such a great family car and – like the Hyundai – comes in two- and four-wheel drive configurations.

Kia#39;s new Sportage is a cousin of the Hyundai and is the only direct rival to better the ix35#39;s five-year warranty. Vauxhall has introduced a so-called lifetime warranty, which lasts until 100,000 miles is reached, so its new Meriva is another car the Hyundai must look at as a threat. The Ford Kuga sets the benchmark for driving manners, while the Toyota RAV4 is the yardstick for quality and the Peugeot 3008 has one of the most versatile cabins.

How does it drive?

Hyundai has judged the ride and handling balance of the ix35 well. It#39;s a little firm at typical town speeds, but it refuses to become uncomfortable on broken surfaces. The turning circle it tight, the ix35 is nimble and, tiny rear three-quarter windows excepted, easy to park.

Go for the media pack that includes satellite navigation and you get a rear parking camera to augment the standard parking sensors.

In town, you#39;ll notice the 2.0-litre turbodiesel engine is more vocal than much of the competition#39;s engines. This carries through to country roads, but the motor#39;s noise does at least settle down when cruising on the motorway. The suspension also finds its stride out of town to become more supple yet offer lean-free cornering coupled to good grip.

Our two-wheel drive test car never felt the need for four-wheel drive, which is an option, as standard ESP keeps wheel spinning shenanigans at bay. There#39;s also Hillstart Assist Control so the car doesn#39;t roll back on hill starts and Downhill Brake Control should you find yourself on a slithery descent.

The six-speed manual gearbox has a light action, if not the most slick, and the gears match the 134bhp 2.0-litre turbodiesel#39;s traits well. Acceleration in our test model was decently brisk, 0-62mph taking 9.4 seconds, while high speed cruising in sixth gears brings the revs (and noise) down for good economy. Wind and road sounds are kept at a discreet distance at faster speeds.

What#39;s impressive?

Hyundai ix35

Check out the standard equipment list on the entry-level Style version of the ix35 and you could be fooled into think this is a car that will set you back a small fortune. Not so. The ix35 is competitively priced and all models come with air conditioning, heated seats, electric windows for all four doors, a CD stereo, Bluetooth connectivity, rear parking sensors, six airbags, 17-inch alloy wheels and ESP.

Go for the Premium trim of our test car and you get 18-inch alloy wheels, a panoramic sunroof, climate control, keyless ignition, cruise control, part-leather upholstery and roof rails. Try to match that in almost any of the Hyundai#39;s rivals and you#39;ll spend a great deal more.

On top of this, the ix35 comes with Hyundai#39;s five-year warranty cover, reasonable insurance and emissions of 147g/km for the two-wheel drive diesel model. Even the four-wheel drive diesel comes in at 149g/km to be in the same road tax and company car tax bands. Add in 51.4mpg combined economy for the front-wheel drive diesel model and this ix35 is a great value for money proposition.

What#39;s not?

We#39;d like a more consistent feel to the steering. It might seem like a strange gripe, but as soon as you turn the ix35#39;s steering wheel from the straight ahead position, there#39;s a sudden heaviness to the weighting that is just not found in many other cars. Turn the wheel further through more than a quarter rotation and the feel goes back to normal.

Why Hyundai has tuned the steering in this way, we don#39;t know, but we wish it would retune it for a linear feel all the way through its arc.

Should I buy one?

Value, economy, emissions, equipment, warranty and quality are all on the ix35#39;s side. Against it are a firm low-speed ride, that strange steering feel and some rivals that offer a more versatile cabin, though there#39;s nothing wrong with the amount of space the ix35 offers its front and rear occupants. On balance, we#39;d recommend the ix35 for anyone looking for an affordable SUV-alike family car.

It may not out-perform any of its key rivals in any single area, but the Hyundai comes together as a whole very well.

Hyundai ix35
Hyundai ix35
Hyundai ix35
Hyundai ix35
Hyundai ix35

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