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Hyundai ix35

Classy Korean looks great, but is proving to be a car of two halves for our publishing director

  • I think the design of the ix35 is excellent, inside and out. The dials and switches look great when lit up at night, and the deep blue backlighting helps to give the cabin an upmarket ambience after dark. The smart analogue dials feature neat digital readouts at their centres.
  • The touchscreen sat-nav comes as part of the £820 Media Pack, complete with the handy reversing camera, but it doesn’t allow you to input your destination using the postcode input and automatically activates the audible instructions every time you enter a new address.
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Football pundits 
would love the latest addition to our long-term fleet, 
as the Hyundai ix35 
is a car of two halves! 

Let’s start at the front, because when I first saw the ix35 in the pages of Auto Express, I 
was impressed with its styling – and I was only too pleased to discover that I’d be running 
the new 1.7 CRDi model when 
it arrived in our car park just before Christmas last year. 
And I am pleased to say that 
it looks even better in the 
metal than it does on paper.

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First impressions were good, and the cabin did nothing to change my mind. Thoughtful touches, like illuminated switches for the stereo and cruise control on the steering wheel, make
the first few days with any 
new car pass more easily, 
and I wasn’t forced to grope 
about in the dark looking 
for the necessary controls. 

The tall seating position also delivers superb forward visibility, which is ideal around town. Mind you, it’s not perfect because when you look over your shoulder, the sweeping rear windows taper towards the back. While this does wonders for the styling, rearward visibility is compromised.

All is not lost, though, as our Premium model is fitted with the optional Media Pack, which includes a handy rear-facing camera. Simply select reverse 
and you get a clear image on 
the central display, which 
makes it easy to park the
ix35 in the tightest of spots. 

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My affection for the 
Hyundai grew stronger after spending some quality time behind the wheel. The six-speed manual gearbox is excellent 
and given the ever-rising cost 
of fuel, the helpful gearshift indicators provide welcome prompts that will help me to make the most of the 1.7-litre diesel engine’s economy.

After just a few weeks, I
was smitten with the new powerplant. It is smooth, 
capable and has minimal turbo lag when you apply the throttle. The build quality, as we have come to expect from Hyundai these days, is also excellent and the layout of the dials is very good. The sat-nav impresses, too,  but as someone who doesn’t appreciate a bossy voice telling me what to do at every turn, the fact that you have to switch off the system’s audible guidance every time you input a new destination is a little frustrating. 

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On the plus side, with an 
iPod and a USB socket, plus 
two 12-volt plugs in the 
central console (and another 
in the boot), the ix35 easily satisfies my electronic needs.

At the end of January, I returned to work after an 
early holiday, and that’s when 
the game began to change. 
When I came to strap the 
child seats for our two girls in 
the back, I really noticed the difference between the ix35 and the Renault Scenic that preceded it on the Burnay driveway. 

The Hyundai is a big car, but there isn’t a huge amount of space inside. In reality, the crossover model doesn’t claim to be an MPV like the practical Scenic, so I shouldn’t be surprised, 
but I’m always amazed at the relatively modest load area 
every time I raise the tailgate. 

Admittedly, this probably says more about how much clutter we 
have grown used to carrying about with us, and less about 
the Hyundai’s load-carrying credentials. I look forward
to seeing how it copes over 
the months ahead. To coin another football cliché, 
it’s still early doors, after all...

Extra Info

“The ix35 is a great exampleof how much Hyundai has improved in the last few years. Good to drive and well built, it hold lots of appeal. An unlimited mileage five-year warranty makes it a fine ownership prospect.”

Owen Mildenhall,

Senior Road Tester

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