Hyundai ix35: Third report

Technical gremlins have been at play recently – but that hasn’t stopped us having fun in our family holdall

  • My family are big fans of the double sunroofs that come as standard with my ix35 Premium. They bathe the cabin in light and let our two girls enjoy all the sights of the city. Closing the sunshades helps to prevent the interior temperature from soaring when I leave the car parked.
  • The back seats drop down easily but the backrest is the only moving part, so the chairs don’t fold totally flat. This isn’t uncommon in the compact family and crossover classes, but a flat-folding set-up would give more space. The boot is well trimmed, though, and with the seats in place it’s big enough for the weekly shop.

My new smartphone has been playing havoc with our Hyundai ix35, which isn’t very clever! Every time I connect my HTC device to the built-in Bluetooth system, the in-car entertainment system screen freezes completely.

The display is also used by the optional sat-nav and reverse parking camera, so this isn’t very helpful to say the least. It’s surprising how much you miss sat-nav when you haven’t got it – even when you don’t actually need it! To fix the problem I called my local dealer, Hyundai London in Hendon, which efficiently booked the car in for an inspection.

When I dropped off the ix35 I was told a simple software upgrade was all it needed, and that the work would take only an hour or so. But when I collected the car, I was informed that the technicians had simply rebooted the onboard computer – the equivalent of turning it off and back on again! I know this usually works with my tired old PC, but would it do the trick with the ix35? I wasn’t so sure.

Staff had simply disconnected the battery – which is something I could have done myself at home. Still, I was advised to test the Bluetooth system over the next few days and monitor its progress. Unfortunately, the electrical gremlins struck immediately, with the screen freezing as soon as I reconnected my phone. The only solution was to switch off the Bluetooth and restart the car. After that, the screen worked again – but this left me with no way of answering my mobile on the move.

When I got home, I called the garage again. This time, I was told a new screen was the answer, and that a replacement would be ordered and delivered in the next few days. I didn’t hear back for 10 days, so called again for an update. It seems this is a rare complaint, so there are no spare items in the UK. My part is coming all the way from Korea, which is the reason for the delay. The delivery time was up to 14 days, but staff couldn’t give me an ETA.

The screen should have arrived in time for my next long-term update, so fingers crossed that it does the trick. Fortunately, the rest of the ix35 package is proving to be much more effective. I enjoy driving the crossover model, and think it really looks the part. And while I have experienced this problem with the phone connection, the rest of the tech inside behaves superbly.

The climate control has been working overtime in the recent hot spell, and being able to connect an iPod to the stereo is great on long drives. The multifunction steering wheel also puts many of the controls at your fingertips, and the novelty of having a starter button still has not worn off after all these miles.

When I took part in a recent Oxford-to-Cambridge charity bike ride, I needed to transport two cycles in the back of the ix35. With the seats folded down this was no problem, and there was still plenty of room up front for some bags. Mind you, the rear bench doesn’t lay completely 
flat, which limits the maximum load height in the back. It wasn’t a problem with the pair of bikes, but could be when transporting more boxy items. And switching the ix35 off and on again really won’t fix that...

Extra Info

“The ix35 is great value, as even basic models come very well equipped. James has encountered a problem with his, but he’s clearly in the minority. According to our Driver Power satisfaction poll, where the brand finished fourth overall, its cars are highly rated for reliability.”

Stuart Morton, Chief Sub-Editor

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