Used buyer's guide: Hyundai ix35

Smart, reliable Hyundai ix35 crossover helped turn around Hyundai’s reputation

What to look for

All Hyundai ix35 models have five seats, and until this year’s revamp, Hyundai kept trim levels simple, with just Style or Premium specs available. Mechanically, things are more confusing. The petrol engines are offered with front-wheel drive and a manual box, as is the 1.7 CRDi diesel. But the 2.0 CRDi engine comes in 134bhp and 181bhp forms. The former is available solely with a manual box, plus a choice of front or four-wheel drive. The 181bhp 2.0-litre CRDi is only sold with four-wheel drive and an automatic transmission. 

Some early cars are blighted by knocking from the suspension, due to the damper design, but redesigned items are available. Owners of diesel models have reported that their cars can revert to limp-home mode, because of a blocked fuel filter. Finally, the ix35 is popular with caravanners, so check that the clutch, brakes and suspension aren’t tired from towing.


Since it went on sale in 2010, the ix35 hasn’t been subject to a single recall. In fact, Hyundai has called back only one car during the ensuing three years – the ix20 supermini-MPV, in 2012. That’s a record many of the brand’s rivals will envy, and it allows buyers to focus on finding a clean car with a full service history.


When Auto Express ran a Hyundai ix35 for a year, we praised its safety, reliability, practicality, style, comfort and space. We averaged just 32mpg in our 1.7 CRDi, and while we put that down to most of our driving being in town, mediocre economy is an issue for many owners. The driving experience is another letdown. But although some rivals are more fun, the Hyundai is still hugely talented.

Driver Power

Our view: The ix35 finished 21st in our Driver Power 2013 satisfaction survey. That’s down from 18th in 2012, but still impressive. Owners rated its reliability, ease of driving, and in-car tech, but were critical of the handling and braking.

Your view: Marjorie Bywater from Congleton, Cheshire, owns a 2011 ix35 1.7 CRDi. “It’s well equipped, comfortable, refined and practical,” she says. “The economy should be better, along with some of the interior trim, but it’s excellent value.”


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