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Hyundai ix35 vs rivals

Revised Hyundai ix35 faces a tough first test as it meets top crossover rivals from Honda and Mazda

The crowded crossover class has become one of the most closely fought in the UK. Ever since Nissan’s original Qashqai set the fashionable template in 2007, rival makers have been clamouring to get a slice of the action.

Hyundai ix35 in-depth review

Mazda CX-5 in-depth review

Honda CR-V in-depth review 

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Given the stiff competition, it’s no surprise that Hyundai has refreshed its bold-looking ix35 after only three years on sale. With its tweaked styling and uprated chassis, the new model promises to be even more eye-catching and better to drive. We test the popular front-wheel-drive 1.7-litre CRDi diesel in well equipped £22,595 Premium guise.

Yet Hyundai isn’t the only brand with its eyes on this lucrative market – as Honda has launched an efficient two-wheel-drive, 1.6-litre diesel version of its latest CR-V SUV. It’s more expensive, with an entry-level version costing a similar amount to a top-spec ix35. Even so, it has plenty of kit, plus an upmarket feel and the appeal of the Honda badge.

Yet before either of our new contenders can celebrate, they must face our reigning champ in the crossover class: the Mazda CX-5. With its sharp driving experience, strong performance, great practicality and low running costs, the CX-5 represents a formidable challenge for any newcomer.

Boot space

While the Hyundai and Honda claim similar figures for boot capacity, it’s clear that the CR-V offers more usable room. It has a wider opening and the tailgate swings higher, plus the one-pull seat folding is a great touch. The Mazda falls behind these models for ultimate space, but the separate folding action for the centre section of the back seats is a handy feature. Although the Hyundai has a lower load lip than the Mazda, there’s less usable space under the boot floor.

Four-wheel drive

The CX-5 is offered with four-wheel drive for a £1,700 premium. If you want 4x4 versions of the other two cars, you have to go for bigger, more polluting engines – namely the 2.0 CRDi (£25,495) in the ix35 or 2.2 i-DTEC (£24,940) in the CR-V.

Standard equipment

The ix35 has the beating of its rivals here, with kit that wouldn’t look out of place on an executive saloon. Heated rear seats are standard on SE models and above, while our Premium version comes with sat-nav, Bluetooth, leather, privacy glass and keyless entry. Aside from metallic paint, all three cars offer little in the way of optional extras. Instead, you’re expected to move up to a higher specification. In the Hyundai, that means the Premium Panorama, with a big glass roof, for £800 extra, while the top-spec CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC SR is £26,880.

First place - Mazda CX-5

It’s another comfortable win for the excellent CX-5. While it’s not the cheapest of our test trio to buy, it compensates with its sparkling driving dynamics, low costs and excellent refinement. And what the Mazda lacks in cabin space it makes up for with a neat design that’s packed with versatile touches.

Second place - Honda CR-V

The addition of a smooth and efficient 1.6-litre diesel has transformed the Honda CR-V. With its low emissions and punchy performance, the engine has given the spacious SUV a new lease of life. And while the entry-level car can’t match the Hyundai or Mazda for kit, it gets all the essentials.

Third place - Hyundai ix35

Make no mistake: the facelifted ix35 is still a desirable family car. Not only is it attractively priced, it comes packed with equipment as standard and is backed by an impressive warranty. It’s just held back by its high CO2 emissions, lacklustre driving dynamics and relatively cramped interior.

   Mazda CX-5 2.2D SE-LHonda CR-V 1.6 i-DTEC SHyundai ix35 1.7 CRDi Premium
On the road price/total as tested£23,295/£24,525£22,800/£27,380£22,595/£22,695
Residual value (after 3yrs/36,000)£11,205/48.1%£11,104/48.7%£12,043/53.3%
Depreciation  £12,090 £11,696£10,552
Annual tax liability std/higher rate£837/£1,673£819/£1,638£1,075/£2,150
Annual fuel cost (12k/20k miles)£1,746/£2,909£1,826/£3,044£2,068/£3,446
Ins. group/quote/road tax band/cost18/£349/C/£3024/£408/C/£3017/£324/F/£140
Cost of 1st/2nd/3rd service£105/£193/£227£995 (5yrs/62,500)£499 (3yrs/30k)
Length/wheelbase 4,555/2,700mm4,570/2,630mm4,410/2,640mm
Height/width  1,710/1,840mm1,685/1,820mm1,665/1,820mm
Engine  4cyl in-line/2,191cc4cyl in-line/1,597cc4cyl in-line/1,685cc
Peak power/revs 148/4,500 bhp/rpm118/4,000 bhp/rpm114/4,000 bhp/rpm
Peak torque/revs 380/1,800 Nm/rpm300/2,000 Nm/rpm260/1,250 Nm/rpm
Transmission 6-spd man/fwd6-spd man/fwd6-spd man/fwd
Fuel tank capacity/spare wheel56 litres/foam58 litres/space saver58 litres/foam
Boot capacity 503/1,620 litres589/1,669 litres591/1,436 litres
Kerbweight/payload/towing weight1,496/539/2,000kg1,541/559/1,700kg1,537/403/1,200kg
Turning circle/drag coefficient11.7 metres/N/A11.8 metres/N/A10.6 metres/N/A
Basic warranty (miles)/recovery3yrs (60,000)/3yrs3yrs (90,000)/3yrs5yrs (unltd)/5yrs
Service intervals/UK dealers12,500 (1yr)/17012,500 (1yr)/19620,000 (1yr)/162
Driver Power manufacturer/dealer pos.4th/17th 6th/4th14th/20th
Euro NCAP: Adult/child/ped./stars94/87/64/5 93/74/68/590/88/54/5
0-60/30-70mph 8.4/7.9 secs 10.8/11.0 secs12.5/14.0 secs
30-50mph in 3rd/4th 3.1/4.5 secs 4.4/6.0 secs4.0/5.8 secs
50-70mph in 5th/6th 5.9/8.0 secs 8.0/10.1 secs8.6/11.0 secs
Top speed/rpm at 70mph126mph/2,000rpm113mph/2,100rpm108mph/2,250rpm
Braking 70-0/60-0/30-0mph49.2/37.7/8.6m48.2/34.2/8.5m50.4/36.9/9.8m
Noise outside/idle/30/70mphN/A 72/47/55/70dB73/53/55/66dB
Auto Express econ (mpg/mpl)/range43.0/9.5/530 miles41.1/9.0/524 miles36.3/8.0/463 miles
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined52.3/68.9/61.4mpg58.9/65.7/62.8mpg42.8/56.5/50.4mpg
Govt urban/extra-urban/combined11.5/15.2/13.5mpl13.0/14.5/13.8mpl9.4/12.4/11.1mpl
Actual/claimed CO2/tax bracket176/119g/km/18%184/119g/km/18%209/147g/km/24%
Airbags/Isofix/park sensors/cameraSix/yes/yes/noSix/yes/DFO/noSix/yes/yes/yes
Automatic box/stability/cruise ctrl£1,300/yes/yesNo/yes/yesNo/yes/yes
Climate ctrl/leather/heated seatsYes/no/no Yes/no/noYes/yes/yes
Met paint/xenon lights/keyless go£530/no/no £500/no/no£520/yes/yes
Sat-nav/USB/DAB radio/Bluetooth£700/yes/no/yes£765/yes/yes/£765*Yes/yes/yes
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