ix to hit the spot
Breathe again — we’re not about to go a week without news of a new SUV
MORE go for less dough— at least at the fuel pump— is the basis for Hyundai’s renewed compact SUV.
Due here in the third quarter of this year, the reinvigorated ix35— the first of Hyundai’s new wave of alpha-numeric models to reach middle age— does away with its obsolete entry level petrol engine and gets fixtures from the 2012 model Santa Fe. A Europemade direct injection 2.0-litre replaces the thrashy ancient Theta-II. A new turbo diesel four is also promised.
The so-called Flexisteer is adapted from the bigger SUV, a three mode system which in Carsguide’s estimation provides little real feel in any setting. Upper specification models get bi-xenon headlights and lusher interiors.
While Hyundai is keeping details under wraps until the ix35’s unveiling at this week’s Geneva motor show, it is certain the next entry $26,990 model will easily surpass the current car’s 122kW/197Nm and poor 8.5L/100km.
The first of Hyundai’s ‘‘ made for Europe’’ models, it is notable for debuting the Korean carmaker’s fluidic design gambit, a striking look that has helped underwrite the brand’s success there and in Australia. But though a hit there and here, the Hyundai has been overshadowed by smaller cousin Kia’s Sportage.
All but a twin under the skin, the Peter Schreyer-designed compact SUV benefits from a local adaptation led by Graham Gambold, with bespoke suspension and steering setting. So successful was Kia’s precedent, Hyundai will adopt a similar approach with the ix35.