Hyundai ix35 a standout small car
It’s difficult making a choice in the small sports utility section these days. There are plenty of new models as the makers court the buyers in one of the fastestgrowing segments of the new car market.
Kia has just brought out the new Sportage and Hyundai, the senior of the two South Korean partners, launched a new badge and a new model in the form of the ix35 – a replacement for the Tucson.
The ix35 is aimed at that same market and, because it does things even better than the Tucson, it should be even more successful.
The ix35 is one of the first of Hyundai’s new models to follow the car maker’s new design line. They call it ‘‘fluidic sculpture’’ and it makes for a distinctive vehicle that has a real presence.
The ix35 comes with a choice of three engines, two petrol and one turbo diesel, and there is the choice of two and four-wheeldrive.
Not surprisingly the top model in the ix35 range is turbo diesel powered with the four-wheeldrive. This engine is the most powerful of the three as well as developing by far the most torque.
The engine is a 2-litre version of the larger 2.2-litre R series unit in the Santa Fe and its power output is impressive for its size.
It’s obviously a diesel but it’s not overly noisy and I’d forgive it because its performance is so good. With 392Nm available as low as 1800rpm there is a response that would only be possible with a diesel. As a result the ix35 will accelerate to the speed limit in less than nine seconds.
But the vehicle will still return good economy figures. It’s officially 7.5 litres per 100 for the combined cycle.
Despite the all-wheel-drive it’s only really a softroader and ground clearance of 170mm is little more than that of a conventional car.
The fact it sits so low is probably one of the factors for its very good highway ride. It sits very stable and there is little roll.
The ix35 is only a five-seater but because a third row of seats hasn’t been squeezed in at the back the Hyundai’s two rows are able to make the most of the available space.
To go with the keyless entry and ignition there is a stop start button and the front seats are heated. There is a trip computer, although the adjustment is not easily accessible.
In the Elite there is a reversing camera with the display built into the rearview mirror. But the ix35 did have one feature I didn’t like – the strength of the headlights. On dip I hardly knew I had them on and on full beam the light was insipid and watery.
Small and sporty: The ix35 replaces the Tucson in Hyundai’s lineup.