Hyundai ix35: Motoring review - smooth, smart and cheap to run, what's boring about that?

 

PRICE: £20,995 (SE Nav tested)
ENGINE: Capacity 1.7-litre, 4-cyl diesel
POWER OUTPUT (BHP @ rpm ): 114 @ 4,000
TOP SPEED (MPH): 108
FUEL ECONOMY (MpG): 53.8
CO2 EMISSIONS (g/km): 139

The South Korean car manufacturer Hyundai hasn't needed to prove it can compete with the major European and American players for quite some time. In fact, the models coming out of Seoul sporting the firm's now-familiar badge and fluid lines are among the best family cars on the market.

The recently updated Hyundai ix35 is a prime example. Ever since the original Nissan Qashqai set the mould for crossovers – cars that look like baby SUVs but can't cross a muddy field – in 2007, rival car companies have been fighting for a slice of this very profitable pie.

And with a new Qashqai on the horizon, it's no surprise that Hyundai has updated the ix35 with new styling, an updated chassis for (claimed) better handling, and more kit. Sensibly, it retains plenty of storage and a commanding driving position from the previous model.

Car salesmen like to make a lot out of that last feature, bizarrely, as if you were going to direct a column of Challenger tanks across Salisbury Plain on your way back from the school run. Anyway, its unsuitability to military manoeuvres aside (it is only two-wheel drive), it's a tidy package. The ride is compliant and smooth, the cabin is solid, with some really clever storage tricks, and it comes with a five-year warranty and roadside assistance.

Why is it that whenever I suggest a Hyundai to any of my family or friends in the market for a new car, they respond that, "Sure, I've heard they are really good. Affordable and economical, too, but aren't they a little boring?" My response is that the ix35 (like most Hyundais) is a great car to look at, that drives well, and I'd always take it over a Ford or a Vauxhall.

Hyundai obviously knows it needs to spice up its image, though, and has taken the accepted automotive route to this by sending a team to compete in the World Rally Championship. It's actually the smaller, faster i20 that kicked off at the Rallye Monte Carlo this week, but I'd love to see a souped-up version of this school-run machine thrown down a treacherous rally stage, tangling with gravel tracks and muddy bends. Ideally, it would have a terrified potential buyer in the passenger seat. They wouldn't call it boring then.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Sport
Robin van Persie leaves the field at the King Power Stadium last Sunday
football
Arts and Entertainment
Martin Freeman and Benedict Cumberbatch as John Watson and Sherlock Holmes in Sherlock
tv

Co-creator Mark Gatiss dropped some very intriguing hints ahead of the BBC drama's return next year

News
In this photo illustration, the Twitter logo and hashtag '#Ring!' is displayed on a mobile device as the company announced its initial public offering and debut on the New York Stock Exchange on November 7, 2013 in London, England. Twitter went public on the NYSE opening at USD 26 per share, valuing the company's worth at an estimated USD 18 billion.
news

News
people

London 'needs affordable housing'

Arts and Entertainment
music Band accidentally drops four-letter description at concert
Life and Style
tech
News
peopleIan Thorpe addresses Ricky Martin rumours
Arts and Entertainment
'Africa' will be Angelina Jolie's fifth film as a director
film

Mr and Mrs Smith star admits she's 'never been comfortable on-screen'

Arts and Entertainment
Australia singer Iggy Azalea has been attacked by Eminem in a new rap
music

Singer was ordered not to 'blow her rape whistle' in song 'Vegas'

Extras
indybest
News
Myleene Klass
people
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    Recruitment Genius: Graduate Commercial Property Surveyor

    £18000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: One of the leading firms of Cha...

    Recruitment Genius: Female Companions / Personal Assistants - Perm and Bank

    £9 - £10 per hour: Recruitment Genius: We are currently recruiting for a care ...

    Recruitment Genius: Groundworker

    £16000 - £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Ground-worker required for an e...

    Randstad Education Cardiff: Maths Teacher

    £100 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cardiff: We are currently recruiting f...

    Day In a Page

    US immigration: President Obama ready to press ahead with long-promised plan to overhaul 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?

    Immigration: Obama's final frontier

    The President is ready to press ahead with the long-promised plan to overhaul America's 'broken system' - but will it get past a Republican-controlled Congress?
    Bill Cosby rape allegations explained: Why are these allegations coming out now? Why didn’t these women come forward earlier? And why has nobody taken legal action?

    Bill Cosby rape allegations explained

    Why are these allegations coming out now? Why has nobody taken legal action? And what happens next for the man once thought of as 'America's Dad'
    Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain

    You know that headache you’ve got?

    Four years of excruciating seizures caused by the 1cm tapeworm found burrowing through a man's brain
    Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?

    Scoot commute

    Travelling to work by scooter is faster than walking and less sweaty than cycling, so why aren’t we all doing it?
    Paul Robeson: The story of how an American icon was driven to death to be told in film

    The Paul Robeson story

    How an American icon was driven to death to be told in film
    10 best satellite navigation systems

    Never get lost again: 10 best satellite navigation systems

    Keep your vehicle going in the right direction with a clever device
    Paul Scholes column: England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil

    Paul Scholes column

    England must learn to keep possession and dictate games before they are exposed by the likes of Germany and Brazil
    Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win says defender as he prepares to return with Hull

    Michael Dawson: I’ll thank Spurs after we win

    Hull defender faces his struggling former club on Sunday ready to show what they are missing. But he says he will always be grateful to Tottenham
    Frank Warren column: Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game

    Frank Warren column

    Dr Wu has big plans for the professionals yet he should stick to the amateur game
    Synagogue attack: Fear unites both sides of Jerusalem as minister warns restoring quiet could take 'months'

    Terror unites Jerusalem after synagogue attack

    Rising violence and increased police patrols have left residents of all faiths looking over their shoulders
    Medecins sans Frontieres: The Ebola crisis has them in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa

    'How do you carry on? You have to...'

    The Ebola crisis has Medecins sans Frontieres in the headlines, but their work goes far beyond West Africa
    Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

    Isis extends its deadly reach with suicide bombing in Kurdish capital

    Residents in what was Iraq’s safest city fear an increase in jihadist attacks, reports Patrick Cockburn
    Underwater photography competition winners 2014 - in pictures

    'Mysterious and inviting' shot of diver wins photography competition

    Stunning image of cenote in Mexico takes top prize
    Sir John Major: Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting

    Sir John Major hits out at theatres

    Negative West End portrayals of politicians put people off voting
    Kicking Barbie's butt: How the growth of 3D printing enabled me to make an army of custom-made figurines

    Kicking Barbie's butt

    How the growth of 3D printing enabled toy-designer to make an army of custom-made figurines