Joel Helmes road tests and reviews the diesel Hyundai ix35.
It takes only a short amount of time to work out why the Hyundai ix35 has been such a consistently successful model.
It’s just the right size, has attractive looks, plenty of standard features and sharp pricing.
Buyers now also have the choice of a diesel engine. Producing 132kW and 392Nm, the diesel ix35 boasts good acceleration and heaps of lowdown grunt that gives the vehicle a tough and capable feel.
The best part though is the fuel economy – I averaged 7.7L/100kms in a week of city driving, the official combined usage figure is 7.2L/100kms.
For the record, the 2.0 litre petrol engine in the ix35 offers 122kW/205Nm and combined fuel consumption of 8.4L/100kms, the 2.4 litre petrol boasts 136kW and 240Nm and uses a combined 9.8L/100kms.
The diesel range incorporates three models; SE, Elite and Premium. The SE and Elite are essentially the same, with the Elite offering sat-nav and a reversing camera. The Premium picks up a glass roof, 18”alloy wheels and heated seats.
On the road the ix35 Elite is an easy vehicle to drive and enjoy. One thing I was disappointed in was the steering. Now, Hyundai vehicles normally come with really sharp and well weighted steering and some models even have Flex-steer – a system that allows you to alter steering feel.
But, the ix35 was anything but sharp – there was some free-play in the steering, plenty of feedback from the road through the steering wheel (minor shudders and vibration) and just an overall dull and unimpressive feel.
Aside from that the ix35 is a well-thought out and well-executed vehicle. Inside the cabin you will find good legroom up front, rear legroom is only adequate. The leather and fabric seats are attractive, comfortable and supportive and the dashboard is simple and effective.
The leather-wrapped steering wheel is attractive and user-friendly and there are two well-placed power outlets on the console along with USB and AUX audio inputs.
The glove box and centre storage bin are well-sized and the rear cargo area is about on-par for an SUV of this size. The driver info screen though is a little dated (especially when compared to what comes in other Hyundai models such as i40), but the gauges are clear and easy to read.
The sat-nav is also easy to program and use, you get a handy little compass display in the rear-view mirror, the Bluetooth system is a synch to sync and the reversing camera gives you a nice wide field of vision.
Speaking of vision, slightly chunky A pillers and big wing mirrors do obscure some front and side visibility.
On the safety front – ix35 has a five star ANCAP rating.
Summing it up: Yes, the diesel ix35 carries a price premium over the petrol versions, but, if you’re doing reasonable kilometres each year I think it would be worth the extra.
The torque the diesel engine produces is impressive and this is something neither petrol engine can match.
Aside from the disappointing steering, the ix35 is a really well sorted and equipped vehicle and with that five year warranty and Hyundai’s new capped price servicing program, I’m sure it will provide many years of happy and stress-free service.
NUTS and BOLTS
Engine: 2.0 litre turbo diesel producing 132kW and 392Nm
Transmission: Six-speed automatic (only)
Safety: Five stars
Warranty: Five years
Origin: South Korea
Price: Diesel from $37,190