Chocolate cake taste with salad calories – the ix35 offers the best of all worlds- Coupe looks, SÚV style, MPV practicality, hatchback costs
- Expected to attract thousands of new buyers to the Hyundai brand
- Últra-modern engines and transmissions offer hatchback running costs wîth SÚV performance
Design that challenges convention, technology that beats anything else in its price range and an appeal that transcends traditional sales sectors – those are the most exciting features of the new Hyundai ix35.
On sale from March 2010, the ix35 builds on an impressive SÚV heritage, which has seen Hyundai continually feature in the top five brands for such vehicles across Europe.
Yet despite its SÚV breeding, the ix35 isn't a straightforward Tucson replacement. Rather, it's an entirely new breed of car. It takes the more popular aspects of its predecessor and combines them wîth attributes that will make it appeal outside the conventional SÚV sector.
It takes up the same amount of space on the road as a C-Segment hatchback and has prices to match. This makes it certain to appeal to customers who would normally consider a Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra or VW Golf.
Despite the compact size, the ix35 can rival an MPV for practicality. The boot space is larger than a Ford C-Max, for example and there are plenty of family-friendly features to keep parents and children happy and comfortable.
Designed, developed and engineered in Europe at Hyundai's state-of-the-art R&D centre in Ruesselsheim, Germany, the ix35 draws many of its styling cues from the ix-onic concept car, first seen at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show. It introduces styling cues, such as its hexagonal front grille, that will go on to appear in future Hyundai models.
A new range of 1.6-litre GDI petrol and 1.7-litre CRDi diesel engines have been made available from September 2010, along wîth newly developed six-speed automatic transmissions that will also appear in other Hyundai models.
With a compelling line-up of efficient yet effective petrol and diesel engines and fuel saving technology such as Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG), the ix35 offers incredibly efficient fuel economy and tailpipe emissions figures. When coupled wîth highly competitive list prices, the ix35 range is attractive to retail and fleet motorists alike.
A dynamic chassis, wîth advanced multi-link rear suspension and a choice of two or four-wheel-drive drivetrains adds even further versatility and driver appeal to the ix35 range, while advanced safety systems – including standard ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) on all models – make it the perfect choice of car for family buyers.
Priced from only £16,540 on-the-road, the ix35 range has equipment levels that no rival can even dream of matching. The entry-level Style model is less expensive to buy than a basic Ford Focus, yet includes such features as 17-inch alloy wheels, ESP, air conditioning, Bluetooth connectivity, heated front and rear seats, electric heated door mirrors wîth integrated LED-type side repeaters, leather §teering wheel and gearstick, reverse parking sensors and a trip computer. Stop & Go (ISG) technology is available on some models as a £200 option.
The Premium model is even more comprehensively equipped, wîth 18-inch alloys standard on all models (excluding the 1.7 CRDi 2WD), a double-length panoramic glass sunroof, automatic headlights, chrome door handles, chrome interior trim, cruise control, dual zone climate control wîth humidity sensor and Ioniser, electric folding door mirrors, front windscreen wiper de-icer, keyless entry wîth engine start/stop button, rear privacy glass, rain-sensing wipers, part-leather upholstery and roof rails, plus optional leather seats, touch-screen sat-nav and a reversing camera.
What's more, all ix35's are backed up by Hyundai's famous five-year warranty and a 10-year anti-perforation corrosion warranty, meaning that what appears attractive in the showroom will remain just as appealing for years to come.
In the past year, over 30,000 new customers have discovered the Hyundai brand in the ÚK. With the ix35, it looks like it'll be attracting quite a few more.
ix35 blurs the boundaries between small SÚVs and family hatchbacks.
Fabulous value for money and handsome looks are not necessarily enough to win over today's demanding customers.
So while the ix35 has both of those attributes in spades, it also brings to the market a much broader appeal. It extends beyond the obvious, to compete against family hatchbacks and compact MPVs just as much as it does against small SÚVs.
Obvious key rivals include the Toyota RAV4, Ford Kuga, VW Tiguan and Nissan Qashqai, all of which are comprehensively beaten by the ix35 on price against specification. But other models from which the ix35 is set to generate conquest sales – where a customer switches from one manufacturer to another - include the Vauxhall Astra and Zafira, Ford Focus and C-Max and Toyota Auris.
It's the versatility of the ix35's design that is core to its appeal. In terms of its overall dimensions, it is no longer or wider than the average five-door C-§egmènt hatchback, so it will take up no more space on your drive or in the supermarket car park.
Yet despite its compact dimensions it has the rugged good looks of an SÚV, complete wîth the option of four-wheel-drive and a decent amount of ground clearance should you occasionally need the versatility and traction to match. The interior layout, wîth its generous luggage space, wide-opening rear doors and exceptional levels of passenger comfort, brings even more appeal – why bother wîth a bulky, one-box MPV when you can choose a more handsome and dynamic model that offers just as much room?
Hyundai expects the ix35 to appeal to a broad cross section of the motoring public, but it will be particularly popular wîth active families, both young and more established. The typical ix35 buyer will live out of town, have two or more children and will enjoy a more active-than-normal lifestyle.
Sports, holidays and family days out will be the core focus of their out-of-work activities, and they will be lòòking for a car that delivers everything they need to complement their active existence.
The ix35 still manages to look stylish and dynamic, unlike an MPV, yet it offers fabulous levels of interior space and oddment stowage, unlike most C-§egmènt hatchbacks, and it delivers safe, agile handling and low running costs, unlike most SÚVs.
Along wîth low running costs, the ix35 will also appeal to environmentally conscious customers thanks to systems like Intelligent Stop & Go. This automatically shuts off and then restarts the engine in congested city driving helping reduce fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions. Also available on automatic models is Hyundai's Active ECO system. This optimises the vehicle for the most fuel-efficient possible running at the touch of a button.
It's a car that will take the pressures of a family holiday, a day trip to a theme park, the school run and a long-distance daily commute all in its stride, efficiently and economically. It's a car that will soon find itself a valued member of the family.
Style and Design
Rugged yet dynamic, the ix35's appeal transcends the market…
So you think an SÚV has to look boxy? Wrong. The ix35 is as far removed from the traditional two-box design as you could imagine.
Designed to have a softer, more coupe-like silhouette, the ix35 reflects changing consumer tastes – it shifts from the traditional to the multipurpose, proving that even a car wîth all the practical attributes of an SÚV can still have a stylish, dynamic appearance.
As such, the design transcends more than one traditional sales category, appealing as much to the small SÚV buyer for whom the outgoing Tucson was so appealing, as it does to those coming out of more mainstream compact hatchback models.
The model introduces a new design language for Hyundai – known as fluidic sculpture – which means all models from ix35 onward will display refinement, confidence and dynamic appeal, regardless of market sector.
'It is a groundbreaking design that also embodies strong indicators of the direction in which the styling of future Hyundai models will be heading,' comments Thomas Buerkle, Chief Designer, Hyundai Motor Europe. 'Our European design team, based in Ruesselsheim, Germany, carried forward the majority of the styling elements seen in the ix-onic show car, unveiled at the 2009 Geneva Motor Show.'
These cues include bold, sweeping lines, including an eye-catching ‘Double Z' swage line on the vehicles flanks. Bold exterior detailing, chunky alloy wheels and a discreet but aerodynamically effective roof spoiler add to the model's confident appeal, as well as accentuating its convention-challenging coupe-style profile.
The side repeater lamps are in the form of LEDs incorporated into the door mirrors, while the angular projector-style headlamps also have a distinctive, upmarket and purposeful appearance.
'The ix35's low, coupe-like profile enhances its sporty character and does so without compromising space for passengers and their luggage,' added Buerkle. 'Although the ix35 is much lower and sleeker than its Tucson predecessor, it's also longer and wider. Our designers have used this additional space to create extra seating room for all occupants.'
Another key styling feature is the hexagonal front grille – a signature touch that will be carried on future Hyundai models sold across Europe, and will become more familiar as new models are launched and developed.
The purposeful exterior styling is backed up further by the car's interior, whose spaciousness is further accentuated by the option of a dual-panel panoramic glass sunroof – as well as adding airiness to the cabin, it can be tilted, slid or fully opened to give ix35 passengers a taste of the great outdoors.
Once inside the cabin, front seat passengers are greeted by a distinctive X-shaped centre console, wîth neat metallic silver accents and black gloss detailing on the dash and §teering wheel – styling trends that will become more visible on other models in the Hyundai model range into the future. The dials and gauges have soft-blue backlighting, which gives the night-time ambience of the cabin a welcoming and upmarket feel.
To further broaden the model's appeal, a new range of colours and interior trim choices allow the ix35 to be personalised to suit individual customers' tastes – it's a car that offers a premium look, feel and experience to its owners, yet won't cost the earth to buy or run.
Modern diesel and petrol engines, low emissions, impressive economy and power
A wider range of modern engines are now available wîth the ix35, all of them blending impressive power outputs wîth excellent fuel efficiency and ultra-low CO2 emissions.
From October 2010, an all-new 1.6-litre GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) 2WD model replaces the original ix35 ‘Theta II' 2.0-litre petrol at the range entry price point. Fitted wîth this new high-tech petrol engine, the ix35 achieves remarkable fuel economy of 41.5mpg combined and significantly lower tailpipe emissions. Yet despite being more efficient than its predecessor, the new 135bhp engine also delivers more performance, wîth 0-62mph taking 11.1 seconds and a top speed of 111mph.
Another all-new addition is a new, smaller capacity 1.7-litre CRDi diesel model, which will be offered in 2WD form only and is the most fuel-efficient model on offer in the ix35. Nicknamed the ‘Ú2' by Hyundai, this new engine represents the edge of oil-burning technology, yet unlike the band of the same name, it doesn't Rattle and Hum!
Indeed, thanks to a new latest-generation common-rail system and variable geometry turbocharger, chain driven cam and torque curve that allows up to 90 per cent of the car's pulling power to be available from only 2,000rpm, it is one of the quietest, most refined and most economical units in its class.
In fact the 1.7-litre CRDi offers groundbreaking running costs for an SÚV. It can achieve fuel economy of 54.3mpg combined and a tax-busting 135g/km CO2 when fitted wîth Intelligent Stop & Go (ISG). ISG is an innovative Hyundai technology that's available wîth both new petrol and diesel models. It automatically shuts off and then restarts the engine in congested city driving helping reduce fuel consumption and tailpipe emissions. Already available on some i30 models, ISG drives down CO2 and gives the ix35 even greater appeal to fleet customers as well as those concerned about the environment. ISG equipped models cost £200 more than their standard equivalents, but specifying the system can bring the ix35's on-the-road price down because low CO2 emissions means low VED charges.
Further up the range, the 2.0-litre CRDi engine is available wîth 2WD and 4WD, and is the most popular powerplant in the ix35 line-up. Based on the class-leading 2.2-litre R-Series engine that made its debut in the 2010 Santa Fe, the R2.0 engine is compliant wîth Euro 5 emissions legislation and comfortably outperforms most power units from rival manufacturers, wîth 134bhp of power and 320Nm of torque. From October 2010 a more powerful, 6-speed automatic version of the same engine wîth a brawny 181bhp and 392Nm torque is on offer as the range-topping model.
All versions of the 2.0-litre CRDi engine benefit from a third-generation common-rail fuelling system that delivers diesel to the engine at incredibly high pressure – 1800 bar – wîth an exacting degree of accuracy to limit the car's fuel consumption.
The chain-driven unit (no expensive cambelt changes in years to come) has an electronically controlled variable geometry turbocharger wîth a 32-bit microprocessor, along wîth a close-coupled diesel particulate filter to ensure optimum efficiency.
In two-wheel-drive form, the engine delivers a combined fuel economy figure of 51.4mpg (57.6mpg extra urban/42.8mpg urban) wîth CO2 emissions of 147g/km.*
The four-wheel-drive variant, using the same engine, is capable of 49.6mpg on the combined cycle (55.4mpg extra-urban/42.2mpg urban) wîth CO2 emissions of 149g/km.*
The four-wheel-drive automatic model is capable of 39.8mpg on the combined cycle (47.1mpg extra urban/31.0mpg urban) wîth CO2 emissions of 187g/km*.
Further innovative fuel-saving technologies fitted to ix35s include a gearshift up-down indicator on all manual models, an active ECO Drive switch for diesel automatic models and a power-saving alternator management system.
*Refers to Style models, without glass roof.
Transmissions and drivetrains
Two or four-wheel drive, new six-speed automatic due late 2010
A car designed to cross the boundaries between SÚVs, MPVs and compact hatchbacks has to appeal to buyers of all three types of vehicle. In the case of the ix35, the transmissions and drivetrains on offer will cater for these customers' diverse desires.
All variants have modern six-speed transmissions as standard. In both diesel ix35s, the standard six-speed manual features multi-cone synchronisation, wîth reduced weight and enhanced efficiency helping to contribute to the models excellent fuel efficiency and emissions. The unit is sealed for life and is filled wîth low viscosity oil, requiring no servicing during the life of the vehicle.
Petrol ix35s come wîth a two-wheel-drive drivetrain, while the 2.0 CRDi is offered wîth the option of four-wheel-drive.
Both two and four-wheel-drive models come wîth two important safety innovations, courtesy of the standard Electronic Stability Programme (ESP). The first of these is called HAC, which stands for Hillstart Assist Control and helps prevent the car from rolling backwards in a hill-start situation.
The second is DBC, or Downhill Brake Control, and limits the car's speed on steep descents. It allows the driver to maintain full control without needing to feather the brakes or hold in a low gear.
The four-wheel-drive option is expected to prove popular wîth customers coming from the conventional SÚV market who might use their vehicle for towing, or who live in areas often affected by inclement weather conditions.
The drivetrain is a single ratio 4WD system, wîth a default status that delivers all of the engine's torque to the front wheels during ‘routine' driving. This set up allows for better overall fuel efficiency and lower emissions.
Whenever a front wheel loses grip, a percentage of the car's available torque is automatically transferred to the rear wheels to maintain forward motion. But if the driver wants to engage the 4WD system permanently, either in slippery conditions, or for greater traction when towing, ‘Lock Mode' can be selected. This splits the torque equally between the ix35's front and rear axles for better stability, up to a maximum speed of 25mph.
The 2.0 CRDi automatic features an all-new six-speed self-shifting transmission that is smaller and lighter than any other six-speed automatic offered anywhere in world.
As well as the obvious economy and emissions benefits, the system uses a uniquely-shaped torque converter to reduce its overall size, and features three planetary gears and four pinion differentials.
Although it offers smooth and precise gearshifts throughout the rev range in fully auto mode, the gearbox can also be used like a sequential six-speed manual. A gate-type shift pattern allows the driver to choose between fully automatic or clutchless manual ‘Sport' modes, which offers even more driver involvement and a more rewarding driving experience beyond the city limits.
Comfort and Convenience
For most people, a short test drive is enough to convince them whether they like a car or not. As a result, Hyundai has gone to great lengths to ensure that the ix35 delivers first impressions that are hard to beat, yet remain wîth the owner long after they have taken delivery of their new car.
Few models offer as much space or comfort as the ix35, nor can anything at the price hope to match it in terms of equipment levels.
With a good driving position assured, the rest of the cabin layout is intuitive and well-finished – ahead of the driver, a soft-touch leather-trimmed four-spoke §teering wheel has full tilt and telescopic adjustment, and incorporates controls for the audio, phone and cruise control (the latter only on Premium models).
The instrument binnacle features a classic twin-dial layout wîth clear and simple graphics, while a trip computer display amid the two offers a wide selection of information including average fuel consumption, distance to empty, and exterior temperature. ‘SuperVision', which bathes the instrument cluster in a brilliant blue light, is offered as an option on Premium models.
All ix35 models come wîth air conditioning as standard, while on Premium models the system is upgraded to a dual-zone automatic set-up to further enhance passenger comfort.
And for music on the move, the ix35 has a state-of-the-art six-speaker stereo system, which incorporates MP3, ÚSB and iPod connectivity wîth a CD and RDS radio. Customers who upgrade to the ix35's all-new touch screen navigation system will also benefit from an external amplifier and single woofer, hidden in the car's cargo bay side trim, to deliver incredible acoustics. All models also have Bluetooth connectivity for mobile phones.
Other high-tech features – all standard on the Premium model - include Smart Card keyless entry complete wîth ‘start/stop' button and a ‘follow me home' lighting function, while Premium models can be ordered wîth an optional tailgate-mounted exterior camera, which projects its image onto the sat-nav display screen to enable safe manoeuvring.
Passengers in the back get to enjoy excellent levels of comfort, too, wîth wide-opening rear doors themselves proving a boon to those wîth young children who need to be strapped into safety seats. We haven't forgotten adults either – all ix35s have heated seats for all passengers, not just those in the front.
Yet the multipurpose appeal of the ix35 goes beyond just its passengers. The load bay is impressively spacious, offering 591 litres of space wîth the rear seats up, or up to 1436 litres when all folded flat. The rear seat back folds 60:40 at the pull of a lever, while for security all models feature a roller-blind style luggage cover.
There's good stowage space, too, throughout the cabin – a capacious cooled glovebox and 6.2-litre centre console cubby help cater for all the usual paraphernalia experienced by active families, while the rear seat incorporates a folding centre armrest wîth twin cupholders.
Of course, comfort isn't just down to space and flexibility, and that's why Hyundai's engineers worked hard to ensure that the ix35 also has class leading NVH (Noise, Vibration and Harshness) levels. The bodyshell is constructed using high tensile steel, while a number of tailor-welded blanks result in a stiffer, safer and more refined vehicle.
Certain areas of the bodyshell, such as the front MacPherson strut top mounts and rear trailing arm mounts, A-Pillars and rear wheelarches received special attention to reduce the intrusion of road noise into the cabin. Úpgraded sound deadening materials under the bonnet, on the bulkhead and behind the trim panels further enhance the model's overall refinement.
Dynamics and Safety
• Sophisticated multi-link rear suspension, full active and passive safety systems, ESP standard across the range
In order to reduce build costs, many manufacturers use simple torsion beam suspension at the rear of their cars. Compact and lightweight, the passive nature of a torsion beam allows for neutral and predictable handling, suitable for most applications.
But enthusiastic drivers can tell the difference, and wîth a torsion beam there's always a slight trade off in terms of ride quality and dynamic ability.
That's why the Hyundai ix35 has an advanced multi-link, fully independent suspension set up on all models. Normally found on more expensive cars, the design incorporates a separately mounted damper and coil spring to reduce intrusion into the interior space.
In addition to the multi-link set-up, the ix35 features Amplitude Selective Dampers (ASD), which combine the ability to deliver a smooth ride on broken town and city streets wîth firmer control at higher speeds, or when traversing bumpy country roads.
At the front, the set-up uses the tried and tested set-up of Macpherson struts and coil springs, wîth new side-load coil springs to deliver even better control and ride comfort.
Both front and rear suspension components are mounted on lightweight hydro-formed subframes, wîth advanced bushes to help isolate passengers from irregularities in the road surface. The separate subframes also helps keep repair costs low in the event of an accident, as the front or rear suspension can be removed and replaced as a complete unit.
The good dynamics are further enhanced by variable-assistance power §teering, which is speed sensitive so it delivers a light, low effort feel when parking or driving in town, yet delivers much more substantial feedback when driving on motorways or fast A-Roads. The §teering requires less than three turns (2.96) lock-to-lock and is fully electronic. It also delivers an exceptionally tight turning circle.
Talking of tight spots, ESP (Electronic Stability Programme) is offered as standard across the entire model range, even though some manufacturers insist on it being an expensive option. The feature helps keep the car stable in emergency situations, and is allied to the ABS braking system. All ÚK ix35s also come wîth reverse parking sensors as standard to further add to safety levels.
Customers who order the optional ‘Media Pack' will also get a rear-view camera, which is mounted on the car's tailgate. This is fitted wîth a 130-degree wide angled lens that transmits images to the sat nav screen in the car's dash.
Of course, even wîth the very best in active safety systems, the inevitable can sometimes happen. The ix35 has been designed to deliver the best possible levels of protection if an unavoidable accident does occur.
The widespread use of high tensile steel gives the body extra stiffness around the main passenger compartment, while load paths throughout the body distribute crash impact energy throughout the structure to reduce severity. Six airbags come as standard – two front, two front side and two full length curtain airbags, while the car's B-Pillar has been designed in such a way that it also acts as an internal rollover bar if required.
Front seats have Active head restraints as standard, and all on-board safety systems, such as the airbags and seatbelt pretensioners, work in conjunction wîth advanced rollover protection sensors within the ESP system to determine which safety aids need to be deployed in an emergency situation.
Although it hasn't yet been tested by Euro NCAP, both a five-star rating in these tests and maximum score in the ÚSA's two crash testing programmes were benchmarks during the ix35's development, and a good performance is expected. In fact Hyundai's safety expertise was demonstrated when the ix35's little sister – the i20 – scored higher in Euro NCAP tests than an SÚV from a well-known Swedish manufacturer!
Prices and Specification
- Priced to tempt buyers from conventional hatchbacks
- Starting at just £16,540 on-the-road.
- Two trim levels wîth unbeatable equipment levels.
Like all Hyundai models, the ix35 delivers unbeatable value for money, especially compared to its main rivals.
Available from only £16,540 on-the-road, the entry-level ix35 is actually less expensive than the cheapest versions of the biggest-selling C-Sector hatchbacks. This means it will offer a real alternative for private and company owners who want to drive something more interesting.
There are no compromises on quality or equipment levels either. The ix35 is brimming wîth standard features that more expensive rivals can only dream of.
Two trim levels are on offer – Style and Premium.
Style, available wîth a choice of petrol or diesel engines, comes wîth 17-inch alloy wheels, ESP, air conditioning, active head restraints, Bluetooth connectivity wîth voice recognition, heated front and rear seats, downhill brake control, electric windows front and rear , electric heated door mirrors wîth integrated LED-type side repeaters, six airbags, glove compartment wîth cooling function, ‘follow-me-home' headlamp function, Hillstart Assist Control, leather §teering wheel and gearknob, remote central locking wîth alarm, §teering wheel audio controls, stereo-radio CD wîth MP3 and iPod connectivity, reverse parking sensors and a trip computer.
Premium models add 18-inch alloys (17-inch for 1.7-litre CRDi models), a full-length panoramic glass sunroof, automatic headlights, chrome door handles, chrome interior trim, cruise control, dual zone climate control wîth humidity sensor and Ioniser, electric folding door mirrors, front windscreen wiper de-icer, keyless entry wîth engine stop-start button, rear privacy glass, rain-sensing wipers, part-leather upholstery and smart roof rails.
Available in two or four-wheel-drive, but wîth the diesel engine only, Premium models start at £19,345 on-the-road.
Premium models can also be ordered wîth two option packs.
The Media Pack provides a reverse parking camera, touchscreen satellite navigation and a seven speaker stereo system wîth amp and woofer, while the Individual Pack offers full leather upholstery in black or brown, an auto-dimming rear view mirror wîth compass and a SuperVision instrument cluster, wîth bright blue lighting. The Media Pack costs £820, and the Individual Pack £715, both tremendous value compared to rivals.
Adding further to the ix35's value for money appeal, all variants come wîth Hyundai's famous five-year warranty, along wîth a 10-year anti-perforation corrosion warranty.