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The exterior of a blue Hyundai ix35

Hyundai ix35 review

The Hyundai ix35 is a stylish SUV with plenty of interior space and lots of standard equipment. Offering decent performance and fuel economy, it's very comfortable for all types of driving.


  • Great value for money SUV
  • Efficient diesel engines help keep running costs low
  • Excellent Hyundai reliability and servicing


  • It isn't as stylish as some rivals
  • Not the best SUV to drive
  • The interior features some hard plastics


“It’s great value for money and very reliable.”

The ix35 is an SUV that’s surprisingly compact which makes it great to drive in town. Available in both two and all-wheel drive, it’s a versatile choice for the family as it’s easily capable of tackling the school or commuter run before heading, fully loaded, away for the weekend.

It’s also very well equipped with good interior space and design which makes it a nice car to be in for all the family. It’s more about comfortable driving than performance.
 There’s a good choice of engines so you should be able to find one to suit your needs.

What’s the interior like?

“There’s a high level of equipment and solid materials.”

The ix35 has a slightly premium interior with good quality materials and a simple look and feel to the buttons and instruments. There are some hard plastics but they’re easy enough to live with and are practical if you have children.

The black plastic is broken up by a few aluminium-look trim pieces and some models have a panoramic roof to make things feel brighter.

Depending on the model, there’s a comprehensive list of equipment. This means you can find a model with anything from air con with Hyundai’s CleanAir system, which reduces pollution coming into the car, to Bluetooth phone connectivity and even leather and heated seats.

The driving position is very good and will suit both short and long-distance journeys. The seats are also comfortable for drivers and passengers. There’s lots of space up front and in the back while boot space is good at 591 litres, which is more than its rivals and enough room for four big suitcases or four sets of golf clubs. When you fold the seats down, this expands to a massive 1,436 litres.

What’s it like to drive?

“It offers a relaxing drive no matter what type of journey you’re going on.”

The ix35 features a fairly standard range of engines. Petrol models feature an efficient 1.6-litre, while the 1.7-litre diesel will be well suited to drivers who do mostly local mileage. The 2.0 CRDi with a choice of two or four-wheel drive is popular because of its great cruising ability and good fuel economy.

The firm suspension ensures that the ix35 doesn’t lean too much in corners, which is usually a common issue for SUVs, but it’s in no way a fast-cornering machine. Instead, it’s all about a comfortable ride for passengers and a relaxed drive for the person behind the wheel. The steering is light enough to make parking in town easy, which is helped further by standard fit rear parking sensors.

Is it cost-efficient to buy and run?

“Fuel-efficient diesels contribute to good overall running costs.”

It’s one of the least expensive SUVs to buy, with prices comparable to the Ford Kuga and Honda CR-V but lower than an equivalent spec Toyota RAV4. The 1.7 CRDi diesel will give you the highest mpg consumption figures which should be in the 40s.
Insurance costs are generally lower or at least similar to competitors. Hyundai provides fixed price servicing, plus you can buy a service plan even on used models, which makes it easier to budget for future costs.

How reliable and safe is it?

“You can rely on it to keep your family safe and get you to your destination.”

Hyundai always does well in reliability surveys and it came third in the 2019 JD Power Vehicle Dependability Study, so your ix35 is unlikely to let you down. Most will have been family cars though so look out for wear and tear, particularly throughout the interior.

Euro NCAP gave it the full five stars in its crash test and all models have stability control as standard, along with a number of airbags and Isofix mounting points.

Which one is best for you?

Best for economy - 1.7 CRDi

Best for family - 2.0 CRDi Premium

Best for fun - 2.0 CRDi Premium AWD

The petrol models will be fine if you mostly do urban driving, but go for the popular 1.7 or 2.0-litre diesels if you travel further afield regularly.

All models are well equipped, but the SE and Premium models are more desirable and have all the best equipment. In some models, the extra kit won’t cost you much more than the basic versions.

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