Hyundai ix35

The Essentials

  • Price from £17,300
  • What Car? says: 3 star rating
  • Fuel economy: up to 49.6mpg
  • What is it? No-nonsense crossover looks good and offers safe, practical family transport


  • Cheap to buy, yet they haven't scrimped on the kit
  • Lots of space, wherever you're sitting
  • Safety first: scored five stars in crash tests


  • How noisy is that diesel engine?
  • Firm ride means too much bounce
  • Look closely and some of the plastics feel cheap
  • Drive

    Beefy diesel engine is powerful, but noisy. Neat and nimble around corners, but ride is on the firm side

  • Inside

    Great view thanks to the raised driving position. Dashboard is well laid out, although plastics feel rather cheap

  • Safety

    Five-star Euro NCAP crash test rating is reassuring, and stability control is fitted as standard

  • Reliability

    A five-year, unlimited mileage warranty should stop you lying awake at night

  • Space

    Lots of usable passenger space with flat-folding rear seats to extend the decent sized boot for serious haulage

  • Standard and extras

    Electric windows, parking sensors and Bluetooth are standard, or upgrade for heated seats and a panoramic sunroof

  • What's it like to drive?

    The ix35 aims to be comfortable rather than fun, but you'll still feel the worst bumps through your seat. The car tends to lean a little too much around corners, too. Still, at least the light steering keeps things easy when you're parking.
    The entry-level 1.6 petrol is the best engine to go for. It's not fast, but it's impressively flexible for a small engine and it keeps purchase prices down. The 1.7 diesel looks good on paper, but it's frustratingly flat at low revs. There are a couple of 2.0-litre diesels to choose from, too, which give much stronger performance, but they're too pricey to buy.
    All the engines are also too loud for our liking, and there's too much wind and road noise to be heard on the motorway. You may find yourself turning the stereo up uncomfortably loudly to drown out the din.

  • What's it like inside?

    Although some of the plastics feel rather bland, the dash is clearly laid out and there are steering wheel-mounted controls for the stereo. The raised driving position gives a great view out, but rear visibility is compromised by the narrow rear windows. There's lots of space for the family to stretch out in the passenger compartment, and wide-opening rear doors make getting in and out a doddle for the kids and granny alike.
    Kit levels are impressive, too, as air-conditioning, Bluetooth and rear parking sensors are all standard across the range. Premium trim adds a panoramic sunroof, cruise control and keyless entry.

  • How reliable is it?

    The ix35 doesn't feature in the latest JD Power ownership satisfaction survey, but the larger Hyundai Santa Fe was awarded an average score for mechanical reliability. Still, a five-year, unlimited mileage warranty should help put your mind at rest.
    There's everything we'd hope for on the safety list, from six airbags and stability control to active headrests, which minimise whiplash in a crash. In Euro NCAP crash tests, the ix35 scored an impressive 90% and 88% for adult and children safety, respectively.

  • Should I buy one?

    The ix35 is a good value crossover, if not one of the best to drive. Prices are competitive, resale values strong and plenty of goodies are standard on every model. The diesel models offer the best running costs, but they're expensive to buy. Unless you do high mileage, we'd steer you towards the cheap and flexible 1.6 petrol.