Hyundai ix35 SUV

£17,000 - £28,015

The Hyundai ix35 SUV is the Korean brand's answer to cars such as the Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Yeti and Ford Kuga. Arguably, its biggest rival is the Kia Sportage. That car shares many of the Hyundai's parts but gets chunkier looks and has a seven-year/100,000-mile warranty instead of the Hyundai's five-year/unlimited-mileage guarantee.

Despite a 2014 facelift, the Hyundai's engine range is showing its age and can’t compete with the fuel economy of the latest models, such as the new Nissan Qashqai. That's not to say the Hyundai is hugely expensive to run, particularly if you choose the 1.7-litre or 2.0-litre diesels. The latter comes with four-wheel drive as standard, while a 1.6-litre engine is the only petrol option and is relatively thirsty in comparison.

A six-speed manual gearbox is standard right across the range, with buyers preferring an automatic gearbox limited to the 2.0-litre diesel, four-wheel-drive model only. Although it's a little noisy, the 1.7-litre diesel offers a good mix of performance and fuel economy.

The 1.6-litre petrol keeps the initial purchase price low, while the 2.0-litre diesel is the best option if you carry lots of people and their luggage around, or tow a trailer or horsebox regularly. All models are five-seaters only.

There are five trim levels to choose from – S, SE, SE Nav, Premium and Premium Panorama. All models are well equipped, with even the entry-level S model coming with 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, electric windows and a six-speaker stereo that can be connected to your MP3 player. As with all Hyundai cars, the ix35 gets a five-year, unlimited-mileage warranty as standard.

The crash safety experts at Euro NCAP tested the ix35 in 2010, when it received the maximum five-star rating.