In-depth Reviews

Hyundai ix35 SUV (2009-2016)

"The Hyundai ix35 boasts impressive style and practicality but it can be a bit pricey to run"

Carbuyer Rating

3.5 out of 5

Owners Rating

3.8 out of 5

Read owner reviews

Pros

  • Long warranty great for used buyers
  • Generous standard equipment
  • Handsome styling

Cons

  • Not very efficient
  • Could be more practical
  • Rivals are better to drive

The Hyundai ix35 is a family SUV in the mould of the Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Yeti and its sister car, the Kia Sportage. It has now been replaced by the Hyundai Tucson, but as it was on sale for six years, there are plenty around on the used market.

One of the biggest pulls to the Hyundai ix35 was its unlimited-mileage, five-year warranty, so despite it being discontinued in 2015, you may still find some models with the balance of that warranty, which should provide peace of mind.

The ix35 wasn’t as elegantly styled as the Kia Sportage, but time has been kind and the Hyundai still cuts a dash. It’s practical, too, with a big boot expanding to 1,436 litres with the seats folded. Unlike some of its contemporaries, the ix35 has space for five, doing without a seven-seat option. Still, five adults can sit in relative comfort and that SUV ride height means they’ll all have a decent view.

When the ix35 was available new, it was often criticised for the standard of its interior trim and more recent rivals are better in this regard. While the design is attractive, the materials rarely feel tactile.

That said, the amount of equipment fitted as standard was impressive and at least the match of the Nissan Qashqai, with all models from the entry-level ix35 S upwards coming with alloy wheels and air-conditioning.

The equipment roster grows more elaborate as you move up through the range, which is topped by the Premium Panorama with its large glass sunroof. Our favourite trim level is the SE Nav, which includes Bluetooth, cruise control, heated seats, rear parking sensors, a reversing camera and sat nav.

We’d pass on the 1.6-litre petrol engine unless it’s very attractively priced, as it lacks the pulling power of the diesels and isn’t particularly fuel-efficient. The 1.7-litre diesel is a better bet thanks to the promise of 53mpg, plus the way the diesel produces its power is better suited to the ix35.

If you need more power, or four-wheel drive, then choose the 2.0-litre diesel. It’s a little more relaxed on the motorway and makes the ix35 an excellent tow car.

Whichever engine you choose, be aware the Hyundai isn’t a particularly fun car to drive; the Skoda Yeti is far better in that regard. The ix35 leans a bit in faster corners, yet sends jolts through the interior if you hit a pothole. The steering isn’t particularly precise either and gives a rather disconnected feel.

Still, in more pragmatic areas, the ix35 scores well. It’s safe, with a five-star crash-test rating, a range of airbags, anti-lock brakes, electronic stability control, traction control, tyre-pressure monitoring and even a system to prevent a swaying trailer from jack-knifing.

In the 2016 Driver Power owner satisfaction survey, the ix35 was ranked 116th out of 150 models, which isn’t a great showing, but partly reflects the fact this is no longer a new model. Owners praised its ease of use (76th) and practicality (82nd), but marked it down for running costs and performance, coming 123rd in both categories.

The Hyundai ix35's engines offered fairly decent performance, but that came at the cost of fuel-efficiency. Its rivals usually fared better in this department, using less fuel and emitting less CO2, resulting in lower road tax bills. On the other hand, the ix35’s excellent warranty and good-value servicing are strongly in its favour.

Most Popular

2021 Genesis G70 Shooting Brake estate revealed
2021 Genesis G70 Shooting Brake - side view static
Hyundai Genesis
12 May 2021

2021 Genesis G70 Shooting Brake estate revealed

Best small SUVs
Best Small SUVS - Renault Captur
Small SUVs
14 May 2021

Best small SUVs

Best new car deals 2021
Hyundai i20
Deals
14 May 2021

Best new car deals 2021

More on ix35

Show me:
Government announces £2m hydrogen car fund
Toyota Mirai saloon
11 May 2016

Government announces £2m hydrogen car fund

Department for Transport sets up fund to increase number of hydrogen cars on UK roads
New 2015 Hyundai Tucson - prices, specs and release date
Hyundai ix35 SUV
21 Aug 2015

New 2015 Hyundai Tucson - prices, specs and release date

Korean crossover SUV will go head to head with the Nissan Qashqai - priced from under £19,000
Hydrogen Hyundai SUV pricing revealed
Hyundai ix35 SUV
5 May 2015

Hydrogen Hyundai SUV pricing revealed

UK retail price for the ix35 Fuel Cell crossover starts at around £53,000 - available now
Hyundai Tucson SUV revealed
Hyundai ix35 SUV
17 Feb 2015

Hyundai Tucson SUV revealed

These are the first official pictures of the Hyundai Tuscon, an SUV promising sharper design and clever technology
All-new Hyundai Tucson teased
Hyundai Santa Fe SUV
3 Feb 2015

All-new Hyundai Tucson teased

The replacement for the Hyundai ix35 - the Hyundai Tucson - has been teased ahead of its launch next month
Hyundai reveals World Cup special editions
Hyundai i30 hatchback
7 May 2014

Hyundai reveals World Cup special editions

Hyundai i30 and ix35 get more equipment for less cash thanks to 2014 World Cup
Hydrogen Hyundai models coming to UK
Hyundai ix35 SUV
7 May 2014

Hydrogen Hyundai models coming to UK

Hyundai ix35s powered by hydrogen to be delivered throughout Europe
New Hyundai ix35 price and specs revealed
Hyundai ix35 compact SUV 2013 top static
Hyundai ix35 SUV
23 Aug 2013

New Hyundai ix35 price and specs revealed

Pricing and specification details have been announced for the new Hyundai ix35
Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell coming to the UK
hyundai ix35 fuel cell suv 2013
Hyundai ix35
18 Jul 2013

Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell coming to the UK

A new version of the Hyundai ix35, powered by hydrogen, is to be trialled in London

Tips & advice

View All
Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide
Car dashboard symbols and meanings
Tips and advice
13 Apr 2021

Car dashboard warning lights: the complete guide

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide
Tips and advice
10 Nov 2020

Electric car charging stations: a complete guide

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?
Tips and Advice
23 Mar 2020

PCP vs HP – what's the difference?

Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Average speed cameras: how do they work?
Tips and advice
24 Feb 2021

Average speed cameras: how do they work?

Best cars

View All
Best car interiors
Best cars
10 Mar 2020

Best car interiors

Best electric cars
Volkswagen ID.3
Best cars
6 May 2021

Best electric cars

Best cheap-to-run cars
Toyota Prius front 3/4 cornering
Best cars
1 Feb 2021

Best cheap-to-run cars

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks
Hot hatches
9 Apr 2020

The UK's top 10 fastest hot hatchbacks