• Great diesel engine; well priced and well equipped; road noise; plenty of storage; decent rear-seat space
  • Petrol engines not that enticing, especially entry 2.0-litre; interior plastics mostly hard; overly firm ride; lifeless steering

7 / 10

2012 Hyundai ix35 Review
2012 Hyundai ix35 Review
2012 Hyundai ix35 Review

The Hyundai ix35 is the South Korean manufacturer’s play in the smaller end of the hugely popular SUV market.

It was launched in 2010 as part of its assault on the Australian car market, and replaced the little-loved Tucson.

The Hyundai ix35 range was given a mild tweak in August 2012, which included the addition of a new Elite front-wheel-drive model priced from $32,590.

The Hyundai ix35 competes in a tough segment. The compact SUV category offers more than 20 makes and models and accounts for more than 36 per cent of all SUVs sold in Australia.

In 2011, Hyundai added parking sensors standard across the range, revised the steering feel, reduced cabin noise, added telescopic steering column adjustment and added Amplitude Selective Dampers (ASD) to all-wheel drive variants.

The Japanese do present some good competitors, too, namely the Subaru ForesterNissan Dualis and Mazda CX-5, but in diesel form the Forester lacks an automatic option which limits its uptake, the Dualis is only available as a 2.0-litre petrol, and the Mazda is expensive in diesel form.

Sit inside the Hyundai ix35 and you’ll soon realise that the Koreans have come a very long way in the past few years. The interior is comfortable, easy to get in and out of and all the switches and instruments are placed appropriately throughout the cabin.

2012 Hyundai ix35 Review
2012 Hyundai ix35 Review
2012 Hyundai ix35 Review
2012 Hyundai ix35 Review

The air-conditioning controls can feel a little flimsy and there may be just a tad too much hard plastic used throughout, but other than that it’s a rather dark and ambient cabin that has certainly taken inspiration from European vehicles. By any measure, it’s a nicer place to be than in a Toyota RAV4.

The six-speaker audio system could be helped with a sat-nav system (or at least the option of one) but has full iPhone/iPod support with built-in Bluetooth not only for phone but also for wireless audio streaming. Sound clarity is top notch for the money and entertains with great bass and treble.

In this reviewer’s humble opinion there is a little bit too much blue backlighting in the cabin, from the instrument cluster to the audio system, but you’ll get used to it pretty quickly (plus you can turn down the intensity).

The base model comes with cloth trim, the mid-range Elite gets polyurethane leather combined with cloth and the top of the range Highlander comes with full leather.

There is plenty of useful technology built into the Hyundai ix35. For example, it makes use of a proximity smart key system that allows you to open the door without having to actually use the key (so long as its on your person). Simply press the button on the door and it will open. Very handy when carrying the shopping back to the car or when you can’t find the key in your handbag. The same system allows for a push button start/stop system.

2012 Hyundai ix35 Review
2012 Hyundai ix35 Review
2012 Hyundai ix35 Review
2012 Hyundai ix35 Review

Despite not having a built in LCD screen, the Highlander variants come with a reversing-camera embedded into the rear-view mirror that activates when the car is put in reverse (it’s just like a normal mirror during Drive mode)

The ix35’s ride is firmer than ideal and isn’t particularly comfortable either in the city or on the open road, while dynamically it’s quite an average vehicle. It doesn’t help that the steering lacks feel and suffers from kickback over mid-corner bumps.

On the engine front, it seems Hyundai has concentrated better efforts on its R diesel engine than the ix35’s two petrol units.

The 2.0-litre turbo diesel is a smaller variant of the 2.2-litre found in the Santa Fe and Kia Sorento, delivering an impressive 135kW (at 4000rpm) and 392Nm of torque (1800-2500rpm). To put that into perspective, the German-built 2.0-litre turbo diesel engine in the significantly more expensive Audi Q5 delivers 10kW less power and 42Nm less torque.

The 2.0-litre diesel is coupled to a six-speed automatic transmission that helps deliver fuel economy figures of 7.5L/100km (beating both the 2.0- and 2.4-litre petrol variants).

The key with the ix35 (and Sportage) is to go for the diesel engine no matter what. The petrol variants lack the much needed grunt and drivability that the diesel offers. That may suit some buyers but it’s hard to argue against the diesel.

2012 Hyundai ix35 Review
2012 Hyundai ix35 Review
2012 Hyundai ix35 Review
2012 Hyundai ix35 Review

Safety wise, the Hyundai ix35 has received the maximum ANCAP 5 star safety rating and comes standard with six airbags as well as ABS, EBD, ESC and TCS (if you have no idea what any of that means, it’s pretty much all the technological gadgetry that makes sure the car goes where you point it and stops when you tell it to).

Overall, the Hyundai ix35 is a decent offering in the small-SUV segment, though it’s only at its best in diesel form.

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2012 Hyundai ix35 Review
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  • o

    what a horrible colour. otherwise very nice car

    • Solarfire69

      You obviously have no taste… I think the Eco Green is such a cool colour. You probably drive a black, grey, or a white car …..

  • Henry

    i like this better than the sportage well…..obivosly cause im a hyundai fan and Not KIA and agreed it should have a Sat-Nav. good review CA

  • http://CarAdvice The Salesman

    Is the power steering not electronic in this upgrade? Like the Sportage?

  • Qwerty

    Hi CA, Could we please see a point by point difference between this new 2011 model and the old one??? Many thanks

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

      Taken from Hyundai:

      Steering for 2011 ix35 compact SUV has been revised. Power assistance is now by Motor Driven Power Steering (MDPS), which enhances efficiency and improves steering feel. Telescopic (reach) steering column adjustment has been added to improve driver comfort (electrically operated driver’s seat deleted on Active model variants).

      AWD model variants benefit from the addition of Amplitude Selective Dampers, which provide enhanced handling control while the automatic adjustment to road conditions reduces ride impact harshness.

      The 2011 ix35 range gains additional sound deadening materials to reduce NVH.

      Privacy glass is now standard for the Highlander model.

      • Ebencfkp

        Sorry if I have to digress, but could somebody advise me of the current price for this eligant hyndai ix35?  Grateful for your prompt response.

  • Qwerty

    I wont miss the Satnav, they are never as good as my TomTom730. A reverse camera is needed and there it is, I like it :)

  • Marko

    I would agree that certain Germans are being left behind in the diesel power wars and don’t seem to pass on all there Dakar and race technologies to the passenger car segment but then don’t forget the other German 2 litre twin turbo with 150kw and 400nm?

    • idlebrain

      The problem is how much the german 2 liter twin turbo cost?

      • Marko

        How much does a Korean worker get paid compared to a German?
        How much diesel technology is actual Korean?
        “Hershman says the new 2.2 diesel,(santa fe) which cost $227 million to develop (with the help of Bosch)”end quote.

        • devon

          It would be cheaper than German.
          But at least they don’t get paid less than world standard and get paid more than ford and holden.

        • Daniel

          Common, don’t be fooled not everything manufactured in german alone. Many german companies do it in Russia, Brasil Argentina China and vietnam as well.
          Your beloved Holden will be soon sold to china or India ( the deal is going on at the moment). It will be better if TATA buy it.

    • James Cortez

      Yeah but you should compare the lower end of German diesel powered cars of the same price! There is no such thing is “money no object” buddy

  • Arthur Ackroyd

    I am currently in the market for a new vehicle and therefore enjoy your informative reviews but when doing the reviews could you include the towing specs as these help in determining a vehicle.

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

      Hi Arthur,

      thanks for the feedback, you can click on Specifications up the top of the review and pick the variant ix35 you want and see the towing specs.

      for the diesel it’s
      Brake (1600), Unbrake (750)


    ive got friend who manages a hyundai yard and as mentioned in this atricle its true if you were to place an order today on a diesel you will be waiting 6 months.

  • http://Subaru Sumodog

    It has some things going for it but it lookd hideous. Who would buy such an ugly car . View from the front is kind of ok but side profile is just terrible.

    • bangel

      Yes all the korean suv’s appear to be tall and narrow , very slab sided .

      The black slash at the bottom of the doors tries to hide the height , but not successfully .

      Initially it looked very modern , but it will date quickly , they tend to go overboard on quirky detail ,unlike euro designers

  • Des

    I much prefer the sportier look of the new Sportage. The ix35 is looking dated already. Great diesel engine though.

    • Jimmy

      Yeah, it resembles a toaster.

  • Andriy

    This car is good but I would not rate it as one of the best as there are better comperitors.
    I have to admit that base models are good value for money but high spec just do not match the price tag. Due to high demand you can’t negotiate price much where with eg. Mazda CX7 or Nissan Murano you can get a very good discounts. Do your homework before spending $$$.

    • shockjock

      What planet are you on in citing the morono as a competitor? It has a 3.5 V6 with a horrendous cvt transmission. It will consume approximately 60% more fuel and has a smaller boot. It should be confined to the market for which it was conceived ie the US of A where patent inefficiency is a non issue.

      Admittedly the cx7 diesel is a competitor but manual only.

      • Hung Low

        A few FACTS with our Murano & my mothers 2.4 IX35 to counter your tripe. A Real case scenario!

        Firstly the CVT is brilliant, on of the smartest automatic gearboxes I have ever used. I too was skeptical initially but the latest X-tronic Cvt behind a big V6 works brilliantly.

        Fuel consumption between the Murano and the petrol IX35 in very similar driving situations has the Murano on average using less fuel. Surprising stuff, must be the efficiency of that horrendous cvt!

        Back to back the difference in build, ride, interior and NVH has the Murano in another league. Not to say that the IX35 is a bad car, it competes well within its class but the ride is pretty bad!

        The boot in the Nissan is larger too, so 3 strikes for you! Andriy’s post makes perfect sense, people do need to do their homework and not listen to tripe as written in your post!

    • nell

      Just traded a CX7 in for IX35. CX7 had a new transmission needed a new air compressor drive belt and high pressure hoses to be replaced. Thats why you can get good deals on the CX7 they are crap. 4yr old car needing a new transmission who are they kidding.

  • Shak

    CA you guys say that the only competitor that can match it for power is the Sportage, in fact, the Diesel Captiva’s match it on power and beat it for torque.

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

      The 2.2-litre in the Captiva you are referring too (which really isn’t the same size as the ix35 to begin with) produces 135kW and a 400Nm.

      If we compare apples to apples, which would be the 2.2-litre in the sorento and santa fe it produces 145kW and 436Nm…

  • Jacob Martyn

    Ah Plastics…my laptop has HARD plastic too.

    It should be soft like rubber you say?

  • Don Quay

    Regardless of whatever our good friend Jabba says I can’t agree with him that it is worth the wait. Six months for a small SUV is stupid you could buy an x trail, Koleos, cx7 or use time to save up for a Tiguan. These are really just as good or better than the ix35. As for the styling, I feel that it was crook to start and is already dated. The creases and curves and the idiotic grinning buck tooth face is the worst of it. I would be willing to bet that the dynamic flaws are still there and it is not as good a drive as the Japanese or euros.

  • binladen

    wait for Great Wall Diesel Auto. It is coming very soon. better value for $$$.

    • nickdl

      Have fun trying to keep all of the bits together…

    • gazza

      You mean GREAT FAIL MOTORS what a joke, who in your right mind would buy anything from GREAT FAIL!

  • Sam

    I am starting the lets stop making more pointless soft roading SUVs club. Well not really but I am just starting to get tired of all of these cars. They are just sedans with worse fuel economy, worse rides and less quality for more money.

    Im still young. And perhaps reasonably trendy at times. Some my call me the target market. But I just dont see the point anymore to these cars.

    • nickdl

      Yeah I agree with you Sam. There isn’t one small soft-roader that takes my fancy. If I were a city-living person with an active lifestyle, I’m sure that normal cars would take me as far offroad as anyone would want to go in one of these. Our 2000 Subaru Liberty went places where nearly all softroaders wouldn’t go within 50k’s of and while the AWD system was responsible for this, the added ground clearance of a small SUV was never needed.

      Why you would pick one of these over a Mazda6 or Mondeo wagon is beyond me. If it’s something with a little more off-road ability that you’re after, a Grand Vitara or second-hand SWB Pajero do well for similar money. If it’s simply the space, these two wagons offer better looks, better drive and more practicality plus the better fuel efficiency for much the same price.

      If I was after a 4cyl compact SUV I think I’d either go for an ASX or an Escape. Ford are practically giving away the escapes at the moment at around $26k and they are a bit old but they’re a good drive and very well equipped for the money. Otherwise the ASX diesel offers good fuel economy and fuel efficiency at the trade off of a bit less size but still a good driving car. Still, a mid-sized sedan or hatch would be the best choice IMO.

      • ovr40

        The closer you sit to the road, the faster the car feels. My wife loves the compact SUV format because it sits up higher and thus feels slower. She has no interest in ‘vehicle dynamics’.

        • Don Quay

          You mean she has no interest if the car rides well, handles emergency braking and swerving and goes where you steer it? Remind me never to get in a car with her again.

      • wife, 2 x kids and a rabbit

         nickdl – subaru have all these options in compact SUV

    • maximark

      Have you found any sedan that you could place 2 baby car seats at the back comfortably, the boot is big enough for two prams? These car are more for young families with children. I don’t think the ix35 use more fuel than Holden Commodore or Falcon either. They are also safer in the wet than any front/rear wheel drive sedans.

      • kotmax

        The boot in ix35 is smaller than it was in Tucson. And there is not enough room for 2 prams. Are they safer in the wet? Questionable. IMHO only real full time AWD will do them safer.

      • nickdl

        As amazing as it seems, no one before you brought in the Commodore or Falcon as a comparison to the ix35. I compared it to similar mid-size diesel wagons such as the Mazda6 and Mondeo wagon, as well as proper small offroaders like the SWB Prado and Pajero, and the Suzuki Grand Vitara. With stability control standard in just about every car these days, safety in the wet comes down to dynamic ability. Most would argue that a Commodore, Falcon, Mondeo and 6 are all better at this than the Hyundai.

        • Sumpguard

          You clearly have no idea of the benefits of AWD in the wet. I live in the wet tropics where the rain is measured in metres and there is simply no way on earth that any of the 2WD models you listed can compete with an AWD vehicle for grip.

          Kotmax the Hyundai at least (perhaps the others too) has a switch on the dash to lock AWD in if you choose. Also the worst fuel consumption I have had in the ix35 (driven hard) is 10.5 ltr’s per 100k’s. You can easily blow the commodore out to 16-17 with a heavy right foot.

          • nickdl

            Ok Jabba the Hutt, not many of us live in Cairns where ‘rain is measured in metres’ but to be honest, if you’re driving your Hyundai/Kia SUV at speeds which you don’t think a 2WD car could handle in the wet, you’re incredibly stupid. While 4WD has obvious benefits with grip in wet weather, people should be slowing down below the speed limit when it rains a lot, regardless of the car they drive.

          • Sumpguard

            I think it is you that is incredibly stupid if you don’t understand the benefits of AWD v’s 2WD. Hit a patch of oil on a wet road in a 2WD car or worse brake on it and then you might stop making ridiculous assumptions about the way I drive.

            If you believe someone has to be driving above the speed limit for this to occur think again. I lost control of a vehicle on a freeway on ramp in Melbourne 25 years ago in the rain ,below the posted limit and on a patch of oil with road worthy tyres at 25 km/h so am typically one of the more cautious (read slower)drivers in the wet.

            The reality is that people make mistakes and any advantage is worth having. Hence why manufacturers are fitting airbags, ABS, EBD ESC and the various other “idiot proofing” devices that are in cars now. Very few if any of the 1000 people that died on our roads last year set out to do it. I’m sure skid pan training would have saved some of them though.

            Indeed I probably shouldn’t have mentioned the Cairns rainfall as a yardstick because the truth is that in southern states where roads get covered in dust and oil and then it drizzles for 5 minutes it is probably even worse as the roads don’t get the heavy rain to rinse them clean and so remain a skating rink for longer.

            Oh and my son hasn’t posted on these forums for months (he’s banned from the PC which the guys at CA are only too aware of) but thanks for making that assumption too and attempting to troll the thread.

            Selling down the benefits of AWD is futile and suggesting all people are perfect drivers is hillarious.

  • Old Dog

    what the heck is polyurethane leather??? Dont you mean vinyl? What a joke.

    • Freddo

      You would be suprised….even Mercedes in the ML use chemical cows

      • Duckula

        So technically I can say my mums old Datto 120Y had Poly Leather – wow never knew we were such a classy family.

  • Sam 300TD

    Good point, sort of. Brand new, leather is the best. But after a couple of years it looks worn and cracked and you wish it were something else. My car is 30 years old MB-tex (mercedes vinyl) seats and they\’re in perfect condition, no joke! Leaves leather for dead. People think its leather. I don\’t bother correcting them anymore. Whether Hyundai’s Polyurethane leather is as good as MB-tex though remains to be seen.

    Additionally, in the photos above I notice the drivers seat side cushion (next to the leg) looks like its already being stressed and becoming misshapen. SUV vehicles are notorious for having completely destroyed cushions like this after years of drivers sliding over them getting in and out. I\’m very surprised to see this seat showing what looks like signs of stress already and its not even a few months old.

    • Devil’s Advocate

      Leather can still look great after many years as well, however unlike many of the vinyls like MB-tex it requires more regular “attention” to keep it that way. Look after it and it will look after you. I know what you mean though, some of the “fake leathers” out there are pretty good an nothing like the vinyl you used to get in cheap cars of the 70s/80s!

  • David

    When car manufacturers talk about “iPhone and iPod support” are they also compatible with similar non-Apple products? Can I easily stream my MP3 player through the stereo?

    • http://www.caradvice.com.au/ Alborz Fallah

      Yes you can, from an aux and if it supports bluetooth audio streaming you can do it that way as well

  • Duckula

    Good article – nice pics, although it did take a little bit too long to get to the point….its a car review, not a novel about the recent history of Hyundai ( I mean that in the nicest possible way)

  • Nick K

    Yes a worthy car in diesel auto guise, reliable and with a great warranty… however I am not a fan of the fluidic styling on this car, I don’t like its thin sheet metal, I don’t line the cheap hard plastic interior and lastly I don’t like the price. At this level you might as well go for a Tiguan, the VW looks and feels expensive, the Hyundai looks and feels like the asian car that it is. If Hyundai was able to offer VW like interiors and solid sheet metal for the price it would be a giant killer… for now it is a top effort but not earth shattering.

    • Jackaroo3.1D

      Well said !.

  • Sumpguard

    I\’d love to see where you can show that the hyundai is somehow using thinner metal! I think you\’re full of it.

    • Sumpguard

      …and the Tiguan isn’t fit to use the term s”U”v! There is nothing utilitarian about it with the total lack of space behind the rear seat. You wouldn’t get one pram in there let alone the two mentioned above. Then when you option it up it explodes in price and cannot get near the ix35 on spec/price. Try adding another 15k .Then there’s the 3 year warranty on a notoriously unreliabel brand and I am told servicing and spare parts costs are horrendous.

  • Jodie

    Having driven the Tiguan and the Ix35, the IX35 won hands down. The Tiguan was noisy, bumpy, didn’t have leather, is smaller, no blue tooth, no reversing camera, no iPod etc etc. Very similar price point. Love the IX35 and while I was a little worried about buying a Korean car, I’ve heard nothing but amazing things about their engines and think people are just ‘badge’ badgering! It really is a great drive, has space, looks great in my opinion and has all the bells and whistles that I’m looking for. The Diesel is very fuel economical too. Brilliant!

    • Solarfire69

      I concur Jodie!…. Besides, I had terrible customer service experience at VW – not much on offer for the price being asked…. Hyundai really put themselves out to get my business…. I was impressed.

  • haseena


    Great reading , what about the petrol GLS , how is the power for the body?

  • metoo2

    The 2010 ix35 was an excellent purchase, it has delivered all that I expected of it and more. The desiel with 6 speed auto is great. We tow a small caravan without any effort. All the caravaners we have meet in the past six months are totally surprised at the ability of the ix35. I have had it since April 2010 and clocked up 25000k.

    The 2011 up grade, just makes the ix35 even better value.

    Those of you that have put down the ix35 and Hyundai, are simpily badge snubs.

    It would be worth refecting on when the Japanese first entered the market. But must of you that are making comments and remarkes against Hyundai, most likely remember or know enything about that.

    In say 5 years time, I wonder what you will be saying???

    • metoo2

      most likely remember or know enything about that.

      That should read:

      Most likely Do NOT remember or know anything about that.

      • Sumpguard

        I’d be interested in what size and weight your van is Metoo as we are soon to embark on a round Australia trip (sale of house permitting) and any advice would be great. We have a sportage platinum so the tow rating is identical.

        • metoo2

          Hi Sumpguard,

          We have a Jayco 15.48.

          Ball weight is 98kg
          dry weight is 1215kg
          Max loaded weight we limit to 1500kg

  • nick

    When a friend told me to test drive an IX35, I was like what! A hyundai! no way.. now after test driving and comparing prices and options on the likes of Mitsubishi Dualis,Holden captiva,Honda crv,Subaru forester and more. I bought the Ix35 Highlander and couldn’t be happier with it..my previous car was a wrx 08.

    • metoo2

      I had a Mazda 3 MPS.

      The ix35 is by far a much better option for my wife and I. The extra entry height, makes it easy for us, both in our 50’s.
      We tow a caravan, and have done over 4500ks. Could not have done that with the mazda or a wrx.

  • alphabet

    Just like Nick – I tried the IX35 Highlander and test drove and compared with many of the other options. Tossed up between the Sportage and ix35 the Hyundi won out because it was available now and $2,000 less.
    I wanted diesel, sunroof, leather seats, auto and room for the dogs – plus as I live in the country a full size spare was essential.
    The Tiguan was $8,000 more and only had bloody space saver spare and 3 year warranty, same goes for Kolos and many others.
    When are these manufacturers going to realise that many of us country cousins need a full size spare, I dont want to be stuck on a dirt road in the back blocks in the dark (isnt that always the way).
    Got my Highlander Diesel with only one week wait (perhaps I was lucky) now done 2000 kms and so far so good.

  • Lidia

    Just purchased IX35 2.4 Petrol Elite in Sleek Silver for $31990 drive away. Thought I got a good deal. Am I right? 5 week wait at the moment, but I’m fine with this. Should I have gone for the red?

    • Metoo2

      Your choice of colour is by far the best. When the other colours a viewed, the “grey”ish door handles, roof racks etc stand out, and do not look anywhere near as stylish as the sleek silver.

      • Lidia

        Thanks Metoo. Dealer called to say car will be here within a week happy days!

  • Sumpguard

    Get ready for a recall notice. Hyundai/Kia are about to recall for the brake isssue some have mentioned. I’m not sure if all those released are affected or if it is MY10-11. We’ll know soon enough. Sportage is getting recalled also. I think it is the diesel models only but cannot confirm this.

  • olivia

    how does the 2011 nissan xtrailn st t31 compare to this suv?? i am tossing up between the to and want all opinions

  • Tony

    Have had my IX35 Highlander Diesel. The more i drive it the more I like it. Around town I haven’t used more than 8.8l/100k.
    Found it much nicer to drive than a VW and can’t beat what you get for your $

    • TP

      Hi just wondering if you had any trouble with the brake pads early on, we test drove a Highlander Diesel and it “creaked” when braking several times (more on a slope) and were told this would reduce as the car was driven more, did you experience this at all? Thanks

  • christian

    Just want to know if the “pretend” AWD are as goood as in safe especially in wet roads as the constant awd, I like the i35, but i am not quiet sure if it as safe as a full time awd like the suzuki grand vitara, which is a full time awd

  • Richard

    I’ve had my iX35 Highlander Diesel for over a year now and it is great!
    What I most like – fuel economy, driver seat adjustment, security and access, turning circle, get up and go if required, excellent comfort on long drives.
    Things I don’t like – harsh ride, no blue tooth, road noise – but I understand these things have been fixed.

    Probably not recommended but my iX35 has been all over Stockton beach including the sand dunes – with ease!(just remember to take the tyre pressure down to 18-20psi)

  • Dez

    Ok, so i got my 2011 IX35 Highlander, unfortunately in petrol and not by choice, but I love it. I mean there is a few good and bad but the good outweigh the bad easily.

    I drove the i30 SR for 2 years (105,000KM travelled) and was so impressed with Hyundai’s transformation. I suggest this car to everyone! Biggest down fall in this car was the turning circle other then that loved every aspect. Therefore picking the ix35 was an easy choice for me as I truly believe gone are the days of the plastic excel crap.

    I’ve had the highlander for about a month and a half and have done about 6,000kms. So my review is based on my experiences so far.

    Pros & cons
    * Roof racks cause a whistling through the sunroof. I am told I need to move the cross bars back but that won’t fix the problem, just make it a bit more bearable. Any comments/tips on that?

    * Sun roof is amazing! just wish that the back one would open too.

    * The turning circle is sooooooooo much better than the i30 SR.

    * great boot space

    * love that the back seats fold down pretty close to flat.

    * heaps of room for my GSD in the back seat

    * Reverse camera is pretty reliable. Only downfall is that if you are trying to reverse the boat into the driveway, the beeping is going to do your nut in! other then that, accuracy is fantastic. and the technology is also pretty shmick!

    * Start/stop button takes some getting used to after using a key for so long, but does make access in and out of car so much more convenient.

    * Disappointed with the petrol consumption. Now, this is compared to the i30 which is in a different class. But I wish the petrol would do at least 500km per tank even if that means a bigger fuel tank. Find that I’ll be running on complete empty at 430kms (peak hour traffic) and if we use the AWD option, you can pretty much half that. now i drive about 500km a week to and from work, so having to fill up twice is an inconvenience.

    * liking the idea of the dual climate control

    * dislike the audio plug in compartment. I find that my cables are sticking out and look crap and very messy. Should have had it in the middle console like in the i30.

    * Middle console is too small. Wish it was a little wider, so enough to fit a CD case without having to fit them in on an angle.

    * Seats – love! Love how easy it is to adjust

    * steering wheel has a comfy grip

    * drive – now I had the i30 SR (as I have mentioned a million times) which had unbelievable handling … for a Hyundai. I never expected that and I’m not so use to driving a SUV which is higher off the road, so my comparison is not with other SUVs but more so the i30. I found that in the transition, for the first few days, I noticed a slight swaying (made me feel a little car sick). A month and a bit later, I don’t notice it anymore. I miss being able to zoom around the corners and round abouts, but I guess I have to give that up in the SUV. I still feel quite safe but cannot do manoeuvres with the speed and comfort as the i30. The drive however is a lot more comfy. Not bouncing up and down like in the i30 but can’t say it feels like I am driving a luxury car either.

    *steering is not too bad. Not as responsive as I would have liked. Loved that i30 was. But it turns when and where I want it to eventually so I guess it’s liveable.

    * Towing – I recently towed my father in laws small fibreglass boat, and it was the first time ever I have towed anything. Husband had to give me a quick run down on do’s and dont’s but over all the towing was not a difficult as I imagined. Slapped on the AWD and she handled well. You could feel that the boat was on the back as you felt the car pull back over bumps, but I’m told this was because the trailer was quite dodgy. But as a first timer it was all good.

    * Love the room in the car.

    * love the look inside and out

    * sound system is not too bad either (so long as you don’t crank the bass up all the way)

    * Vision! I find this extremely important. I can do a head check over my right shoulder and not have a blocked line of view (I found this was horrid in a RAV4 from 7 years ago and the hubby’s ute which has a canope). So I feel comfortable being able to weave in and out of traffic.

    * in auto mode, acceleration is delayed. But using the ‘gears’ its pretty responsive.

    * Hill assist was pretty good (says the husband). Went up a steep dirt track and hubby said she did it with ease.

    Now, we plan on doing a surf fishing trip meaning we are going to want to drive on the beach. Hopefully that expedition won’t end in tears. I know the ix35 is no REAL 4WD but, hoping with the right psi we will be ok on a flat beach. I guess there is only one way to find out.

  • Gregjones

    front end view of car ok, side view there is something wrong – wheel arch / tire size, just looks awkward.
    Diesel engine is a good donk.  

  • Nelleke

    Have my new ix35 ( diesel) for  2 weeks now, all good, love the bluetooth.. the steering and fuel economy. Was told it would be 4-6 months delivery if I wanted the blue one, but accepted a white one and was delivered in 4 weeks.  

  • Fruityfarmer

    2012 Highlander diesel only 6 mths old; 8000klms. Been beaut until sudden power steer failure on freeway at 110 kph. Back to the 1950s and brute strength steering. Dangerous!! 2 week wait for replacement steering components. Disappointing.

  • Anon

    The current release of the elite model comes with sat nav and a touch screen LCD. Great car.. great drive

  • Audphil

    We want a beach and long distance driving car, currently tossing up between the diesel i35, grand vitari and rav 4, any comments?

Hyundai ix35 Specs

Car Details
Body Type
New Price
Private Sale
$20,900 - $23,750
Dealer Retail
$22,200 - $26,400
Dealer Trade
$16,400 - $19,000
Engine Specifications
Engine Type
Engine Size
Max. Torque
392Nm @  1600rpm
Max. Power
135kW @  4000rpm
Pwr:Wgt Ratio
Bore & Stroke
Compression Ratio
Valve Gear
Drivetrain Specifications
Drive Type
Final Drive Ratio
Fuel Specifications
Fuel Type
Fuel Tank Capacity
Fuel Consumption (Combined)
7.5L / 100km
Weight & Measurement
Kerb Weight
Gross Vehicle Weight
Ground Clearance
Towing Capacity
Brake:1600  Unbrake:750
Steering & Suspension
Steering Type
Turning Circle
Front Rim Size
Rear Rim Size
Front Tyres
225/60 R17
Rear Tyres
225/60 R17
Wheel Base
Front Track
Rear Track
Front Brakes
Rear Brakes
Front Suspension
MacPherson strut, Coil Spring, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Anti roll bar
Rear Suspension
Multi-link system, Coil Spring, Hydraulic double acting shock absorber, Anti roll bar
Standard Features
Control & Handling
Traction Control System
Trip Computer
Rear Spoiler
Seatbelts - Pre-tensioners Front Seats, Side Front Air Bags
Optional Features
Metallic Paint
Service Interval
12 months /  15,000 kms
60 months /  999,000 kms
VIN Plate Location
Pass Side Under Front Seat
Country of Origin