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by Tim Beissmann

CarAdvice’s spy photographers have snapped the interior of the Hyundai ix25, giving us our first look inside the brand’s upcoming sub-compact SUV.

The single interior shot provides a clear look at the centre stack, which features basic audio controls up high and climate functions at its base.

The spied car’s simple sound system, manual gearlever and basic seat material suggest it’s an entry-level ix25 variant. Higher grades will likely feature a larger touchscreen infotainment system and automatic transmissions, while leather upholstery is also expected to be offered in some markets.

Also visible are vertically stacked air vents either side of the audio system, a leather-bound steering wheel with phone, audio and cruise functions, and a tachometer that reads up to 8000rpm.

The latter confirms the spied test car is powered by a petrol engine. Our spy photographers believe the Hyundai ix25 will be available with at least two four-cylinder petrol engines, including an entry-grade 1.6-litre and a larger, more powerful 2.0-litre unit. Models fitted with that engine may also adopt an all-wheel drive option.

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The latest prototype wears identical camouflage to the ix25 test car spied late last month by our photographers, though uniquely features black grille bars and distinctive five-spoke alloy wheels.

Though largely obscured, the exterior clearly takes inspiration from the larger Santa Fe, and also appears to feature cues from the Intrado concept that debuted at the Geneva motor show last week.

Speaking with CarAdvice in Geneva, Hyundai Motor Europe president Allan Rushforth said the introduction of a sub-compact SUV was “absolutely” vital to the car maker’s goal of growing its market share, particularly in Europe.

“The crossover segment is the segment that’s showing the most potential,” Rushforth said.

“It would be an important part of the brand’s development towards five per cent market share in Europe.”

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Hyundai’s new baby SUV (the ix25 name is expected, but not confirmed) will slot into the car maker’s line-up beneath the top-selling compact ix35 SUV and the larger Santa Fe.

The ix25 is understood to share its platform with the second-generation i20 city car, which our spies captured last August ahead of its 2014 Paris motor show debut in September and Australian launch in 2015.

Our sources believe the ix25 could debut as early as April’s Beijing auto show and may initially be built and sold exclusively in China.

Hyundai Australia says it is interested in the vehicle for our market, but has no information about it at this stage.




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