The first image of the facelifted Hyundai ix35 has been released ahead of its unveiling at this week's Geneva motor show.
- shares

Coming three and a half years after the launch of the original Hyundai ix35, the mid-life upgrade introduces the Korean brand’s ‘Nu’ 2.0-litre direct-injection petrol engine to the compact SUV range, promising greater power and improved efficiency over the ‘Theta-II’ engine it replaces.

Hyundai is yet to confirm performance data of the ix35’s new engine, although it’s likely to mirror its 130kW/213Nm output from the mid-sized Hyundai i40.

Combined cycle fuel economy should be sharper than the 7.5 litres per 100km achieved by the heavier i40, promising a significant improvement over the 8.5L/100km rating of the current petrol automatic model of the SUV.

The new direct-injection 2.0-litre petrol engine will join the updated ix35 range in Australia from the third quarter of this year. It is likely to be offered beneath the existing 2.4-litre petrol, while an upgraded version of the 2.0-litre R-Series diesel engine, with low-pressure exhaust gas recirculation and other “clean technology” enhancements, will also feature locally.

The new ix35 adopts Hyundai’s three-mode Flex Steer system – already seen in the compact i30 and larger Santa Fe SUV – that allows drivers to select between Comfort, Normal and Sport steering settings.

Bi-xenon headlights, flowing LED daytime running lights, chrome foglight surrounds and a body-coloured grille headline the list of subtle exterior revisions to high-grade models, while Hyundai says the cabin benefits from a new TFT instrument cluster display and a number of higher quality materials and trims.

Australian specifications of the upgraded Hyundai ix35 will be revealed closer to its local launch later this year.

Stay tuned for more images and details from Geneva in the coming hours.