iX35 2.0 CRDi Premium 4WD
iX35 five-door compact
crossover SUV is a strong sales
proposition for customers now
bringing forward their new car buying
plans to beat the forthcoming VAT
HYUNDAI TOPPED THE SCRAPPAGE SCHEME SALES league with 45,700 sales against Ford's
44,457. In third place was Kia Hyundai's associated Korean
brand who achieved 33,444 Scrappage customers. But with the Scrappage
Scheme now ended, it's the increase in VAT in January 2011 that is fuelling
the rush to buy in the remainder of this year to beat the tax increase.
Most of these 'buy new now' customers will be wanting to exchange their larger
and more expensive cars for a new one but, in the majority of cases, due to
the pressure of the family budget it will be one that doesn't cost a fortune
to run while still meeting all their motoring needs.
For these customers Hyundai's iX35 five-door compact crossover SUV has to be
a strong sales proposition. We UK motorists like our SUV-styled vehicles; we
like the style, image, passenger and load carrying versatility and, remembering
what the last two winters have been like for severe weather, the option of two-
or four-wheel drive.
The iX35 is a competitor to the likes of the market-leading Nissan Qashqai,
Peugeot 3008 and the new Mitsubishi ASX crossover models. Currently, the iX35
is available with the choice of 2.0-litre petrol (161bhp) and turbodiesel (134bhp)
engines. Prices currently start from £16,495 but smaller capacity petrol and
diesel powerplants plus an automatic transmission option will be added to the
model line-up later this year. These in particular will appeal to retail buyers
where the purchase price is important, and to business customers where the tax
liability is competitively low.
have just had a short refresher drive in the iX35, the 2.0-litre turbodiesel
version the main seller at this stage and with the four-wheel drive option,
which adds a £1,000 to the price over two-wheel drive diesel models (the petrol
version only comes with two-wheel drive). I personally would always opt for
all-wheel drive, but then I live in the country and need to be mobile in spite
of the worst road conditions that Winter can throw at us.
are two levels of specification on offer: Style and Premium. I had access to
the diesel Premium model which carries the top price in the range £20,745.
But for many the perfectly adequate Style 4x4 version will be more attractive
as it is priced at £18,995.
The 134bhp 2.0-litre
CRDi turbodiesel engine
is a gem; strong,
responsive and relatively
quiet and makes light
work of driving in town,
in the country or
for light off-roading...
For company car drivers, the Benefit-in-Kind tax is 21 per cent for the Style
version or 22 per cent for the Premium specification. Road tax for the Style
with all-wheel drive is £125 a year and £155 for the Premium model.
Whichever iX35 model you choose the price is cheaper and the vehicle is better
equipped than its rivals and, of course, the Hyundai five-year unlimited mileage
warranty is a strong reason to buy. Residual values look good with diesel versions
averaging 46 per cent retained value over the usual three-year/36K-mile period.
For the record, high residuals are also good for lower PCP purchase plan and
business contract hire rates.
With its European styling the iX35 looks thoroughly modern. It has the conventional
five-door body layout and is 4.4m in length. Boot space is 591 litres with the
folding rear seats in position; 1,436 litres with them folded down.
The equipment levels are high and include electrically-operated windows and
door mirrors, air conditioning, Bluetooth, heated front and rear seats, a good
sound system, stability control, downhill brake control and alloy wheels. The
Premium specification adds 18-inch alloys, auto headlights and wipers, cruise
control, heated windscreen, keyless entry with stop/start button, panoramic
sunroof, part-leather upholstery and roof rails.
The 134bhp 2.0-litre CRDi turbodiesel engine (based on the 2.2-litre unit used
in the larger Santa Fe SUV) is a gem; strong, responsive and relatively quiet
and its 236lb ft of torque from 1,800rpm makes light work of driving in town,
in the country or for light off-roading. It's fuel efficient too; officially
it returns 47.9mpg on the combined cycle 43.1mpg on my brief test driving
on country lanes.
The interior styling is thoroughly modern but perhaps not of such a high quality
as found in the Peugeot 3008. The ride comfort is generally good but uneven
roads and poor surfaces will unsettle the vehicle.
Overall the iX35 is not as polished as some in the sector but is does score
well on value for money, its seating and load carrying practicality (it will
also tow a braked 2,000kg) and it's easy on the pocket. Plus it's also good
on the eye! David Miles
Hyundai iX35 2.0 CRDi Premium 4WD | £20,745
Maximum speed: 112mph | 0-62mph: 10.2 seconds | Overall test MPG: 43.1mpg
Power: 134bhp | Torque: 236lb ft | CO2 154g/km