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Hyundai ix35 review

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    Hyundai is aiming at the 25-45 age group, young families and ? of course ? the oft-touted ?active lifestylers?, whoever that is. Photo Gallery

Karla Pincott road tests and reviews the Hyundai ix35 at its Australian launch.

Korean tiger brand Hyundai is thinking outside the square – or at least outside the box – with the new ix35 compact SUV.

The latest of the long parade of vehicles that have been lifting its range out of the bargain basement and onto the ‘desirable’ shelf, the newcomer has moved far from the hackneyed faux-4WD boxiness that plagues the segment.

Replacing the Tucson, the ix35 has sleeker design, front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive versions, three engine choices and a strategically attractive equipment package designed to lure buyers away from the premium brands at a household price.  Hyundai is aiming at the 25-45 age group, young families and – of course – the oft-touted ‘active lifestylers’… whoever that is.

Body and appearance

European-influenced styling, penned at Hyundai’s Design Centre Europe at Russelsheim in Germany, uses the hexagonal grille from the ix-onic concept with concave and ‘double z’ planes adding some edginess to the body.  Sadly, it loses the show car’s intense lines, but the dilution keeps enough hints for you to see a resemblance. And it’s still a great-looking result.

Muscular front and rear bumpers areas, a rear roof spoiler and swollen wheel arches add a slightly aggressive air. But slanted lines all around – the z-shaped planes along the shoulder and doorsill levels, sweeping light clusters and raked front and rear pillars – keep it away from being boxy.

It’s a shape that will recall some of the Lexus SUVs, plus others like the Murano who have in recent years tried to escape the square lines. But the ix35 adds a far more interesting treatment of the front and sides to go with it.  The new SUV is about 10mm longer – and on a similarly-extended wheelbase – than the Tucson. However the ground clearance, which was 125mm on the previous 2WD and 186mm on the AWD, has for the ix35 been averaged out to 170mm. That’s enough to cope with a lot of rough tasks, but that extra height would have been helpful to weekend warriors.

Drivetrains

While the V6 engine from the Tucson has been dropped, three engines are available – two petrol and one diesel – with a six-speed automatic on all and a five-speed manual on the smaller of the petrol units.  That engine is the Theta II – the second version of Hyundai’s little global 2.0-litre inline four-cylinder that has now shed 10kg for better fuel efficiency. It develops 122kW of power at 6200rpm and 197Nm of torque at 4600rpm. Hyundai claims fuel economy of 8.5L/100km combined (11.4L city and 6.8L highway) with either gearbox and emits 201gm/km of CO2.

The larger petrol engine – also a Theta II inline four-cylinder – has outputs of 130kW at 600rpm and 227Nm at 4000rpm, and uses 9.2L combined (12.4L city and 7.3L highway) and posts 219gm/km of CO2.

The 2.0 R-series turbodiesel – which won its category in last year’s non-solar section of the Global Green Challenge eco race down the centre of Australia – uses 7.5L combined (10.1L city and 6.0L highway) and 198gm/km of CO2. It develops 135kw at 4000rpm and a hefty 392Nm from 1800-2500rpm.  That gives it an enviable low-down amount of muscle, but towing capacity is uniform across the variants at 750kg unbraked and 1600kg braked.

Pricing and variants

The front-wheel drive Active costs $26,990 with the 2.0-litre petrol mated to the manual gearbox and $2000 more with the automatic. That’s only about $1500 more than the official price of the Hyundai Tucson City it replaces, but we saw that vehicle drop to $22,990 drive-away towards the end of its life.

The all-wheel drive Elite is $31,990 with the 2.4-litre petrol engine and $34,990 with the 2.0-litre R-series turbodiesel (both with auto). And at $37,990, the AWD Highlander offers the same turbodiesel and six-speed auto, but with an extra load of equipment.

Hyundai expects that once it gains market traction over the next three months, the ix35 will match the 1000/month sales of the outgoing Tucson, and expects that the Active and the Elite will take up about 45 per cent of sales each, with the Highlander snaring the remaining 10 per cent. However nothing is every certain, says their CEO, Edward Lee.  “We estimated the same in the Santa Fe, but the Highlander level in it is now selling at around 40 per cent,” he says.

Interior

The cabin has a modern feel with dark and metal-finish accents, and a stack of equipment. The driver is treated to six-way power adjustment even in the base model, while the backseat passengers get a mid-bench armrest. Cupholders, bottleholders, map pockets and other storage nooks are liberally scattered around, while luggage space of 730 litres grows to 1579 with the rear seat folded down.

Equipment

The base spec Active gets all the usual kit, plus USB/iPod-compatible audio – with its buttons joining those of the cruise control on the steering wheel, and 17-in wheels (with full-sized spares across the range).  The Elite gets alloys, roof rails, foglamps, auto headlights, leather touches and push-button start, ‘proximity open’ that activates buttons on the doors and tailgate (so you don’t have to fish your keys out as you approach).

The top-spec Highlander gets 18-in alloys, a panoramic glass roof, full leather upholstery, heated front seats, power folding mirrors, a reversing camera incorporated into the rear-view mirror, dual-zone climate control airconditioning and a six-stacker CD player.

Safety

But it’s the standard safety package that’s noticeably generous, with six airbags (including side curtains), active front headrests, anti-skid brakes with assist for extra anchor when needed plus brakeforce distribution to compensate for weight distribution, with hill start assist and downhill brake control to keep speed steady on the slopes.

Driving

We expected a lot from the ix35, and by and large it delivered. It looks great both inside and out – fresh and stylish – and the attention to equipment and safety is admirable.   It’s rare to find features like six-way power adjustment on a driver’s seat at base level, for example.

And that’s why we were puzzled that the steering wheel had tilt adjustment but not reach – an addition that should cost little but adds a lot in terms of letting tall drivers get comfortable, because it means you can get close enough to the steering wheel without your kneecaps banging on the dash.

However Hyundai says they are talking to head office about adding reach, which was not available on the cars for Australia, and are confident it will arrive in the future.  But there was no disappointment with the AWD diesel Highlander we started off in. The turbo powerplant was grunty and responsive – and a good contender for towing small boats or weekend trips.

The suspension worked brilliantly to absorb some nasty stretches of corrugated dirt and potholes, with little sign of it banging except for the kind of hole that swallows small animals. And it’s a reasonably taut drive for an SUV, sitting well around corners. 

The auto transmission was a capable performer, helped by the fact that even at high speeds it would transfer down one gear when you switched over to the mock-manual mode – a logical move, since if you’re switching to manual it’s generally because you want to get a bit more urge.  The steering was the main letdown, with the lightness of feel that would be perfect around town proving to be a bit on the airy side for winding roads.

Our impression of the base model two-wheel drive 2.0-lite petrol version was probably undermined by having just stepped out of the diesel. But there was no getting around the petrol engine’s lacklustre approach to tasks like hills and overtaking. And even switching to the manual mode on this variant didn’t help a great deal. Although at 1485kg it’s about 200kg lighter than the Highlander, the little engine struggled with the effort.

Nor did the front-wheel drive system impress on the rough country roads we were putting it through. But to be fair, this is a vehicle whose natural habitat is the city.  The 2.4-litre petrol AWD fared better, offering more enthusiasm on slopes and more liveliness off the line.

Our measurement of the acceleration, while being fairly unscientific, still showed it got to 100km/h about 25 per cent faster than the 2.0-litre.  And that will come into play for anybody who wants a petrol ix35 to live outside the city limits.  But even after a brief stint with it, the diesel is still our pick. We loved the style across the range, but there’s no substitute for substance.

Hyundai ix35 Active

Price: from $26,990
Engine: 122kW/197Nm 2.0-litre petrol
Transmission: front-wheel drive, five-speed manual, six-speed auto
Economy: 8.5L/100km combined
Emissions: 201g/km CO2
Towing: 750kg unbraked, 1600kg braked

Rivals

Kia Sportage 2.0-litre 2WD from $24,990
Nissan Dualis 2.0-litre 2WD from $24,990
Nissan Dualis 2.0-litre AWD from $26,990

Hyundai ix35 Elite petrol

Price: from $31,990
Engine: 130kW/227Nm 2.4-litre petrol
Transmission: AWD six-speed auto
Economy: 9.2L/100km)
Emissions: 219g/km CO2
Towing: 750kg unbraked, 1600kg braked

Rivals

Kia Sportage 2.7-litre AWD from $30,990
Toyota RAV4 2.4-litre AWD from $33,790
Mazda CX-7 2.3-litre AWD from $38,990

Hyundai ix35 Elite diesel and Highlander

Price: from $31,990 (Highlander from $37,990)
Engines: 135kW/392Nm 2.0-litre turbodiesel
Transmission: AWD six-speed auto
Economy: 7.5L/100km
Emissions: 198g/km CO2
Towing: 750kg unbraked, 1600kg braked

Rivals

Renault Koleos Dynamique 2.0-litre diesel AWD from $38,990
Mazda CX-7 2.2-litre diesel AWD from $43,640
Volkswagen Tiguan 2.0-litre diesel 4WD from $36,990

Comments on this story

Displaying 3 of 99 comments

  • skonk likes to ponk in javascript konk.

    trontbridgehead Posted on 15 February 2014 7:12pm
  • I bought an Active in 2010 & loved it, have since traded it for a Highlander & with the extra features, I don’t think I can settle for less. I had used the Active for interstate highway travel & had no problem overtaking & was able to load the car up with loads of luggage. It’s perfect for my wife & I & we’re now Hyundai converts. We’ll trade up to the new model (buying a 12 month old car - probably a demo) in 2016 to keep the cars value high. I hughly recommend the ix35, 5 year warranty, reasonable build quality, reliable & reasonable to service. Love the moon roof & leather seats.

    PeterB of Melbourne Posted on 14 November 2013 1:55pm
  • i am not happy for i do not have a i 35 but i do have a shed for one’’ but’‘.

    Richard wood . of Albany W.A Posted on 28 January 2013 10:42pm
  • iam not happy with the performance with my hyundai lm ix35 fm radio reception all the cars i have owned in the past have had no trouble picking up central coast radio stations eg 94.1 hits and country not the ix35 40000 dollar spend hyundai gave me a longer arial of a ford focus i cant fit my car in the car port anymore not happy country fan from newcastle

    robert of newcastle Posted on 10 October 2012 7:43pm
  • Can anyone point to some other posts on this discussion topic? I need some more detailed info…
    Any feedback shall be extremely appreciated.
    Alex
    http://www.primechoiceautoparts.com
    Thank you!

    chassisparts of Canada Posted on 24 August 2012 7:20pm
  • have had my ix35 highlander for 2 weeks and could not be happier with it. got a good deal,only had to wait 4days for delivery,has got heaps of power and finish is very good

    garry of wyong Posted on 16 June 2012 12:48am
  • I have just today ordered the ix35 highlander.  People will be pleased to know that this will now come with sat nav as standard from June 2012 made models. It will also be standard in the elite. 12 weeks wait Im told, but who cares for such a stunning car for the price.

    Chris w of sydney Posted on 17 May 2012 8:54pm
  • Mr Adams so what have you settled with? I traded in my Tuscon fro the ix35 Highlander diesel after a great experience with Hyundai.” grunt”...you may have not noticed that you are way past the speed limit in a short burst “inside while loaded with lots of tech” as I quote you, did you feel the vehicle fell apart whilst you were driving? Haven’t you noticed the feedback on Honda? (matchbox sardine vehicles) WE ALL KNOW THAT YOU DIDN’T GET THE DEAL YOU WERE AFTER LOL maybe one should know how to be friendly in your way of talk both here in a fair dink-um forum and when approaching a sales person….I am driving mine as we speak…..care for a run against a Honda that perhaps you don’t own?

    James Posted on 25 April 2012 11:42pm
  •   I sold my Highlander and bought the Sportage due to the ride. I am guessing both Jane Harper and Ian Adams bought the petrol because you couldn’t keep a straight face and call the diesel gutless. It hammers. Jane I think you need to go buy a truck because the ix35 never felt tiny and I am 183cms tall. I test driove the Honda and it was lethargic compared to the ix35. I sometimes wonder if some of the commenrs are from people who work for the other brands. My SPortage is a fantastic car however I miss the interior of the ix35. CRV is dated inside and the toyotas a straight up boring.

      Finally as you towe are clearly talking about the petrol models you could have saved yourselves a whole lot of trouble by reading the reviews when the car landed. EVERY tester said the diesel was a “cracker” engine!!

        I am stunned as to why someone would buy a car and then decide it was too small? Please enlighten me Jane!

    Neal of Cairns Posted on 12 April 2012 10:41pm
  • Well I bought the elite (new) what a major disappointment it is, so much so that I am on my way to get rid of it and get something with more guts to it…It feels tiny, the ride is bumpy, it’s great if you want a town car but forget it if you want something that has guts to it.  VERY DISAPPOINTED.

    Jane Harper of Northern NSW Posted on 27 January 2012 8:36am
  • I test drove the ix35 highlander two weeks ago absolute crap didn’t feel safe in it car had no grunt entering the freeway; inside while loaded with lots of tech all looked cheap and nasty, afraid hyundia hasn’t picked it’s game up for me; had the same feeling of the car not being solid enough in a crash that I had 15 years ago the last time I test drove one (regardless of the ancap rating) ended up getting a honda crv brilliant car nice solid feel about everything and the interior materials and finishes are way above anything hyundia or toyota for that matter could match.

    Ian Adams of queensland Posted on 24 January 2012 11:26pm
  • Rubbish car for cheap people.

    Sumpguard Posted on 30 October 2011 9:03am
  • I have had 2 Santa Fes and a Tuscon, we now have an IX35 and would love if someone could tell me why I feel nauseous every time I am a passenger, after about 15mins? Driving myself it is fine, but I cannot enjoy going out with my family..Any ideas, as I do not generally suffer from motion sickness.

    Viv, Perth Posted on 03 October 2011 4:43pm
  • I test drove the Highlander yesterday and was impressed with it’s torque and handling around windy roads. Over speed bumps it handled it effortlessly. I am impressed with the features of the vehicle, but am still to find if the economy is as they state. I’m looking forward to see how the car handles all the city and country situations I am sure it will find itself in!

    Jonathan Harvey of Werribee Posted on 04 September 2011 9:06am
  • ps David

    you dont have a Highlander if YOU dont have climate control

    phillip of australia Posted on 21 June 2011 1:12pm
  • Dont want to call anyone a liar, but Misinformed or Ignorant may suit David of Melbourne. I have a Highlander and even after a full day of Quite serious 4wding only uses 10.2 ltrs! I am a leadfoot and on tarmac consistantly use no more than 7.5! 25000 kms of trouble free driving. As for no tilt reach?? ive never used it in another car so dont miss it! ?
    No bluetooth- shouldnt be on the !@#$%$#$#@ phone whist Driving
    Phill, Perth

    phillip of australia Posted on 21 June 2011 1:09pm
  • I recently got a Highlander. Lots of bells and whistles; but ?  no tiller reach adjustment, no satellite navigation, no climate control, sh*t ground clearance and does 13.5L/100K fuel (not lead foot driving!)... Hyundai better get their act together. Pathetic!

    David of Melbourne Posted on 14 June 2011 10:09pm
  • I have bought the Highlander 2011. As much as it offers great features, I have had problems with the reverse sensors and now the fuel bar gauge which no-one can seem to work out! In 3 months that I have had it from new, I have been back and forth to Hyundai about 10 times for 2 problems!

    Jac of melbourne of Australia Posted on 24 May 2011 4:56pm
  • I wanted to get a Hyundai i35 but unfortunately it does not come with the GPS with it.

    Choon Heah of Warwick Posted on 15 May 2011 5:53am
  • Think I will keep our Ford Escape 6 cyl no fancy gear just good honest car does well in dirt too

    Peter Brown of Paringa Posted on 10 May 2011 5:55pm
  • To Stef of Fremantle.
    Why do you regret getting black? Thank you.

    Jarsen of Melbourne Posted on 23 April 2011 10:58pm
  • I got an I35 highlander 7 months ago i got it for 42k with everything even all the extras, its been the best 42k that ive spent but dont get black thats wot i regret!

    stef of Fremantle/WA Posted on 29 March 2011 12:42am
  • Recently got a quote for 2011 Highlander ix34 2.4L petrol automatic for 38700 including on roads, dealer and delivery charges and following accessories: metallic paint, floor mats, premium number plates and full tank of fuel. I didn’t end up purchasing it but manufacturer price for car on quote was $32264.

    Brad of Sydney Posted on 22 March 2011 10:57pm
  • Looking seriously at Highlander - told $42 drive away, but saw a dealer advertising at $45K. Can anyone advise what they have taken a 11 plated car in diesal at - I was hoping $39k - $39,500k

    Phil of Gold Coast Posted on 17 March 2011 2:00pm
  • I too am concerned about fuel economy for the 2.4. Only got 425km on a full tank.

    George Mclaughlin of Darwin Posted on 04 February 2011 6:14pm
  • 2.4 has the worst fuel economy I have seen on any car lucky to reach 300km on a tank. Regret buying as it costs a fortune to run

    J.Abraham of NSW Posted on 29 December 2010 12:23pm
  • Hoping to have better fuel economy then 9.5 ltr/100km highway driving on the ix 35 wondering if other people had the same bad figures

    kees staps of yatte yattah NSW Posted on 27 December 2010 12:22pm
  • I cannot fault the ix35. I would love to see it as a six as I think it man in a boy?s body.  It just wants to go but the power output of a four will not let it.  Pity that both front seats in the Active did not have electric control adjustments. I think if Hyundai added a few more bells and whistles we would see more of these cars on the road.

    Smythie of Melbourne Posted on 13 December 2010 8:21am
  • Richard, if it’s so uncomfortable for you why did you buy it? Cruise control isn’t the most efficient way of driving. I think you’ll find many manufacturers have similar speedo tolerances. My Mazda is out 10kph at 100kph…

    Mario mendoza of Sydney Posted on 09 December 2010 6:49pm
  • Hope you all have better luck than me with your cars. Firstly the quality and build is A grade but then it goes down hill. The speedo is 5 kms out at 100KPH and was told it would be fixed to then be told they have a plus or minus tolerance of 10% so it would not be fixed. The seat adjustment is hopeless. To get my arms right my legs are too long and to get my legs right my arms are too short. It is one of the most uncomfortable cars I have ever driven. I wanted a manual so I had to have the active and the mileage is hopeless. I drive every where with the cruise control and do all highway driving. Mileage is supposed to be 6.8 and I have never gotten under 8.4. Had an Accent before this for 10 years and was a great car but am very disappointed with this car.

    Richard of Wyndham Vale Posted on 29 November 2010 8:28pm
  • waiting on the highlander, have been told that if I went for the petrol option the wait wont be so long should i just get the petrol or wait?

    liz Posted on 22 November 2010 11:35am
  • After 4 1/2 months of waiting, we picked up our Highlander last Saturday, and I have to say, it was certainly worth it. The only good thing to come out of waiting this long was the fact that we received the 2011 model, so the inclusion of blue tooth and parking sensors (to name a few of the extras) was quite a pleasant surprise. I’d almost had enough of waiting, and went to look at the Kia Sportage at my local dealer. I told the dealer our story regarding the constant delays for the ix35, and he said he wouldn?t be able to help, as the wait for the Sportage is 5 months minimum. Considering these waiting times, I think it?s safe to say that Hyundai and Kia have grossly underestimated the popularity of these vehicles on the Australian market.

    Brett of Sutherland Posted on 01 November 2010 4:42pm
  • I also bought one of these in June and am finally picking it up from the dealer tomorrow (29th Oct) - apparently customers are now being told Feb 2011 is the earliest for arrival from Korea. I’m sure it’ll be worth waiting for especially as these are all 2011 models with bluetooth. FYI The Dualis is awful compared to the ix35 Highlander!

    Steve of Sydney Posted on 28 October 2010 2:05pm
  • If your planning on buying one of these, be prepared to wait… We purchased ours in June and were told three months waiting period, which was fine. We then got told another month, which makes it due for arrival in October and Surprise, Surprise its still not here. Hyundai have informed us it should reach the dealer mid November, which will make it 5 months from the date of purchase, however, they will not confirm this, and admitted that it may take even longer. NOT HAPPY HYUNDAI !!!!

    Brett of Sutherland Posted on 12 October 2010 4:00pm
  • Meh, my money would be spent (and saved) on the Nissan Dualis

    Paul of Sydney Posted on 05 October 2010 12:35pm
  • My speedo is out by 5km/Hr and was told they have a 10% plus or minus tolerance and it would not be fixed even after I was told they would. Have owned Hyundais for the last 11 years and swear by them. Not I swear at them and this will be my last. Quality, ride and syle are great but I travel through 11 speed cameras a day and I don’t want any fines. One disappointed Hyundai driver.

    Richard Bond of Wyndham Vale Posted on 14 September 2010 10:48pm
  • We bought ours prior to them being released in Australia. I have contacts and it has not missed a beat (apart from a screw loose in a door speaker). I work for a rival car company and bought the IX35 despite the fact I could buy our product at virtually cost price. After 25 years in the auto industry I would hope I know a good car when I see one. We bought an elite Diesel, and its brilliant, well equipped, great economy thats getting better after 9000km and excellent to drive. Before you buy anything else test drive one, forget about the fact its Korean and you will be more than pleased

    Ted of Melbourne Posted on 14 September 2010 5:00pm
  • I am 65 - so much for Hyundai looking to the 25-45 year olds.
    After lots of research I purchased the IX35 Highlander & I love it.  Comfort, economy, brute power & stylish lines are all great features. I have never regretted purchasing this vehicle.  If you can get one, go for it.

    R & C of Also of Tamworth Posted on 28 August 2010 2:39pm
  • You bloody Aussies… always ahead of us South Africans. We’ll get you back this coming weekend on the rugby field, where after I will buy my iX35. Have read far and wide to know that at this price it is a good buy smile

    Thomas of Johannesburg Posted on 27 August 2010 12:33am
  • Why no 6 speed manual on the diesel?

    Richard Mason of Perth Posted on 16 August 2010 10:23pm
  • have had my ix35 Elite for 5 months,,,,,,,,,all i can say it is an awesome car, am 6’3 and if people cant get comfortable without steering reach adjustment they must be a little out of proportion,,

    me and me of Tamworth Posted on 04 August 2010 9:54pm
  • Test drove the manual active with view of purchasing. Loved the space, features, layout and the power of the engine. Handling was fine as well. Very disappointed in the amount of road noise. So much so I will not be purchasing. A six speed gearbox wouldn’t hurt either.

    John Simpson Posted on 31 July 2010 8:46pm
  • We’ve had our ix35 Highlander for a week now and I can’t fault anything except possibly from a vision perspective.  The front A frame pillars are a little restrictive so you have to quickly bob your head either side when pulling out into traffic.  But this a very minor failing.  AWD traction on wet roads is exceptional.
    I probably won’t take it off road as I also own a more conventional ORV for that.  In fact I don’t think anyone except experienced drivers should take single range transmission vehicles off road - but that’s another argument.  All in all a very good all round vehicle with some fantastic gizmos and doodads inside.  We had a negotiater buy on our behalf and as a result of having other clients interested in the same brand got $5000 off as a fleet discount. Most importantly, the wife adores it.  I now have to book time to drive it!

    JR Lee of Perth Posted on 17 July 2010 11:06pm
  • We test drove the ix35 Elite today along with the VW Tiguan Diesel.  I so wanted to like the ix35 but a few important misgivings for me personally means that we won’t be buying the ix35.  I don’t know about anyone else but I felt quite nauseous and a feeling of motion sickness when I drove the ix35 but more so as a passenger.  I felt the same when we drove a Ford Territory on our driving holiday in NZ.  Maybe it’s the SUV thing for me or maybe it’s the cheap plasticky smell that made me feel nauseous.  Also, as I am only 5 foot tall, I did not see very well in the passenger seat or at in the back seats of the ix35 with its high framed windows - I felt very claustrophobic.  The ix35 acceleration and power and standard inclusions are good but I can’t buy a car that makes me feel sick!

    The Tiguan on the other hand felt much better, I didn’t feel nauseous in it.  The finish is much better and it shows in the pricing, but I don’t mind.  I thought we could buy something different as opposed to a normal sedan but I’m not quite sold on SUVs.  I would also like to test drive the Mazda CX-7.

    Christy L of ACT Posted on 17 July 2010 10:43pm
  • Having just test driven the ix35 auto active i am very impressed we drove around steep hills and corrugated roads.  Proper vision rear view mirrors made parking easy and luxury appointments found in more expensive SUVs are standard as soon as my lease is up I will be buying.

    Doug Rawnsley of wentworth point Posted on 17 July 2010 6:55pm
  • Have had my diesel IX35 Highlander for 2 weeks and just love it. Have yet to take it offroad however around town a great vehicle but watch your speed… can only recommend it. No noises in my vehicle yet.

    Greg F of Carlingford NSW Posted on 08 July 2010 9:06am
  • Have had my ix35 Highlander now for three weeks, worst fuel economy so far, 7.3l , which included bumper to bumper city driving.  Off road has mainly been on dirt roads around Kenilworth, Maleny, and the sand on Bribie Is, no complaints so far, but if you are a serious off roader, look at another vehicle.  Have always been a manual car owner, but the 2.0l R diesel and the 6 sp automatic are a perfect combination, both at the lights and highway cruising.  Have had no problems getting comfortable behind the wheel, I am 182cm, and my wife 165cm, and the two biggest deal clincher for me was the wife liked driving it, and window tint, paint protection, at no cost, no dealer delivery fee, and the trade in on my old Mazda 3 sp23 was $3k higher than what any other car dealership was offering

    Ian L of Moreton Bay Posted on 21 June 2010 2:14am
  • See my comment March 28.
    Should have only a week to go until the car is delivered.

    Seen every post on you tube for the IX 35

    In the mean time tried the push bike to work.
    First day fell off and broke both arms.

    Oh well nearly there

    Steve D of West Perth Posted on 19 June 2010 8:01pm
  • I agree with Joey. I ordered my IX 35 Elite on 12th March , I was promised a delivery time of 8 weeks. Pretty poor effort by Hyundai. Was told that most new cars were being sent to the U.S.hence the supply problem. Obviously Oz is still considered a back water by the big players. Hopefully the new car will arrive next week .

    Marcus Evans of Bli bli Posted on 17 June 2010 10:51pm
  • Managed to get my Elite Diesel for 34,990 drive away almost three months ago. Add 1.5k for bluetooth and rear parking sensors and not a bad package. Only problem is I’ve waited almost 12 weeks and they’ve now said maybe another two-three.

    Shannon Posted on 17 June 2010 3:18pm
  • Wow, shame about no Bluetooth, it is included for the entire range in Europe.

    George of NSW Southern Highlands Posted on 08 June 2010 7:36pm
  • oh my god there are sooo many furious ix35 ‘owners’ who were promised cars well over a month ago and they still haven’t arrived. very poor effort by Hyundai in over promising and under delivering.

    Joey Afros of GC Posted on 04 June 2010 11:38pm
  • Here in Sydney I wanted to get a Highlander before end of financial year, but sales person told me that there is a 3 month wait. Is Hyundai getting iron ore from the moon? Why such a long wait?

    george Posted on 31 May 2010 7:16pm
  • Lol - if any of you paid more than $41,000 drive away for the Highlander then you got ripped off., great car for that price. Nothing quite matches the Highlander for power and appointments. Missing Bluetooth though, such an odd omission.

    Joey Afros of Gold Coast Posted on 24 May 2010 4:58pm
  • Great car!

    David Posted on 20 May 2010 12:56am
  • I agree with David C’s. “Tell me what its like on the sand!!!!!” lets not pussy foot around with a few potholes.

    Wayne W of Newcastle Posted on 04 May 2010 4:53pm
  • Drove the Elite Diesel variant recently and became immediately impressed with the low speed torque/performance and its compatibility with the six speed auto. The driving postion is very comfortable and interior space is excellent for the sleek body shape. The instrument cluster is very impressive and allows easy access to all the operating controls. Great vehicle with loads of appeal. This vehicle will win Car of the Year a consistent practise with Hyundai.

    Bob Grattidge of Maroochydore Posted on 03 May 2010 1:20pm
  • Just bought a Highlander ix35 but have to wait 12 weeks. Traded in a 2003 Subaru Forester, and believe me, for value for money, this thing is an absolute bargain. And as far as power goes, this thing goes like the clappers… it leaves the Subaru in it’s dust. Extremely impressed.

    mark chandler of geelong victoria Posted on 30 April 2010 8:10pm
  • Seemed a bit like the reverse tardis in the boot, and are the dealers over here smoking crack, wouldn’t budge from k39…wait for next release and k5-7 drop…..

    james G of perth Posted on 23 April 2010 8:39pm
  • After test driving the Highlander, it’s done enough to convince me that Hyundai have lifted their game. Very zippy from a standing start, and it turns easily in narrow streets. Not too sure on the reverse camera. Steering is light, but the inclusions in the Highlander are the big seller. Big 18 inch alloys and a full size spare. Hyundai say there is a 12 week wait for a brand spanka, which is a little disappointing but I think it might be worth the wait.

    Pete of Sydney Posted on 17 April 2010 4:17pm
  • I’ve just signed onto an iX35 Highlander trade for my Mazda Tribute V6 Luxury. The Mazda was a great vehicle - 9 years of no problem motoring and 4WD in places it was suggested Mazda’s do not go, the v6 engine in sand never raised a sweat whereas most 4 cylinders overheated from high revs. The one major draw back with the Mazda was fuel consumption - it loved a drink. The iX35 seems as zippy/torquey, although there was a little lagg off the line - enough to notice. It is well appointed with pretty much everything that opens and shuts, some like seat warmers are bordering on the gimmicky as far as gimmicks go I would have preferred GPS, others like the reversing camera - a good idea. Blue tooth connectivity is great BUT I couldn’t find the microphone for hands free?
    I’ve yet to test it out “off road"I understand it has v good fuel economy - goes OK and with the electric seat adjustments and lumbar support I hope will be good for my back on longer trips. It ticks the boxes as far as I’m concerned. Safety, comfort, driveability and now fuel economy.

    Richard Jones of Central Coast Posted on 05 April 2010 12:49pm
  • Why on earth do ppl still regard Nissan as an alternative to buying vehicles. After reading so many problems with Nissan customers and “the after sales service” compiled in posts in Complaints Corner, I wouldn’t touch Nissan with a ten-foot pole. Even Australian X-Trail Forum have a web-page totally construed around problems of X-Trails.

    I was told by a very wise man, do not BUY the first make, wait until the 2nd update, buy at end of month, wait for end of year clearance, model run-out, stay away from limited editions,

    CarlMc of Taree Hinterland Posted on 29 March 2010 9:51pm
  • Currently driving a 2001 Santa Fe V6. But due to the storms in Perth last Monday the car is now written off. 10 days to payout… Had a look at the i35 and was very impressed, while not a V6 the 6 speed auto helped the car to be very zippy around the city. Freeway travel was effortless. For me (I am 167cm) the car fits like a glove with all the controls within easy reach. Acceleration was more than enough for practical driving as I reached the posted speed limits before I realised. The base model Active has enough features for my needs. Visibility was excellent and I always felt in control of the driving situation.
    So I bought one. Now getting back into the Santa Fe justified my purchase. I paid $38 k in 2001 and had 9 years of great motoring. This should do very well for the next 9. My current car is starting to cost, with expensive repairs and fuel consumption increasing. Spending $3k a year more than I should have to… Bottom line is that I have a new car, far better than what I currently have, on road with window tint and paint glaze protection and a 5 year warranty for $18,000. It simply works for me, but of course your mileage will vary.

    Steve D of West Perth Posted on 28 March 2010 2:12pm
  • Well I have just signed the papers for an iX35 and as previous badge snob I have been assured I have made the right decision. Loved the Dualis but when this came out it definitely drove a little smoother and seemed bigger inside and was definitly better looking. Just a shame the next model up didn’t come in a manual what is wrong with everyone these days, cars are for driving!

    nat h of Perth Posted on 28 March 2010 12:22am
  • Test drove the ix35 highlander yesterday and was blown away with the grunt of the 2.0L diesel engine. Will have to watch your speed is this one. I was really impressed, and think if you’re choosing diesel, the highlander for its extra $3.5k (on the elite diesel) is worth the added features that you get with it. I’m thinking of holding off on purchase until they’re a little more readily available - that is if they can wait that long! Just a shame it doesn’t have the media pack it comes with in the UK, with bluetooth and sat nav. It would be nice to have the option available.

    lauren of Sydney, Australia Posted on 27 March 2010 10:30am
  • Can anyone tell me why Hyundai is so hell bent on not providing a V6 anymore? Given that diesel costs more than petrol by up to 10 cents a litre depending on your home state so I think this negates the fact of better mileage. I have a 2005 Sonata Elite V6 and regularly travel from Kalgoorlie to Perth here in WA and can attain 8.2 - 8.6 per 100km depending on my driving style which I believe is pretty good for a V6 and better than the Holden or Ford offerings of a similar size sedan, but Hyundai seem prepared not to use the V6 anymore except in the Grandeur which is really only a bigger version of the Sonata. I hope this can be reconsidered by the powers to be, particularly with the new model Sonata due and also the better looking Genesis if it ever gets here in Australia.

    Peter R of Kalgoorlie, WA Posted on 18 March 2010 11:33pm
  • I have ordered one, now waiting patiently for three weeks delivery. Have driven three of them and found the whole package very impressive. Finish is just as good as the Honda CRV which I also checked out in detail - Tiguan was not considered as too expnsive when optioned up to the same level as the iX35. Only a 3yr warranty too… Got the price down from $41,700 to $39,500 drive away not bad considering there’s a waiting list… Prices will become easier once they have stock on the shelves I’m sure. It’s early days with a brand new model so there are risks but if it turns out to be as well put together as the i30 then it should be OK, it’s actually very hard to find a bad word about the i30 from it’s owners so I’m hoping the iX35 works out the same…

    Sid Smith of Melbourne Posted on 18 March 2010 9:39pm
  • I recently test drove the VW Tiguan 2.0 Turbo Diesel. As an auto it was $ 45k drive away. The Camberwell VW Dealer was not hungry to do any work to sell it. So am going to go test drive the ix35 to form an opinion. Thanks for the article. Currently drive a 2005 CRV Sport; before then owned a Mazda SUV, and another Honda CRV before that.

    Bob from Camberwell of Camberwell Victoria Posted on 15 March 2010 5:44pm
  • would be hard to get over the RAV 4 with these price points.considering resale value of a Toyota

    awd enthu of melbourne Posted on 14 March 2010 9:15pm
  • Same pricing when the Tuscon first hit our market! As with all Hyundai pricing it will come down in time. Just look at the i30, Elantra, imax, iLoad!

    Sean McIntosh of Albion Park Rail Posted on 14 March 2010 11:12am
  • I drove the Elite diesel. OK to drive, although I was used to the Peugeot 307 HDi. Could not believe lack of reach adjustment (6’ 4”) or Bluetooth (its gotta be here SOMEWHERE in a modern car kept distracting me during the drive). Talk about a lack of ground clearance! An adjustable height option would be interesting. The dealer didn’t like the idea of testing on a rough road & I didn’t take it down a wet boat ramp, but it is not a rough-road vehicle at all (too bumpy).

    Michael of NSW, Central Coast Posted on 12 March 2010 9:17pm
  • Over priced for what you get, but nice style.

    Peter Smith of Tasmania Posted on 12 March 2010 6:12pm
  • Drove this for an hour in 2.0 auto and was quite impressed.  Not a towing car, but quite a bit of power there.

    Peter Ms of Adelaide Posted on 12 March 2010 12:58am
  • Renault Keloes runs circles around this!

    Edwin of Sydney Posted on 11 March 2010 6:33pm
  • Base model is $8000 more than the Tuscon replacement!!!!!
    A bit rich Hyundai, especially when $1000 more you can buy an X-trail or Rav4 in base form with AWD for $31990 drive away with current deals.
    Nice car but $5k too expensive!

    Gilly of Wetherill Park Posted on 09 March 2010 5:56pm
  • With such a low ground clearance of measly 17cm i will never buy this car. Nissan Dualis has 20cm, Mitsubishi RVR has 19.5cm…This cuv is overpriced too, but i must admit it looks cool.

    Tony Bains of Tokyo Posted on 08 March 2010 2:13am
  • certainly nice car, needs bluetooth as standard, drives great and obvious looks a bit like the lexus

    liana of w.a. Posted on 05 March 2010 12:00am
  • I test drove the Elite Diesel. Positives- Styling Interior & Exterior, Leather & Cloth seats, Good Acceleration, Plenty Rear leg room, Electric Seat Adj and Keyless Entry & Ignition. Negatives - Small lag in the Diesel, Bluetooth is not even an option, Poor quality Audio,  6 Stack CD.  6/10

    Mathew AJ of Brisbane Posted on 04 March 2010 11:49am
  • Just took the highlander out for a drive.  What a great car.  Firstly the power in it was excellent.  I tapped the accelerator and the dealer left his stomach back at the dealership.  Looks wise…its better in person.  For all those that knock it…have a look at the other boxes out there on the road, this sleeker design is very attractive.  For me, driving such a car for the first time…I didnt feel like I was too high on the road.  It was very comfortable.  A nice cross between sedan vs 4 x 4.  Room….very roomy.  Remember your in a car, my 6ft 3 and over partner was very comfortable.  Even in the drivers seat.  So all those worried about the steering wheel tilt etc…Just try it.  I was a toyota fan, but this Hyundai won me over.  Its also very economical.  Price wise….if you have a good honest dealer..he can give you a good deal.  I got one.

    Lisell of Adelaide Posted on 03 March 2010 10:52pm
  • DJCJ of Melbourne says it reeks of BMW styling.  Well the design and engineering is headed up by a poached BMW guy, speaks for itself a bit.  Although I suppose he is used to designing similar to BMW bodies??

    PeteW of Sydney NSW Posted on 03 March 2010 12:06pm
  • I agree with Lucas.  I wish it had Sat Nav and Bluetooth.  I can live without heated front seats, will see what it drives like though. Size wise though, it’s perfect for us and our two dogs…

    Our Mazda 3 SP25 has Sat Nav and Bluetooth and they are essential features I’ve realised for me in my business.  Price wise though, it’s sensational.  Oh, and as for the badge snobbery.  I think it’s time we all got over it…Hyundai is a brand on the move….

    Nickinsyd of Sydney Posted on 03 March 2010 7:25am
  • If this is a RAV 4 equivalent, I’m interested to see what reviews come in for it offroad. Not just some potholes on a gravel test track…let’s drop this thing in some sand and see how it goes. The RAV is great. Can someone let me know how the ix35 is?

    David C, Port Stephens Posted on 02 March 2010 4:23pm
  • I have been keeping an eye on this car for sometime now and I am yet to have test drive.  I must admit that the car certainly is rather attractive to look at - but can I get past the badge?  This is something I am having difficulties with! 

    Given the price is rather lean considering the specs and standard equipment (I am looking at the Highlander model) I cannot understand why such a new and undoubtedly popular model has many omissions in a highly competitive market segment.

    Why no wheel reach adjustment? I am 6ft 5 and find it difficult to get comfortable behind the wheel.  I will have to wait for the first models update to have this option.

    Why no Bluetooth even in the high spec Highlander?  Bluetooth is even available on cheaper/more basic Hyundai models. 

    Why no Sat Nav even in the high spec Highlander?  Overseas models have an upgraded audio system which includes it.

    I want a diesel vehicle and would prefer a manual transmission - why do Australians insist on an Auto?

    I have to admit, that despite my comments above, and getting over the Hyundai badge I do love the look of this car.

    The test drive will will decide it. 

    My alternative is a CX7

    Happy for your feedback

    Lucas of Melbourne Posted on 01 March 2010 11:46pm
  • I think Hyundai have done a lot of engineering work to lift their perception in the market with their new vehicles, and by in large they have been successful. As always with a move from a model marketed on a price to a model marketed on it’s merits it will be in the (test) driving as to whether they have been successful with the ix35, but it looks like a good overall package, particularly with the turbo diesel, which would be my pick.

    Johnatsydney of Sydney Posted on 27 February 2010 8:35pm
  • Have been waiting for the ix35 to arrive since xmas and took it for a test drive last weekend. At first thought it was great from the heart but then when the head started thinking it was only a 2.0, suspension was really bumpy and quite small inside.The price is now in a different bracket compared to the tucsons so we started looking around at other makes and models. For approx the same price you have more of a choice. We decided to go with another vehicle.

    Debbie J of wyong Posted on 25 February 2010 4:00pm
  • Was looking to update my MY06 Tucson Elite and took my first drive in an iX35,
    2L Diesel, Auto, Elite. Absolutely lovely thing to drive.

    Then the close inspection:
    1. Why take away that brilliant split tailgate and window combination? Everyone loved the ease of managing children and shopping in carparks, or under homes withpout hitting the ceilings or garage doors etc.
    2. What’s this about no tiller reach adjustment”
    3. And no blue tooth in the car radio? Even the current base model Tucson City has it but something $13,000 more doesn’t.
    4. What happened to the towbar? Only a type1 hitch from the dealer but no type3/4. Dealer doesn’t know if it will come, and no idea how much it robs ground clearance or departure angle.  They state 1600 kgs towing capacity but on a type 1/2; not in this day and age.
    5. Why did Hyundai not keep the fold flat rear seat configuration? The old MY06 Tucson etc. did it so well.

    And now the biggest deal killer

    6. What happened to ground clearance? Tucsons came with 184mm. This iX35 barely gets 140 mm. I’d worry about scrapping the sump going into a carpark or service station driveway let alone driving down a dirt road let alone touring off piste.

    Joe Scharf of Brisbane Posted on 22 February 2010 2:23pm
  • Disappointed.

    No climate control until Highlander spec.

    No reach adjustment for wheel.

    No sat nav in sight.

    Steering sounds below par.

    No real stand-outs, other than diesel engine.

    Price.

    Dan T of Tasmania Posted on 22 February 2010 8:14am
  • The Elite Diesel is actually $34,990 plus on-roads - read about $38,900 driveaway at the moment. The lack of reach adjustment on the tiller is a surprise, I’m sure I read somewhere that it had it.

    Bernie Nebenfuhr Posted on 21 February 2010 9:06pm
  • Love the styling of this. Have the Tiguan on my short list but find its appearance a bit bland and conservative. Will be interested to see how the diesel version stacks up against the Tiguan diesel in a comparative road test

    Andrew L of Melbourne Posted on 18 February 2010 11:59am
  • I don’t understand why they didn’t make the diesel available in the base 2wd version.  A logical shopping/school-run trolley.

    Alan of Logan Posted on 17 February 2010 10:20am
  • So so confused. Do I buy the ix35 now, or wait for the 2010 Nissan Dualis to arrive in a few months time. Love both these cars, why can’t I decide. Maybe driveaway price will influence my decision.

    T Bergeron of Perth Posted on 17 February 2010 12:53am
  • I totally agree Micheal, great car but tall guys need the reach adjustment- then I will buy one also!!!

    sds of torquay Posted on 16 February 2010 4:22pm
  • It is interesting to see people badge snob, Hyundai have spent a lot of time and money to develop this car, take your badge blinkers off, yes, car companies are looking to each other for design cues, that doesn’t mean anything is being ripped off.

    fastcraig of Beerville Posted on 16 February 2010 12:51pm
  • DJCJ of Melbourne - Please understand… i35 & RX350 are on a different league mate. Price alone has a 60 grand difference.

    DC of Sydney Posted on 16 February 2010 11:39am
  • I recently viewed the Highlander at the local dealer, first impressions were favourable, at 195 cm tall the driving position was great however no reach adjustment on the wheel was a major flaw.If Hyundai should introduce this feature I would be more than happy to purchase this car.

    Michael L of SA Posted on 16 February 2010 7:44am
  • Hyundai are definitely in the mood of ripping off other rear-end designs. This one reeks of the Lexus RX350 and the i30 reeks of the BMW 1-series rear. Can’t wait to see who Hyundai rip off next.

    DJCJ of Melbourne Posted on 15 February 2010 10:37pm
  • EWWWW, man that thing is hideous, but there is a lot of cars out there that look awful. So I’m sure it will sell a lot, there are plenty of people who lack any sense of style. It sends shivers down my spine to think people pay over $31,000 for such an awkward looking car

    kaygas of nintendo Posted on 15 February 2010 5:44pm
  • I am considering Hyundai when previously I didn’t This because the Japs have now jacked up their prices well north of $40K even for a base model. Ludicrous!!

    Paul of SA Posted on 15 February 2010 1:26pm
  • Has anyone got a ix35 elite yet.If so is it a diesel.  Could you tell me how it drives, what the power and fuel economy is like.Are you happy with your buy. Thanks

    Roger L Posted on 14 February 2010 1:59pm
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