The Hyundai ix35 is a compact SUV made by Hyundai since 2009. The ix35 used to be a global model, but Hyundai changed the naming of the Hyundai ix35 to Hyundai Tucson for the western market in order to shift the perception of buyers towards a more premium outlook. In any case, the Hyundai ix35 has been around for quite a while now, but is Hyundai ix35 a good car?
I’d say that the Hyundai ix35 is more than just a good car, even though there are some differences across different generations. The ix35 has always been a plenty spacious car with a large enough size to fit four adults and quite a bit of stuff in the back. The engines on offer have always been efficient, powerful, and fairly sophisticated.
Design-wise, earlier ix35 models look a bit bland as earlier Hyundai design language was nothing to brag home about. However, when you take a look at the current Hyundai ix35 in China, you can immediately see that it follows the modern Hyundai language which makes the new China-only ix35 look really good both inside and out.
Reliability is good with the ix35 which has always been the case with the ix35. Earlier models are now really affordable and present good value on the used car market. Practicality is really good as you do get enough space for most situations.
There are some issues with the Hyundai ix35 too.
Hyundai ix35 – The Powertrain
As far as engine choices are concerned, you can go for either gasoline or diesel models as hybrid Hyundai models weren’t a thing when the ix35 was around. That being said, the Chinese-only current ix35 comes with either small gasoline engines or a hybrid engine. The 1.6L 4-cylinder gasoline 135hp engine is the entry-level one while the 2.0L 4-cylinder engine is the top-spec one as it offers 163hp.
If you prefer diesel fuel, you can choose between a 1.7L 4-cylinder with 116hp or a 2.0L 4-cylinder with either 136hp or 184hp for top-spec models. The ix35 was offered with a 6-speed manual as the standard gearbox option, but you can go for an automatic if you so desire.
Front-wheel-drive is the standard setup for all ix35 models ever while AWD is either included with top-spec models with the automatic gearbox or is available as an option on lower-spec models with smaller engines. MPG-wise, 25-35MPG is the range for gasoline engines while diesel engines can return more than 45MPG at best.
Hyundai ix35 – Design and Driving
Design-wise, you can immediately see that Hyundai was not interested in making strides with older ix35 models because they look a bit bland and are not all that memorable. The interior is very much the same story as it does not do anything particularly special, it looks like a tool. Newer Hyundai models, including the ix35 China model, are much better looking from all angles.
The driving experience with the ix35 is as with any other compact SUV out there which means that it does roll a bit and it does not feel as stable as something like a sedan or a sports car. Moreover, it is a fairly comfortable car and is easy to drive, especially AWD automatic models.
Hyundai ix35 – Reliability and Common Issues
Reliability is where the ix35 does not disappoint as it manages to remain a fairly dependable car for most of its lifetime. Sure, older higher-mileage models are a lot more fragile, but that makes sense as all cars have to start having problems at some point. Be that as it may, this does not mean that the ix35 is complete without fault as that is unheard of for any car.
The most common issues are associated with suspension creaks, bushing issues, and balance lever problems. The electricals can be a nuisance while seatbelt pretensioners are also known to cause issues. Fuel leaks were a big thing on 2011-2015 models while the clutch and jumping out of gears were customary for all older ix35 models, especially those with a manual box.
Hyundai ix35 – Value and Practicality
These days you can buy a used ix35 for next to nothing which makes it a real bargain compared to some newer cars. Sure, the ix35 from before will never feel as special as a new SUV feels, but you can buy a few used ix35 models for a single new Hyundai Tucson.
Practicality is also good as the ix35 can sit four people without any issues while five are a bit of a squeeze in the back. There is lots of cargo space in the back while visibility is also really good. The ix35 is easy to get in and out of and there are lots of storage spaces all across the interior.
Why did Hyundai stop offering the ix35?
As mentioned a few times in this article, Hyundai still offers the ix35 for the Chinese market while global models have been renamed to Hyundai Tucson. This means that the ix35 is not really gone, it only bears a new name now. However, when we compare the Chinese ix35 to the global Tucson, we can see a whole load of differences between them.
Is the Hyundai Tucson better than the Chinese ix35?
Many people are saying that the ix35 is basically just a Chinese version of the Tucson which is not exactly the case as the Tucson is a more advanced car overall. When you look at both the interior and exterior design, you can immediately see that the Tucson is a much more modern car even though the current ix35 was revealed in 2017 while the Tucson was revealed 2 years later.
The Chinese ix35 is somewhere between the second and the third generation of the Tucson and we should see a new one in the coming year or two.
Is the Hyundai ix35 safe?
A really important part of buying an older used car is how safe it is as Hyundai didn’t have all the safety learnings and technology back in 2009. Even so, the ix35 was awarded 5-star safety ratings across the board which means that it is indeed a really safe car.