Hyundai ix35 (2009-2016) Review
Strengths & weaknesses
It was launched in 2009 and was sold until 2016, featuring a handful of petrol and diesel engines. There was also a hydrogen-powered fuel cell version called the ix35 FCEV, but this car is so rare and unusual (there are a tiny number of hydrogen fuel stations so it’s incredibly niche) that we won’t cover it in this buying guide.
Petrol options include the 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre four-cylinder models, while the diesels are 1.7-litre or 2.0-litre units. The most common are the diesels, and of those two the 1.7-litre model is probably the most popular because it’s really efficient.
Alternatives to the ix35 include the Kia Sportage, Nissan Qashqai or Peugeot 3008. There are loads more, which we’ve looked at below, as the mid-size family SUV is a really popular type of car and lots of car makers offer a similar model.
There are four-wheel drive and automatic versions, but the front-wheel drive manual versions are the best value and make more sense for most people. This is because they are more efficient, cheaper to run and better value for money.
One of the biggest selling points of the ix35 when new was its five-year warranty, which won’t be available on any used models as they are now too old, but you can still buy with peace of mind because it’s a reliable car.
Read on to find out more about the Hyundai ix35 and see if it’s right for you.
Should I get a Hyundai ix35?
✔ Good value for money
✔ Should be reliable
✔ Efficient diesel engines
✘ Dull to drive
✘ Interior looks dated
✘ Could be more spacious
The Hyundai ix35 might not be at the top of many people’s list when it comes to a family SUV. It’s not as stylish as a Peugeot 3008 or as practical as a Skoda Karoq, nor is it as good to drive as a Ford Kuga or as upmarket as a Volkswagen Tiguan.
However, the ix35 is practical enough for family life, is cheap to run and should be reliable. It makes a lot more sense as a used car than it did as a new car, as long as you don’t mind the slight dated interior and dull driving experience. It’s a very pragmatic and sensible choice for people who simply want something that will be good value and last a long time.
- Models explained
- Trim levels
- Best ix35 for
- Boot space
- Should I buy used?
The Hyundai ix35 is a family SUV that’s a similar size to a Nissan Qashqai. It’s a five-seater, five-door model with petrol and diesel engines, a manual or automatic gearbox and the choice of front- or four-wheel drive.
The four-strong engine range has 1.6-litre and 2.0-litre petrol motors and 1.7-litre and 2.0-litre diesel units. The diesels were the most popular when new and make the most sense if you do a lot of longer trips, while the petrols are better for short journeys.
Expect about 40mpg from the petrol engines and 50mpg form the diesels, the best of the bunch being the 1.7-litre engine with a manual gearbox and front-wheel drive. Watch out for the high-spec 2.0-litre diesel in four-wheel drive form, which is thirsty and expensive to tax.
Hyundai ix35 FCEV
Hyundai launched one of the UK’s first hydrogen cars in the ix35 range, called the ix35 FCEV. We won’t cover it here because it’s extremely niche and to even find one for sale would be a rare event.
|S||Limited stock: The entry-level S model comes with air-conditioning, alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights and a height-adjustable driver’s seat.|
|SE||Limited stock: SE trim adds to the S version’s kit with heated seats all round, Bluetooth, parking sensors and a leather steering wheel. It’s good value.|
|SE Nav||Limited stock: This version adds a touchscreen sat-nav, but given how old the car is now, it’s quite dated and hardly essential in the days of smartphone mapping apps.|
|Style||Limited stock: This is the entry-level model for pre-2013 models. It comes with air-con, Bluetooth, 17-inch alloys and heated seats.|
|Premium||From £4,995: Premium models come with leather seats, xenon headlamps and keyless entry, plus there’s a Premium Panorama version too with a large sunroof.|
You’re somewhat limited with buying a Hyundai ix35 because the majority of owners when the car was new chose a diesel engine. The 116hp 1.7-litre motor is our choice here, because it’s able to reach around 50mpg in normal driving. The 2.0-litre diesel is thirstier and can only just beat the petrol engines for efficiency, though it does bring punchy performance.
The petrols are better for people driving around town more often but they aren’t as easy to find and aren’t as good value for money. If you can find one, and your usage suits this type of fuel, choose the 1.6-litre motor - it’ll do around 40mpg and is powerful enough for most, with 135hp. The 2.0-litre petrol has 166hp, while the 2.0-litre diesel has 136hp.
The ix35 range has quite a few choices, including between manual and automatic, petrol or diesel, and through a handful of trim levels. To help you decide which version is best for you. We’ve picked out some different models depending on some common buying situations. Read on to find out which is the best Hyundai ix35 for you.
|Hyundai ix35 1.7 CRDi SE: The 1.7-litre diesel model is readily available second-hand, so it’s the best value model overall. The SE trim level has all the kit you need so there’s no need to go for a higher trim level that might cost more.|
|Hyundai ix35 1.6 GDi Style: If you are buying to drive the kids to school in a local area, don’t choose a diesel - they are just not suited to this kind of driving. A petrol model like the 1.6-litre version is a better option for this, even though it’s a little underpowered.|
|Hyundai ix35 2.0 CRDi automatic 4WD: If you do want a model with a bit of performance then the 2.0-litre diesel is the best option, especially in four-wheel drive form. It goes from 0-62mph in 9.8 seconds, which isn’t exactly fast, but it’s punchy in-gear.|
|Hyundai ix35 2.0 GDi Premium: The 2.0-litre petrol model is rather thirsty, and performance isn’t even as impressive as the diesel version, so we’d avoid this - especially in expensive high-spec Premium trim.|
There are lots and lots of rivals for the Hyundai ix35 - it’s a family SUV, one of the most popular types of car in Europe. This means nearly all the mainstream car makers have a rival model in this class.
The most important ones to consider are the Nissan Qashqai, Skoda Karoq and Peugeot 3008, which are all more practical than the Hyundai. Then there’s the Ford Kuga, which is more enjoyable to drive, the Kia Sportage, which has an even longer warranty, and the Skoda Yeti, which is older and a little less SUV-like than the brand’s Karoq.
Hyundai ix35 practicality: dimensions and boot space
The Hyundai ix35 is 4.4m long, 1.65m tall and 1.8m wide (excluding the door mirrors), so it’s on the small side for a family SUV. The Nissan Qashqai and Peugeot 3008 are both a little bigger than the Hyundai, and they’re also a bit roomier inside as a result.
It’s not too cramped inside the ix35 but nor is it the most spacious SUV. There’s more than enough space for kids in the back, and access is good, but the Skoda Karoq, for example, has loads of room in the back even for adults. The ix35 also has a rather dated-looking interior, so it’s not as pleasant to spend time in.
|Length 4,410mm||Width 1,820mm|
|Height 1,655mm||Weight 1,427kg - 1,712kg|
The ix35 has between 465 and 591 litres of space in the boot depending on which version you choose - later post-2013 models have less space in the boot, though it’s not clear why this is the case - it may be due to the positioning of a spare wheel, so the actual difference may not be so significant.
All versions have a total of 1,436 litres if you fold down the rear seats. This is a decent amount but there are rivals with quite a bit more space available in this configuration. It’s plenty for a family car, though.
|Seats up 465-591 litres||Seats down 1,436 litres|
The ix35’s big selling point is its reliability. We’d have no issue buying a used model, as it has a reputation for being dependable and well-built, plus owners said in the 2013 Driver Power customer satisfaction survey that it was very good in this area. It came in 21st place in that poll out of the top 150 cars, a great result.
Just look at its record in terms of recalls, too - Hyundai hasn’t had to fix any manufacturing defects at all since the car came out. This is surprisingly rare and shows how well-made the car is.
The Hyundai ix35 came with a five-year warranty when it was new. The car was covered for an unlimited amount of miles in that time, which means it had one of the best warranties available at the time. Of course, as all models are now over five years old, there won’t be any available for sale that have factory warranty remaining. What it does tell us, though, is how confided Hyundai was about its reliability - and that means we can feel confident about it too as a second-hand buy.
|5 years||Unlimited miles|
AVERAGE REPAIR COST PAID BY WARRANTYWISE: £577
You need to make a decision about what you really need if you are thinking about buying a used Hyundai ix35. If you are after something that’s easy to drive, reliable and good value, it’s a very worthwhile choice and brings decent practicality as well.
However it’s a rather sensible - dull - choice and there are better models in each key area you might need a car for. There are more practical and spacious models available, such as the Skoda Karoq, and many of its rivals are more enjoyable to drive and have a more appealing engine range.
The ix35’s petrol engines are underwhelming and the shrinking popularity of diesel means that it is becoming a more niche choice of family car, but you can find some bargains out there and if you just want something that won’t go wrong and should be cheap to run, the ix35 is worth a look.
The 1.7-litre diesel version of the ix35 SUV is the most commonly-found version and this means it’s good value for money. You don’t even need to go for the SE Nav trim these days, as your phone will have better maps, so we’d choose an SE version as it’s likely to be cheaper like-for-like.
A petrol-powered version with the 1.6-litre GDi engine is a good option for people who tend to do shorter trips and will use the car around town. Diesel power isn’t good for this type of trip and a petrol, even this slightly underpowered model, will be a better bet for reliability and comfort.
The higher-powered 2.0-litre diesel model is available in four-wheel drive form and with an automatic gearbox. A lot of these versions will have been used as tow cars for caravans, so check with the seller to see if this is the case. Towing miles are harder on the car than ones without something hitched to the back.
*Representative PCP finance - 2018 Ford Fiesta 1.0 ST-Line Hatchback:
|PCP representative example||APR rates available|
|Cash price £12,000||APR 7.90%||Value of loan||From|
|Fixed monthly payment £218.12||Annual mileage of 8,000pa||£25,000+||6.9%|
|Total cost of credit £2,755.55||Term 48 months||£12,000-£24,999||7.9%|
|Optional final payment £4,285.79||Loan value £12,000||£8,000-£11,999||8.9%|
|Total amount payable £14,755.55||Deposit £0||<8,000||9.9%|
BuyaCar is a credit broker, not a lender. Our rates start from 6.9% APR. The rate you are offered will depend on your individual circumstances.