Review: Hyundai ix35 (2009 – 2015)

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Good value for money. Comfortable and refined interior. Available with two or four-wheel drive. Low CO2 emissions. Five-year warranty. Generous equipment. Full size spare wheel.

Steering could do with a little more weight and feel.

Hyundai ix35 (2009 – 2015): At A Glance

The Hyundai ix35 is effectively the replacement for the dated Tucson, but it's an altogether different car in every department. It's a huge improvement in design, quality and comfort, but retains the typical Hyundai strengths of generous equipment levels and value for money.

It may look like an off-roader but most people choose two-wheel drive versions of the ix35. However, even if you opt for the 4x4, CO2 emissions and fuel consumption are both low, helping to keep running costs down. It's a genuinely good alternative to 'crossovers' such as the Nissan Qashqai or Ford Kuga and does a great job on the road too.

Sit behind the wheel and you could be forgiven for thinking that you're in a Volkswagen, with upmarket, well-finished materials and a smart design. It's incredibly well equipped with air conditioning, Bluetooth and heated seats in the front and back. And if that wasn't enough, it even comes with a five-year/unlimited mileage warranty.

Add in a great range of engines, including a refined and punchy 2.0-litre CRDi diesel that returns a claimed 51.4mpg and the ix35 begins to stand out against more expensive competition. In fact, there's very little to criticise. Good looking, easy to drive and cheap to run, the Hyundai ix35 is one of the best family cars on the road.

Hyundai ix35 2010 Road Test and Video

Hyundai ix35 2013 facelift Road Test

Long Term Test Hyundai ix35 1.7 CRDi

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What does a Hyundai ix35 (2009 – 2015) cost?

Hyundai ix35 (2009 – 2015): What's It Like Inside?

Length 4410 mm
Width 1820 mm
Height 1655–1670 mm
Wheelbase 2640 mm

Full specifications

Inside, the ix35 not only feels substantial, but also exudes quality. The materials used are high quality and there's a real attention to detail, from the subtle blue backlighting to the Audi-esque leather stitching. The dash is modern and stylish, with easy-to-read dials and switches that are easy to use on the move.

You sit high and get the impression of a lot of metal around you, with space for three in the back and comfortable seats for longer journeys. The 591-litre load area is 41 litres bigger than a Ford C-MAX. Yet at 4,410mm, it's actually 9mm shorter than the latest model Vauxhall Astra. Disappointingly, the rear seats don't fold completely flat in the clever cantilever manner of the Hyundai Tucson.

Yet under the load floor there's a full size alloy spare wheel, an exact match for the road wheels, allowing you to rotate and even out tyre wear if you want to. On the move, the ix35 is generally quiet with only a small amount of road noise. One nice touch is that front and rear heated seats are standard - something only top-end executive cars can usually boast.

Standard equipment from launch:

Style models have 17-inch alloy wheels, ESP, air conditioning, active head restraints, Bluetooth connectivity with voice recognition, those heated front and rear seats, downhill brake control, electric windows front and rear, electric heated door mirrors with integrated LED-type side repeaters, six airbags, glove compartment with cooling function, ‘follow-me-home' headlamp function, Hillstart Assist Control, leather steering wheel and gearknob, remote central locking with alarm, steering wheel audio controls, stereo-radio CD with MP3 and iPod connectivity, reverse parking sensors and a trip computer.

Premium models offer add 18-inch alloys, a full-length panoramic glass sunroof, automatic headlights, chrome door handles, chrome interior trim, cruise control, dual zone climate control with humidity sensor and Ioniser, electric folding door mirrors, front windscreen wiper de-icer, keyless entry with engine stop-start button, rear privacy glass, rain-sensing wipers, part-leather upholstery and smart roof rails.

Child seats that fit a Hyundai ix35 (2009 – 2015)

Our unique Car Seat Chooser shows you which child car seats will fit this car and which seat positions that they will fit, so that you don't have to check every car seat manufacturer's website for compatibility.

Which car seat will suit you?

What's the Hyundai ix35 (2009 – 2015) like to drive?

The majority of buyers opt for the excellent 134bhp 2.0-litre, which develops a handy 320Nm of torque at 1800-2500 rpm. There's plenty of pulling power on offer from low revs and ix35 is quiet as it goes about it, with impressively low levels of noise.  The 2WD base mode on 225/60 R17 tyres is noticeably more refined than the 4WD premium model on 225/55 R18s. The penalty is that it lets go at the front a bit early on rain-slicked roundabouts. On bumpy, rutted, pot-holed country road corners it's better, but this is not a car you push into bends. As a two-wheel drive, it gets to 60mph in a shade under 10 seconds and is capable of 50mpg.

In contrast, the 4WD hangs on better at the penalty of more noise, especially at around 2000rpm and 60mph in 6th. Usable engine torque doesn't come in until quite late, about 1750rpm. You can trickle down at about 1250rpm, but no lower, or it starts jerking and the gearshift indictor flashes at you to change down. That actually means you can't use 6th below about 45mph, and you can't use 5th below 30mph. Four-wheel drive mode is activated by a button on the dash. This locks the car into permanent four-wheel drive and works up to 25mph, splitting power equally between the front and rear wheels.

The 161bhp petrol engine lacks the low-down pull of the 2.0-litre, but it's a lively and a good engine for buyers who don't rack up mega mileages. That said, it too offers some decent economy with 38mpg on offered and smooth performance - provided it isn't revved too hard. The petrol is available as a two-wheel drive only and has a five-speed gearbox, where the 2.0-litre diesel is a six-speed.

The entry-level 1.6-litre petrol and a 1.7-litre diesel engines were available from later in 2010.

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.6 GDi 2WD 42–44 mpg 11.1 s 149–158 g/km
1.6 GDi Blue Drive 2WD 44 mpg 11.1 s 149 g/km
1.7 CRDi 2WD 49–54 mpg 12.4 s 135–147 g/km
1.7 CRDi Blue Drive 2WD 52–54 mpg 12.4 s 135–143 g/km
2.0 2WD 38 mpg 10.4 s 177 g/km
2.0 CRDi 2WD 48–51 mpg 10.8 s 147–153 g/km
2.0 CRDi 4WD 48–51 mpg 11.3 s 145–154 g/km
2.0 CRDi 4WD Automatic 39–42 mpg 9.8–12.1 s 179–189 g/km

Real MPG average for a Hyundai ix35 (2009 – 2015)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance


Real MPG

24–55 mpg

MPGs submitted


Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Hyundai ix35 (2009 – 2015)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Can I make my Euro5 vehicle Euro6 compliant to avoid ULEZ charges?

I have Hyundai IX35 2.0 CDI which I use for towing my streetfood kitchen (converted horsebox and trailer bbq) but it is not Euro6 compliant. What is required to make it compliant and is this expensive? I would then need TFL to agree the car is now compliant to avoid ULEZ charges.
In short, I don't think it can be done. I'm unaware of any retrofit solutions (for cars or vans) that will convert the engine from Euro5 to Euro6. That said, some Euro5 diesels do qualify for exemption from the ULEZ charge. This is because the standards are based on the tailpipe emissions and not the engine Euro rating. It could be that your car is already exempt from the charge. You can check it here:
Answered by Dan Powell
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