What's it like?
Quite competent – the ix35 does everything you expect it to do. We tested the ix35 at the Millbrook Proving Ground, rather than on public roads, but the centre's alpine hill handling course is supposed to emulate the majority of driving conditions you might find on UK roads.
Under these conditions we found the ix35 is capable of tackling rough roads and twisting routes with ease, and the 2.0-litre CRDi diesel engine we tried held its own for most of the time.
Peak torque of 236lb ft arrives between 1800-2500rpm, so when pushed the engine runs out of steam quite soon. It's also quite loud and there's quite a lot of noise intrusion into the cabin above 50mph.
The six-speed automatic transmission fitted to our test car was good enough but at times it changed down far too early. On hill ascents you'll find the manual override quicker than waiting for the gearbox to select an appropriate gear.
The ride is also unusually firm, especially at low speeds, and it's something we suspect would quickly become an annoyance rather than a mere distraction over long journeys.
That said, for the sort of routes the average ix35 owner will cover, the car is more than adequate. We'd hope for a little more grunt from the engine at times but overall it's a relatively capable, relatively economical choice. Hyundai says this version of the ix35 can return up to 41.5mpg on a combined cycle, and CO2 emissions of 179g/km.
Handling-wise the 2014 ix35 feels well planted on the road and it's only when really pushing the envelope that you'll run into understeer. For the most part the car's steering is light, relaxed and accurate, although there's predictably little feedback through the wheel.
Should I buy one?
If style is at the forefront of your cost considerations for a soft-roader, then this is a likely candidate for your shopping list. There's less dynamic ability here than offered by rivals like the Qashqai, but the new ix35 is nonetheless an improvement over the old model.
If you opt for a variant lower down in the range and without 4WD you could pay as little as £17,000, so the ix35 can represent decent value for money too.
2014 Hyundai ix35 Premium 2.0 4WD A/T CRDi
Price £27,205; 0-62mph 12.1sec; Top speed 113mph; Economy 41.5mpg; CO2 179g/km; Kerb weight 1712kg; Engine 4cyls, 1995cc, turbodiesel Power 134bhp at 4000rpm; Torque 236lb ft at 1800-2500rpm; Gearbox 6-spd automatic