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Car reviews - Hyundai - ix35 - Highlander CRDi 5-dr wagon

Overview

Sleeker new ix35 replaces top-selling Tucson as Hyundai's compact SUV star

Hyundai logo15 Apr 2010

By BYRON MATHIOUDAKIS

HYUNDAI is on a roll and the ix35 has what it takes to give the Toyota RAV4 and Subaru's Forester the sort of TKO that will have the Japanese and Europeans reeling for years to come. But the flagship Highlander diesel auto, while highly impressive in a number of areas, stumbles unexpectedly in some others, bringing to mind books, covers and other old chestnuts when it comes to things not being quite what they seem. Still, for the many plus points the new LM-series ix35 has in general, we reckon it will storm up the sales charts - even if the Korean giant's sleek new compact crossover is not our number one choice.
Model release date: 1 February 2010 to 1 October 2013

Previous model

JM Tucson

Released: August 2004
Ended: January 2010
Family Tree: ix35

THE South Korean conglomerate’s first compact SUV was a neat and likeable wagon/crossover, bringing space, value and functionality to the burgeoning segment. Three variations were imported: SX, Elite and Elite S, initially all powered by Hyundai’s long-lived 129kW/341Nm 2.7 V6 petrol, mated exclusively to a four-speed auto. Performance was fairly brisk but fuel economy was not a high point - nor was the vague steering and stiff suspension. From October 2005 the popular front-wheel drive Tucson City model was introduced, bringing with it a lower-than-ever compact SUV entry price and a 104kW/184Nm 2.0-litre petrol four-cylinder. In May 2007 a range-wide shake-up saw a five-speed manual City SX 2.0 price-leader slip into the country, while the sequential-shift function for automatic models was dropped inexplicably and a minor facelift and additional safety features like stability control were released in the middle of 2008. The Tucson was sold in Japan as the Hyundai ‘JM’ – for Joyful Mover...

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