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New models - Hyundai - ix35 - Highlander petrol

Hyundai grows ix35 range

Hy demand: Almost half of all ix35 sales enquiries are for the range-topping Highlander variant.

New petrol Highlander flagship added to Hyundai’s popular ix35 compact SUV range

Hyundai logo10 Dec 2010

HYUNDAI has released a petrol version of its most highly specified ix35 variant, the Highlander, in response to customer demand for the popular new compact SUV.

At $35,490 plus on-road costs, the ix35 Highlander AWD 2.4-litre auto is $3000 more expensive than the mid-range 2.4-litre Elite AWD auto ($32,490) and the same price as the 2.0-litre diesel Elite AWD auto, but $3000 more affordable than the range-topping Highlander diesel ($38,490.

Unlike their predecessors, top-shelf versions of Hyundai Motor Company’s two new compact SUVs have proven so popular that Australian Hyundai and Kia dealers can’t get enough stock of the flagship ix35 and Sportage respectively.

Launched in Australia in February, the ix35 was the nation’s third best selling compact SUV (behind Subaru’s Forester and Toyota’s RAV4) in November, when it clinched a 9.1 per cent share of the segment with 887 sales, after just 10 months on sale.

Year-to-date, the ix35 lies sixth in the compact SUV segment, behind the Forester, RAV4, Mazda CX-7, Nissan X-Trail and Mitsubishi Outlander – and ahead of Honda’s once-dominant CR-V, Volkswagen’s Tiguan, Nissan’s Dualis and the Subaru Outback.

1 center imageWith a total of 6598 sales to November, the ix35 has a 6.5 per cent share of a market segment that is up about 35 per cent so far in 2010, but it remains less popular than the model it replaced, the Tucson.

At this stage in 2009 – the final year of its life – the Tucson had found 10,578 homes, making it a clear top-three compact SUV player with a 14.1 per cent market share. Once Australia’s top-selling compact SUV, the Tucson routinely racked up 1000 sales per month.

Hyundai Motor Company Australia director marketing Oliver Mann said the larger, more refined, more expensive and much prettier ix35 has exceeded all sales expectations.

“To date we have struggled to keep up with customer demand for the ix35, with the top of the range Highlander version accounting for almost half of all sales enquiries”, he said.

“The implementation of additional production capacity for European markets means we can increase ix35 supply – and customers are demanding more ix35 Highlanders.”

The ix35’s closely related sibling from Hyundai subsidiary brand Kia, the Sportage, was released here in August and attracted a high of 305 sales in November, when it notched up 305 sales for a 3.1 per cent segment share.

Sales of the newer, cheaper and arguably even more stylish Sportage range – which the ix35 now joins in comprising six model variants - are up almost 70 per cent in 2010.

Like all ix35 Highlanders, it comes standard with all-wheel drive, a six-speed automatic transmission and a range of top-end features, including rear parking sensors, a rear-view camera, panoramic glass roof, full iPod integration, dual-zone climate-control, six-way power driver’s seat adjustment, automatic headlights, keyless entry and starting.

The new Highlander variant employs the same 2.4-litre Theta II four-cylinder petrol engine as seen in the Elite, delivering 130kW at 6000rpm and peak torque of 227Nm at 4000rpm while returning combined fuel consumption of 9.2L/100km and average CO2 emissions of 219g/km.

As with all ix35s, electronic stability control (ESC), traction control system (TCS), anti-lock braking system (ABS), electronic brake-force distribution (EBD), downhill brake control (DBC) and hill-start assist control (HAC) are standard.

2011 Hyundai ix35pricing:
Active 2WD 2.0 petrol$26,990
Active 2WD 2.0 petrol (a)$28,990
Elite AWD 2.4 petrol (a)$32,490
Elite AWD 2.0 diesel (a)$35,490
Highlander AWD 2.4petrol (a)$35,490
Highlander AWD 2.0diesel (a)$38,490
Metallic/Mica paint$375

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