Our cars: Hyundai ix35 - July
Miles driven this week 408
Requirements: a big, straight-sided boot, plus enough rear-seat space for two tall adults. Solution: borrow the ix35.
Despite going to more DIY stores and furniture shops than I care to recall, I bought just five tins of paint, so the boot space wasn’t needed. Still, at least the lights in the B&Q car park highlighted the Hyundai’s lines a treat.
My passengers appreciated the spacious rear seats, but things weren’t quite so rosy from my point of view. The high seating position allowed me to have a good nose at the outside world, which made traffic jams a bit more bearable, but a short first gear meant I had to change into second almost as soon as I’d got moving.
Week ending July 15
Miles driven this week 160
After months of putting it off, a sunny Sunday afternoon made me finally do something about the scruffy state of the back garden. Many hours were spent going to town on my extensive weed collection, after which I was left with fifteen bin bags full of garden rubbish to take to the tip.
Luckily, I had the IX35 for the weekend, which had just enough space for the job. Folding the rear seats down leaves you with a sloped load floor, which in most load-carrying circumstances, isn’t helpful. It was in this case, though, because it prevented me from getting an earful of ivy offcuts every time I hit the brakes.
Week ending July 1
Miles driven this week 277
The ix35 is a joy to drive every day. On my mainly motorway-based commute its 1.7-litre diesel engine is happy to cruise in sixth, but punchy enough to overtake other cars without me needing to shift down a gear. In town, the torque’s so strong that I rarely rev the engine higher than 2000rpm: I’m always able to shift up to a more economical gear. Fuel economy is also improving as the engine loosens up. I’m now getting 41.5mpg and a decent 465 miles between fills.
The holiday season has provided the ix35 with another challenge away from the commuter run: carrying my family on a trip from Oxfordshire to Norfolk. That’s a lot of miles to cover with three adults and a teenager on board, but in practice we had no worries.
The reasonably spacious and comfortable cabin gave the grown-ups room to spread out and relax, while the standard iPod connection and decent stereo kept my boy happy.
However, the trip did highlight a few shortcomings. For instance, there are few thrills to be found on country lanes because the steering is overly light and delivers vague feedback. The body is also poorly controlled, so there’s lots of lean
if you push on. These are minor complaints, though – if I’d wanted a thrill-a-minute drive I wouldn’t have chosen a crossover.
I was expecting the ix35’s rather harsh ride to mar things during our week away, but it never really bothered us at any time. That may have had something to do with all the extra weight that was on board – the harshness is more evident when I’m the only one in the car.