Hyundai ix35: Looks

Things are not as they seem

With the high roofline, chunky looks and raised driving position, the ix35 certainly has the look of a fairly large 4x4. However, look at the actual figures and they tell a slightly different story. The ix35 is 4,410mm long which means very little on its own, but compare this to the length of our long-term Mazda3 at 4,460mm and the ix35 is actually shorter. Despite the difference in length the cars both share the same wheelbase at 2,640mm.

Of course the Hyundai is higher and wider, but the comparatively short length of the car means it isn't daunting to handle around tight city streets. Another bonus is that you won't find yourself scouring car parks for a space that it will fit into. It comes with all the perks of a high-riding off-roader with none of the dilemmas faced by other larger 4x4 drivers.

Room with a view (kind of)

Despite the off-roader façade, seeing out isn't the easiest of things. When driving I find that high seating position gives a great view of the road, it's easy to see over the short bonnet. However, the coupe-like sloping rear of the cars means that visibility when reverse parking is a little more tricky.

 A quick glimpse over your shoulder reveals little apart from reminding you that the rear window is incredibly small and this is where the reversing camera comes in handy. But not all the views are as bad as this.

Like a lot of new cars now, the ix35 comes with the panoramic glass sunroof and comes as standard on our premium model - even on our top spec Skoda Yeti this was an £850 extra. On the Hyundai this is split into two smaller sunroofs from the inside, but it still fills the cabin with plenty of light and means rear passengers are distracted  by the passing scenery rather than asking 'are we there yet?'.

Current mileage: 2,617

Average mpg: 41.2