Hyundai ix35: halfway point

ix35 starts to show its plus points

I'm three months in to my loan period with the ix35 and the longer I live with the car, the more impressed I've become with it. At first I wondered whether it would be able to emulate the excellent Skoda Yeti that I had previously. While both these cars may be competing for the same kind of buyer, they offer different things and the Hyundai has really impressed on recent trips.

Having driven a number of different cars in the past couple of weeks, the easy-to-use and intuitive media pack makes such a difference. Having the whole screen to scroll through your music of artists, albums or tracks means it's incredibly easy to get to what you want. Other systems I've recently used - like the one in our Toyota Auris HSD - won't allow you to scroll without playing a song from whichever album you pass over, so you get a snippet of a song before it carries on. Then there are some systems that make it hard to work out how to navigate through folders and you get so frustrated that in the end you give up.

For the first time since I've had the car I also got to be a rear passenger. There is a huge amount of head- and legroom, while the double sunroof means even those in the back get to enjoy a nice, light-filled and comfortable journey. The seats are nice and supportive, so you don't have to fidget around every 15 minutes to ease the pain in your back or bum.

At first the overly-soft set-up of the car was a bit of a niggle and I complained about the ride being too spongy, but with time and miles this is no longer such a problem. While it does mean it lacks some engagement, the longer the journeys have been the more I've appreciated have a relaxing ride. I've even come to accept the 1.7-litre diesel engine and the fact you save yourself £3,000 over the equivalent 2.0-litre version is an added bonus.

Current mileage: 5744

Average mpg: 39.6