Hyundai sees the ix35 as an entirely new breed of car rather than a direct Tucson replacement, despite its obvious SUV breeding.
It takes up the same amount of road space as a lower-medium car and with prices to match, the carmaker believes it will appeal to customers considering a Ford Focus, Vauxhall Astra or Volkswagen Golf.
Therefore, while its key rivals include the Toyota RAV4, Ford Kuga, Volkswagen Tiguan and Nissan Qashqai, the ix35 also aims to appeal to customers of this segment.
Available from £16,495 OTR, it has a sales target of 3,000 vehicles this year, comes in two and four-wheel drive and will initially be equipped with 2.0-litre petrol and diesel engines.
A smaller 1.6-litre GDI petrol and 1.7-litre CRDi diesel engine, plus automatic versions, will arrive in September.
The 1.7-diesel has a CO2 figure of 139g/km, giving a benefit-in-kind tax rate of 19% for 2010/11.
In two-wheel drive form, the 2.0-litre diesel engine delivers a combined fuel economy figure of 51.4mpg, with CO2 emissions of 147g/km.
The four-wheel drive variant, using the same engine, is capable of 49.6mpg, with CO2 emissions of 149g/km.
The petrol-engined model is available in two-wheel drive only and returns 37.7mpg, with CO2 emissions of 177g/km.
Spec levels are generous and all ix35’s will be backed up by Hyundai’s five-year warranty and a 10-year anti-perforation corrosion warranty.
Keenly priced and with CO2 emissions starting at 137g/km, the ix35 looks set to appeal to company car drivers wanting to dip their toe in the SUV market.
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