We can think of at least a half dozen other BMW models that we would have preferred Hyundai draw inspiration from, and none of them would have fallen into the “crossover” category. Still, when you consider that the ix35 (even the name is BMW-esque) is replacing the undeniably ugly Tucson, the production version of the newest Hyundai could change quite a bit and still be a success on that front.
There is uncertainty as to whether North Americans will be blessed with the replacement of the Tucson, but as automakers continue to streamline their production lines, chances are that at the very least the weak-selling Tucson may be euthanized if not substitued with the ix35. When it goes on sale in the U.K. early next year, the ix35 will actually be marketed (correctly by the way) not as an SUV or Crossover, but rather as a larger contender thrown into the hatchback mix. Hyundai scores points for at least acknowledging that the ix35, along with the vast majority of Crossovers, is much more car-like than truck.
Although an all-wheel-drive version is likely to follow, Hyundai is said to be planning on churning out many more front-wheel drive versions as part of their strategy on keeping emissions and fuel-efficiency numbers in-check company-wide. To that end, European models will come with a rather weak-sounding 1.6-liter, 168-horsepower, direct-injected four-cylinder gasoline engine that is matched to a dual automated clutch and six-speed gearbox.
Stylistically, the ix35 is just one of several vehicles being revised to follow the rest of the Hyundai’s design aesthetic. Designed in Germany, the BMW-knockoff will split the difference between the length and width of the current Tucson and Sante Fe models and be slightly lower as well.
The ix-ionic in which the new model is based will seat five and purportedly retain many of the modernistic touches inside the cabin including the navigation and stereo that were engineered with high mounted speakers for enhanced sound, and the unique blue lighting that is carried in the gauges. Two increasingly common features; a ‘blind spot’ warning light in the rear-view mirror, and start-stop technology, will also be implemented in the ix35.