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Hyundai IX35 Highlander (2010)

by John Ewing,reviewed June 2010

The IX35 is Hyundai’s stylish new offering in the rapidly growing compact SUV market, replacing Tucson.
The all-wheel-drive Highlander is the premium model in the range and features the R-series, 2.0-litre, turbo-diesel as also used in Santa Fe. Highlander is diesel-only, though petrol and two-wheel-drive variants are in the model range.

The Highlander steps off the line promptly and offers lively throttle response thereafter. It’s a smooth operator, with only a little clatter at idle and low engine speeds, more apparent from cold, to remind that you are running with diesel power. The standard six-speed auto shifts smoothly with well chosen ratios.

The maker claims suspension tune has been optimised for Australian conditions. However ride in our test car with its 18”, 55 series rubber was taut and over speed bumps and sharp edged road irregularities felt uncivil. Other models with 17” wheels may ride better.

The lack of steering reach adjustment and no driver’s seat cushion tilt made it hard to get an ideal driving position. Otherwise, the interior layout has a modern and friendly feel with decent space.

Highlander’s torque-proportioning all-wheel-drive system features a driver switchable centre diff lock for constant 50/50 torque split and a hill descent control system. It’s not a go anywhere off-roader but is up to a some adventure off the blacktop.
Hyundai ix35 Highlander 2010


Performance, smoothness, cabin layout and space


No steering reach adjustment, ride quality, no bluetooth

Key features

Climate control, 18” alloys, panoramic glass sunroof, 6-way power driver’s seat plus electric lumbar adjust, leather trim, six-CD stacker, rear view camera, auto-dimming rear view mirror, heated front seats, push button start and proximity entry, alarm


Anti-lock brakes, electronic brake distribution, brake assist, stability and traction control, front seatbelt pre-tensioners and load limiters, and dual front, front side and front and rear curtain airbags

Car Details

Vehicle make Hyundai
Vehicle model IX35 Highlander
Vehicle type SUV Under $40,000
Year 2010
Price when new $37,990 MLP
Current price range $ - $

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Approved Repairers

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Engine 2.0-litre, CRD 4-cyl
Max power 135 kW @ 4000rpm
Max torque 392 Nm @ 1800-2500rpm
Acceleration to 100 km/h 9.5 sec
Braking from 80 km/h 24.8 m
Economy ADR 7.5 litres/100 km
Emissions rating
3 out of 5 stars

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This review is based on road testing conducted by The Road Ahead. Further vehicle reviews, in-depth comparisons and coverage of consumer motoring issues can be found in the Club's magazine. Prices listed were current at the time of review and are manufacturers list prices and do not include statutory and delivery charges. Prices can vary from time to time and dealer to dealer.