Price Range
Recently Listed
Seller Location
Radius (km)

Hull Material
Length (m)
Length (ft)
Find Dealers
Seller Location
Radius (km)
Dealer Name or Keywords

Tow vehicle: Hyundai ix35 CRDi Elite

BY: David Linklater

Date: 12.08.2011

It may take its styling cues from a sports car, but Hyundai’s ix35 is at home offroad. With its high-tech gadgets and luxury equipment, it may be just the ticket for towing smaller boats to destination “x”

Tow vehicle: Hyundai ix35 CRDi Elite
Tow vehicle: Hyundai ix35 CRDi Elite

  • Impressive R-series diesel and six-speed transmission
  • Extremely roadworthy steering and chassis
  • Lots of luxury equipment

Hyundai's previous mid-size crossover, the Tucson, had an adventurous name and smart but functional styling. Its replacement, the ix35, has adopted a sophisticated moniker and wears outrageously curvaceous styling that owes more to sports cars than rugged offroaders.

The top Elite model tested here even comes loaded with high-tech gadgets and luxury equipment like full iPod connectivity, keyless entry/start, a reversing camera hidden in the rear vision mirror and full leather upholstery.

All things considered, you might assume that the ix35 is much less suited to towing than its predecessor.

We reckon you'd be wrong. Sure, the ix35 has upped its game on style, quality and equipment, but that's not been to the detriment of its ability to tow a boat, at least compared with the trusty Tucson.

Engine and power

The ix35 is still only a mid-sizer. But a tow rating of 1600kg braked is respectable for a vehicle of this compact size, and the key attraction of the ix35 for the keen haulers out there will be the muscular new turbo-diesel engine option.

Essentially a slightly smaller version of the R-series engine fitted to the next-size-up Santa Fe, the ix35's 2.0-litre boasts 392Nm of torque from just 1800rpm (and holds it at that level right through until 2500rpm). That's a lot of low-down grunt for a power plant of this size and makes towing a fuss-free experience – especially when you factor in the slick six-speed automatic gearbox.

Performance and handling

Most ix35 models are also all-wheel drive – on-demand for normal driving, which means that the software detects wheel spin up front and automatically feeds torque to the back when required. You can also lock the system into a 50/50 torque split should the going get truly slippery.

The Elite also gets a hill-hold feature and hill descent control, which uses the anti-lock braking system to automatically limit speed on steep downhill stretches (mostly for light-duty offroad work).

Of course, the ix35 is not primarily a workhorse. It's a family wagon that's deliberately tailored towards good on-road manners, ride comfort and overall practicality. And these are the areas in which the little Hyundai excels. The strong diesel engine makes for relaxed open-road motoring and the car-like monocoque chassis ensures capable handling, even if it's no sports car; the nose pushes wide in tight corners and the steering is short on feel.

There's no doubt that the ix35 takes Hyundai upmarket in terms of cabin build quality. It's pretty blingy in places, with lots of silver trim, and there's a lot of unyielding plastic around the dashboard, but it's hard not to be impressed by the car's interior style and ergonomics. The driving position and passenger seating are pleasingly high, although the high waistline compromises rear-seat visibility. That's the price of high style.

Hyundai has certainly come a long way from the “cheap and cheerful” status it enjoyed a decade ago. The ix35 could even be considered something of an “it car” for 2010 – Hyundai is now a very strong brand and there's an aura of glamour surrounding its newest model that makes it a genuine rival for the likes of the Toyota RAV4, and even European crossovers like the Volkswagen Tiguan.

But what's that – still not enough towing muscle for you? No drama. The flagship ix35 CRDi Elite tested here is a highly impressive vehicle but costs a heady $53,990. For $1000 less you could step into the entry level (but substantially larger) petrol-powered Santa Fe and attach 2000kg to your towbar. Nice to have the choice.

See the Hyundai ix35 for sale on Autotrader.


Towing capacity 1600kg braked
Power 135kW @ 4000rpm
Torque 392Nm @ 1800-2500rpm
Transmission Six-speed automatic
Fuel economy 7.5 litres per 100km
Length 4410mm
Width 1820mm
Height 1655mm
Seating capacity Five
Luggage capacity 729kg

Featured Listings

  • Refcode: DIY462234
  • Class: Power
  • Usage: Family
  • Hull Material: Fibreglass
  • Length - metres: 10.5
  • Length - feet: 34.45

Popular gulf cruiser, nice condition. Launched 1990 GRP construction 200 Hp Volvo with stern drive. Ph 09 4248574 evenings. Maintenance/repairs (all done professionally) two owners reluctantly selling

Manly, Auckland
CALL NOW: 094248574
  • Refcode: DIY482211
  • Class: Power Trailer Boats
  • Usage: Leisure
  • Hull Material: Fibreglass
  • Length - metres: 4.79
  • Length - feet: 15.7

308 Holden V8, Hamilton 752 jet unit with hyd reverse & Sth Canterbury jets steering nozzle, heat exchanger, sand trap, bilge pump, U/f fuel tank, ski pole, bait board, Garmin GPS 421s combo, fire ext, new seats & recovered squabs, new hei electronic distributor, Holly 600 vac secondary, A17 Multi roller trailer with brakes

Buckland, Auckland
CALL NOW: 021 155 2283
  • Refcode: TADPLBo61851
  • Class: Power
  • Usage: Leisure
  • Hull Material: Fibreglass
  • Length - metres: 5.79
  • Length - feet: 19

Maxum 19' Cabin (1988) An older Boat in very good condition with a newer motor. Winter special reduced to clear. Image Gallery Standard Features: -Marine Mechanical Steering -Navigation Lights -Passengers Back to Back Seat -Rod Holders -Boarding Platform -S/S Bow Rail -Side Pocket Storage -Twin Rear Seats -Upholstered Front Bunks -100 Litre under floor tank (approx) -Aft Cleats -Bilge Pump -Bow Sprit -Cabin Light -Walk thru windscreen -Fully Lined and Carpeted Cabin -Internal Grab Rails -Front Hatch Warranty - Power: 140hp Mercury V6 Oil Injected - 2004 -Stainless Steel Propeller -Tachometer -Freshwater Flushing Device -Trim Meter -Fuel Gauge -Hour Gauge -Internal Oil Sump -Marine Battery and Box -Remote Control Box and Cables -Speedo Warranty - 3 Months Trailer: Factory Multi-Roller - 1988 -Jockey Wheel -Registration and WOF -Single Axle -Submersible Lights -Tie Downs Options Fitted: -Compass -Anchor and warp -Fishfinder -Road Cover -Ski Pole -Auxiliary Bracket -VHF Radio with Aerial -Fire Extinguisher -Storage Cover -Deck Carpet -Sun Canopy

Christchurch, Canterbury Mr Boats - Christchurch
CALL NOW: 03 7413204