2023 Author: Eric Donovan | [email protected]. Last modified: 2023-05-21 15:44
Hyundai has a remarkable all-wheel drive tradition. But instead of the robust Terracan, the Koreans now love it a class more chic. The ix55 is itself an American by the name of Veracruz.
By Stefan Zaumseil and Stefan Grundhoff
Whoever came up with the idea of the new nomenclature at Hyundai - it is difficult to understand. Especially when it comes to off-road vehicles, Hyundai had a lucky hand with models such as Terracan, Santa Fe and Tucson and the name Veracruz for the brand's 4x4 flagship can also be heard. But the 4.84 meter long SUV only goes by the model name Veracruz in its adopted home USA. In Europe, an ix55 logo is stuck on the lush tailgate. Hyundai is no longer just a small car. The Koreans have impressively demonstrated this with successful models in recent years. Now, as the German manufacturers are starting to feel like doing small and medium-sized off-road crossovers, Hyundai is confidently knocking on a class higher. Not only in view of its dimensions,but also with regard to the motorization, they no longer want to hide in the forest compared to the luxury SUVs from Audi, Mercedes and BMW.
In terms of design, the ix55 looks pleasing, but impressively inconspicuous. Similar to the Audi Q5 from the classes below, the model appears more as a high-quality family station wagon than as an off-road vehicle. The days of a robust Terracan climbing maxi are over. The ix55 shows the self-confidence of the Koreans more clearly than any other vehicle from our own production. “We assume that the trend towards smaller cars will continue”, says Hyundai Germany managing director Walter H. Frey, “but we wanted the ix55 as the brand's top-of-the-line model in Germany as well. »
People in this country are particularly proud of the engine. In the development process there was repeatedly feedback to Korea that a particularly powerful diesel was needed for the European and especially the German market. The wishes were heard. The three-liter common rail diesel with six cylinders, which has just been developed in the development center in Rüsselsheim, whispers gently and 176 KW / 239 PS sounds powerful on first contact. But the manageable torque of 451 Nm and an opulent curb weight of 2.3 tons already show that there is no powerhouse at work under the bonnet.
After a few kilometers, the first impression that the engine offers a decent mixture solidifies. But for such a large device like the ix55 you are simply more used to the strong competition in Europe. The six-speed automatic takes the Korean noticeably into the drive.
This also explains the extremely tired sprint in measured eleven seconds from 0 to 100 km / h. After all, the ix55 encourages you to slow down cruising. The average consumption leveled off at 10.8 liters of diesel per 100 kilometers. One and a half liters more than the factory specification. The top speed of the 2.3-tonner is also not a record: a tough 203 km / h. It is also annoying that the wound noises increase significantly from 130 km / h.
Weaknesses in the interior
The model focus on the main American market is also evident in the interior. The workmanship is decent, but the operation is very down-to-earth. Where a large multifunctional screen for navigation, automatic air conditioning, sound system and other things is expected in this class, there is a normal radio and an Asian-style air conditioning control. As a competitor of Audi, BMW, Volvo and Mercedes you cannot afford that.
The missing seat height adjustment on the passenger side and other operating weaknesses are atypical in this class and dilute the good impression. The Hyundai also avoids the assistance systems typical of the class. ESP, ABS and airbags are on board. But that's about it. Distance cruise control, overtaking assistant and an air spring or electronic dampers for high loads or motorway journeys are not even available for an extra charge. The ix55 also holds back when it comes to loading. A maximum of 560 kilograms is not a lot, because there is space for seven people and some luggage. Seriously, you can only expect the interior to be five occupants.
The 598 liter luggage compartment was intended to serve what its name meant. The two jump seats should stay where they belong: under the loading floor. After all, the chassis was adapted to European standards. The steering is too indirect, but the suspension comfort is beyond most doubts. However, not only in fast corners does a noticeable side tilt become noticeable.
In addition, the all-wheel drive reacts extremely slowly with the variable power transmission to the rear axle. In addition, a maximum of 50 percent of the force goes backwards. In normal driving, the ix55 is little more than a front-wheel drive.
Price as the biggest weakness
The Hyundai ix55's biggest weakness is its price. For the fully equipped luxury version called “Premium”, 46,990 euros is a fair price in itself. But even before the ix55 was available at Hyundai dealers at the beginning of summer, many EU importers were offering the Korean flagship model for barely more than 30,000 euros. Gone are the days when these euro-saver versions only had a lean equipment and no particle filter.
And in this league, many customers do not want to gondola through world history with a TomTom navigation system on the windshield. But at least the DVD system with a rear view camera should be available soon. Hyundai would do well to include it in the standard scope. In addition, you should treat yourself to the large panoramic roof for 1090 euros for a pleasant interior atmosphere. Otherwise, the standard equipment with electric tailgate, xenon light and electric leather seats is extremely complete.