Should I buy a Hyundai ix35 SE or Elite?

2015 Hyundai ix35

QUESTION

I'd like your comments on the Hyundai i35 as I am looking to buy one. I'm just undecided whether to get the Special Edition which has full leather interior and no satellite navigation.

They say its $2500 to get GPS installed. Or we could buy the Elite version which has leather and cloth seats and a satellite navigation The special Edition is just over $30,000 the Elite is nearly $36,000.

Also are they a good car mechanically and performance wise and would I be getting value for money.

ANSWER

In my view the ix35 is a great vehicle. Specifically of interest to most potential owners:

  • Excellent value for money
  • Great warranty (5yrs/unlimited kilometres)
  • Terrific service interval (12mths/15,000km - means only one service annually for average drivers)
  • Excellent reliability

I don’t, however, believe the commercial situation is as you describe it. (I’m suggesting the dealership might be bullshitting you. not that you are mis-representing what you’ve been told.)

Hyundai ix35 SE -Vs- Hyundai ix35 Elite

HYUNDAI ix35 SE
$32,190 (rrp)
(FWD petrol auto)

2015 Hyundai ix35 1.jpg

Additional to ix35 Active:
17-inch alloy wheels
Auto-dimming centre rear vision mirror
Reversing camera
Heated front & rear seats
'Leather' seats
Premium steering wheel and shifter knob
Privacy glass
Electric folding side mirrors
Projector headlamps
Dusk sensing headlamps
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HYUNDAI ix35 ELITE
$33,590 (rrp)
(FWD petrol auto)

2015 Hyundai ix35 2.jpg

Standard Features:
17-inch alloy wheels
Auto-dimming centre rear vision mirror
Reversing camera
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Part 'leather' seats
Premium steering wheel and shifter knob
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Projector headlamps
Dusk sensing headlamps
Front fog lamps
GPS sat-nav with 7" touchscreen
Dual-zone climate control air conditioning
Proximity key with pushbutton start
Chrome handles & grille
Electric driver's seat adjustment
Cargo net

List price on an ix35 SE is $32,190 (fWD, petrol, auto). This is before on-road costs. List price on an ix35 Elite (FWD, petrol, auto) is $33,590. You need to understand that the SE is front-wheel drive only (except in diesel) while the Elite can be had in front-drive or AWD (all-wheel drive). It costs $2400 to go to an AWD Elite from a FWD elite (but you also get a bigger petrol engine). Fundamentally in these things it's a good idea to make an apples-for-apples comparison in important areas (such as the powertrain) so you can see what the additional funds are really getting you, and whether or not that represents good value.

Dealerships are notorious for trying to nudge you one way or the other based on the cars they have in stock now. (They’re the ones the dealer has bought, and the interest is burning a hole in his pocket…)

So what I’m suggesting is the actual difference between SE and Elite, in an apples-for-apples sense, is $1400. And for that you get cloth/leather as opposed to full leather in SE (actually in both cases some of the leather is fake when you read the fine print: "Leather appointed seats means parts of the seats have a combination of genuine and artificial leather, but are not wholly leather” That’s from Hyundai’s website…

On the plus side: with Elite you get climate control dual-zone air conditioning, sat-nav with seven-inch touch screen, chrome door handles and grille, proximity key, driver’s electric seat adjustment and a cargo net, etc. However, you also miss out on some features in SE, which are only available also in the range-topping 'Premium' ix35 (such as privacy glass, electric folding door mirrors and heated seats).

It's a judgement call based largely on personal preferences, but on balance, that Elite variant seems like it comes with a lot of additional gear for $1400 to me. The suggestion that they would charge you $2500 to get sat-nav fitted is a joke (I am 90 per cent sure it won’t be a genuine Hyundai unit). It’ll probably be a $1200 aftermarket unit that they’ll mark up by 100 per cent for the pleasure of facilitating the installation on your behalf. And, in any case, if you spend $1400 and opt for the equivalent (powertrain) in the Elite, the vehicle will come with genuine sat-nav, and a bunch of other stuff for about half the price the dealership quoted you for aftermarket sat-nav.

If I were you I would decide what vehicle I wanted. Start with the powertrain. (Petrol, auto, front wheel drive, for example - I say this because you are considering an ix35 SE with front-wheel drive, therefore FWD must be OK for you. If it’s just going to be a car, FWD is fine.) Then decide if the extra $1400 for the Elite represents good value for you. Then go in search of that car. Asking a car salesman for advice is a mistake. He probably just needed to get rid of an AWD Elite that was in stock. I suspect this misrepresentation of the price is a sales technique designed to nudge you in the direction of a car the dealer already has in stock.

If that’s the case, this is a good time to remember he’s the tail and you’re the dog, not the other way around.

If you need a seven-seat SUV, check out my report on the best seven seater SUVs >>. There's also my review of the Mazda CX-5 >>. It was recently facelifted, and one of the best entrants in the five-seat SUV class. Also of interest - with feet in both the five- and seven-seat camps - is the newly refreshed Mitsubishi Outlander >> and the Nissan X-TRAIL >>. And a reader's question on buying the Hyundai ix35, Mazda CX-5 or (of all things) a BMW X3 >>

Click the red link below and I'll get the brokerage to call you ASAP. They are independent professionals who will get you the best price on your new ix35 SE or Elite. They can also help with (if required) a good trade-in and/or competitive, low-rate business and personal car finance.

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