The Compact SUV segment is one of the hottest segments out there today, with competition increasing like never before, and with sales increasing by the day, this segment is definitely one, the top automobile manufacturers would not want to miss out on. Top players in the automobile industry like Ford and Renault already have their contenders in this segment and now it looks like Hyundai is going to bring the competition to them. Hyundai has confirmed that they will be entering the compact SUV segment by next year and their contender for this segment was first revealed at the Beijing Auto Show this year and has since then been spotted a number of times on the road undergoing camouflaged testing.
The Hyundai ix25 is one car which has never been camera-shy. It has been spotted many times, in India, in South Korea and in China while on test, and every-time it was spotted, it gave out yet another clue to what kind of equipment could be on offer with this car. It was spotted in South Korea, where the tail-lamp design was given out when the LED tail-lamp lit up at a signal, and in India it was spotted testing alongside a Ford Ecosport and a Renault Duster, showing that the Hyundai engineering team was doing everything they could, to ensure that the ix25 will be better than its two main rivals.
Under the camouflage was a beautifully designed compact SUV, whose design was based on the latest Hyundai family design language. And was later revealed at the Chengdu Auto Show, where Hyundai showcased the production version of the ix25 after testing it for a couple of months. The boffins at Hyundai had not made any major design change on the Production version when compared to the pre-production concept earlier displayed at the Beijing Auto Show.
The design on the exterior followed the Hyundai family design language and one can easily identify the ix25 as a Hyundai from a distance. Up front , the car has swept-back headlamps with integrated LED daytime running lights. The three-slat grille really gives it a mature look with the bumper adding some muscle to the design. From the side profile, the car looks very neat indeed and features Diamond cut alloy wheels and the roof slanting downwards towards the rear. It features LED tail lamps at the rear and unlike the Ford Ecosport, the rear of the car looks very tidy and clean indeed. There will be a sport version of the car too and this will feature changes to the front of the car and no other design changes.
After numerous spy shots of the interiors, the production version finally revealed what the interior of the ix25 looked like. The steering wheel design looks like that of the Verna, while that of the instrument console resembles that of the Elite i20. The center stack, comprising of the AC vents and music system, seems to be inspired by its elder sibling, the Hyundai Santa Fe, though certain parts (the AC controls for e.g.) are also seen on the Elite i20.Features on the inside include powered front seats, power folding wing mirrors, multifunction steering wheel, engine start/stop button, a touchscreen infotainment system. The functional dashboard on the display model at the Chengdu auto show was finished completely in black although the India-spec model would get a dual-tone treatment with beige. Other features include a differential lock, hill descent control, heated seats, rear AC vents, automatic climate control and a panoramic sunroof.
The ix25 measures 4,270 mm in length, 1,780 mm in width and 1,622 mm in height and has a wheelbase of 2,590 mm, which is very similar to the Renault Duster and the Nissan Terrano, which goes to show that the Hyundai ix25 has directly been targeted at these two cars.
The China-spec ix25 gets a pair of petrol engines, a 1.6-litre unit producing 125 PS (123.2 bhp) and a 2.0-litre mill delivering 160 PS (157.7 bhp). Hyundai Motor India Ltd. (HMIL) is expected to launch the compact SUV next year with a diesel engine option, which will either be the i20’s 1.4L Crdi unit or the Verna’s 1.6L Crdi unit. Both the diesel and the petrol are expected to be mated to a 6-speed manual transmission, and Hyundai might also consider launching it with the automatic transmission from the Verna as an option. The Chinese market will be getting both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive as options, it would make sense if Hyundai launched the AWD variant in India too, since its main rival, the Renault duster recently received an upgrade in the form of an AWD drivetrain, but it remains to be seen if Hyundai will launch the AWD version in India.
The compact crossover from Hyundai will rival the likes of the Renault Duster, Ford Ecosport and Nissan Terrano when it goes on sale sometime next year, and it is expected to be priced on similar lines as its rivals, if not cheaper.
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Image Credit – Auto 163