Dear Hyundai, we want the ix35 to look like the Intrado
IN MANY ways, it must be hard for a manufacturer to replace a successful model.
Take our long-term test Hyundai ix35 for example. Sure, it has and continues to sell like hot cakes, firming its place at the top of Australia's small SUV class.
But facelifts and then next generation replacements will always be necessary to stay fresh, and earlier this year we saw some veiled spy shots of what should be the 2015 ix35.
What the pictures suggest, beyond a few other things, is a decent amount of up-sizing.
There seems to be a tendency for manufacturers to always go "bigger and better" than what's gone before, sometimes at the risk of forgetting the model's original raison d'etre.
In my mind, if the ix35 gets any bigger, it'll move up from the small SUV segment and face completely different opposition. There was even speculation that the next gen ix35 could be offered with a seven-seat option, but where would that leave its big brother Santa Fe in the Hyundai range?
It all seems a bit unduly complicated, but who am I to argue with the marketing men of these billion-dollar companies?
Having lived with the ix35 for 11,000km - practically making me a customer - I'd not want for any increase in size.
There have been a few times when I'd have preferred a bit more space for carting bits of furniture around, but I'm sure even Toyota LandCruiser owners go through this. These are family vehicles not removal trucks of course.
I'd consider it far wiser to keep the ix35 the size it is and give current customers a decent reason to upgrade to a new model.
And for that, I give you the Hyundai Intrado concept. This striking work of angles, muscles and style was shown at the Geneva Motor Show in March, and got me all excited about Hyundai's possible future design direction.
Best of all, it looks like the Intrado sticks to the ix35's dimensions, namely compact enough to stay sleek and attractive, but high riding and tough to confirm that active lifestyle look owners pine for.
With one kiddie in the back and either a pushchair or a couple of road bikes in the boot, the current ix35's size suits my lifestyle just fine.
Call me conservative, but why not keep it the same for the next gen ix35? That keeps things nice and clear for we punters, and if you're listening Hyundai, we'd love something that looks like the Intrado in the showrooms if you'd be so kind.