Getting a number of well measured cosmetic and functional revamps, the 2014 Hyundai ix35 Crossover/SUV made its first appearance in Geneva. If the ix35 looks a bit familiar, it's because Hyundai markets this 5-passenger compact people mover here as the Tucson. While the is35's enhancement efforts all emanated from the Hyundai Motor Europe Technical Center in Rüsselsheim, Germany, and are reportedly aimed at pleasing Euro buyers, it seems likely that at least some also will also turn up on its American counterpart.

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The most obvious -- albeit still subtle -- changes to the updated ix35 are seen in the front and rear fascias treatments where a restyled grille and new lighting elements add a bit more interest. For the first time, the ix35 will come with LED running lights and offer optional bi-xenon headlamps. A new range of 17- and 18-inch alloy wheels also add a bit more spark. The ix35's cabin gets a similar dose of new, courtesy of improved materials and trim elements, upgraded audio and navigation packages paired with a larger 7.0-inch LCD center display plus options that include a new 4.2-inch Supervision Cluster instrument display and a heated steering wheel.

Arguably the most significant upgrade to the package is found underhood. To help boost performance and efficiency, the new ix35 trades its current 2.0-liter Theta II 4-cylinder engine for the automaker's more advanced direct-injected 2.0-liter Nu alternative that offers greater power and torque. It also adds Hyundai's Flex Steer system that offers the choice of Normal/Comfort/Sport settings. Hyundai has yet to comment on how these ix35-specific changes will impact the 2014 Tucson when it does arrive here later this year.


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