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Hyundai Tiburon



  • 5port5port Posts: 395

    I'm not a Tiburon owner (Elantra GT) but I think you got a great price for a new tib with 4cyl/5spd/no abs. I sat in a friends new tib with the 4 cyl/auto/shiftronic tranny. I also had very little head room (5'11"). She had the seat all the way up because she is short. I love the interior.

    As far as comments from people you are just going to have to develop a thick skin. Some peeps havent gotten past Hyundai's old rep and seem to want to perpetuate it. I've owned my GT for over a year now and its been one of the most reliable cars I've owned. Last car owned was a 94 Honda Civic Si. Enjoy your new Tib. Its got one hell of a body style!

  • My wife, who is a former Tiburon owner, overheard two people talking at Wal-Mart just yesterday:

    A: I just got my daughter a Hyundai
    B: Hyundai? I would never buy a Hyundai in my life.

    Another episode: One of my acquaintances whose father happens to be an engineer for Toyota, was telling everyone, including me, at a get-together about the inferiority of Korean cars. She didn't know that I owned a Korean car. I told her that I did and she said, "But Korean auto makers just copy Japanese cars." I thought that was ironic in that Japanese manufactures are the ones that have been famous for being copycats. Of course, they tend to improve what they copy to perfection and I don't see anything wrong with that.
  • dougndodougndo Posts: 132
    Our 2001 Super Silver Tib has about 28,000 mi. on it now. It's been in the shop once, for the notorious "check engine light/O2 sensor replacement" fix. That's it, and, of course, it was free.

    It took less than a day, so out of approximately 762 days of ownership, it's been in the shop 1 day. Based on that, I'd say it's not "in the shop all the time."

    I had Audi/Porsche/VW customers whose new cars were in the shop routinely for 1–3 days a month right from the beginning, and I'm not talking about getting the free oil changes. I'm talking about loose trim, knobs falling off, electrical problems, mechanical failure, finish problems, etc. To me, that qualifies as "in the shop all the time."
  • dougndodougndo Posts: 132
    Here's a few words of encouragement for all of us with last generation Tibs. Take an hour and give it a really thorough cleaning on the outside and see it come to life right before your eyes.

    I gave it a top to bottom wash using Meguiers and a washing mitt, then followed up with a soft towel drying. Man, what a difference when all the crud was gone. It was literally like polishing silver.

    My girlfriend takes the car through the car wash occasionally and thinks it's clean, but it's really just less dirty. Over time, a thin film of scum seems to build up, and I just have to carefully wash it all off by hand.

    The wheels are a special pain because they have some interesting crevices where the spokes meet the rims. I usually ruin a really good cleaning cloth getting them clean, but the result is worth it. They look great!

    Of course, afterward, the car's MPGs improve, it runs from 0–60 in 1.3 seconds less, its CD goes down by .3, and its skidpad performance goes up by .07g (or do I just imagine that?).
  • dougndodougndo Posts: 132
    I'm a little embarrassed to post three times in a row, but I don't want the topic to get EOL'd, so here goes.

    I noticed we were having an odd situation where the 2001 Tib's hatch would never close on the first try. Of course, on the second try I'd just close it harder, and it would latch.

    After about a week of this, I decided that it hadn't always been this hard to latch the darn thing, so I investigated. It turned out that the hard, sculpted privacy cover that swings up and down with the hatch had popped out of its pivot point on the right side. As a result, the cover wasn't seating properly, and it was obstructing the closing of the hatch. After reinserting it into the proper channel, we were back to one hand closing!

    (OK, not much of a deal, but it keeps the thread alive.)
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    I'm sure others passing through here will appreciate your tips.... Happy motoring!


    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host

  • Hi,

    I'm in the market for a tiburon... the only thing that's holding me back is never having owned a Hyundai before. Are there people out there that have had this car for a while, like rideraz and dougndo, that wouldn't mind commenting on their experience?

  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    In addition to the feedback here, you may also want to check out the Hyundai Tiburon consumer ratings in's New Vehicle Guide. Good luck with your decision. ;-)


    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host

  • dougndodougndo Posts: 132
    We've had two Tiburons "in the family" so to speak. The first was a 2000 Cobalt Blue Tib loaded with every conceivable option BUT with the 5 speed manual (by request). It was given to me by my company as an "executive car" to use; otherwise, frankly, I never would have picked it.

    I was so surprised by it and smitten with it, that I really put it through its paces, including LA city driving, LA freeway driving, and long haul trips through CA, NV, AZ, NM, and OR. It never let me down, was comfortable for me (5"11", 195 lbs.), and really was a blast to drive. When I changed jobs, I had to give it back (boo-hoo).

    Based on that experience, I convinced my girlfriend to consider the Tiburon for her new car, so she bought an equally loaded 2001 Super Silver with automatic (drat!), and we've commuted and traveled extensively in it, with several LA to SF runs in the process. As it nears 30,000, it's been nearly impeccable, except for a factory-replaced oxygen sensor.

    My other car is a 2001 Hyundai Sonata GLS leather with the V-6, an improved version of which is in the V-6 equipped Tiburons. The engine and car have been trouble free, except for a minor factory recall and an oxygen sensor replacement. (See a trend?)

    My OTHER other car is a 1989 Chrysler TC by Maserati, which is not nearly as good a car as either of the Hyundais, but I love her anyway.
  • stshanestshane Posts: 15
    I bought a 2003 Tiburon in May (GT-V6, leather, 5-speed, 17" rims, sunroof) and I have loved it. The only problem so far has been the sunroof, which was recalled anyway.
    When I bought mine I received 2 price quotes from the two Hyundai dealers in my area. One was for $300 under MSRP and the other for $500 under. I viewed both as great quotes, since the car had just came out in the area.
    I bought from the cheaper dealer and landed myself a Super Silver car. I had asked for either the silver, black, or blue. Red, white, and that awful Mystic Teal were definitely off my list (the blue seemed alright, but the more I looked at it the more of a purple tint it seemed to have). They ended up getting in the silver first so I went down and took a look at it. It was amazing! After inspecting the car I bought it.
    The car is stored for the winter (as I live in an area where I would have to get snow tires; the Michelin Pilot Sports that come standard are summer only tires). I love the car so far!
    The suspension is tightly sprung (too tight for some maybe) which leads to a sporty ride; the engine is willing (at higher RPMs it seems to need more air); and the overall fit and finish is the best Hyundai has offered yet.
    If you are wondering about getting this car just test drive one yourself.

    Pros: Tight suspension; 170-HP (corrected) V6; sporty seats; quality rubber on nice rims; nice quality interior materials

    Cons: Tight suspension; Infinity radio (with subwoofer) leaves more to be desired; high-RPM power fades; interior space (if carrying more than one passenger)

    previous vehicles: '88 Hyundai Excel; '90 Ford Probe GT (turbo); '88 Chevy Cavalier; '84 Chevy S-10 Blazer; '01 Chevy S-10 pick-up; '91 Nissan Sentra (winter car now)
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and glad to hear your Tiburon is serving you well! ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host
  • with Hyundai Tiburon news of any kind, OK? I am totally stricken with that car! I have a long commute(I drive a 2001 Kia Sportage 4x4 and love it)of 90 miles a day so the Tib I would probably buy would be the 2.0L 16 valve DOHC 4-banger coupled with a 5-speed manual tranny. I've test drove a 2003 4cyl 5-speed Tiburon twice and loved it both times. I'm looking to eventually trade for a Tiburon but can't because of what I now owe on my Sportage. Hey, if any of you know a dealer who gives awesome trade-in and other allowances on a trade-in let me know, OK? Hosts, can dealer names/cities be mentioned in here? It's cool if not-I've got a ways to go yet until I'm ready anyway. I may go for the GT-V6 because of the look of the 17-inch rims and the slant the car sits in with the larger wheels. Then again the 17-inch wheels could probably be put on the 4 cyl model that comes standard with 16 inch wheels, too. I just love the dynamic look of this sports car. I was perusing the net last night and found a site that said Hyundai is thinking of redesigning the new body style ALREADY! My vote would be to keep it just the way it is! =:)

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    Have you had a chance to check out the 2003 Tiburon articles and reviews in the Helpful Links on the left side of this page? ;-)

    You asked: "Hosts, can dealer names/cities be mentioned in here?

    As long as it's not a form of self promotion, it's okay to mention a dealership and city. We've been asking our members to not post too many specifics such as individual sales people's names, phone numbers, and emails addresses. If you want, you ask people to email you for more details....

    And in case you weren't aware, your email is private by default. You'll need to change that in user profile if you want people to contact you. Good luck with your purchase!

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host
  • My intent was to get some feedback on deals other '03 Tiburon owners received on trades when they bought at wherever they bought-even whatever city they lived in. I'd cruise somewhere else to trade-in for this sports car if a better deal could be had. Of course, I don't want to break Washington state law if that might break some kind of law. For instance, taking a road trip to Nevada in my Sportage to trade it in there for a new Tibby with better incentives and/or rebates, etc. That's where I was heading with that. Yeah, I've read the information you people have compiled on the 2003 Tiburon and I really picked up some great overall new style Tiburon facts there. I'm going to go back in there this weekend and see if I might have missed anything.

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • I have to replace the tires on my 2001 Tib. The stock michelins weren't particularly good tires to begin with, but had a V speed rating.

    The tires I'm thinking of getting are Yokahama Avid T4s...which have a T speed rating. Many tire shops are recommending against going down in speed rating, but I personally don't see the big deal -- I can't imagine driving over 118 mph.

    Any advice?
  • dougndodougndo Posts: 132
    I put Kumho Ecsta Supra tires on my girlfriend's 2001 Tib when we got tired of the Yokohamas that replaced the poorly performing Michelins. The Ecstas are directional V-rated tires (as were the Yokohamas we tried). They immediately did three things:

    1) Improved directional control.

    2) Improved handling.

    3) Made for a slightly stiffer and noisier ride (but not much).

    These tires made a big improvement over the Michelins and cost hundreds less for the set.
  • This goes out to iluvmysephia1 anyone thinking about buying a new car. This information is info that I have compiled from different sites and talking to others.

    1. Try to sell your car/truck to a third party (not the dealer). This will allow you to get the most money for your used car. Check pricing at or in Kelly Blue Book ( to make sure that you get what you should be getting, also you can check what dealers are paying for your car as well. Dealers have a tendency to offer a good trade-in, but then will not go as low on what they will take as an offer on the car you plan to buy.

    2. If you are trading-in try to negotiate all the pricing before you let them know what it is that you are trading-in. This will let you do all the haggling without them knowing how much you are getting off (from your trade-in). This basically puts you in the same situation as above (as if you are just coming in with a certain amount of money to put down). If this approach does work then make sure when it is trade-in time you get what you should for your car.

    3. Don't always go with dealer financing (if you are financing). After getting those good price quotes on my car and going to the dealership to buy, I asked what my loan rate would be. The sales person didn't want to talk rates, they wanted to just talk monthly payment. Don't get stuck in this game. My sales person was asking me what I could afford a month. The monthly payment they said was the lowest they could go was about $330/month. I asked what the loan rate was and they responded with 9.7%. This seemed a bit high to me, so I told them I would have to see what other rates I could get (I had already put a deposit on the car at this point). I went through AAA and ended up getting a rate of about 6.5%, this saved me over $30/month! I had to wait a bit longer to get the loan money, but it was well worth it to wait and save $1800 over the course of the loan.

    4. Never feel pressured. You as the buyer have the upper hand. You can walk at any time. Remember, you can always try to get dealerships to go against one another too.

    Be smart and good luck to all the shoppers out there.
  • I will look back at it when buying time gets closer-I'm not at all ready to trade the Sportage 4x4 in yet(or sell it myself) unless a deal I simply can't refuse presents itself! Congrats to you on your new 2003 Tiburon! I read some information from Tuscani Club members in Korea(they linked the information to an American Tiburon website)that Hyundai was already re-designing the new Tiburon bodystyle to something different. WHOA! Hold on boys! This one is great as it is. I'll try to find out more information about it. Have fun stshane with your silver sports car when you break it out again after winter. I would be having a hard time keeping it hidden in the garage I know that for sure!

    2008 Mitsubishi Lancer GTS

  • Well, my wife and I have now had the ole Tiburon since May of 2002. So far we have not had the full feel good satisfaction that we had hoped for. So far we have been through two 2003 Tiburons. Yes, I did say "Two". The first well let's not talk about that experience. I'll take one experience as just a dishonest dealer.
      This time around we after the return of the first Tiburon and we purchased the exact same car from another dealer, the GT-V6 6-speed with the works! We loved the lines of the car and the features of this car!!
      Thinking our problems were behind us with the first Tiburon we get disturbed with the bad news of the mistake made on the Horsepower. Man did this set a bad tune for us again. I don't feel like I got what I paid for. This is a BIG Mistake!! It's a misrepresentation of a material fact in advertisement. Have made several phone calls to the hyundai department reguarding that because the options just weren't up to par. Especially since we now have turned 23k miles on our Tiburon. The warranties offered are a no win situation for us! I have called 4 different times after the notice only to get promised a call back. I finally had enough promises and now am resorting to writing the department in hopes of finding some accord & satisfaction on this BIG mistake. This is only the first problem... as you well know my title is 1, 2 now going on 3 sets of tires.
      As stated before we have just turned 23k miles. Within the first 5k miles our Michelin tires are completely bald! We have taken our car to the nearest dealer for rotations and alignment checks because the car was pulling to the right, but are told that the alignment is just fine and that the balance of the tires were less than an ounce off thus causing the pull. Well ok that sounds logical, but the bad news is we still have to replace the tires in with just 10k miles on the car. So we do so with the same rated Yokohama. These tires are great for a smoothe ride, but hey guess what! Yup you guessed it they are going balder than a 90 year old man again this time within another 10k miles!! Again a same story, checked the alignment again with the dealer and the balancing, this time everything is reporting perfect! They state there are no problems with the alignment nor the balance and was given the reason that the tires treads are just so soft that they are made to wear fast. Ok this sounds acceptable(I don't know a lot about cars). So this I look for a tire with a warranty. I don't know about you but I can't aford 4 high priced tires every 3 months!! Yes, you are right you can't get the same rated tires with warranty. I go down to a H-rated tire with a 45k mile warranty just to save a lot of $$. Guess what we take our tire in for a slow leak in a tire due to a unrepairable nail in the sidewall that are covered by the certificates, but when we take the car back in to Discount they tell us that our treads are half way gone! We have not had the tires more than 3k miles!! These H-rated tires are harder and not soft like those Michelins or Yoko's plus they have a 45k mile warranty. Discount reps tell us that there is definitely something wrong with the car going through 3 sets of tires in less than 25k miles. They first asked the normal question of is the car pulling, have you checked the alignment etc etc, but we have not had trouble with any pulling or otherwise. They are adament that there is something wrong with the design of the car or with the car itself. I am lost! Do I turn to the Hyundai Corp for another shrug off again? I am still trying to take care of the Horsepower issue!! I am looking for other owner experiences or suggestions or anything ya'll have heard. Please Help!!

  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I don't quite understand what your beef is with the horsepower rating. The Tiburon V6 accelerates from 0-60 in 7.3 seconds regardless whether the engine is rated at 181 or 170. This is within 0.2 sec of the performance of the Eclipse GT with 200 horses. You can keep up nose-to-nose with a car with 30 more horsepower than your own, so how can you feel like you didn't get your money's worth? You were fine with the way the car performed when you bought it right? The car hasnt suddenly lost any performance, only your "perception" of a number on a sticker. I seriously doubt you wouldn't have bought the car had the sticker read 170 instead of 181. Think about it. And how is the extended warranty not useful? If anything, it should lower your concerns over long-term reliability.

    As for the tires, a lot of variables will affect tire life. Are the tires wearing evenly? If they are, than your wheel alignment isn't off and that is not to blame. Tire pressure plays a big role. What psi are you keeping the tires at and do you check them often? What speeds do you normally drive at and do u take corners semi-fast? Answer these questions in more detail and maybe we can decipher what the cause of your problem is.
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