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2003 Hyundai Tiburon ( GT V6 and Base Styles)

revkarevka Posts: 1,750
edited March 2014 in Hyundai
In order to enhance your experience here at Town Hall, be sure to check out the Additional Resources and Helpful Links on the left side of the page. In our Helpful Links, you'll find direct links to other Hyundai Tiburon discussions, articles, and features. Also, keep your eyes open for new items to be posted in that area. Happy motoring!

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  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    My dealer has only one 03 Tiburon on their lot. It's a beautiful dark maroon GT with the 17" rims. The car looks absolutely gorgeous! This is one of the few car designs out there that really grabs my attention. I'm gonna take a closer look at it when I pick up my Accent from service later today. We'll see whether they are already adding any markup to it.
  • jaserbjaserb Posts: 858
    I stopped by the dealer and looked at the new Tibs today. They have 2, both V6. One is a red automatic, the other is a black "UltraSports Package 2" - ie, leather, V6, 6-Spd. Some impressions after chatting with the salesman (the same guy who sold us our Santa Fe, coincidentally):

    1. The car looks stunning in person. Both black and red were far better looking than the white one I saw at the auto show. I'd like to see silver and blue in person, also.

    2. The black interior looked okay, but I'd prefer a different color. I like the gray leather in the Elantra GT better, even though it's not perforated like the Tib and the Santa Fe. I'd like to see the cloth, since that's what I'd really prefer.

    3. The "6" in the "GT-V6" emblem is red. On the red car, you can't see it from more than 4 feet away, so the car looks like a "Tiburon GT-V". Not a big deal, just weird.

    4. (biggest gripe) - You have to select certain options packages to get ABS. Specifically (according to both and you have to select either:
    Base (4-cyl) Tiburon - 5-spd or Auto. You can only get ABS with the sunroof.
    V6 - Auto - YOU CAN'T GET ABS?!?
    V6 - 5 speed - You can get ABS only in the "Sprint" package, which includes cloth seats.
    V6 - 6 speed - You can only get ABS in "UltraSports Package 3", including sunroof, big dumb spoiler, and leather.

    Bottom line: I really like the car. If I could get ABS with the 6-speed it would be a very tempting package. As it is, the sprint package is pretty appealing. But why not just make ABS standard across the line, or at least make it a stand alone, $500 option? Having sat in a Tiburon with the sunroof at the auto show, it definitely cuts into the limited head room.

  • jaserbjaserb Posts: 858
    Looking at the MPG ratings: How does this car get worse mileage than the Santa Fe? My FWD Santa Fe is rated at 19/26 - slightly better than the 18/26 for the 6-speed Tiburon. With the same engine and 500 lbs less weight, how is this possible?
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    of the 2003 Hyundai Tiburon is now available. Look for a direct link to this review in the Helpful Links on the left side of the page. Thanks for your comments.

    Hatchbacks & Station Wagons Boards
  • jaserb: Only one color interior in the base cars (black cloth)but the one I saw was very nice, kinda classy too. The cloth pattern/design is a lot like my son's proto5, very well done & seems to be of a higher quality than the 2001 cars.

    I wish they will offer the 6 speed in the base 4 cyl cars. I have 2001 5 speed and it really needs a higher "top cog" for more relaxed cruising @ 70mph. Turning @ 3500rpm sounds a little busy, tho smoothe. My Tib has leather but in this Florida climate it probably is not the best choice as it gets a little clammy on those 100 degree/90% humidity days. Otherwise I think my 2003 will be a automatic. I do a LOT of driving and tho I like the 5 speed fun factor it's time to go auto for me. Never drove a 4 cyl A/T so if it's too tame I guess a V6 A/T will have to do.

    ingtonge18: You bet your bippy they are marking-up the MSRP ! here in Fla they are averaging about $2000 over plus the usual add-ons, wax, pin stipes, "gold" pkg etc.

    hudrahead :)
  • dougndodougndo Posts: 136
    Well, I got into a pretty blue 2003 GT-V6 for a test run today. For overall performance, you can't ignore the improvement a V-6 makes over an I-4, and the six speed manual is a nice touch for ekeing out a bit more fun. However, the car actually seemed less poised to me than the 2001 version, as though the car wasn't quite up to holding the V-6. I wonder if the four banger will have a better feel.

    Also, it seems like the six speed is too much for the engine, or perhaps the engine is too little for the transmission. Five gears really would be enough. At times I thought I could be much more effective with one less gear and occasionally would just skip a gear so I wouldn't waste so much time. (Experiment with this; it's fascinating to see the effect on performance AND on the salesman if he rides along.)

    The over all impression is of a really nice car, but not a great one. It feels as though it could be a great car, but it's not. Maybe you could tune it yourself to make it something special, or maybe Hyundai will sweeten it a little in Version 2.

    The interior was a bit of a disappointment. It has a lot of odd bits that don't merge into a harmonious whole. I was especially irked by all the dummy covers that filled useless holes. Yet, I'd have to say that the quality of materials is good, and the fit and finish of several areas, like the hatch area, is very good. On the other hand, the moonroof cover rattled and vibrated constantly.

    The infinity stereo was good, but again, not great. Maybe the head unit was the problem; you can't get a lot out of the speakers because the controls are very limited. Of course, I'm comparing it to an aftermarket unit in my Sonata, but I think you could do a lot more with those speakers with a better head.

    Anyway, I feel I can definitely wait. There's no rush to get one. I want to see how the car fares in its first year and see if Hyundai makes any improvements or tweaks after 12 mos. or so.

    One final note: the dealer had a $5000 mark up on the car, so it was priced at $25,492. It would have to be a much, much better car before I'd pay that kind of money. At $20,492, it's worth looking at. At $25+, it's a bad joke. When will these dealers get real?
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Well, by the time I picked up my Accent, the 03 Tib had disappeared! Either it was sold or someone at the dealer drove it home. I knew I should have looked at it when I had the chance, but I wanted to make sure I caught the shuttle ride and it was too cold to be looking at cars. Oh well, I don't want to get all excited about the Tib anyway as I'm in no rush to buy a new car. Hyundai just put a brand new clutch on my 00 Accent under warranty, so my car is half new again, and I just bought a toy last weekend (a 92 Miata, what a fun car!). It may be awhile before I get another chance to check the Tib out as my dealer has terrible selection. I have only seen them carry 1 Elantra GT since they came out! .
  • hey guys I got these from my cousin in Korea...



    don't know if you can post pictures in forums....


  • Those Tuscani badges caugt my attention! Wish we had those badges here! I hate all aftermarket thingies in general, so the overly large spoils and those body moldings do now appeal to me ^_^
  • The two biggest complaints seem to be understeer and a ride bordering on rough. Well, how's the four cylinder? And how's that five-speed that it's mated with? Is that the exact carry-over from the last Tibby (heard bad things)? All the reviewers have been driving the six cylinder / six speed models, and it seems most (if not all) complaints would cease to exist on the cheaper model (though a slower car).
  • stretchsje: For my purposes the 4 cyl is just fine. Since I do 95% highway driving the 5 speed is ok. However, the gearing is a tad too low and the revs @ 70mph are 3500rpm which is a little "busy", tho smoothe and realitively quiet (for a sport coupe type vehicle), I mean it's no Lexus in that dept. but OK. I have never driven a AT Tibby so I don't know if they are geared for more relaxed cruising or not. I think the 6 speed would be a welcome option on the four but I don't think they plan to offer it.

    Not had a chance yet to drive a 2003 four or six so cannot comment on the difference between the two. IMHO the four will be adequate for the average driver. The drive train is mostly a carry-over from the 2001's on the fours so I think there may not be much difference at all tho they did lengthen the WB and tweeked the suspension on both the four and six. The 16" wheels will no doubt help handling in any case.

    The 2003 is a knock out looker for sure. I think Hyundai is being a little optimistic saying they think 80% of sales will be the GT. Personally I don't think the little bit of performance you'll get from the V6 is worth the extra money unless you are a "boy racer" type (not me for sure). IF I do trade for a 2003 It'll be a four banger with AT this time.

    hudrahead :) :)
  • So the real question is- has the gearing for the 5 speed changed? I read the old 5-speed wasn't mechanically a very good tranny, but don't remember that statement being supported in any way. Comments?
  • stretchsje: I wonder just what "they" meant by not good ? Probably the shifter. It is not as precise as it could be, I agree, but the tranny otherwise, syncros, smoothe feel seem ok to me. I have heard comments about the "whine" in reverse. Every one I've driven has this characteristic as do a lot of other cars as well. Seems to be of no concern. Doesn't bother me either. lists a "short throw" shifter kit so it may tighten up any sloppiness in the shifter. I thought I'd get a 5 speed just for fun when I got the 2001 but I guess my age and laziness has me leaning towards a AT next time around. Makes it a lot easier to handle that coffee and Dunkin Donut in the mornings LOL.

    I doubt if the gearing on the 2003 will be any different tho I think a real over drive 5th gear would be most welcome to my way of thinking. Gotta admit that as geared it has a lot of punch in most any gear.

    hudrahead :) :)
  • dougndodougndo Posts: 136
    My 2000 Tibby was a 5 speed and my girlfriend's 2001 is an automatic. It's no surprise that the manual made the car more responsive and (for me) fun to drive. While I am getting accustomed to the automatic, I really miss the extra punch that the manual supplied.

    As far as reliability, I didn't have the 2000 long enough to truly test it, but it worked very well for me. I'd rate it as the second-best "small" manual I've had. Only the Nissan 200SX SE-R tranny was better. The Nissan manual was very sweet, although the car itself had a lot of issues, and I felt the Tiburon was a step up in most areas of comparison.

    Still, the Tib 5 speed was flawless in the time that I had it (about a year), and I rode it pretty hard, first in a MI winter, then in SoCAl. In SoCal there were lots of stoplights and "dressed up" Civics and Accords to burn, so I worked the gearbox a lot. I could also catch some Mustangs, Celicas, Eclipses, and Camaros sleeping, and occasionally even a lazy Porsche. (You only have to "win" once, then decline another go. "No thanks, I proved my point at the last light." Nod, nod, wink, wink.) I didn't miss the SE-R at all.
  • dougndo: Yep, I love to bait the baggy-pants, ballcap on backwards bunch too. Most of the time all they have anyway is a loud muffler and neon lights under the rocker panels LOL. Plus, when I do get a hole-shot on them and they notice the GTr (red R)on the Tibby, courtesy of J. C. Whitney,they kinda back off. One guy in a old Honda CRX rolled down his window after a "spanking" and asked when the GTr Tiburons came out. I tried to keep a straight face and told him it was a "special" only available in Korea and I brought it back with me when I came home from the Air Force. LOL !! Great fun. I feel like a kid again.

    hudrahead :) :)
  • I stopped by a local dealer today to check out sticker price on the '03 Tib. The dealer added "fabric protection" and pinstriping after he received the car (I HATE when dealers do this...if I wanted those things, I'd ask you to do it).
    But the thing that really struck me is that they added a line called "market adjustment" for $2000...bringing the total price of the car to nearly $3000 over the MSRP sticker that was next to it.
    I asked the salesperson, and he told me that they jacked up the price because they're selling well. He asked what he could do "to get me in the car today" (how cliche). I told him to stop overinflating his prices. Needless to say, the conversation ended there.

    Have others seen such BLATANT raising of the prices over MSRP?
  • ckiggins: This is SOP for a new car intro, particularly if it's in short supply and destined to be a hot seller. Good examples of this were the Miata, PT Cruiser and more recently the new T-Bird and I'm sure the soon to be available Nissan "Z" cars. it's always the same old game. The dealers know some folks just have to have the latest, hottest, next big thing on wheels and will pay through the nose to have it !

    Give them a year and things will return to normal (except the T-Bird which will be built in limited numbers for awhile) The Miata which commanded up to 5K over MSRP at one time now goes for invoice or less, PT Cruisers are coming out of the dealers ears and can be had for bargain basement deals and it'll be the same for the 2003 Tiburon as well.I simply refuse to play this game, it's crazy !! Around these parts they are "only" packing the MSRP price about $1000 in addition to the usual rip-off wax,fabric protectant & undercoat for another $1000 or so------all is up to bargaining tho and depending on who, what and where you may even get a decent deal if they think you are serious. They were doing the same thing just a few months ago with the Sonata while they were in short supply. Now that they are swimming in Sonatas you can get one for about invoice. It all boils down to supply and demand as it always has.

    hudrahead :) :)
  • hudrahead: thanks for your message. I've heard of dealers selling for sticker, but I've never seen someone so blatantly put a markup on the car and then tell you that they're just padding their profit. A lot of dealers can be shady, but they usually try to be sly about it!

    Anyway, here's my follow-up. I won't be buying an '03 Tib for 4-6 months, anyway. Do you think that supply will have caught up with demand by that time and good (fair) deals can be had?
  • jaserbjaserb Posts: 858
    My dealer has NEVER shown anything but the actual factory sticker on any car I've looked at there. Not on the Santa Fe when it was brand new, not on the Elantra GT and not on the new Tiburon. No "paint protection", no pinstriping, no "market adjustment". This is what is known as a good dealer. These guys have sold Hyundais and only Hyundais since the Excel came to our shores. The fact that they survived Hyundai's lean years says a lot for them. My point - find a good dealer. Even when the market slows down, a dealer looking to squeeze the customer will find a way to do so.

  • I've actually had a chance to drive both the GT and the base model. The GT was nice, but being a soon-to-be college grad, the price was a little high especially coupled with the sports car insurance. I dont know if it was the sub in the back, or what, but the GT seemed to have significally less cargo space in the back. Even with the back seats folded down (what little space there is there) there wasn't a lot of depth to the trunk. Unfortunatly I've never learned to drive a manual well, so the shiftronic was very attactive to me, but for $900, I don't know if i can afford it. Even the base at $16k, starts getting expensive with the add-ons. The model I drove was already up to $18,400 and even have ABS. But overall I was vert pleased, there is a steep hill on the highway nearby that my Prizm struggles to get up sometimes, and even with only the 4 cyl, I breezed up it w/o even blinking.
  • estoesto Posts: 136
    I was just at a local Hyundai dealership test driving an Elantra GT, and saw that the
    2003 Tibs have a (get this) $5,000.00 markup. Do I win?

  • esto: yeah, I'd say that dealer has the most gall of any yet. However, encouraged by that number I'm sure some sleeze-ball,low life dealer will try for $6000, it's just a matter of time. I wonder how many they have moved @ the 5K figure?

    ckiggins: I don't know what part of he country you live in but if you check out you can get a quote on the discounted Hyundai prices. If not listed on the web they will quote you a firm price on the phone.

    hudrahead :)
  • Apparantly there must be someone out there willing to pay $5k over sticker. I can tell you that person isn't me!

    Hopefully by the time I go to buy (July or so), things will have stablilized!

    hudrahead: I'm not in the PA/MD area of the coutry (I'm in MO), but I checked out the abovve website. Looks like they are being VERY fair on pricing.

    As I said, I've only been to one dealer so far. (I should have known better, though...this is the same dealership that emailed me and told me that I need to come down and put $1k down on a Tibby now because in 4 months there won't be any available.)

    When the time comes, I will definitely go elsewhere. There are 4 other Hyundai dealers in my area.
  • ckiggins: So that dealer thinks that all 23,000 Tibs they HOPE to sell this year are all gonna be spoken for in four months, GET REAL, these guys are too funny LOL !! I've already seen one 2003 on a used car dealer lot, still had the MSRP sticker in the window, 3K miles on the odo and they wanted $2000 over MSRP too and it now is a used car. Nuts, just nuts .

    Fitzgerald Automall has a store in Clearwater. Fl. as well. They post the delivered price on all their cars and they are very low key, no pressure type guys.

    hudrahead :)
  • hudrahead:
    Apparantly that dealer thinks that they're going to be in such high demand that I'll be on a 6-month waiting list. Puh. That's why he had one sitting on his lot that night for me to look at. Looks like he can't keep 'em in stock!

    Hopefully it'll all settle down when my time comes...I want a fair deal. I definitely plan on using the 'net to my advantage.
  • I test drove the V6 today...WOW. Nice car. I asked about the 4-cylinder, but the salesperson told me that they won't be available for a few months and that all I can get is a V6. Has anyone else heard of this?
  • ckiggins: That guy is blowing smoke. All the dealers I've been to here in Florida the past week (about six as I travel the state of Florida)either have had 4 cyls. since day one of intro & sold them or have some in stock. That sales rep is just one more example of a low life, creep, piece of garbage that permiates the car biz, he wants to sell you what he has in stock NOW and so he will lie to you to accomplish that goal. Tell me ONE lie & I'll never darken that dealer's door again. If they lie to you before you buy a car there think how well you'll be treated after they get your money ! Just typical of the absolute desperate state of the car biz. Just wait'till sales go deeper into the dumper next month, it'll be a freaking circus to see these poor souls do their dance LOL .

    hudrahead :)
  • hudrahead:
    I figured that he was just giving me crap. The salesperson got kind of pissy with me when, after my test drive, I told him that I wasn't buying today and that it would be a few months. He looked at me for a second and then says, "well then why are you test driving today?" in a pretty snotty tone.

    My experiences with the Hyundai dealers in this area have not been positive thus far. Though, this one was slightly better in terms of pricing: they didn't have a "market adjustment," making the car $3k over sticker. But the dealer did add $1800 in dealer installed options such as ScotchGuard, paint protection and "Sound Guard," whatever the hell that is.

    When th etime comes I think I'm just going to use the internet to buy and cut out having to deal with these shady folks.
  • ckiggins: The Honda & Toyota guys were nice as pie back in the 70's & 80's before they hit the big time. After they got their reputation for a quality product, and no doubt about that, they are great cars, they became increasingly arrogant,developed a take it or leave it attitude. I'm afraid that Hyundai will go down that same road as their popularity increases. I bought my Tibby via Autobuytel and avoided all the hoopla and crap. Got a good deal and did not have to cross swords witht the F & I lizzards or the "let me talk to my manager" BS. A clean quick deal, probably not the lowest, last penny on the deal but ok considering the painless aspect of the deal. I probably will never go back to a direct deal again. After talking to these guys you just want to go home and take a hot shower before something rubs off them onto yourself LOL.

    hudrahead :)
  • hudrahead:
    I'm all about using the internet, believe me. If there was a way to order directly from the manufacturer, I'd be the first to do it.

    Mr. BS Salesman yesterday told me that the insurance on the V6 was going to be very high because the GT was going to be classified as a "Type 1 sportscar." Know anything about that?
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