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2003 Hyundai Tiburon ( GT V6 and Base Styles)



  • timitaetimitae Posts: 1
    I was in the market to trade my Dodge Dakota for a car. I wanted a 2 door coupe and was in a position where I could pretty much get whatever I wanted. My boyfriend and I had looked at several cars in this class. I already own a 1997 Pontiac Sunfire SE (for my son to drive) and had considered getting another one. After driving around town looking at several vehicles like the Honda Civic, Toyota Celica and the 2003 Tiburon, we happened upon a '97 Tiburon FX. We fell in love with this metalic purple beauty at first sight. It was in excellent condition and had obviously been well taken care of. The next day we went back for a test drive. It handled like a dream and I was surprised by the great visibility in every direction and the design of the cockpit. We didn't even drive the 2003. We loved the look of the '97 FX much better and were sold on all aspects of this car. We are off to pick up our car this evening. I will let you know how we make out with our "new" '97 Tibby.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and congrats on your 97 Tiburon! Thanks for sharing the details. Btw, here's a direct link to our ongoing Tiburon Owner's discussion where you may also want to participate. Use your copy/paste so you don't have to re-write your message. Happy motoring!

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  • GT offers great looks, good performance, low price.

    Just about everybody would agree that Ferrari makes some of the best looking cars. What if you could drive a car with Ferrari 456GT looks for under $20K? Okay, the 2003 Hyundai Tiburon is not a Ferrari clone but there's' no denying that it has Ferrari 456GT styling cues in its sleek new design. It also has some Ford Mustang, Mercury Cougar and Toyota Celica as well, which is not all bad.

    A Hyundai? Yes, the company has been working hard to produce attractive cars with performance and panache, and it looks to have succeeded with the all-new Tiburon.

    More important, the quality of Hyundai cars has improved tremendously in the past few years, according to the respected quality gurus at J. D. Power and Associates.

    Tiburon means shark in Spanish. This Tiburon may not look like a mean machine but the GT V6 version is surely going to stir the waters as it swims among established fish such as the Mitsubishi Eclipse, Toyota Celica GTS, Ford Mustang, and Honda Civic Si.
    Driving Impressions

    Great looks are important but a great driving experience is really more significant. Fortunately the Tiburon GT V6 does really well. Hyundai is convinced that most Tiburon buyers will opt for the GT V6 evasion and most of them will opt for the six-speed manual version. We couldn't agree more. That's why we tested this version with the Sprint package.

    The first thing you'll find out about the GT V6 is that it's got a great engine that revs freely to 6000 rpm. Put the (aluminum) gas pedal to the metal and the front wheels scrabble for grip. Not for long though as the 215/45R17 Michelin tires get to work and the car sprints forward. The engine has a pleasant husky sound thanks to the dual exhaust. Shift into second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth and the car's cruising. If you get lazy and forget to downshift as you putter around town, it's no problem as the engine has plenty of torque at low rpm. We found it'll pull reasonably well in sixth gear from 35 mph. It's a very different driving experience from cars like the Celica GTS and Civic Si that thrive on revving over 6000 rpm.

    The power rack-and-pinion steering feels fine, it's precise with just enough feedback for fast driving. Inevitably there's torque steer but it's controllable and actually kind of fun when you're driving round town. On the highway it's barely noticeable. Not unexpectedly the car tends to understeer, what with the weight of the aluminum V6 engine mounted transversely between the front wheels.

    During a brief test drive among pylons laid out in the infield of Las Vegas Speedway we found the Tiburon easy to throw around. Like all front-drive cars, it tended to understeer, but it was easy to compensate by using the throttle, brakes, and steering wheel.

    The four-wheel disc brakes worked well and stopped the car quickly.

    Out on the highway the ride is good on smooth roads but the sports suspension and low-profile tires tend to transmit excessive harshness into the cockpit on rough road surfaces. The handling is fine with little body roll. It's nothing exceptional but more than adequate to hold its own against other like cars. It would be pretty easy to tune the suspension still further to get a really good handling car. Tuners are undoubtedly working on it as you read this.

    They've got a good basis to work from: MacPherson struts up front on a subframe and a strut-type multi-link suspension in the rear. All models get anti-roll bars and gas-filled shock absorbers all round. The sport tuned suspension on the GT V6 has 10-percent stiffer spring rates, stiffer compression in the gas-charged shocks and thicker anti roll bars front (23mm vs. 20mm) and rear (19mm vs. 18mm).

    We didn't get a chance to try the four-cylinder Tiburon model. It should still be a reasonably fun car to drive with a manual transmission as the engine delivers 140 horsepower, which is 23 percent less than the V6.

    If you prefer an automatic transmission, go for the GT V6 and you'll not give up much in performance, especially as the automatic includes Shiftronic manual control.

    Final Word
    Hyundai has been on a roll for the past couple of years in the US. Its cars are remarkably better than they were a few years ago, both in quality as well as in style. Nobody needs to be embarrassed driving around in a Hyundai anymore.

    Indeed, driving a 2003 Tiburon GT V6 will elicit smiles all round. For under 20 grand it is a great car. Spend the cash saved on accessories and one could have a super cool car for less money than a stock version of one of its competitors. Perhaps the Tiburon is a shark after all -- it may well eat some of the other cars it's swimming with.
  • buster34buster34 Posts: 2
    Just bought a new 03 Tiburon and noticed that the car has a serious vibration or rough ride at about 65mph. The is the V6 with AT. Has anyone with this model or others noticed a similar ride witht the 03 Tiburon? I just want to know how hard I should push to have the dealer take a look at this problem. Thanks!
  • domingos35domingos35 Posts: 7

  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    While you're waiting here for feedback on the GT V6 Tiburon, you may want to check out Edmunds' Maintenance Guide to see what kind of information (Recalls, TSBs, Recommended Service Schedules) they have on the 2003 Tiburon. Also, not a bad idea to bookmark that page and check back periodically for updates. Good luck, and please keep us posted on your purchase. ;-)

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  • kaelaviekaelavie Posts: 1
    I've only had mine for a week so can't comment on the long haul. I have the auto V6 and have had no problems with vibration at 65mph. Sounds like it should be something the dealer looks at.

    As for the good and bad about this car, I'm completely and totally biased. I LOVE it! It's a smooth ride and a beautiful car. I've had the same car for years and I can't tell you just how great it is to watch people check out this car! I haven't found a single problem at this point with the exception of the gas mileage. I'd highly recommend it!
    Kae :)
  • jedisebsjedisebs Posts: 8
    Hi everybody! I just bought a 2003 Tiburon. It's Mystic Teal (dark blue) and a V6 with the Ultra Sports Package 3 :) I am so happy with this car. I've gotten nothing but compliments from everybody I know (except one friend who's really jealous). It provides a very smooth ride and I've only had one problem with it so far. The sunroof doesn't open up but I'm taking it in tomorrow. It's everything I hoped it would be. I raced a taurus on the freeway my first night out. He sped by me and gave me a look and then he took off. Then I dropped it to third, took it up to fourth and I was about to go to fifth when I checked my spedometer.... I was doing 105 @ 5000 rpms!!! I was like WHOA and slowed it down but I realized that I had developed a slight chub. I love this car and I wouldn't want anything else. Nobody in my city has one of these. If you see a guy walking around with a grin you couldn't wipe off his face with toilet paper then you know you're looking at me. I can't wait to race a souped up Civic.
  • buster34buster34 Posts: 2
    Thanks for the feedback on your new 03 Tiburon. It looks like I may have to make a visit to the dealer because I definitely get a different ride at 65mph and abobve, than when I'm at a lower speed.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and congrats on your new Tiburons! We look forward to hearing more about your ownership experiences.... Happy motoring!

    To buster34- Hope your vibration problem is resolved soon. Just a guess, but it sounds like your tires may need balancing. You shouldn't hesitate to taking it into the dealer, especially since you just bought the vehicle. Good luck, and please keep us posted.

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  • jedisebsjedisebs Posts: 8
    My new tib is leaking coolant after I travel on the freeway over 12 miles or so. It doesn't leak enough that the level is going down noticeably and the temp isn't going up past the norm but it worries me anyway. Is anybody having the same problem or had the same problem? I'm taking it in this week for the sunroof anyway and I just want to make sure I don't get worked at the dealer. Any thoughts and comments would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
  • cargirljocargirljo Posts: 2
    Hi all, no problems with mine, although I have heard of the moonroof problem-I work for a Hyundai dealership. We have had no problems on the West Coast that I know of. I am still having great times in my new Tib-and I too love the attention it attracts! Mine is black-looks awesome, but I am constantly washing and waxing! And, to make matters worse I can't seem to get my husband out of the driver's seat! He has a Ford Expedition-but he always wants to drive my little rocket ship! Wish me luck on getting his butt out of the driver seat.
  • r_scott45r_scott45 Posts: 1
    Just got my Tiburon GTV6 with 6spd yesterday--already have almost 400 miles on it because it's SO fun to drive! I took a trip over to Santa Cruz time around 5 hours there and back and never once did I leave the I neared home it occured to me just how comfortable those seats really are. I love the way it drives, the handling, and the ready surge of power available from the 2.7L V6--this thing will ZOOM effortlessly, and climbing mountainous highway while negotiating tight sweeping turns at over 80mph proved only to be EASY in this car! The sound system is outstanding. I have found shifting be something with a bit of a learning curve...the engine reves so freely, the normal "sluggish" foot on the throttle as clutch is depressed will result in a rapid engine speed surge, so it's important to get that foot off the throttle "now" as the clutch is depressed--unless you're REALLY speed shifting. As for shifter first I felt less than sure about hitting 6th smoothly, but after 400 miles of "practice" I am finding shifting to be very precise. For "low level" driving, this car will accelerate with ease with only 3000rpm shift points, and the huge torque allows it to motor along in higher gears at slow speed yet still "power out" without a downshift. Rearward visibility is minimal...especially with the high-mount wing (which looks TOO cool!), but who cares. I do love those Ferrari style mirrors perched on stalks--even though they impede forward-lateral view more than a bit. I have only one complaint to report...during the test drive the moonroof would only open half-way. The dealer said they would fix this...of course when I bring the car back since I sure wasn't leaving without it! When I got home the moonroof would not open at all--no tilt, no retract. Using the supplied "key" I cranked the roof open just to see if the problem was some kind of binding in the mechanism, but the window lifts and slides back quite easily under manual power. NOW when I press the slide button I hear a "chattering" sound under the roof panel where the drive motor if the drive gear is slipping, misaligned, or damaged in some way. The roof opens easily manually, so the problem is most likely something in the drive mechanism...I'll take it back to the dealer "soon" and have them look at it, but I REALLY hate to get out of the car that long!!! I suppose I will have to chalk the roof up to a "problem" with a Hyundai...and the naysayers will hoot that they "told you so", but this is the third Hyundai I've owned in two years...along with a 2000 E-wagon, and 2001 Santa Fe and neither of those has EVER had ANY problems--period. So far, other than the moonroof, this outrageously gorgeous, sexy, deliciously red GT Shark has DELIVERED to my expectations, and even if the roof NEVER works right I will still think the car is fabulous. By the way, my dealership is Selma Auto Mall in Selma California...which I HIGHLY ENDORSE as being THE place to buy any Hyundai...they NEVER "gouge", and they are about the nicest, friendliest bunch of people I've ever met! I bought all my Hyundais there and everytime I must say the experience was remarkably smooth, well-ordered, absolutely ZERO pressure, since the CARS DO sell test drive a Tiburon (or a Santa Fe) and they won't HAVE to pressure you into buying it!!!
    I think this model Tiburon has the potential to one day become a "classic" among sport coupes due to its stunning lines, and as I have SEEN during the last year with the Santa first it seemed only "I" had I see them everywhere. I expect the same will happen with the Tib...especially THIS version! All Hyundai needs to do is consider bumping HP/TQ to around 200/200 to give the car nearly unbeatable performance, solve the roof problem (if there is a large scale one), and KEEP this super-stunning body style for at least 5 or 6 years, THEN resale will hold up well as more and more people rush out to buy them! THIS "foundation" is the perfect starting point to form a lineage of superb sports cars...I hope all Tiburon owners will use the power of the pen to let Hyundai KNOW what a serious hit this car is!
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and thanks for sharing your initial impressions. I'm sure others passing through here will appreciate your detailed notes.

    Just one small suggestion: if you have a long message, it will be easier for people to read if you break it up into smaller paragraphs. Participants will be more likely to read your entire message if it's easy on the eyes. We look forward to hearing more about your Tiburon experience. Thanks for your participation at Town Hall. ;-)

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  • kratas101kratas101 Posts: 33
    How good is the l4 on the Tib? I find the additional standard features for the V6 not worth it as I would be being an automatic transmission, so I wouldn't be getting the 17 inch wheels and the leather-wrapped steering wheel and seats in Texas are suicide! Although I know an l4 isn't like a V6, is it still good for its engine size? Thanks.
  • hudraheadhudrahead Posts: 169
    kratas10: I have a 2001 Tib that I use for business. Mostly endless hours of running the Interstates. I have over 70K on the clock (not a typo) and the thing runs better than when new. Mine is a 5 speed (mid-life crises syndrome LOL)so not really a problem for me, tho IF I did a lot of stop and go, heavy traffic, driving it'd be a automatic. I drove both when shopping for my Tib and to tell the truth the automatic does not suck all that much performance from the 2.0 engine. Great gas mileage for the 5 speed too, 32 to 34 consistently running 75 to 85 mph most of the time. The only thing I wish is that top gear was a little taller as the revs @ 80 mph, tho smoothe, are a little high. The automatic cars may have a little better gearing in that respect. I think the 2003's are a little heavier than the 2001 cars so they may be a little slower off the line but should be about the same at crusing. The base 4 cyl cars seem to be in short supply as I've only seen one all year at a dealer. Hyundai expects sales to be 70% V-6 so I guess that's what they are shipping the most of. A base car with A/T is one heck of a lot of car for the money. Nothing in it's class compares in my opinion. I'll most likely be getting a 2003 before year's end. Gonna give the 2001 to my niece, no trade-in. She thinks the thing is "so cool" LOL !!

    hud :):)
  • jedisebsjedisebs Posts: 8
    I had the same problem with my moonroof and I had it fixed at the dealer. Don't let them tell you that you need a new switch. What you really need is a new moonroof motor. I sat at the dealer for 3 hours while they changed the switch (which didn't fix the problem) and then called in some "certified hyundai technician". He rolled up in about forty five minutes and it took him only five minutes to say that I needed a new motor. He had even brought a spare one because he was pretty sure that that was what the problem was going to be. Apparently he's been doing this type of repair pretty often lately. He left and the problem was fixed soon. Make sure you tell them to check the motor. Otherwise you'll be waiting for a long time.
  • kratas101kratas101 Posts: 33
    That was exactly what I needed hudrahead :) I'll mostly be driving around streets since I don't need to go onto freeways and such, and yea, the 03 Tib is heavier than the 01 but I doubt I'll be doing much speeding anyways. The cops are really tough where I live so I have to watch out. Oh and btw, that is insanely good gas mileage lol =)
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Manson, WAPosts: 6,929
    month's Import Racing magazine(I might have the name wrong but you get my drift). They test drove an orange-red one in Las Vegas, NV. They were impressed with the car overall. The negative things: they would dump the Infinity stereo 6-speaker CD system and they wonder why Hyundai put the side view mirrors sticking out like they do. I took a look at the photo of the car, and, although they do stick out I like the styling of them. On the stereo I would need to hear it myself to make a judgement like that(I'm thinking that it would be just fine to me). The writers of this review were no doubt pretty young and probably felt like their P Diddy wouldn't sound loud enough whereas my British Foghat or Canadian Tragically Hip would rock quite nicely--though I'm just guessing here! As far as the powertrain(V6 engine ,6 speed that the little sharkracer has)they were impressed. Plenty of low-end torque and plenty of speed and good cornering handling. The torsion bar was mentioned as being helpful up front. Fit and finish was labeled as good and the instrumentation well-laid out and easy to-find. Hyundai gives 3 trim levels with the next step up above base giving you a cool spoiler and chrome gas, clutch and brake pedals. The magazine(I'm going on my feeble memory here--I'm thinking it was called Import Racing magazine)is going to take on a 2003 Hyundai Tiburon as a tuning project over the coming months. That is a good sign as it shows that they liked it enough to put their favorite tuning touches on it. Looks like a very fun little road-racer to me.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • jbmalikjbmalik Posts: 10
    Okay, here goes.

    I test drove the 2003 tibby the other day. I REALLY wanted to like this car. But I'm not sure if I do, now that I drove it. My overall gripe (and I know not many of you are going to like this) is that I think the car (at MSRP, despite whatever additional bogus surcharge the dealers are asking) is overpriced. Remember when Car and Driver said in the review that they think it's priced about right (i.e. not particularly a bargain?) Well mark my words, I think in a few more months the Tib will be selling at or around dealer invoice (example: Today a local RI dealer offered me a loaded Jet Black Tibby V6 at $19.9K, including delivery (versus $20.5K MSRP). I'm still waiting for them to go down). Ok, now for the test drive. The plusses: buttery smooth clutch, awesome seats, great rear view mirrors and logical, well-read controls and gauges. Back seat room is not as bad as the critics make it sound. Handling good at low speeds. Low road/outside noise. Relatively good quality inside, for the $. The minuses: Handling at high speeds. The critics were right, the nose of the car is too "floaty" at high speeds, and the suspension is more harsh than I would like it over rough payment.... I would probably be nervous driving this car above 75 mph. I think others would concur. I currently drive a 1998 Ford Contour SVT (MSRP new $23.5K; I paid $17.5K for it (used) in 1999). The Contour SVT handles like it is on rails. I am not saying I would take my car over a Tiburon GTV6, but in terms of performance it is better. Howevr the clutch and shifting action in the Tiburon is much better than any Ford, including my Contour SVT.

    If I was in the market for this car (the Tiburon), I would (and will) SERIOUSLY consider the Ford Focus SVT. It is getting great reviews and at list price (again, at *MSRP*) is about $1200K less than the Tiburon. I have owned two 'specialty' Fords in my day, a 1994 Ford Taurus SHO and a 1998 Ford Contour SVT. The SHO gave me some trouble after 70K miles, the Contour is at 77K and I have had very little trouble with it. I also would seriously consider an Acura RSX-S, the list MSRP is only about $2500 more than the Tibby. A few used 2002 RSX-S are popping up at around $21K, they have about 3K miles on them.

    The bottom line (my opinion) is this: Buy the Tiburon if you can get it at (the maximum) a few hundred above dealer invoice. I believe the dealer invoice for a loaded GT-V6 with 6-speed is $18,700...The car is a bargain at $19K and some change, no more. Anxious Tibby buyers, hang in there and wait, the price will come down soon enough....
  • crew03crew03 Posts: 1
    Does anyone know how to change the fog lights? Please tell me how if you do!
  • u4eahh779u4eahh779 Posts: 4
    I bought my silver '03 Tiburon GT V.6 Auto. last Thursday and was having the time of my life for about 35 miles... and then the sunroof wouldn't open. The dealer had to replace the motor, give my a free tank of gas, a coupon for a free oil change, and four football tickets before I was once again satisfied.

    This car is definitely hot... I am all about the stares and pointing. It is a pretty fast car, too, but I was wondering about performance parts and custom accessories. If anyone has info please write back.
  • 5port5port Posts: 395
    Motorweek reviewed the new Tib and it was all praises. 0-60,handling,interior,exterior,they loved it all. Great review. Really did not hear any negatives. Wow.
  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    and congrats on your new 2003 Tiburon! Also, glad to hear your sunroof mishap was resolved to your satisfaction. I have to say, your dealer sounds pretty impressive. Hopefully everything will be uphill from this point on. We look forward to hearing more about your ownership experience. ;-)

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  • 5port5port Posts: 395

       I went to:


     and searched their product list for 2003 Hyundai Tiburon. They came up with "no products listed". Then I changed the search to 2002 Hyundai Tiburon and they listed air and oil filters for the 2.0 liter engine. Looks like you might have to wait a bit. They came out with the Elantra GT filter about 6 months after introduction.

  • ipse_dixitipse_dixit Posts: 24
    K&N doesn't make them, but you can get both a cold air and a short ram intake from AEM. That's quite a bit more than just a filter, though, so probably won't substitute if the filter itself is all you're looking for.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I have driven 2 Tiburon GT 5 speeds and overall loved it. It's a sweet looking car on the outside and has a functional, attractive, and comfortable interior. The V6 is amazingly quiet and sounds like a mini jet engine when you rev it high, the ride is quiet on smooth roads, the doors have a nice solid thunk to them and feel very substantial, and the stereo sounds good. However, there were a few things I didn't like. First, the ride with the 17" wheels is a bit too choppy and loud on broken pavement. Second, both cars had a very noticeable clutch shudder. This worries me the most as a brand new car shouldn't have a shuddering clutch. I have also heard this mentioned in Edmund's test drive. I'm beginning to wonder if Hyundai sent over a bad batch of clutches. It just didn't feel very strong, as if it wouldn't last long under the power of that V6. Have any owners or others who test drove the 5 speed noticed this problem? Oh yeah, changing lanes by looking over your shoulder is difficult due to the huge blindspot from the C pillar area. Otherwise though, I think Hyundai has a winner here. It's one heck of a deal when compared to other V6 coupes. And the looks are just stunning.
  • ipse_dixitipse_dixit Posts: 24
    Someone on a UK site posted that he used a K&N drop in filter #33-2573 on his "Coupe."
This discussion has been closed.