Hyundai Tiburon



  • npaladin2000npaladin2000 Member Posts: 593
    Well, I'm about 6 foot, and I wanted to test drive a Tiburon this weekend. The only automatic one they had also had a sunroof. And basically, after sitting there with my head cocked 30 degrees for about 10 seconds, I realized it just wasn't going to work. The Tiburons are VERY short on headroom, even without the sunroof...I tried jst sitting in a manual tranny one...the only one they had without the roof. Even then with the seat as low as it would go I had maybe half an inch of clearence between my head and the roof...probably less. It's a tight squeeze, especially if you have a long torso.

    Damn shame too, because it's nice looking car. And when they get an auto in that I fit in, I AM going to test-drive it, and stack it up against the VW GTI...big difference in looks, but not in features and power (handling too, I think...similar weight and wheelbase).
  • ipse_dixitipse_dixit Member Posts: 24
    I'm only 5'10" and had the same headroom problem in a sunroof-equipped Tiburon. I didn't necessarily have to cock my head, but it was brushing against the roof.

    Regarding comments on the shifter, the Tiburon's is very easy to shift with. The oft-vaunted RSX shifters, on the other hand, are very stiff (at least when new), notchy, and long on the throw. I am consistently surprised with how much the auto mags love Honda-made manual transmissions, except that maybe they're dealing with ones worn-in enough that the feel is entirely different.

    As to the Tiburon's horsepower shortcomings, check out AEM's cite. They now have a cold air intake for the Tiburon that should bring the car close to the 200hp mark (figuring about 79% efficiency on getting the power to the wheels). Add that and a new exhaust system (+3-4hp), and you'll still have paid a couple thousand less than you would have for the competition.

    Here's the link to AEM:
  • rodcrodc Member Posts: 2
    Dougndo, interesting your story about a Tib being rear-ended last week. Same thing happened to me a couple of days ago by a guy talking on a cell phone. I stopped at a red light and he just kept coming and BANG!!. Well, I thought that from the impact he had really made a mess of the rear end of my 2000 Tib. We pulled off the road to check out damage and guess what??
    The rear license plate was bent all to hell but there was not a scratch on my car. I know I certainly was relieved as I'm sure the guy who hit me was. It was his fault, as is the case in most rear-enders.
    Maybe there is something about the rear bumper or whatever that is an excellent shock absorber. Anyhow, I'm a happy camper, to say the least.
  • cyrocyro Member Posts: 1
    I don't know why you guys are having headroom problems. I've got a 2003 with power moonroof and i'm 6'1" and have no problem at all with headroom. You must not know how to sit in the seat!

  • dougndodougndo Member Posts: 136
    I'm 2" shorter than "cyro," but I still find it easy to rub my bald head on the Tib's headliner (2003 or 2001 model). However, he's right that knowing how to sit in the seat can help. With all the adjustments available, I can readily find two or three comfortable seating positions that give me all the clearance I need.

    Transitioning from the upright seating of a pick up truck or SUV can be temporarily odd, but the fact is there are different ways of sitting in different styles of vehicles, and finding the right position may take a little experimentation.

    If one just puts the seat all the way back and as low as possible, one might think, "This is the maximum room accommodation for this seat, and it's too tight for me." Actually, all one has done is explore one position and deemed all other positions inadequate by default.

    In my girlfriend's 2001 Tib, I put the rear of the seat cushion all the way down, the front up about an inch and a half, the seat back at about 110 degrees (relative to the floor), and the steering wheel about one inch from the top of its range. The seat is about three inches from the rear of its track. It's a great fit!

    If I move the front of the seat cushion down and bring the seat back upward to 95-100 degrees, my head hits, even if I push the seat all the way back on its track. The car is suddenly too small!
  • jedisebsjedisebs Member Posts: 8
    I have to agree with cyro. I'm also 6'1 and I have no problems with the headroom in my tib. My dad on the other hand is 5'8 and he thinks the roof is too close. The difference is that I like to recline my seat further than he does (It is a sport car after all). Also, he's 53 and i'm 22. Us 'kids' these days like to ride a little lower than they did in the olden days. And let's face it, sitting relaxed looks better. It makes it appear as if you're in greater control of your vehicle. Furthermore, even if I do sit up straighter, my head fits into the gap created by the sunroof. I have absolutely no problems with the headroom in my tib. Enjoy the ride gentlemen. Ride in style because it is a stylish car. :)
  • jbmalikjbmalik Member 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....
  • goofyblueyes1goofyblueyes1 Member Posts: 3
    Since 1999, I've been attracted too the Tibby.
    I was introduced to it by the son of the man who produce's Hyundai’s entire interior's. Of course, Han had the car completely done up, with things like real wood paneling, which most of us can not get, even if we were willing to pay for it.
    So this year I did some research into the car, as I'm very attracted to it. In my research, I found out the police here in Canada say that the 2003 Tibby is the #1 most stolen car in Canada (I believe the number’s in the US would also be similar).
    So I called my insurance company to find out if that were true, and they confirmed it, and that if I were to purchase it, the rates would be higher than on most other new cars in it's category.

    I also put a 2003 Tibby 6sp V6, up against my 1995 Eagle Talon (non turbo) on the freeway, and I blew the Tibby into the dust, as I accelerated away from it with ease.

    So, even though I'm looking for a new car, I think I'll pass on the Tiburon for something else.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    Hmm...#1 most stolen car in Canada? How is that possible since the Tiburon is sold in such small numbers to begin with? And it's definitely not the case here in the US. The Acura Integra/RSX has always been highest on that list, as has the Civic Si, Prelude, Accord, Camry, and Altima. Hyundais have always been low in the stolen list since their appeal is relatively low as is the desire for parts in the black market. I could see the new 03 Tib attracting some new attention since it's such a looker, but I still doubt it will top the stolen charts. Lastly, no offense, but the Hyundai either wasn't trying to race you or the driver's skill was poor. There is no way your non-turbo Talon could overtake the Tiburon V6. The Tib is over 1 second faster to 60 mph and the distance continues to increase from there. You could, however, overtake the four cylinder Tib.
  • goofyblueyes1goofyblueyes1 Member Posts: 3
    I suggest lngtonge18 go to It confirms that the Tibby is the 1# car on the hit list for stolen cars in Canada.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    Did you actually read the article??? That info is very old and may no longer be true. The Tib FX was the most stolen 2 door in 1998-1999. That was 3 years ago!! Things could have changed.
  • beesenitchbeesenitch Member Posts: 4
    I am just about to buy my first sports coupe ever, but I am quite worried about theft/vandalism.

    Are my fears in, will my Tibby be here today and gone tomorrow just like that?

    Also, what can I do to cut down on theft/vandalism. Do security systems and the Club really help?
  • goofyblueyes1goofyblueyes1 Member Posts: 3
    Yes lngtonge18, I read the article, and I read the same thing in the Toronto Star NewsPaper approximately1 month ago. Things have not changed except that the number has increased.

    But then you would have said the same thing back during 1998-1999, if I had told you this about the Tiburon.

    By the way, you said that the Acura Integra/RSX is the most stolen car in the US. Well that’s 100% WRONG!

    According to your American, NICB (National Insurance Crime Bureau) as of Dec. 11, 2001 the following 10 cars are the most stolen in the USA 1. Toyota Camry 2. Honda Accord 3. Oldsmobile Cutlass 4. Honda Civic 5. Jeep Cherokee/Grand Cherokee 6. Chevrolet Full Size C/K pick-up 7. Toyota Corolla 8. Chevrolet Caprice 9. Ford Taurus 10.Ford F150 pick-up No where is the Accra Integrea listed. However it is listed in the top 20.

      As for beesenitch’s question about the club, the answer is no they are absolutely no help at all. A thief will just take a hacksaw to the steering wheel and then within less than a minute move the club to the hole he cut into the steering wheel and remove it. The car will be gone in under 90 seconds for a professional thief. The best two things are 1. A gasoline cut off switch which the thief must know where to fine and 2. If the car is worth the money, a Global Tracking device. My wife has one on her 2001 Volvo C70 2 Dr HT Turbo Convertible and the insurance costs less now, because of it.

  • jocko9jocko9 Member Posts: 65
    at the same time. According to the article you linked, the Tibby was the #1 most stolen car in Canada 2 years ago. Not sure what the stats are from 2000 or 2001 yet. But, how odd that the Tibby isn't even in the top 10 of most stolen cars in the US. I guess that Tiburons are just a lot more popular in the great white north than they are in the lower 48, LOL.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    I mean they only sell like 18,000 Tibs a year in the US. Probably that many Accords and Camrys are stolen a year, so how can the Tib get to #1 in Canada when its production numbers are so low? I just don't see why the Tib would be that popular. Anyway, the Integra was the #1 most stolen car for 1999-2000 I believe. This shows that statistics do fluctuate, although Camry, Accord, Cutlass, and Civic have always been high on the list. I do disagree a little about the usefulnes of the Club and other visible deterents. Though alarms and the Club can be defeated, they do provide a little extra margin for scaring away the less determined or less skilled. I think they are worth the money to deter all but the most professional of car thieves. For those instances where they don't work, that's what insurance and gap insurance is for. I do highly suggest you get some sort of kill switch to go along with the alarm and/or Club. Someone tried to steal my 97 Altima twice. The first time they bent back the frame of the driver's door only to find the blinking security alarm light and took off (my windows were so dark you couldn't see the light). They did $200 of damage to the door frame but otherwise the car was fine. Not so the Chrysler Concorde that was vandalized the same night. They actually got inside the car without setting off anything and broke the steering column, rendering it undriveable. The second time, they broke the passenger window on my Altima and got into the car, but I disconnected the battery before I left on vacation so there was no blinking light or alarm. They couldn't figure out how to steal it, so they stole the faceplate to the cd player instead. Another $300 down the tubes. I got rid of that car soon after. The cops told me they wanted the car, not the stereo, and that the Altima was the 3rd most stolen car in my area. The visible deterent helped keep my car from getting more damage in one of the siutations, so I think any visible deterent is worth it.
  • beesenitchbeesenitch Member Posts: 4
    Thanks for the post...that is what I had suspected. No matter what you do, if someone is determined and professional enough, they will steal your car.

    But a visual deterant, as you point out, may scare away your wannabe's and your trouble makers.

    But you mentioned a kill switch. Can you elaborate on that a little more? (i.e. what is it, how does it work, and do you have to buy it after-market?)
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    Kill switch is a term sometimes used for fuel or ignition cut-off devices (also called engine immobilizer). My mom added a kill switch to her 92 Accord for $25. It was simply a switch that when flipped on made it impossible to start the car, even with the original keys. The switch is hidden inside the car so the thief doesn't have enough time to try and find it and thus gets frustrated and takes off. On newer cars, it's not an actual switch that can be turned on and off. It is simply an integrated part to an alarm that automatically shuts off the ignition anytime the alarm is set off. In the US, the 03 Tib comes standard with a security alarm that includes this feature. If a car doesn't already have a factory alarm with this feature, you can have an alarm installed aftermarket that will do the same thing. It works. I set off the aftermarket alarm on my 02 Lancer and tried to start the car while it was going off. It refused to start. Once I turned off the alarm with my key, I was then able to start it. I think an alarm with engine immobilizer combined with the Club is a very good idea if you live in a high crime area or have a popular car. Ultimately, Lojack or something similar is the best defense but if your budget is limited, the former should deter most theft. Hope this is the info you were searching for.
  • u4eahh779u4eahh779 Member Posts: 4
    Another great security feature of the 2003 Tib... you can use the key to get into the trunk without the alarm going off.

    So basically, as long as a thief breaks into the trunk and doesn't unlock the actual doors, the alarm will not go off.
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Member Posts: 2,228
    Go with what your heart tells you. If you won't be happy driving around an automatic, why spend all that money on a car you won't enjoy driving just so it looks good on the outside? Black looks sweet on this car. Makes it look very sleek, elegant, and sporty. Then again, I'm a sucker for black cars. All 3 of my cars have been black. Black isn't too difficult to keep clean unless you live on a dirt road or drive through rain all the time. Keep in mind that most of your time is spent looking at the inside, not the outside. If I were you, I would either get the black 6-speed or wait till you find a silver 6-speed. Unless of course you just don't want to shift.
  • dougndodougndo Member Posts: 136
    Well, the Michelin tires that came with the 2001 Super Silver Tib we have are off the car before 23,000 miles. After three flats (two unrepairable), it just became too expensive to keep replacing them, So when my girlfriend got flat number three, I said let's ditch the Michelins and get something else. Since I offered to pay, she was all for it.

    We ended up with Kumho Escta tires from America's Tire for about half the price. They're directional tires, which is a little different than we're used to, but after a sprint up the CA coast (to look at a Chrysler TC), I'd give them pretty high marks for handling, grip, and acceleration. They perform much better than the stock tires did, although they do have a firmer and possibly a louder ride.

    We also had the Hyundai dealer replace an oxygen sensor (under warranty), and the little Tib is bristling with energy. All in all, we're happy campers.
  • vbplyr4vbplyr4 Member Posts: 1
    Okay, I've been to my Hyindai Dealer 4 times and I can't make up my mind, so I thought I'd go to the experts. That's you! I'm sold on the Tib, but torn between a Black 6 speed w/the high fin and 17 inch wheels, and a silver automatic (shiftronic) w/low fin and 16 inch wheels. From the outside, I love the look of the silver w/low fin over the black w/ high fin. The lines just look cleaner. However, I love the 6 speed manual over the automatic and (in my opinoin) useless shiftronic. If I had an automatic carwash in my garage, I'd opt for the black, but since I don't, I'm thinking the silver will look better from day to day. BUT, I can't find a silver 6-speed. Soooo, do I opt for the clean look of the silver automatic, or enjoy my Tibby from the inside with the 6-speed Black and do my best to keep it clean? Black vs. Silver and Automatic vs. 6-speed? All you Shark owners out there, HELP!
  • drincodrinco Member Posts: 2
    Just bought a 2003 Tiburon - took 1 1/2 months to find a black GTV6 Ultra Sports 3. Had it for about 4 days and has been in the shop since. The engine needs replacement due to an internal leak. Has anyone else heard of this problem or is it an isolated freak of nature. I hope it is the latter.
  • dougndodougndo Member Posts: 136
    The V6 in the Tib is an engine that's been used in one guise or another in other vehicles in the
    Hyundai/Kia lines. It's pulled bigger vehicles like the Santa Fe and Optima, and I don't remember any reports of your problem occurring in any of those boards. However, there's always the "isolated freak of nature" as you say, so it might have happened sometime to someone else.

    Hopefully you'll get a new engine and that will be the end of it. I've heard nothing about a trend of bad Tiburon engines. Good luck.
  • drincodrinco Member Posts: 2
    Thank you for your input. The new engine is being put in on Monday and hopefully, as you said, that will be the end of this month long nightmare. For the few days I drove it, I did love it, so I can't wait to get it back. Thanks again.
  • jc58jc58 Member Posts: 48
    Have dealers started to finally come down on the Tiburon? I received a quote of $18,000, plus T/T/L for a V-6 automatic model ( red) with moonroof. The sticker is $19,893, so based on the Edmunds pricing guide, this is below invoice. This is also a lot below the TMV figure reflected for the car ( $18,969)

    I do not see any incentive listed so the only thing I can think of is that buying 4 cars (Santa Fe LX AWD/Sonata GLS and an Accent plus a used one) there in the last 2 years helped!

    Does anyone feel they might add any incentives around Christmas time on the Tiburon, since the economy is down and most people will be shopping for things other than cars? Or maybe some special rebates for those of us owning Hyundais, due to the horsepower issue? Want to get one for the little lady, but she wants to keep expenses as low as possible.
  • dougndodougndo Member Posts: 136
    One thing is sure: a visit to the Hyundaiusa web site reveals nearly flat sales for the Tiburon year to year. Hyundai hoped to move up to 27,000 new Tibbies, compared to 15,000-18,000 or so per year with the old model. Unfortunately, the new Tib is not outselling the old one.

    That's bad for them, but good for consumers. You should be able to hammer out a great deal if you find a salesperson/dealer that's living in reality.

    I believe the early greed and haughty attitude of many Hyundai dealers and salespersons hurt the new Tiburon in a big way. They were fools to think they could put a premium mark up of $2k to $5k on a Hyundai--any Hyundai--and not have it hurt them, the brand, and the particular car. As I posted somewhere several months ago, one salesman told me bluntly, "If you don't buy it at this price, someone else will." I replied that it'd have to be someone else because it wouldn't be me. I hope he choked on it.

    It's a gamble to wait for incentives that might not come. Create your own incentive by making a great deal now. Some salespersons and dealers are actually less flexible on price when there's a factory incentive because they feel there's a "deal" for you already and they can protect their margins.
  • freonfreon Member Posts: 1
    I've been very happy with my '03 Tiburon U3 in silver (currently @ 2500 miles). My dealer went out of his way to get the exact color I wanted (brought one in from another dealer about 80 miles away) and gave me an incredible deal ($19.21k, TMV for my zip is $19.55k).

    I opted for silver because it seemed like the best match of looks, dirt visibility, and fade resistance. If I wasn't concerned about fading, I probably would've gone for black. The only problem with silver is it seems EVERYONE is going for silver. I've also seen one or two white models. They look awesome with the clear turn signal covers.

    I'm really glad I went for the U3 with the 6-speed. The gearing is a bit short, but I can whip through the gears so fast I don't mind. It really seems a lot faster than the 4A and 5-speed I test drove. The 17" rims look awesome, and I was pleasantly surprised to get Michelon Pilot ZR tires on it, although I doubt I'll be able to afford to replace them when the time comes.

    I don't care for the huge spoiler, either, but the handling is awesome with the 215/45/17 tires and tight suspension. Overall ride experience is pretty awesome. Steering may be slightly too powered, but I really don't mind considering the whole package.

    The leather really isn't that high quality as far as feel to the touch, but with the stiff padded seats, higher quality leather wouldn't be very noticable. The countless "blank" buttons are probably my biggest gripe about the interior.

    The exterior is obviously awesome. Everything is pretty tasteful, including the dual exhaust. The only thing I would change would be to add a spoiler delete option and give it a large front air dam. The lower potion of the front bumper looks too much like a Dodge Intrepid. How about the previous generation Eclipse air dam?

    I originally complained about gas mileage, but moving from a car with a 15.5 gal tank to under 14 makes it seem worse than it is. My actual combined mileage is about 22-23 on 87 octane. My highest recorded for an entire tank is 27.3, which included a 210 mile highway trip, plus another 110 or so of my daily driving. And on that 210 mile trip I averaged about 80mph and hit 90 and 100 a few times. Especially considering it runs on 87 octance, the gas situation is worlds better than if I had opted for a Celica (base or GTS), RSX (base or Type-S), or Eclipse (V6)--all of which require premium fuel.

    So far I have no regrets. Initial quality seems pretty damn good. As long as Hyundai sticks to their warranty, I will be considering another Hyundai when it comes time to purchase again (although next time around I'll probably be looking more up-market, like the 350Z).
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaMember Posts: 12,726
    uses regular gas, and gets mileage in the mid-30's, so you would have saved a ton of gas money going with that one. But you would have had a three-year-old design and 40 less hp than you do now. Not to mention, none of that luscious leather you were mentioning!

    2014 Mini Cooper (stick shift of course), 2016 Camry hybrid, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (keeping the stick alive)

  • dvwhitedvwhite Member Posts: 2
    I just bought the 4 cylinder Tiburon with moon roof and CD/cassette combo, no spoiler, for $14,988. I went for the lowest price I could get, and also the better gas mileage. It's got enough pep for me. The one thing I don't like so far is the lack of head room. I'm 6 feet tall, and I have an inch to spare at the seat position I prefer.

    My only concern is the random comment I got from some guy on the street, who said I'd have it in the shop all the time. His source: "My friend, who is a Hyundai mechanic, told me that."

    Has anyone had a negative experience like this with their Tiburon? The only problem I've had so far in three weeks has been a faulty switch that made the Air Bag light go on.

    Also, what kind of gas mileage are you getting with the 4 cylinder? I'm only getting about 24 mpg overall.

    Thanks for any feedback.
  • revkarevka Member Posts: 1,750
    and thanks for sharing the details.

    In addition to the feedback here, you can also check to see if there any TSBs (Technical Service Bulletins) listed in Edmunds' Maintenance Guide. This may give you an idea of what kind of things to look out for....

    Good luck, and please keep us posted on your Tiburon experience. ;-)


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  • 5port5port Member 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!
  • windup_birdwindup_bird Member Posts: 23

    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 Member Posts: 136
    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 Member Posts: 136
    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 Member Posts: 136
    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 Member Posts: 1,750
    I'm sure others passing through here will appreciate your tips.... Happy motoring!


    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host

  • celicaownercelicaowner Member Posts: 3

    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 136
    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 Member 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 Member Posts: 1,750
    and glad to hear your Tiburon is serving you well! ;-)

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Host
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMMember Posts: 7,615
    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! =:)

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • revkarevka Member 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
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMMember Posts: 7,615
    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.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • pghtiburonpghtiburon Member Posts: 22
    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 Member Posts: 136
    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.
  • stshanestshane Member Posts: 15
    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.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 Alamogordo, NMMember Posts: 7,615
    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!

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • latinracerlatinracer Member Posts: 4
    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 Member 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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