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Hyundai Tiburon



  • cfbd1273cfbd1273 Posts: 18
    I have been working on the Tiburon's (delta V-6) for racing and believe I have found out why the stated horse power went from 181 to 170. First to those of you that feel you were cheated. You were because you were told 181 and now are told its 170. I feel Hyundai got caught in there little lie. This engine has casting and material design problems. How do I know this because I have destroyed three v-6 engines trying to tune them. Grant you I put quite a bit more stress on these engines then most of you will ever do. I feel these engines were suppose to be capable of more hp but were purposely detuned because the engine can not withstand the stress. Particularly the engine bearing caps which have torn out of the engine on me. This happens because they casted this engine wrong and it would have cost too much to go back and do it right. So they have this engine running at 170 to prevent these problems. They also have the idle speed at start up set high. This is why your engine revs so high in the morning when you get in. This is to heat up the aluminum block and prevent any damage. Still love this car just don't modify the v-6!!! They can't take it. If you must play do it with the 4.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,869
    of enthusiasts probably have not read it yet. Just what you have described has been laid out in detail in numerous articles. No doubt if you're really interested in this beautiful sports car you already have found this information out. The only tunable 2003 Tiburon is the 2.0L 16 valve DOHC 4 cyl. Your post is a good reminder, though and good information that hopefully people will see and follow.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • jocko9jocko9 Posts: 65
    When I stated in my post that "latinracer" should get with a contingency fee lawyer and sue Hyundai I was being sarcastic.

    I believe his whole argument is petty and plain silly.
  • Thanks for everyone's enlightening and interesting discussion; it has really helped me make my final decision to buy a Tiburon GT-V6 6 speed. I do have a couple of questions. Is it possible to order the GT-V6 package 17 without the high spoiler? I prefer the looks of the low spoiler. Also, is it true that you do not have to pay sales tax on out-of-state purchases? How about internet car purchases?
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,869
    that you don't want the high spoiler and they ought to accommodate you. You may have to come back and have the service department switch them out for you. I would think some GT V6's would come from the factory with the low spoiler. As for your question about buying out-of-state and not having to pay sales tax: GOOD QUESTION! It probably varies from state to state whether or not they'll let an out-of-state buyer buy w/o paying sales tax. I'll refer that one to the viewing audience........and the one about paying tax or not on Internet car purchases.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • stshanestshane Posts: 15
    I have the base GT-V6, no options except the sunroof. Mine has the low spoiler (which I liked better as well) and the 17" wheels. If you don't mind the 5-speed and no ABS then go with that. I am totally happy and don't miss the extra cog of the 6-speed. I mean the car comes loaded anyway. Most options are purely just cosmetic. The way I see it is, the only option I would have wanted at all (besides the sunroof) is ABS. If you have to go all out with the boy-racer package to get it I will pass it up (or take the sprint package, which gives you cloth seats (not bad) but the silly pedals). It isn't worth the extra money for the high spoiler, 6-speed, and metal pedals just to get ABS. I will just drive something else in the winter if need be.
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,869
    GT V6? I started out liking the base 2.0L DOHC 16-valve 4cyl engine '03 Tib but as I continue to look at pictures of Tibby's I'm starting to prefer the GT V6. If the gas mileage is decent I might start concentrating on the GT V6 as a possible next car. What a beautiful sports car and a great value for the money paid. Have you had any problems with yours yet?

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • revkarevka Posts: 1,750
    In addition to iluvmysephia's questions, it would nice to see some detailed vehicle reports/updates in this discussion.

    Anyone interested in participating? You can list your total miles to date, mpg (include driving habits), additional accessories/mods, maintenance to date, wash/wax tips, trips or cargo experiences, and overall impressions (pros/cons) of your Hyundai Tiburon....

    I'm sure others passing through there would find he information quite helpful. Also, you can report back every 3k -5k, or so, to update again.

    Thanks for sharing your Hyundai Tiburon experience!

    Hatchbacks & Wagons Boards
  • stshanestshane Posts: 15
    Well, since I filled up last night.. I know my gas mileage for my last tank was just under 21 mpg. This isn't a great figure, it was under my usual average per tank of somewhere between 22 and 23. I do mixed driving. I have two jobs, one takes me on all city streets (stop & go), and the other job takes me on the thruway. Also, I just pulled my car out from the winter, so everything might be settling back into place too. I usually don't drive too aggressively, shifting before 3500 rpm usually. The EPA estimates are 19 and 26 with the 5-speed.. so I guess I am getting pretty close to what is claimed. Good luck with whatever you pick; the GT's tuning is very nice (I didn't drive a base 4-banger), but is a little rough over the pock-marked streets of upstate NY after a long winter.. but I LOVE IT!
    BTW, the 5-speed's OD gear (5th) isn't very nice to high speed driving milage either. When I am cruising at like 70 the rpm's read about 3k... my father's V6 Malibu (2002) on the other hand is in the low 2k's @70mph.. however this does allow the Tiburon nice passing power or acceleration without downshifting... I don't know what the 6-speed or automatic's RPMs would be like at 70..
  • stshanestshane Posts: 15
    Revka et. al~
    I will be more than happy to give a report soon on my 2003 Tib. This sounds like a good idea, and I hope to see more owners posting messages here. As stated in my previous post I just took my car out of the garage (the snow is FINALLY melting), so I will send an update in soon. Most likely I will post after I take it in for my next scheduled maintenance service. Happy driving to all!

    If you want to see my other comments (from last driving season) check out my other posts in this forum (#s 98, 105, 127, 135, 138)
  • Hi everyone..I am interested in the Tiburon 03. I have some concerns though. 1) I live in the wintery wonderlands of Michigan, does it perform well in snow? Or are you owner putting it away for the winter?
    Also, what kind of deals are you all getting for it. Money is an issue for me and I would like to know how far I can talk them down before I go into this....any other feed back would be great too! Thanks
  • cfbd1273cfbd1273 Posts: 18
    2003 Tiburon GT V-6 Automatic Transmission

    Gas Mileage Observed: On a 600 mile trip over mostly flat terrain. 26-28 mpg.

    Note: This was doing about 55 miles an hour at night with the a/c off.

    Gas Mileage Observed: When doing day to day driving around town. 21-22 mpg.

    Note: This was observed with out any modifications done to the car.

    Gas Mileage Observed: When doing day to day driving after installing a K&N air filter. 23-25 mpg.

    Note: When I installed the new filter I also unplugged the battery for about 15 minutes to reset the air flow sensor.
  • stshanestshane Posts: 15
    I live in Western New York and the winters here are probably similar to yours. We get all the lake effect snow from the Great Lakes (especially Lake Erie). I stored my Tiburon for the winter because I have the 17" rims with the Michelin Pilot Sport tires (summer only). I don't know how the the 16" rims that come on the 4-cylinder model perform, but mine were not good at all. I drove my car a few times over the winter (so that I didn't have to winterize my car for storage) and the few times that I went on roads that weren't plowed it was horrible. I was spinning my tires with every shift and the tires were struggling to grip when turning at a low speed. I opted to store my car for the winter because I had a great winter car (my previous car) to drive. However, I have decided that next winter I will probably buy a set of steel wheels and snow tires to put on. My only concern is that I didn't opt for ABS, so I might find another junker to drive for the winter if the price is right.

    Pricing is another issue that is heavily dealt with on this site. The Edmunds TMV is pretty realistic for basing your buying decisions on. If you want more info, including what I got mine for, check out my previous posts (#s 98, 105, 127, 135, 138, 139 in this forum).

    What I can tell you (again, if you haven't read my previous posts) is that I love the car and think it is an amazing value. You get decent power and TONS of standard equipment for a great price. Another thing that I can tell you is that with the GT-V6 (which is tuned a little more tightly than the base 4-cylinder) you have to be careful of potholes and large cracks, which I am sure you see just as much as I do. Any other concerns just put a post up and I will be happy to respond. Hope you have a good decision making process. By the way, what other cars are you considering?
  • stshanestshane Posts: 15
    Hey.. I was just wondering what kind of improvements (if any) you felt or noticed after putting in the drop-in K&N filter? I see that your fuel economy seems to have improved, but were there any other gains (i.e. throttle response, quickened revving, etc.)? Thanks for your response...
  • cfbd1273cfbd1273 Posts: 18
    Stshane, I use too live in Western New York too (Hamburg), glad to hear your garaging the car salt and snow will ruin it.

    They say that your suppose to feel better throttle response and all that is associated with it quicker revving etc..

    I have put K&N filters in a lot of cars. I have noticed a difference with each one. Depending on what kind of car you feel something different.

    In the Tiburon it makes the exhaust sound a little louder and yes the throttle revs quicker.

    But the biggest difference is the sound.

    If you are thinking of buying one I bought mine online and paid about $35 for mine plus free shipping.

    Careful about going to the auto stores they tried to give me the filter for the 2002 Tiburon, and no it doesn’t fit. Here is the part number 33-2201

    Let me know if this doesn’t answer your question.
  • stshanestshane Posts: 15
    Thanks for the info. I have now just ordered my K&N off the net. It should arrive within a week. I can't wait to pop it in and test out the sound/performance gains myself. I hope to see you cruising around in your Tib. Where did you get yours? I got mine at Towne; right down by you. Happy cruising..
  • cfbd1273cfbd1273 Posts: 18
    I bought mine in South Carolina because of the tax break.

    I use to live in Hamburg. Actually the first time I saw a new Tiburon was at the Hyundai dealer on Southwestern Blvd.

    I now live in Florida. But I was wondering how it handles the snow and bumpy roads up there?

    Let me know how you like the K&N.

    FYI: Unplug your battery for about 15 minutes after you put in the new filter this resets the air flow sensor. This helps because it adjusts the fuel air mixture (more power). If you have an automatic this will also reset the shifting computer too, I believe. So she might shift hard for the first couple of shifts.

    Good luck
  • stshanestshane Posts: 15
    Bob... Florida must be great for the Tib. I would love to be cruising around there on a nice night. The air would be dry and about 60 degrees. The engine would be sucking in some nice cool air for a good charge for fuel mixture..... but that is me dreaming.

    Up here isn't horrible. I just have to watch VERY carefully for potholes (especially with the $250 Pilot Sports and 17" low profile rims). Especially right now when the thaw has just started. I saw them patching some up the other day actually.. so that is a good thing. Plus they finally fixed up the 190 and stuff.. so the highways are actually pretty nice. I just need to find some nice smooth curves to wring it around. I just got an e-mail today about my K&N... it is on backorder! But I should get it within a 2 weeks. I will be sure to disconnect the battery. But I won't be able to enjoy it too long, because right after I am going on Spring Break.. and not taking it down. Will let you know more as things happen.. keep me posted on your cruising.
  • benebsmbenebsm Posts: 1
    Has anyone heard any rumors about a Tiburon convertable being in the works?
  • iluvmysephia1iluvmysephia1 KC MetroPosts: 6,869
    convertible Tiburon on other Tibby chatsites but as yet Hyundai has not released to the public plans to build a Tiburon convertible. What a knockout if they do...stay tuned! I'll certainly post it if I find out they're going to. I'm strongly considering either a 4cyl base model or a GT V6 Tiburon for my next car so I'm constantly looking for new-gen Tiburon news. FYI-check out the current and past issues of Import Racer magazine. They're tuning a silver GT V6 2003 Tib step-by-step in the monthly magazine. It's really interesting and fun to follow and see what the tuning possibilities are for this handsome little sports car.

    2011 Kia Soul Sport 5-speed

  • kestrel02kestrel02 Posts: 26
    How available (like on the lot) are some of the Tiburon packages going to be? I'm looking at a 2003 GT V6 with the Sprint package, because I really want ABS and I'd rather not have black leather which is a nightmare here in the South during the hot months. Is this something I'm likely to find on a lot? I admit, I find the Hyundai dealers search options very uninformative, because it shows what they have on the lot, but not really much information about each car.
  • stshanestshane Posts: 15
    Hyundai is not a large-scale company yet where they can do factory orders (at least this is what I have been told). Usually a dealership will have to do a dealer trade to get a specific car that you want. I don't know what the size of the dealer is that you are looking at so it is hard to say what you will find. When I was shopping for mine (I wanted the base Tiburon GT, as I thought the high spoiler and metal pedals were unnecessary) I had a problem finding my car as well. I was cross-shoping the two large Hyundai dealers that are parts of huge conglomerates. Of course the dealers were trying to get me into a package, but I told them that I wanted the base GT only. They started talking about dealer trades, but I really didn't need the car that second, so I told them to see what they got in on their next shipment (which was that week). Low and behold my car showed up (in one of my specified colors) on that shipment.

    Car buying is all about timing; and unless you need a car right away or are going to miss out on a rebate it is probably best to wait until the car YOU WANT comes in or they can get it on a dealer trade without gouging you on the price you feel you should pay. Happy buying!

    Own- 2003 Super Silver Tiburon GT-V6 5-speed, 17" rims (6800 miles)
    posts (in this forum): #s 98, 105, 127, 135, 138, 139, 142
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    When I was actively searching for a Tiburon back in August, I never did see the V6 Sprint package. In fact, I couldn't find any 4 cylinder versions either. Based on casual looking since than, the supply hasn't changed much. Finding the Sprint package will be very difficult I think.
  • skuuterskuuter Posts: 144
    I accidentally ran across one of the new Tiburons while checking out a Mazda 626 and debating about giving a Sonata a chance. Once I drove the Tiburon, I had to have it! The car exceeded my expectations in every way. And the price was more than reasonable.

    Due to my daily commute, I opted for the Shiftronic automatic version, so you'll have to take that into account. I'm 46 so my legs just don't care to be shifting all the time anymore.

    The following is my rundown of what I've experienced over 29,000 miles:


    24-26 mpg doing my commute (mostly freeway, but lots of traffic jams)

    As high as 29 mpg on a 600 mile trip averaging 80MPH! Most trips I get 27 mpg.


    Very reliable, so far.
    Plenty of low end grunt and very acceptable acceleration for passing. I recommend downshifting manually to experience the best response (the auto tranny is a little hesitant to do so at times).
    I like the stares and all the people asking what kind of car it is!

    Very comfortable, yet firm, seats on long trips.

    Lots of luggage room.

    Very good stereo system, in my opinion.


    With the right tires, and some experience behind the wheel of this car, it does very well. While not as nimble as some higher end cars, it's shortcomings are easily compensated for.

    Steering is slightly numb, but predictable.

    Ride is a bit too firm, but steering response benefits from this. I hate potholes!!!

    Body roll becomes an issue on long sweeps, but in the twisties it's not a problem as long as you set up your entry/exit properly. Lower the car a little and add a strut bar to eliminate most of this. The car is a lot of fun on well paved winding roads!

    Brakes are excellent, even without ABS. I have yet to lock up even on emergency type stops. Slight fade on roads requiring a lot of braking and downshifting.

    Paint chipping on rocker panels - re-painted under warranty.

    Noisy idler pulley when new - replaced under warranty.


    I wish the dash console and steering wheel were integrated so they'd tilt simultaneously.

    Need more cupholders.

    Tail lamps and headlights could be easier to service for bulb replacement.

    I don't like the Mercedes style cruise control stalk. I'd prefer buttons on the dash or steering wheel.

    Too much black on the dash and too many blank option buttons. I wish they'd added a bit more aluminum colored trim, but this is all available on the aftermarket now.


    A great car! If it was wearing a different logo, you'd never guess it was a Hyundai. Most people don't anyway :)
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    Thanks for the in depth report! It's nice to finally hear from someone who has put some mileage on the 03 Tib. I was wondering if you could answer a few questions for me. How quiet is the car on the highway? Do the tires make a lot of noise? What about wind noise? Has the firm ride caused any annoying squeaks or rattles? The rock hard ride was one of the main reasons I didn't buy one, but I'm thinking of overlooking it when I'm ready to buy in a year's time as long as it isn't leading to annoying interior noises. Any input is appreciated!
  • cfbd372cfbd372 Posts: 3
    skuuter what kind of noise did the pulley make?

    My car makes a ticking noise when I first start it.

    I can't think of it being anything but maybe the valves are knocking. Thanks
  • skuuterskuuter Posts: 144
    Glad to give the report!

    As for how quiet the car is? On the highway, with windows up, the car is very quiet, in my opinion. No wind buffeting noises or whistling and the engine only announces itself when you floor it. There is a fair amount of road noise from the tires, more so from the new Toyos I put on, but it's definitely reasonable. Turn up the tunes and what little noise there is becomes irrelevant.

    I have, on occasion, thought the car was developing rattles, but discovered other causes, like my sunglasses in the overhead weren't sitting on the rubber liner, seat belt not fully retracted, a lunch box left in the back and a loose jack handle in the spare well.

    The firm ride can be a problem on bad roads. I cringe every time I don't spot a manhole cover or utility cover in time to avoid them on the roads here in the Portland area (I still want to know why manholes can't be placed in the turn lanes, bike lanes and/or on sidewalks instead of thru traffic lanes!!?). Anyway, on city streets or rotten freeways like I-205, the rough pavement and potholes can make for a rough and sometimes irritating ride! However!!! on nice interstates and winding back roads like we have out in the high desert, the car is nothing but fun to drive, so it makes up for the hassles of city driving.

    Crank pulley: made a loud chattering noise. The ticking you hear is normal until the engine warms up. I believe the hydraulic lifters make the ticking until the oil warms up.
  • cfbd372cfbd372 Posts: 3
    I have been working with a lot of delta v-6's over the past year but never heard the sound mine is making. Probably cause there brand new engines I guess.

    But you’re right it's probably the valve lifters because the sound goes away in about 10 seconds.

    Thanks for the help.
  • I'm just about to purchase my Tiburon and have been quoted a price of $18,531 for the 03' Tiburon w/ Ultrasports 3 package (6-speed, spoiler, sunroof). Did anyone get anything cheaper than this?

    By the way, there is a slight possibility that I may have to postpone buying my new car, due to the unusual difficulties I'm having selling my current car. Does anyone know how often Hyundai has this $1000 cash back sale? Was it active last month? I know this one currently ends on 4/30, and I just don't want to miss out.

    Steve (Future Tiburon Owner)
  • lngtonge18lngtonge18 Posts: 2,228
    I'd say you are doing pretty darn good, with a price right around invoice if not less! I was offered this weekend to pay 20673 (sticker price) for an 03 Tiburon automatic with sunroof with 10600 given for my trade (a still brand new 03 Suzuki Aerio SX with only 9400 miles). I of course balked at that ridiculous price and the sales manager didn't even try to deal with me. I couldn't believe he didn't want to make $1000 on the sale of that car! There is no guaranty the rebate will continue but since the new car market is in a slump over the economy and war, I would say it will probably be renewed. Good luck!
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