2003 Tiburon New Car Test Drive
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.
Two versions of the new Tiburon are available: the base Tiburon and the Tiburon GT V6.
Apart from different wheels and spoilers both models have the same sexy lines and enjoy a comprehensive list of standard features: air conditioning, power windows, mirrors and door locks, keyless entry with alarm, four wheel disc brakes and dual exhaust.
Tiburon ($15,999) is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine producing 134 horsepower; it's available with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. There are just three option packages: automatic transmission ($900), an upgraded stereo system with a power sunroof ($948), and an anti-lock braking system ($499). Go for all the options and the retail price is $18,346 plus the destination charge ($495).
Tiburon GT V6 ($17,999) is powered by a 170-horsepower 2.7-liter V6 engine.
Three transmissions are available: six-speed manual, five-speed manual, and four-speed automatic. Those who don't want to do their own shifting in the GT V6 only have to ante up $750 for an automatic transmission but they lose the 17-inch wheels. The sunroof option costs $649.
In addition to all the standard features on the base model, the GT V6 adds 17-inch wheels, leather seating surfaces, sport tuned suspension, and a rear spoiler. It also gets a premium Infinity stereo system complete with a 360-watt amplifier, six speakers and a large subwoofer.
Pricing for the GT V6 is a little more complicated but there are two versions available for $17,999 with the five-speed manual. One keeps the leather seats, while the Sprint package gives leather up for anti-lock brakes and aluminum foot pedals.
The most exciting setup for enthusiasts is the GT V6 with the six-speed manual transmission. There are three packages, called UltraSports 1, 2, and 3. The UltraSports 1 package only adds $250 to the GT V6's base price of $17,999 and you get a taller spoiler and aluminum foot pedals but you have to give up the leather seating. UltraSports 2 keeps the leather seats but costs $850. The ultimate package is UltraSports 3, which costs $1,998 and adds the sunroof and anti-lock brakes to all the other options for less than $20K.
Hyundai says that the price of the top level Tiburon is $2,800 less than an equivalent Mitsubishi Eclipse and $3850 less than the Celica GTS.
Remember also that Hyundai offers the best warranty in the business: 5 years/60,000 miles bumper-to-bumper and 10 years/100,000 miles for the powertrain.