2005 Tiburon New Car Test Drive
The 2005 Hyundai Tiburon sport coupe looks fresh with new front styling. It's a more attractive look, with a single large dark-meshed center opening in the grille flanked by fog lamp openings. Coupled with gill-like vents behind the front fender opening, the Tiburon has the look of a prowling shark, for which it is named.
The Tiburon GT is a sporty coupe with a brusque exhaust tone that makes the 172 horses from its V6 engine sound like Clydesdales. The 2.7-liter V6 is complemented with crisp handling that makes the GT fun to drive. The base Tiburon GS has a low-emission four-cylinder engine with adequate power for all traffic situations, and good handling that benefits from the sporty chassis design.
Compelling pricing makes the Tiburon an attractive proposition. The Tiburon starts at less than $16,000. A Tiburon GT V6 absolutely loaded with leather seats, sunroof, an Infinity audio system, and ABS, retails for $21,229, and the fully-loaded SE with six-speed transmission and Kenwood MP3 audio system lists for only $21,344. For comparison, the similarly equipped Mitsubishi Eclipse V6 and Toyota Celica GTS both list for over $24,000.
Hyundai has emerged as a low-cost producer of attractive cars with performance and panache. The quality of its products has improved tremendously in the past few years, according to the respected quality gurus at J.D. Power and Associates. Hyundai offers the best warranty in the business: 5 years/50,000 miles bumper-to-bumper and 10 years/100,000 miles for the powertrain.
The 2005 Hyundai Tiburon is available in three models: the base GS model with four-cylinder engine, and the GT and SE with the V6. Apart from different wheels and spoilers, all three models share the same sexy lines and enjoy a comprehensive list of standard features: air conditioning; side-impact airbags, power windows, door locks, and heated mirrors; six-speaker AM/FM/CD audio system; keyless entry with alarm; 16-inch alloy wheels; four wheel disc brakes; body-colored rear spoiler and dual chrome-tipped exhaust outlets.
Tiburon GS ($15,999) is powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder producing 138 horsepower with a continuously variable valve timing (CVVT) system for reduced emissions. This engine is offered with a standard five-speed manual or optional four-speed Shiftronic automatic transmission ($900). Just two other options are available: a package consisting of cruise control and a power tilt-and-slide sunroof ($945); and 17-inch alloy wheels and all-season tires with the cruise control/sunroof package ($1,240).
Tiburon GT ($17,999) is powered by a 2.7-liter V6 rated at 172 horsepower. Its suspension is stiffer and the wheels and tires are upgraded in size to 17-inch alloys shod with 215/45R17 Michelin Pilots. Fog lamps are standard, and the interior is dressed up with map lights, upgraded audio system, automatic temperature control, cruise control, deluxe carpeting, leather seat trim, metal/grain dash and panel trim, and leather wraps for the steering wheel and shift knob. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, and buyers can also choose a four-speed automatic ($900).
GT options include a package including a power sunroof and an Infinity premium audio system with 360-watt amp with six speakers and subwoofer ($1,300); the same package with 440-watt audio amp and leather seat facings ($1,940); or buyers can go all the way and get the upgraded premium audio system, leather, and sunroof, with anti-lock braking system ($2,435).
Tiburon SE ($19,999) is equipped with the 2.7-liter V6 and six-speed manual transmission. It will come standard with all of the premium options of the GT, plus a Kenwood AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, torque, voltage, and fuel consumption gauges, aluminum foot pedals, red aluminum brake calipers, and anti-lock brake system. The power-tilt sunroof ($750) is the only available option. The SE is a late-2005 model.