The 2004 Hyundai Tiburon earns a reputation as an affordable sport coupe, and its styling appeals to younger purchasers looking for something a little sportier but still economical to drive and own. The later models look particularly attractive, especially after the Tiburon got completely restyled in 2003.
The Hyundai Tiburon made its debut in North America in 1997 and marked the beginning of Hyundai providing a more luxurious style of car, as it marks the company's first attempt at producing a sport coupe. The two-door hatchback coupe gets the name Tiburon from the Spanish for shark. Its styling doesn’t look as sleek as its competitors, but it provides a remarkably affordable hatchback that offers a pretty good performance, and it remains by far the most attractive car produced by Hyundai.
Body Styles: hatchback, coupe
Engines: 2.0-liter four-cylinder, 2.7-liter V-6
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Hyundai Tiburon, Hyundai Tiburon GT, Hyundai Tiburon GT Special Edition
The Hyundai Tiburon base model’s engine comes outfitted with variable valve timing (VVT), resulting in higher torque and horsepower. The Base model also features a rear spoiler, standard. The Hyundai Tiburon GT Special Edition debuted in 2004 and comes loaded with almost all the GT’s optional features standard, and unique badging and trim as well.
The appearance of the 2004 Hyundai Tiburon gets enhanced with fairly well-equipped standard features. The base model comes fitted with 16-inch wheels and tires. The two upper levels have 17-inch alloy wheels and the rear spoiler, as well. The multiple choices in exterior colors allow a customization to please any personality and style.
The chassis of the Tiburon is loosely based on the Hyundai Elantra, and all models benefit from an independent suspension, with the GT V-6 model having a much firmer ride due to stiffer shock absorbers and larger antiroll bars.
Standard equipment for the Tiburon base model includes air-conditioning, side airbags, cruise control, a six-speaker stereo system with a CD player, sport seats, keyless entry, four-wheel disc brakes, and power windows and locks. The GT version includes leather seating, sport suspension, and a seven-speaker sound system. Optional extras for both models include a moonroof and ABS.
Performance & Handling
The 2004 Tiburon comes in two different trims: the base model and the GT version. The base model employs a two-liter, four cylinder engine with either an automatic four-speed transmission or a manual five-speed transmission, capable of producing 134 hp and 132 lb-ft of torque. The GT model contains a more powerful 2.7-liter, V-6 engine coupled with a manual five-speed transmission. It produces 170 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque.
EPA fuel economy for the Tiburon rates at 21/27 mpg city/highway and 23 mpg combined for the manual 2.0-liter model and 20/27 mpg city/highway and 23 mpg combined for the automatic two-liter model. The 2.7-liter model has an estimated fuel economy of 18/24 mpg city/highway with the automatic transmission and 17/24 mpg city/highway with the manual transmission.
The Tiburon is a lot of fun to drive, but its steering does not respond as well as other cars in this class. However it does give a smooth ride. It becomes especially attractive when you factor in the competitive price, its beautifully styled exterior, and comprehensive list of standard features. It's difficult to fault this car, especially at the price, but in comparison with other sport coupes it weighs a lot and doesn't drive as well, but it certainly wins on other points.
Standard features for safety include side airbags, and bolstered seats help keep you in place when taking tight corners. The Tiburon has a well-designed interior, and all the controls sit exactly where you need them.
EPA Fuel Economy
Hyundai Tiburon Base: 21/28 mpg city/highway
Hyundai Tiburon GT: 17/24 mpg city/highway
Hyundai Tiburon GT Special Edition: 17/24 mpg city/highway
- Extended warranty
- Reasonable price
- Generous list of standard features
- V-6 availability
- Sharp style
You Won't Like
- Weight compromises performance
- Thirsty V-6
A generous warranty, optional V-6, and clean style, with too much weight and a soft suspension.
If You Like This Vehicle
- Acura ZDX
- Honda Civic
- Kia Forte
- Chevrolet Camaro
- BMW 5 Series Gran Tourismo