The 2006 Hyundai Tiburon is still riding high on the sheet metal redesign implemented in 2003. What was once a mid-weight car model is now upmarket. The new shape gives it the look of a sporty roadster ready to tear up the road. Add sport-tuned tires and skinny middle, and the look is complete.
Unfortunately, this is a coupe that performs badly. The vehicle weighs nearly 3,000 pounds, putting it in the heavyweight class in comparison to the sport Ferrari and the competition. Pair all that weight with the weak engine, and you get a lackluster performance.
The Tiburon does have an edge over some of the competition due to its drive-ability and comfort. This is a sporty coupe you can use on a daily basis. No guilt when buying this one.
Body Style: Coupe
Engines: 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder, 2.7-liter V-6 engine
Transmissions: Five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: GS, GT, GT Limited, and SE
The GT trim level receives brand new beige leather seating. The GT also receives a 440-watt, infinity audio system.
The exterior of the Hyundai Tiburon is one of its most attractive features. The two-door styling is sleek and refined. The pinched middle gives the vehicle a sporty look that can’t be beat.
The GS gets 16-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, and a fancy rear spoiler.
The GT model has standard 17-inch wheels and a redesigned rear spoiler that puts the GS spoiler to shame.
The GT Limited model doesn’t get much different on the exterior that is saved for the SE. The SE receives standard red front brake calipers, anti-lock brakes, fog lamps, and a high-mounted rear spoiler.
The interior of the Hyundai Tiburon is made with simplicity in mind. Like high-end vehicles, the interior is a bit barebones. That being said, there isn’t any cheap plastic or components anywhere. Everything is made with a certain amount of rugged intention. All of the controls have a smooth touch, are easily adjusted, and laid out in the most delicate fashion. There isn’t any fiddling around trying to find the right control knob on the Tiburon. The seats are deep and comfortable even when ripping around corners or attempting spinouts.
The GS trim line gets standard air-conditioning, six-speaker stereo system with CD player, sport seats, power accessories, and keyless entry. The GT model has standard automatic climate control, cruise control, and a trip computer. The GT Limited gets a bit of an upgrade with leather seats, a sunroof, and a 440-watt infinity audio system. The SE model received aluminum pedals, manual control air-conditioning, metal grain trim, a Kenwood MP3/CD player, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifting knob.
Performance & Handling
The Tiburon has the look of a sport coupe, but the performance is a bit less than that. The four-cylinder engine has a hard time accelerating the 3,000-pound weight of the vehicle. It is recommended to skip the four-cylinder engine that produces a measly 138 horsepower in favor of the larger 2.7-liter V-6 engine that produces 172 horsepower with 181 lb-ft of torque. The GS and GT models are available with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic, while the upgraded SE is available with a six-speed automatic or manual depending on your driving preferences.
The springs and shocks on the GS can feel a bit loose and uncomfortable when going around corners. With the four-cylinder engine, this makes for a wreck of a ride. The GT and SE models upgrade the springs and struts giving the vehicle a slightly sportier ride than the base model. Larger antiroll bars are also fitted on the GT and SE models, making them safer than the GS.
The steering on all of the vehicles is a bit slow to react and heavy, most likely due to the high curb weight of the Tiburon. This is not a vehicle for taking around the track.
The Tiburon comes equipped with seat-mounted side airbags for the driver and passenger. Four-wheel disc brakes come standard, but anti-lock brakes are an option on all models except the SE, where it is standard. The NHTSA ran the Tiburon through its paces and gave the vehicle the top five star grade for frontal impacts, and the slightly lesser score of four stars for side impacts.
EPA Fuel Economy
Hyundai Tiburon GS: 21/28 mpg city/highway
Hyundai Tiburon GT: 17/24 mpg city/highway
Hyundai Tiburon GT Limited: 17/24 mpg city/highway
Hyundai Tiburon SE: 16/24 mpg city/highway
- Easy driving style
- Minimal interior design
- Extensive standard features
- Great price
You Won't Like
- Heavy weight
- Weak engine performance
- Gas guzzling V-6 engine
Extensive driving style at a great price.
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