SAN FRANCISCO: When Hyundai redesigned its 2000 Tiburon, complete with quad headlamps and
aerodynamic sheetmetal, it entered a "zone" it hadnt experienced before;
the zone we speak of is the "getting noticed" zone! Our test drive Tiburon
turned heads wherever we took it, and was the darling of the younger set. However, just
because the youngsters loved Tiburon doesnt dictate that the car is solely a young
It isnt. The little Hyundai garnered respect at the country club and high-end
eateries, frequented by owners of BMW Z3s and Porsche Boxsters. Based vaguely on
Hyundais spectacular HCD-II and HCD-III concept cars, Tiburon is a low-cost
alternative to the higher priced sportsters, and is a direct competitor to Escort ZX,
Cavalier Z24, Sunfire GT, and Honda Civic Si.
For 2000, Tiburon comes in one model only, as the FX and base models from last year are
now combined into one car. New this year is an improved rear-end fascia, better cockpit,
standard 15-inch tires and alloy wheels, power locks and mirrors, and four-wheel disc
bakes. The best part of the "new" scenario is that a consumer still needs to
spend only $13,999 to park a Tiburon in the driveway with a 10-year, 100,000-mile warranty
(the best in the business).
Included are standard features like air conditioning, rear window defroster and washer,
reclining front seats, remote fuel door and hood release, digital clock and tinted glass.
The only options are cruise control, automatic transmission and a package power sunroof
and six-speaker CD player.
Under the hood, Hyundai engineers continue to improve the drivetrain, as a 140-horse,
2.0-liter, 16-valve inline-4 powers the lightweight Tiburon with a degree of authority.
However, wed like to see more horsepower in the future if Hyundai really wants to
join the higher-performance sports car crowd, and perhaps even a GT-V6 model some day.
The standard 5-speed transmission worked well, and is recommended over the optional
4-speed automatic, which will both impair the cars performance capabilities and
lower highway EPA numbers from 31 to 29.
Underneath, a fully independent suspension on McPherson Strut front and multi-link rear
layouts allow Tiburon to corner well and ride quite nicely. Thanks to some additional
tweaking, the 2000 Tiburon is a bit more comfortable than predecessors.
Inside, the cockpit offers many standard features and a great dash layout. Yes,
its small but Tiburon is not cramped in any manner. All controls are in easy reach
of driver and passenger, and the front seats, which offer excellent support, are wider
than most small sports cars. The rear seat is also fairly roomy for its compact design,
and offers a split-folding feature, which is not common in this class. We sat in the back,
and although we wouldnt want to make a cross-country trip, it wasnt all that
Presently, you can buy only the coupe design, but well take odds at 2-1 that
Hyundai releases a Tiburon Roadster convertible in the future. As for the overall result
of our test drive, Hyundai has another winner with its new Tiburon, and for the price,
theres no competition to be found. Our test drive model came in at a bit over
$15,500, completely equipped with the optional sunroof, CD player and a rear spoiler.
If youre strapped for bucks but still want to make the scene, visit a Hyundai
showroom for a Tiburon test drive. By Greg Zyla © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Greg Zyla writes a weekly auto column on all things automotive.
Write him at The Extra Mile, 707 Rock St., Shamokin, Pa. 17872 or email him at firstname.lastname@example.org. He answers reader
questions regularly on anything from dead batteries to the Indy Racing League.
Hyundai Tiburon Specifications:
Weight: 2,633 lbs.
Wheelbase: 97.4 in.
EPA Mileage 22 city/ 31 hwy
Length: 170.9 in.
Cargo Space: 12.9 cu. Ft.
Base Price: $13,999
Hyundai USA Home Page
Byline: By Greg Zyla © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Column Name: "A low-cost alternative to higher priced sportsters"
Topic: 2000 Hyundai Tiburon
Word Count: 695
Photo Caption: 2000 Hyundai Tiburon
Photo Credits: Hyundai Internet Media
Series #: 2000 - 32
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