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2000 Hyundai Tiburon

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SAN FRANCISCO:  When Hyundai redesigned its 2000 Tiburon, complete with quad headlamps and aerodynamic sheetmetal, it entered a "zone" it hadn’t 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 doesn’t dictate that the car is solely a young person’s car.

It isn’t. 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 Hyundai’s 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, we’d 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 car’s 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, it’s 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 wouldn’t want to make a cross-country trip, it wasn’t all that bad.

Presently, you can buy only the coupe design, but we’ll 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, there’s 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 you’re 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 publisher@newsitem.com. 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

Download the Microsoft Word version here:   2000 Hyundai Tiburon

Download the original image file here:  2000 Hyundai Tiburon 19k

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