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2003 Hyundai Tiburon

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SAN FRANCISCO: Within the last year or two Hyundai has made leaps and bounds in the styling, engineering and quality of their new cars, not to mention adding a lot of the fun-to-drive factor. This brings us to our most fun test car in a long time: The 2003 Hyundai Tiburon GT V6.

When you hear someone talk about a car being "fun to drive" they could be talking about any number of factors; like good handling, tons of power or, and most preferably, a combination of the two. The new Tiburon is fitted with the V6 engine from the Sonata and has a fully independent "sport-tuned" suspension, a combination that makes driving your favorite twisty road more anticipated than payday.

The first thing you notice about the ’03 Tiburon is the redesigned exterior. Gone are the round, almost spider-like, low and high beam headlights and bulging fenders of the previous car. What you get now is a front-end design that resembles a classic Ferrari; two headlight clusters divided by an opening for cooling and airflow through the engine compartment and it looks very cool.

The rest of the car maintains the same basic shape of the previous model, but has morphed itself into a more sophisticated and modern automobile. Inside, the Tiburon is on the small side, but what GT coupe isn’t? We were extremely impressed with the fit and finish and the general quality of the materials. The leather on the seats and steering wheel were top notch and fit their respective objects like a glove, which made driving it all that much easier.

One other thing about the cockpit, we found there to be plenty of good sightlines from the driver’s seat. Being a small fastback shape usually means large blind spots on either side of the car, but with our mirrors facing out enough, the blind spots were dramatically reduced.

Plus there were plenty of cubbyholes to store your stuff including a rather large one situated seat-level with the right rear passenger. This one was deep enough to swallow a six-pack of your favorite beverage with some room to spare.

We also liked the Infinity AM/FM/six-disc in-dash CD changer stereo but found the same problem we had with the Acura RSX, not enough BASS coming through to the cabin from the trunk mounted subwoofer. Though the Tiburon’s radio did have a bit better sound dynamic than the RSX.

Speaking of dynamics, after driving the Tib, we wanted to go find an American car engineer and shake him up a bit and ask why can’t American companies make cars like this? Out on the highway we noticed that the suspension, which was flawless in the twisties, reminded us that it was meant for smooth blacktop by reverberating nearly every road imperfection and expansion joint we drove over. But overall we found the ride to be nice and tight and sports car like. Another big thank you to the Korean engineers.

Our Tiburon GT V6 based at $17,999.00 and had a ton of standard features like power everything, disc brakes all around, a handy rear wiper, heated mirrors, front and side airbags and air/cruise/tilt, along with keyless remote entry.

The as-tested price toped out at $20,492.00 after adding the Ultra Sport Package 3 that contained the six-speed manual transmission, aluminum foot pedals, a spoiler out back, ABS and power moonroof ($1998) and the obligatory destination charge ($495).

We loved driving the Tiburon and would recommend this car to anyone under five feet ten who likes great handling, powerful cars with good design, attractive looks and are inexpensive to own. The 2003 Hyundai Tiburon GT V6 is a winner in all these categories. By James E. Bryson AutoWire.Net - San Francisco

Hyundai Home Page

Byline:  Syndicated content provided by Tony Leopardo AutoWire.Net
Column Name:  The Shark is Reborn
Topic:  2003 Hyundai Tiburon GT V6
Word Count:   681
Photo Caption:  The 2003 Hyundai Tiburon
Photo Credits:  Hyundai Internet Media
Series #:   2002 - 26

Download the Microsoft Word version here:   2003 Hyundai Tiburon

Download the original image file here:  2003 Hyundai Tiburon

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