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It may not appeal to everybody, but the Tiburon is a decent enough ride that looks like nothing else on the road.
Aggressive styling, comfortable interior, zippy engine and good handling.
Aggressive styling, lots of squeaks and rattles from rear hatch, odd cupholder placement.
Hyundai's Tiburon is now offered in just one trim level. It receives new interior and exterior styling as well as alloy wheels, a power package and four-wheel disc brakes standard.
Several years ago, Hyundai displayed a mouth-watering concept car at national auto shows -- the HCD-II. Showgoers could hardly swallow the fact that the same company that produced the Excel could, or would, dream up something like this futuristic sport coupe. Hyundai execs promised that a production version of the showcar was on the drawing board.
The following year, HCD-III arrived and contained an innovative sidesaddle rear seat that a passenger could sit in sideways and stretch out. Excellent concept, Hyundai. Young consumers drooled in anticipation of the forthcoming HCD production car with the cool backseat.
Alas, it was not meant to be. The Tiburon arrived as a compromise between federal regulations and designer fantasy in base and FX trims. Still, its swoopy sheetmetal and sporty interior got it noticed. This year, both its sheet metal and cockpit have been redesigned; it now sports large, bold quad projector-beam headlights, a revised rear fascia, and several hood creases that continue along the side panels.
For 2000, Hyundai has dropped the FX trim and is offering the car as one model, the Tiburon. New standard equipment includes 15-inch alloy wheels, power door locks and mirrors, and four-wheel disc brakes. Option packages three and four offer the features that were available only on last year's FX trim. And for 2000, consumers can get a Tiburon for the same $13,999 base price that was offered last year.
But that's not all. Hyundai customers also will be delighted with the company's buyer assurance program, called the "Hyundai Advantage." With the purchase of any Hyundai vehicle, consumers will receive an awesome 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty. If the car is sold within those first 10 years, the new owner will still be entitled to a 5-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty. Also part of the program is 5-year/100,000-mile corrosion coverage and a limited bumper-to-bumper warranty of five years or 60,000 miles. Additionally, the program offers free 24-hour roadside assistance for five years, which includes towing and lockout service.
The Tiburon's target market is the same young, style-conscious, financially impaired bunch that buys the Ford Escort ZX2, Volkswagen GTI, Honda Civic Si and Pontiac Sunfire GT. The stylish Tiburon competes well and, with the Hyundai Advantage backing up the Tib's credentials, many young buyers may look at this coupe with newfound enthusiasm.
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