Full 2006 Hyundai Tiburon Review
What's New for 2006
A GT Limited trim level, featuring beige leather seating and a 440-watt Infinity audio system, has been added for 2006.
The Hyundai Tiburon received a full redesign in 2003, and the changes that were rendered nudged the nameplate upmarket. Much has been made of the styling; in profile, it could almost be a body double for a Ferrari 456 GT, due mostly to its rising beltline, scooped outside detail and sweeping roofline.
"Pinched waist" side sculpting and slick alloy wheels wearing performance tires complete the car's head-turning looks. Compared to the lightweights of the sport coupe class, the Hyundai Tiburon GT V6 is plump at just over 3,000 pounds and this, along with soft suspension tuning, limits its handling abilities. If you're an enthusiast looking for a car to drive hard on the back roads, the Civic Si or Cooper S would be a better bet. On the flip side, the 2006 Hyundai Tiburon is a good fit for the vast majority of buyers who want something that looks stylish and sporty, yet is comfortable enough for everyday driving. Add in a long list of standard equipment and affordable pricing, and this Hyundai car is certainly worth a look.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The Hyundai Tiburon coupe is available in GS, GT, GT Limited and SE trims. Standard equipment for the GS includes air conditioning, six-speaker stereo with CD player, side airbags, sport seats, power windows and locks, keyless entry, foglamps, four-wheel disc brakes, 16-inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler. The GT adds automatic climate control, cruise control, a trip computer, 17-inch wheels and a more dramatic rear spoiler. The GT Limited includes leather seats, a sunroof and 440-watt Infinity audio system. The sporty SE includes red front brake calipers, ABS, foglamps, a high-mounted rear spoiler, aluminum pedals, manual-control air conditioning, metal grain interior trim, a Kenwood CD/MP3 audio system, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The SE also features auxiliary torque, voltmeter and vacuum gauges.
Powertrains and Performance
The GS comes with a 138-hp, 2.0-liter inline four. Step up to the GT or SE, and you're rewarded with a 2.7-liter V6 rated at 172 hp and 181 lb-ft of torque. The GS and GT are available with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, while the SE can be had with either a six-speed manual or the automatic. The GT and SE feature a tauter ride, thanks to higher spring rates, stiffer shock absorbers and larger antiroll bars.
All Tiburons come standard with seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants. Four-wheel disc brakes are also included; antilock brakes are standard on the SE and optional on all other models. In NHTSA crash tests, the Hyundai Tiburon earned a full five stars for driver protection in frontal impacts and four stars for the front passenger. Side-impact testing returned a four-star rating.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2006 Hyundai Tiburon has a simple but handsome cockpit. At first glance, it's evident that the interior designers wanted to impart a high-quality look and feel to the cabin. Everything is laid out in a straightforward fashion free of gimmickry. Fiddle with the climate control knobs, and the silky fluidity with which they move would do a Honda proud. Bolstered sport seats help keep occupants in place during enthusiastic cornering, and the large speedometer and tachometer are easy to read at a glance.
The four-cylinder engine provides barely adequate power for this 3,000-pound coupe, so upgrading to the V6-powered GT or SE is strongly encouraged. When the Tiburon is driven hard, it lacks the athleticism of its lighter weight competitors. Its V6 is confident but not eager, its steering is a bit slow and numb, and it's heavy for a sport coupe. However, when driven in a relaxed manner, this Hyundai car performs capably and delivers a smooth ride.