What's New for 2007
The Tiburon puts on a somewhat new face for 2007 with revamped front and rear fascias, headlights, taillights, hood, front fenders and exhaust tips. The cabin has been spiffed up with blue backlit gauges and chrome accents and MP3 capability, and a tire-pressure monitoring system is now standard. SE models get standard stability control, traction control, larger and cross-drilled brake rotors, a track-tuned suspension and a full-size spare.
In recent years, Hyundai has mastered the art of giving people more than they've paid for, delivering vehicles whose generous warranties and standard features lists belie their ultralow price tags. The 2007 Hyundai Tiburon reflects the manufacturer's effort to translate this approach to the sport coupe segment.
Appearance counts for a lot in the sport-coupe world, and the Hyundai Tiburon has the sort of sharp lines that make a car stand apart from the pack. In profile, it's especially eye-catching, with a rising beltline, scooped outside detail and sweeping roof line. The Tiburon's upscale look is topped off with side sculpting and slick alloy wheels shod with performance tires.
Although the Tiburon is a sport coupe, its suspension tuning is on the soft side, resulting in compromises with regard to handling. This is something driving enthusiasts will notice in back-to-back test-drives with the Tiburon's competition. Still, the handling is competent enough for most folks, and the Tiburon offers a forgiving ride for those who value comfort over performance.
A more serious problem is engine power, as even the Tiburon's V6 is now outclassed by the four-cylinders of many competitors. Given these weaknesses and the car's aging design, we think shoppers would be better served by a variety of other choices, including the Chevrolet Cobalt SS, Ford Mustang V6, Honda Civic Si or Mitsubishi Eclipse.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2007 Hyundai Tiburon coupe is available in GS, GT, GT Limited and SE trims. Standard equipment for the GS includes a tire-pressure monitoring system, air-conditioning, a six-speaker stereo with CD player, remote keyless entry, full power accessories, foglamps, 16-inch alloy wheels and a rear spoiler. The GT adds automatic climate control, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, cloth/leather seats, chrome interior accents, a trip computer and 17-inch wheels. The GT Limited includes red leather upholstery, a power sunroof and a 440-watt Infinity audio system. The SE adds a sport-tuned suspension, a high-mounted rear spoiler, aluminum pedals, manual air-conditioning, a Kenwood CD/MP3 audio system, cross-drilled brake rotors with red calipers and a six-speed manual transmission.
Powertrains and Performance
The GS comes with a 138-horsepower, 2.0-liter inline-4. Step up to the GT, SE or GT Limited, and you'll get a 2.7-liter V6 rated at 172 hp and 181 pound-feet of torque. Although smooth, the V6 is considerably down on power for this segment. The GS, GT and GT Limited are available with a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission, while the SE can only be had with a six-speed manual.
All Tiburons come standard with side airbags for front occupants, a tire-pressure monitor and antilock brakes. Traction control and electronic stability control are standard on the SE, but aren't available on other models. In NHTSA crash tests, the 2007 Hyundai Tiburon earned a full five stars for driver protection in frontal impacts and four stars for the front passenger. Side-impact testing found the Tiburon earning a four-star rating.
Interior Design and Special Features
The 2007 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, GT Limited or SE is strongly encouraged. When the Tiburon is driven hard, it lacks the athleticism of its more nimble competitors. The SE offers a sport-tuned suspension for more responsive handling and a tauter ride, but even that Tiburon is not as light on its feet as the class leaders. The Tiburon's V6 is confident but not eager and its steering is a bit slow and numb. However, when driven in a relaxed manner, this Hyundai performs capably and delivers a smooth ride.