Used 1997 Hyundai Tiburon Hatchback

1997 Hyundai Tiburon
List price range

Pros

  • Inexpensive, expressive styling

Cons

  • Spotty Hyundai quality record, performance can't deliver what looks promise

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Edmunds' Expert Review

vehicle overview

Four years ago, Hyundai displayed a mouth-watering concept car at national auto shows. Called the HCD-II, showgoers could hardly swallow the fact that the same company that produced the Excel could, or would, dream up something like the HCD-II. Hyundai execs promised that a production version of the showcar was on the drawing boards.

The following year, HCD-III arrived and contained an innovative side-saddle 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 back seat.

Alas, it was not meant to be. The Tiburon arrives at a compromise between federal regulations and designer fantasy in base and FX trim levels. Tiburon is based on the same platform as the Elantra, and base models share that sedan's 130-horsepower 1.8-liter engine. FX gets a 140-horsepower 2.0-liter engine, along with rear disc brakes, alloy wheels, and other goodies. With just over 2,600 pounds to motivate, the FX's engine moves the Tiburon along reasonably quickly, but we think this shark's bark is worse than it's bite.

Just look at that sheetmetal, would you? Looks like some Hyundai stylists pilfered sketches for the next zany Toyota Celica. This car will definitely get you noticed, but not for blazing performance. This is a car for stylin', dude. Inside is a snug but attractive interior that borrows design cues from several popular sport coupes, past and present. Dual airbags are standard, while ABS is optional only on the upper-level FX.

Tiburon is a belated replacement for the Scoupe, which disappeared last year. Improved all-around, Hyundai's sport coupe is much better, but will it sell? Obviously, the target market is the same young, style-conscious, and financially-impaired bunch that buy the Toyota Paseo, Volkswagen GTI, Dodge Neon Sport, and Pontiac Sunfire GT. We think that the stylish Tiburon will compete very well from a design standpoint, but without improved acceleration from the FX to compete with the Pontiac and Dodge, and consumer confidence in its ability to hold up as well as a Toyota, this species may be doomed to the same fate as the late Mazda MX-3: extinction.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 1997 Hyundai Tiburon.

get it
jason12, 6/6/2003
The best car i have ever had.NO trouble at all.
reliable, and a blast
tyler29, 3/31/2013
I bought this car for $1100 from a college kid. Had about 110k miles and had been in an accident. There was some exterior damage, but not too bad. I loved it immediately. Its a blast to drive, and I've never had to worry about it stranding me or so much as not starting. I am going to have to get rid of it soon, which will make me sad, but because of this car I'll probably end up selling this one for a new tiburon.
Decent Car
Decent, 6/14/2009
I just rolled over 200,000 miles. Very reliable car, nothing too major done to it, tranny rebuild, replaced multiple wear parts, repaint. Never has left me stranded anywhere. Would definitely recommend to anyone that is looking to buy a cheap older vehicle.
I love it!
Bobbi, 11/18/2009
My car is pushing 200000 miles,I thought it needed a new transmission, but changed the transmission FILTER and it is fine, just no overdrive? That filter was $25.00 a new transmission...too much. Now, if I didn't have a little body damage...I might go ahead and put a rebuilt transmission in, that's how much I like the car.
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Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 27 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
140 hp @ 6000 rpm
MPG
19 city / 27 hwy
Seats 0
5-speed manual
Gas
130 hp @ 6000 rpm
See all Used 1997 Hyundai Tiburon Hatchback features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Not Tested
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Not Tested
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    0

More about the 1997 Hyundai Tiburon
Used 1997 Hyundai Tiburon Hatchback Overview

The Used 1997 Hyundai Tiburon Hatchback is offered in the following styles: FX 2dr Hatchback, and 2dr Hatchback.

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