Spotty Hyundai quality record, performance can't deliver what looks promise
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.
Loosely based on the 1993 HCD-II concept car, the Tiburon (Spanish for shark) debuts as a budget sport coupe that promises to gobble competitors such as the Toyota Paseo like so much chum.
Read what other owners think about the Used 1997 Hyundai Tiburon.
I was always a Hyundai man owning 5 new ones and many used. I bought this tib at auction with 150,000 miles on it. It now has 166,000 miles on it and I have never had 1 problem with it everyone comments on its looks. The mileage is great and I wouldn't hesitate to take it anywhere I would never buy anything but a Hyundai
4.5 out of 5 stars
The best car i have ever had.NO
trouble at all.
4.13 out of 5 stars
reliable, and a blast
FX 2dr Hatchback
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.
3.63 out of 5 stars
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.
The Used 1997 Hyundai Tiburon is offered in the following submodels: Tiburon Hatchback. Available styles include 2dr Hatchback, and FX 2dr Hatchback.
The Used 1997 Hyundai Tiburon comes with front wheel drive.
Available transmissions include: 5-speed manual.
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