Used 1999 Hyundai Tiburon Review

Edmunds expert review

What's new for 1999

Nothing changes on the Tiburon for 1999.

Vehicle overview

Six 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 back seat.

Alas, it was not meant to be. The Tiburon arrived as a compromise between federal regulations and designer fantasy in base and FX trims. Last year, both trim levels received a 140-horsepower, 2.0-liter engine. The FX also sported rear disc brakes and alloy wheels. With just over 2,600 pounds to motivate, the FX's engine moves the Tiburon along reasonably fast, but we think this shark's bark is worse than its bite.

The Tiburon will definitely get you noticed, but not for its blazing performance. This is a car for stylin', dude. Inside, a snug but attractive interior 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.

Nothing has changed on the Tiburon for 1999, but all Hyundai customers will be delighted with the company's new 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 5 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, Dodge Neon Sport and Pontiac Sunfire GT. The stylish Tiburon competes well from a design standpoint and, with "The Hyundai Advantage" backing up the Tib's credentials, many young buyers will look at this coupe with new-found enthusiasm.

Edmunds expert review process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.