The Tiburon GT V6 drives really well. The V6 revs freely to 6000 rpm. The engine has a pleasantly husky sound thanks to its free-flowing exhaust. Slam the power down and the front wheels scrabble for grip, at least until the 215/45R17 Michelin Pilot tires get to work and the car sprints forward. Shift into second, third, fourth, fifth and sixth and the car's cruising. If you get lazy and forget to downshift as you putter around town, it's no problem as the engine has plenty of torque at low rpm. We found it'll pull reasonably well in sixth gear from 35 mph. The low-end torque of the Tiburon makes for a different driving experience than that of cars like the Celica GTS and Civic Si that thrive on revving over 6000 rpm.
If you prefer an automatic transmission, go for the GT V6 and you'll not give up much in performance, especially as the automatic includes Shiftronic manual control.
The power rack-and-pinion steering feels fine. It's precise with just enough feedback for fast driving. With the power of the V6 torque steer is inevitable but it's controllable and actually kind of fun when you're driving round town. On the highway it's barely noticeable. Not unexpectedly the car tends to understeer, what with the weight of the aluminum V6 engine mounted transversely between the front wheels.
During a brief test drive among pylons laid out in the infield of Las Vegas Speedway we found the Tiburon easy to throw around. Like all front-drive cars, it tended to understeer (the front wheels lose grip before the rear wheels), but it was easy to compensate by using the throttle, brakes, and steering wheel.
Overall, the handling is good, with little body roll. Up front are MacPherson struts, with lower links isolated by a subframe. A multi-link suspension with Chapman struts holds up the rear. All models get anti-roll bars and gas-filled shock absorbers. The sport-tuned suspension on the GT V6 has 10-percent stiffer spring rates, stiffer compression in the gas-charged shocks and thicker anti roll bars front (23mm vs. 20mm) and rear (19mm vs. 18mm).
Out on the highway, and on smooth roads, the Tiburon rides well; but the sports suspension and low-profile tires tend to transmit excessive harshness into the cockpit on rough road surfaces. The four-wheel disc brakes worked well and stopped the car quickly.