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1998 Hyundai Tiburon Coupe

2dr HB Cpe Manual

Starting at | Starting at 22 MPG City - 31 MPG Highway

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  • $13,599 original MSRP
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Printable Version

1998 Hyundai Tiburon Coupe

Printable Version

1998 Hyundai Tiburon Coupe

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Road Test: 1998 Hyundai Tiburon

Source: AMI Auto World Magazine

The Tiburon is a car worthy of the name Hyundai. Wait, that didn’t come out right. Rather, Hyundai is rebuilding their image these days by marketing more than just an affordable means of transportation. Hyundai now makes cars that are actually fun to drive. Take the Tiburon (Spanish for "shark") for the most recent example of brave design, quality workmanship, and change for the better.

Remember the old days, when Hyundai sold unreliable pieces of junk that even homeless people could afford to lease? It sure beat living in a cardboard box, and even if the thing broke down, it would remain pretty much waterproof. Well, Hyundai would like you to forget about the old days; hence the ad campaign proclaiming "It’s a whole new Hyundai."

While the more affluent homeless people can probably still afford them, Hyundais are slowly moving up the food chain, and the Tiburon FX we tested weighed in at a hefty $19,224. But for 1998, the base car comes with the same engine as the sporty FX, and at a much more attractive price. That is if you can live without a spoiler, fog lamps, power windows and air conditioning.

And these days, Hyundais look a lot more substantial than a simple water-resistant galvanized steel box. The Tiburon in particular has a more appealing appearance than most cars, at any price. With curves that would make Barbie jealous, a raspy exhaust note, and refreshing interior design, the Tiburon is practically a concept vehicle. And what a concept it is.

Inside, you wouldn’t guess that the car has a base price of under $20,000. Decked out in black leather, most cars give their occupants claustrophobic nervousness. But even our bigger-than-average editors found comfort in the Tib’s front seats. We neglect to mention the rear seats because no one was adventurous, or limber enough to climb back there. Basically, the rear seat is there in case you’re too lazy to stow luggage in the trunk.

Gauges are easy to read, shaped slightly elliptical: another nice touch. The cruise control is not the most user-friendly gizmo ever invented, but at least the instrument stalk is made of substantial plastic. One really annoying quirk, encountered in all new Hyundais, is the door chime. The thing sounds like a high-pitched synthesized rat squeal, if that’s possible. But since Hyundai uses that grating chime in all their cars, we can’t really fault the Tiburon.

The only fault we must complain about is the placement of cupholders, which slide out from beneath the radio on the center console. And the reason for complaint is that, so positioned, the radio volume knob is easily bumped, which can be painful to the eardrums. The Tiburon has the most sensitive volume control this side of the Camaro, mute being one notch away from full-blast.

Driving the Tiburon is a surprisingly pleasant experience, in keeping with the rest of the car. Gear shifts are smooth and short, with the exception of reverse, which can occasionally be stubbornly resistant. The engine, with a two-liter displacement good for 140 horsepower, makes a jubilant noise when revved up, one that the driver will delight in when sudden speed is demanded. Passengers will not delight, however, in the fact that the engine always sounds like that, regardless of how rev-happy the driver. But sound sometimes being an inaccurate voice for performance, enthusiasts will not be satisfied with the Tiburon’s relatively weak motor. To avoid embarrassment, just don’t try to race any American V-8s.

Being the front-wheel-drive breed of coupe, understeer is the Tiburon’s bane on twisty back roads. But steering proved tight, and the tires hug even lumpy roads thanks to a supple suspension just compliant enough around corners to keep the car from breaking loose from the pavement. In fact, even over rough pothole-ridden dirt roads, the Tiburon remained rattle-free and easy on the driver; quite remarkable for a car this size.

Against the competition, Hyundai is making a case for itself. Who wants a Saturn, or a weird-looking Ford Escort ZX2 Hot when the Tiburon looks so cool? On the other hand, for less than $19,224, you could get a less-radical Nissan 200SX SE-R, with a much more refined engine and more usable space, or even our perennial favorite Mazda Miata, which handles like nothing else in this price range, and accelerates with equal gusto.

It’s a tough sell, but Hyundai is moving in the right direction. Now if they can survive the fall of the Asian market, just long enough to live up to the exciting new image they’ve created for themselves… Hyundai will soon be synonymous with "fun ride".

 

© 1995-2003 Edmunds.com, Inc.

Printable Version

1998 Hyundai Tiburon Coupe

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std

Road Visibility

Fog Lamps Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Security

Alarm Opt
Printable Version

1998 Hyundai Tiburon Coupe

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 5 Years/60,000 Miles
Drivetrain 10 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 5 Years/Unlimited Miles

Hyundai Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

120-months/100,000-mile Powertrain warranty from original in-service date.
Age/Mileage Eligibility up to 5 model years old w/ less than 60,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 150
Download checklist
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance 10-Year/Unlimited Mileage from In-Service Date
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $50

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

1998 Hyundai Tiburon Coupe

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