Hyundai Tiburon V6 Coupe 2007 Review

Hyundai Tiburon V6 Coupe 2007 Review

Hyundai Tiburon V6 coupe 2007 fq

I’ll be honest from the outset, I really wanted to hate the Hyundai, especially given some of the notoriety and stigma that surrounded the previous iteration with its jelly mould shape. So is the six speed manual, front-wheel-drive V6 a firm-but-silky-smooth chocolate cake of a car or a wobbling bowl of coloured gelatine?

After familiarising myself with the Italianesque looks I jumped right in and turned the key. I was met with deafening sound of silence as I encountered one of the Tiburon’s many great safety features: requiring the user to depress the clutch first. No more starting in gear and lurching forward then! Bettered at the very outset it was 1 – 0 to the Hyundai. Damn.

So then to the first real test — the peak-time commuter grind in Auckland traffic — where I was going to equalise with ease. With a torquey 2.7-litre engine under the hood you could expect a beefy clutch, possibly taking both feet to depress, but not so here. The clutch travel and bite was in fact perfect for stop-start driving, complemented well by the exceptionally quiet V6 engine, making short work of the boring slow bit of the journey. Ahem 2 – 0.

As the traffic gradually clears its time to pay more attention to motorway cruising manners. As you work your way up through the gears you notice the close ratios of the gearbox work well with the engine to keep the horizon coming. The gear shift has a long throw which is unsuited to the close ratios, and when cold you need the precision and speed of Bruce Lee to make any swift changes. Once you are into sixth and with clear roads ahead you can ‘engage’ cruise control to make life easier. The controls are located on the steering wheel, which is handy, but they do have a tendency to brush your knees or clip your fingers when twirling the wheel. 2 – 1 then.

On with the biggest challenge: off to Pak ‘n Save then for the monthly food shop. An hour later and $500 lighter we arrived at the back of the Hyundai with two large trolleys, it was one of those ‘bugger’ moments when you envisaged leaving your better half at the store while you did one of two trips to get the goods home. But its boot is more spacious than you would expect, and with a few bags next to my son in the back it was all sorted — I was stunned; in fact embarrassed at 3 – 1 now.

With the shopping unloaded and passengers disembarked it was time to test whether the Tiburon is the life and soul of the party, or a wallflower. The V6 produces 127Kw at 6000rpm and 245 of Sir Isaac’s ‘Newton Metres’ at 4000rpm, the dash to 100 takes 8.4 seconds, delivered in a sophisticated, if quiet, manner even with a hint of ‘whistle or whine’ á la turbo cars, I might add.

Driving along the twisty stuff with constant camber and elevation changes I found what I was looking for. With the Electronic Stability Programme off and the hammer down the chassis came alive, delivering a controlled and positively understeer-free performance. It was so unexpected, yet utterly satisfying and rewarding to finally unleash the true capabilities of the Tiburon. That makes it 4 – 1 then¦

Delving further into what makes the Hyundai Tiburon go, I was disgusted to find there was even something to please the Greenies amongst us. Apparently it can accept biofuel levels well above the targets set for diesel and petrol by the Government. Hyundai NZ even run their press fleet on a 10% mix of the stuff (E10). Time for an early bath then with a resounding 5 -1 to the Tiburon.

For a little light entertainment it was time to find some driving music on the MP3/wma compatible CD player. It has all the usual accoutrements you would expect plus an input for your iPod too, so that your kids can plug their tunes in when they’ve heard too much 80s stuff. Accidentally hitting one of the preset FM radio stations the cabin was filled with The Who’s iconic ‘Who Are You'; ironic then that this was the question being asked of the Tiburon.

I think the answer is that it’s the best value coupe on the market, having now truly come of age. There are no cars in its price range to match, and with a slight air of exclusivity about it, it looked the part on my driveway. But can you have your cake and eat it? Not quite. If you are over six feet tall, driving it is difficult. The gearshift is notchy, there are pointless dials (e.g. torque meter) in the dash, and for a V6 sports coupe its refusal to give you pleasurable audio feedback as the revs rise diminishes the satisfaction. Still, it beat me 5 – 1, and until another manufacturer can bring a similarly specced and priced car to the party the Tiburon is certainly nothing to trifle with.

If you want to increase the whizz-bang factor then you could do worse than look at this site for inspiration and parts www.importshark.com

Price: from $39,990

Looking to purchase a Hyundai Coupe? Click here to view Coupes for sale

What we like

  • Silky smooth V6
  • New shape a step up on the old design
  • Sorted chassis
  • Leather interior and semi-bucket seats are comfortable
  • 17″ y-spoke wheels look the part
  • Bit of personality to be found when you want it

What we don’t like

  • Long throw shift
  • Location of cruise control
  • Rear ¾ blind spot visibility is quite limited
  • Door trim handle – will wear/mark quickly
  • More steering feel required

Words: Phil Clark; Photos: Darren Cottingham

Hyundai Tiburon V6 coupe 2007 fq

I’ll be honest from the outset, I really wanted to hate the Hyundai, especially given some of the notoriety and stigma that surrounded the previous iteration with its jelly mould shape. So is the six speed manual, front-wheel-drive V6 a firm-but-silky-smooth chocolate cake of a car or a wobbling bowl of coloured gelatine?

After familiarising myself with the Italianesque looks I jumped right in and turned the key. I was met with deafening sound of silence as I encountered one of the Tiburon’s many great safety features: requiring the user to depress the clutch first. No more starting in gear and lurching forward then! Bettered at the very outset it was 1 – 0 to the Hyundai. Damn.

So then to the first real test — the peak-time commuter grind in Auckland traffic — where I was going to equalise with ease. With a torquey 2.7-litre engine under the hood you could expect a beefy clutch, possibly taking both feet to depress, but not so here. The clutch travel and bite was in fact perfect for stop-start driving, complemented well by the exceptionally quiet V6 engine, making short work of the boring slow bit of the journey. Ahem 2 – 0.

As the traffic gradually clears its time to pay more attention to motorway cruising manners. As you work your way up through the gears you notice the close ratios of the gearbox work well with the engine to keep the horizon coming. The gear shift has a long throw which is unsuited to the close ratios, and when cold you need the precision and speed of Bruce Lee to make any swift changes. Once you are into sixth and with clear roads ahead you can ‘engage’ cruise control to make life easier. The controls are located on the steering wheel, which is handy, but they do have a tendency to brush your knees or clip your fingers when twirling the wheel. 2 – 1 then.

On with the biggest challenge: off to Pak ‘n Save then for the monthly food shop. An hour later and $500 lighter we arrived at the back of the Hyundai with two large trolleys, it was one of those ‘bugger’ moments when you envisaged leaving your better half at the store while you did one of two trips to get the goods home. But its boot is more spacious than you would expect, and with a few bags next to my son in the back it was all sorted — I was stunned; in fact embarrassed at 3 – 1 now.

With the shopping unloaded and passengers disembarked it was time to test whether the Tiburon is the life and soul of the party, or a wallflower. The V6 produces 127Kw at 6000rpm and 245 of Sir Isaac’s ‘Newton Metres’ at 4000rpm, the dash to 100 takes 8.4 seconds, delivered in a sophisticated, if quiet, manner even with a hint of ‘whistle or whine’ á la turbo cars, I might add.

Driving along the twisty stuff with constant camber and elevation changes I found what I was looking for. With the Electronic Stability Programme off and the hammer down the chassis came alive, delivering a controlled and positively understeer-free performance. It was so unexpected, yet utterly satisfying and rewarding to finally unleash the true capabilities of the Tiburon. That makes it 4 – 1 then¦

Delving further into what makes the Hyundai Tiburon go, I was disgusted to find there was even something to please the Greenies amongst us. Apparently it can accept biofuel levels well above the targets set for diesel and petrol by the Government. Hyundai NZ even run their press fleet on a 10% mix of the stuff (E10). Time for an early bath then with a resounding 5 -1 to the Tiburon.

For a little light entertainment it was time to find some driving music on the MP3/wma compatible CD player. It has all the usual accoutrements you would expect plus an input for your iPod too, so that your kids can plug their tunes in when they’ve heard too much 80s stuff. Accidentally hitting one of the preset FM radio stations the cabin was filled with The Who’s iconic ‘Who Are You'; ironic then that this was the question being asked of the Tiburon.

I think the answer is that it’s the best value coupe on the market, having now truly come of age. There are no cars in its price range to match, and with a slight air of exclusivity about it, it looked the part on my driveway. But can you have your cake and eat it? Not quite. If you are over six feet tall, driving it is difficult. The gearshift is notchy, there are pointless dials (e.g. torque meter) in the dash, and for a V6 sports coupe its refusal to give you pleasurable audio feedback as the revs rise diminishes the satisfaction. Still, it beat me 5 – 1, and until another manufacturer can bring a similarly specced and priced car to the party the Tiburon is certainly nothing to trifle with.

If you want to increase the whizz-bang factor then you could do worse than look at this site for inspiration and parts www.importshark.com

Price: from $39,990

Looking to purchase a Hyundai Coupe? Click here to view Coupes for sale

What we like

  • Silky smooth V6
  • New shape a step up on the old design
  • Sorted chassis
  • Leather interior and semi-bucket seats are comfortable
  • 17″ y-spoke wheels look the part
  • Bit of personality to be found when you want it

What we don’t like

  • Long throw shift
  • Location of cruise control
  • Rear ¾ blind spot visibility is quite limited
  • Door trim handle – will wear/mark quickly
  • More steering feel required

Words: Phil Clark; Photos: Darren Cottingham

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