The Hyundai Tiburon, also known as the Hyundai Coupe in Europe, is a 2-door sports GT that was in production between 1996 and 2008. The Tiburon was, and still is a fairly popular 2nd hand car for those who want to enjoy a fun sports coupe without paying all that much money. These are also popular in the tuner car scene which is why good examples can still fetch a decent value.
When it comes to reliability, the Tiburon is above average when compared to most cars, but not on par with most Hyundai cars that do seem to be more reliable. Still, above-average reliability is something to be proud of, especially in today’s day and age where cars that cost twice the money can’t even reach the average reliability group.
Either way, we are going to mention common problems with Hyundai Tiburon in this article and tell you what you need to focus on if you want to enjoy this car for the longest. The most common problems with Hyundai Tiburon are associated with the car’s electrical systems, the ABS, the exhaust manifold system, the handbrake, and issues with the transmission.
The good news is that the Tiburon is not an expensive car to maintain as it uses standard Hyundai parts from that era which are really easy to find. The bad news is that it isn’t as reliable as most Hyundai models, but that is only a problem for those who are used to driving bulletproof cars.
Hyundai Tiburon – Electrical issues
The most common Hyundai Tiburon issues are related to the car’s electrical systems such as the central locking system which can fail an all doors. The central locking actuators tend to break multiple times during the lifespan of the Hyundai Tiburon. Other issues include problems with the speaker system that can sometimes fail as well.
Exterior lighting isn’t the most dependable lighting system in the world which is why many owners replace the headlights/taillights during the car’s lifespan. Power windows are also known to fail at times, but this isn’t really all that common.
Hyundai Tiburon – ABS issues
The ABS ring is a component housed within the ABS system and is tasked with maintaining traction and detecting wheel speed at all times so the ABS system can always react in a proper manner. If the ABS ring fails, the ABS system can receive incorrect data which can affect how well the system performs during braking.
An ABS system consists of multiple ABS rings which means that you will have to correctly identify which ABS ring caused the problems. You will then have to replace that ABS ring as soon as possible because a broken ABS ring is also likely going to cause damage to the ABS sensor itself.
Hyundai Tiburon – Exhaust manifold system issues
The only serious issue with the Tiburon engine that seems to be affecting almost all, if not all Tiburon models is associated with the exhaust manifold that tends to crack. When this happens, you will hear a loud growling noise coming from the top of your engine which can’t go unnoticed. Be sure to pop the hood and try to look for the manifold yourself.
The only way how you can repair this is to replace the manifold with a new one, but this can be both difficult and costly to repair. As such, if you are interested in buying the Tiburon, be sure to inspect the manifold carefully in order not to buy an example that is going to suffer from a cracked manifold anytime soon.
Hyundai Tiburon – Handbrake issues
The Tiburon is now an older car, and it seems like many owners are concerned about the strength of the parking brake. After the car reaches a few years of age, the parking brake tends to become less effective which means that you will have to pull it up to the maximum level if you don’t want your car to roll on a steep hill.
You can counter this by re-adjusting the rear calipers which should solve the issue. However, you will sometimes also have to buy brand new calipers to fix this.
Hyundai Tiburon – Transmission issues
The Hyundai Tiburon tends to suffer from transmission-related issues as well. The most common transmission problem with the Tiburon is related to the clutch that tends to slip relatively often. Other issues include the clutch giving out early on which can cost a decent amount of money to fix.
Therefore, be sure to check the clutch on a used Tiburon if you want to buy it as you want to buy an example that wasn’t harassed all too much as that is going to save you some clutch money down the line.
Should I buy a Hyundai Tiburon?
The Hyundai Tiburon is a fun-to-drive and cheap sports coupe that can be a really good 2nd hand purchase. Cars such as these are typically bought by enthusiasts who want to enjoy them as weekend cars or even as daily drivers. As such, it does make sense to buy it if you are that type of guy.
On the other hand, the Tiburon isn’t all that particularly fast nor does it handle like a true sports car. This means that you should skip it if you are used to driving more serious sports cars.
Is the Hyundai Tiburon coming back?
The Tiburon never really went away as Hyundai replaced it with the Veloster which is more or less the same type of car. This means that the Tiburon name is not likely going to come back as 2-door coupes are not the most popular cars these days.
There was a concept hovering around the internet where someone re-imagined the Tiburon as a car with a hydrogen powertrain. So, who knows, we might even see a hydrogen-powered Tiburon eventually.
Is the Hyundai Tiburon fast?
Not really because its maximum speed is just 136mph (220kph). This is not necessarily slow, but a sports car should be able to go faster than that. However, people tend to buy and modify these so they can reach much higher speeds.