2008 Hyundai Tiburon

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17 CITY / 25 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
Predicted Reliability


What Changed for 2008:
  • Standard 200-watt Kenwood stereo with CD/MP3 player

  • Standard XM satellite radio and three months of service
Hyundai first entered the sports coupe market when it launched the 1991 Scoupe. Though the Scoupe raised eyebrows in 1993 when it added a 115-hp turbocharged engine to the options list, it was never taken seriously by import performance enthusiasts. The Scoupe was dropped from the Hyundai lineup after 1995 and replaced by the 1997 Tiburon. It wasn't until Hyundai introduced the second-generation Tiburon in 2003 that enthusiasts began to take notice. For 2007, the Tiburon received new styling, an updated interior and a performance-oriented SE model. For 2008, changes are minimal and limited to audio system enhancements.

Model Lineup
Hyundai offers four versions of the 2008 Tiburon: the 4-cylinder GS and the GT, GT Limited and SE, the latter two featuring a V-6 engine. Standard equipment on all 2008 Tiburons includes power-operated windows, locks and heated side mirrors; remote keyless entry; air conditioning; 16-inch alloy wheels; fog lights; and, new for 2008, a 200-watt Kenwood stereo with XM radio. The GS offers a sunroof and cruise control, which come bundled together in the Premium package. The GT adds 17-inch alloys, black leather seat bolsters with cloth inserts, automatic climate control, leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, upgraded interior trim, and a trip computer. A sunroof is optional on the GT and standard on the GT Limited, which also adds leather upholstery.

The top-of-the-line Tiburon SE is aimed at performance enthusiasts, with a ZF 6-speed manual transmission, sport-tuned suspension, bigger spoiler, red-painted aluminum front brake calipers, 4-wheel cross-drilled brake rotors, red-trimmed seats, and electronic stability control. A sunroof is offered as an option.

The 2008 Hyundai Tiburon GS is powered by a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine with continuously variable valve timing. Output is 138 hp at 6000 rpm and 136 lb.-ft. of torque at 4500 rpm. EPA fuel economy estimates are 20 mpg city/28 mpg highway with the 5-speed manual transmission and 20 mpg city/27 mpg highway with the optional 4-speed automatic transmission. GT and SE models are powered by a 2.7-liter V-6 engine that produces 172 hp at 6000 rpm and 181 lb.-ft. of torque at 3800 rpm. GT and GT limited models offer a 5-speed manual or a 4-speed automatic transmission, both with EPA fuel economy estimates of 17 mpg city/24 mpg highway, while the SE comes exclusively with a 6-speed manual transmission (16 mpg city/24 mpg highway). All Tiburons are front-wheel drive and offer a 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty, which supplements the 5-year/60,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty.

Standard safety equipment on the 2008 Hyundai Tiburon includes front air bags, front-seat-mounted side air bags, anti-lock brakes, and a tire-pressure-monitoring system. The SE comes with standard electronic stability control and brake assist. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) crash tested the Tiburon in 2007; front-impact scores were a perfect 5 stars for the driver and 4 stars for the front passenger. The side-impact score was 4 stars for front-seat occupants; the rear seat was not rated. In rollover testing, the NHTSA awarded the Tiburon 4 stars.

The 2008 Hyundai Tiburon SE comes with brake assist, which measures brake pedal movement to determine whether the driver is making a panic stop. If the pedal is applied rapidly, the system applies extra braking pressure and activates the anti-lock system to ensure the quickest stop possible, the automaker says.

J.D. Power Ratings

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