2008 Hyundai Tiburon GT Limited 2.7L V6 from North America
A reliable, inexpensive, reasonably fun coupe - not a sports car at all, but otherwise a solid car!
No problems at all, only maintenance items.
Prior to this car, I had a 2001 model that I drove for about 8 years, that had zero issues outside of normal maintenance after about 80k miles, so when I finally decided it was time to let that one go, I certainly had no qualms about another Hyundai. I test drove several vehicles at a local CarMax in 2009, originally not really thinking about another Tiburon, but I settled on a silver 2008 GT Limited with about 20 (not 20k) miles on the clock because I enjoyed the vehicle well enough, and it was very attractively priced considering the trim and non-existent miles.
The interior of the car is competitive for its class of "slightly nicer than a basic econobox sporty coupes" - a definite upgrade from the previous "RD" model I had, and (personally) I think it is nicer than the 03 - 06 GK models as well, although tastes will vary. The older models had red accent lights, etc. where the 07 - 08s go for blue instead. The cabin is a very clean design of black with some well placed silver accents, although the roof liner is tan, which spoils things a little bit. The "Limited" model included red leather seats, which are an acquired taste, but in my opinion go well with the car. My model also had a sunroof, and it was a welcome addition that never leaked or failed to operate.
Over the five years I had the car, my biggest complaint about the car is how hard the leather seats wore - cracking, discoloring, etc. I take VERY good care of my vehicles, clean them obsessively (but gently with leather..) , etc. and these things looked 20 years old when I got rid of it. Apart from that, no real issues, but if I kept the thing much longer, I would have looked into Katzkin covers or something for the seats.
Lastly, the car has a TON of space for cargo with the rear seats folded down, but is definitely not a people mover - adult sized humans will NOT want to sit in the back seat for any period of time.
The exterior is the real selling point of this car - it is definitely a looker, and in my opinion the 07-08 FL/2 body style is the strongest design of the GK models from 2003 on, before the car was discontinued. The GT wheels, dual exhausts, revamped headlights and taillights, etc. all look great and flow very well. The car attracted a lot of attention, and I would get questions about it constantly since they aren't especially common, at least around here.
The 2.7L is definitely under-powered, but not horribly so, and it is reasonably fun to drive, even with an automatic. The transmission was always relatively smooth, and does feature a manual shift mode that was occasionally entertaining, but mostly unused in my case. The car feels pretty nose heavy and the turning radius isn't great, but handles well overall as long as you are expecting a "sporty" car and not a sports car. I averaged about 22 MPG combined, which was disappointing, but not at all unexpected. The 2.0 model isn't much better on gas, so I don't feel like I made the wrong choice there. It handled decently in heavily snowed over roads with snow tires, but was always a little unpredictable compared to my previous vehicles.
Like my previous Tiburon, my 2008 had zero issues apart from typical maintenance items. Beware timing belt maintenance and plugs/wires around the 60k miles mark, as it is the only particularly expensive maintenance item you will encounter, and if you are purchasing one around that mileage, you would be well served to negotiate a healthy discount or have this performed prior to purchase.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 29th December, 2014