Is the Hyundai Tiburon a good first car?

I found a used Hyundai Tiburon that my wife and I are considering buying for our daughter. Is it a good pick for a first car?

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Andrea Barrett · Answered on Dec 30, 2022
Reviewed by Shannon Martin, Licensed Insurance Agent.
For drivers looking for a cheap and reliable car with good performance, the Hyundai Tiburon is a good first car. It came into the market in 2000 and remained in production until 2008.
Although never prized for its dynamic handling, it was an attractive coupe with excellent practicality—and it satisfied young drivers’ desire for a sporty ride thanks to its hatchback body style.
Here’s some more info about the Tiburon:
  • Price: Second-generation models produced from 2003 to 2008 are designed to be an affordable sports coupe, and you can find a used one for under $2,000 for a high-mileage vehicle. Even a well-kept Tiburon under 100,000 miles can be found for less than $6,000, making it a great choice for a first car on a budget.
  • Performance: The base-level Tiburon was powered by a 138-horsepower 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine and front-wheel drive, while the GT trim added a 2.7-liter V6 and bumped the output to a respectable 172 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission was standard, and a four-speed automatic with a manual shift gate was optional. The manual transmission offered better acceleration than the automatic.
  • Interior: Although the cabin may not be anything special—there are plenty of hard plastic surfaces—it works for a starter car.
  • Practicality: For a two-door vehicle, the Tiburon is pretty practical. It offered seating for up to four passengers, and the rear hatch houses 14.8 cubic feet of trunk space. With the seats folded, there was even more storage space because it opened up to create a huge cargo area connected to the cabin.
  • Efficiency: The four-cylinder engine in the Tiburon achieved up to 20 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway, while V6 models were slightly less efficient, with 17 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. Although poor by modern standards, they still won’t drain your wallet.
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