Why is Hyundai Tiburon so Cheap?

Hyundai Tiburon is one of the cheapest sport’s coupes in the car marketplace. As one of the first cars that beckoned Hyundai’s entry into the sport category, a lot is expected from this vehicle. Although Tiburons seem good, the questions remain – why is the Hyundai Tiburon cheap?

The reason the Hyundai is so affordable is due to several factors. The major one is the transmission issues. Furthermore, the car’s components are inexpensive, which contributes to the poor build quality. The bad reputation of Hyundai makes the cars low-priced in the used car market.  

At an average price of around $3500, the Hyundai Tiburons surely feels like a steal. However, there is more than meets the eye. Here, we’ll review the reliability of the Tiburon and other issues the Tiburon faces. Subsequently, we discuss in detail why Tiburon’s resale value is low.

Why is the Hyundai Tiburon Cheap?

Persistent Clutch Failure

The Hyundai Tiburon is not without its share fair of issues. Carproblemzoo reports several issues with the car, the one with the most complaints being the Tiburon 2003. The clutch in the manual transmission are the major culprits. The factory fitted ones wore out rather easily making a change necessary.

Some drivers noted that the clutch went out while driving, failed to engage or broke. While dealers and repair shops attribute this to normal wear and tear, the owners bear the brunt. Replacement costs of Tiburon components get pricey real quick depending on the broken part.

Manufacturer Reputation

A manufacturer’s reputation matters a lot in determining the value of the car. The reputation of the Korean carmaker, Hyundai in the 90s and early 2000s was awful. Especially when compared to the reputation of automakers from Europe and Japan at the time.

Hyundai made use of a cheap plastic interior in its first-generation Tiburon. The sports coupe interior wasn’t the most luxurious or comfortable at the time. And the interior of its second-generation sports coupes was no exception but came with slight improvements. In recent years, Hyundai has made considerable changes to the comfort their autos offer.


Mileage also is a key determining factor that affects the value of a sports car. Vehicle’s worth begins to reduce when they are ten years or older. An exception to the case is where the car has an unbelievable low mileage.

As expected, wear and tear in sports cars increase with the mileage. In cases where a buyer has options for a car with high mileage, such buyer will be less motivated to spend top dollar for a lesser 200,000 miles’ car. Tiburon’s mileage is usually between the 150,000 and 200,000-mile mark.

Vehicle Recalls

When recalls happen, they usually diminish the public’s fate in a vehicle. Not to mention the owners who have to return their units for repair. Overall, there have been over 17 recalls for the Hyundai Tiburon by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

The most recent recall of the Hyundai Tiburon occurred in August 2013. The problems bordered on stop lamps failing to illuminate and unintentional movement. Generally, not all owners receive recall messages or bother. When issues like this are left unfixed, the value of a vehicle tanks. 

Interior and Build Quality

Before Tiburon’s interior quality took a quantum leap, the sports coupe came with many hard plastic surfaces. The interior materials in the sports coupe is of low quality. They were meant to offer a premium feel while maintaining the Tiburon affordable price and did that.

The interior did not match those of its competitors like the Volvo C30 or Saturn Astra. For example, the v6 model comes with standard leather seats and a Kenwood stereo as an option. Door and window controls malfunction and paint chalk off over time.  It has a simple interior that does not showcase luxury hence the low price. 

Make sure the interior lights work too; we have some issues with other car competitors like the Dodge Chargers.

Unreliable Transmission.

In most Tiburons, there is a large tendency for the transmission to fail. Usually, this problem begins once the car clocks 50,000 miles. Drivers of both manual/automatic transmission report that it jerks and becomes hard to switch. 

Blown sensors are not uncommon as well. A cheap replacement from Amazon or eBay works for a while. However, a high-grade replacement will still be required at a later date. Getting a diagnosis comes at a cost, between 100$ – 200$. 

Slow Acceleration 

There is a general conception that all sports cars are speed machines. For the demographic the Hyundai Tiburon is meant to cater for (17-30), it is too slow. Young people love speed and this sport car does not offer that in abundance. 

Acceleration in the vehicle is rather disappointing. Even the highest  2.7 Ltr, v6 model takes more than six seconds to hit 100km/hrs.  If your motivation is speed, you should look somewhere else. 


Age plays a role when valuing the worth of a sports coupe in the car marketplace. The Hyundai Tiburon sport coupe is at least ten years old. This age factor negatively influences the vehicle’s price. The average Tiburon age is around 15 years, with its production run ending in 2008.

Local Market Condition

In colder climates, it’s tough to get a good price with used convertible cars. Local market condition is also a factor that determines the value of a car. In warmer climates, along the coast, convertible and sports cars command a higher price.

Reported issues by Hyundai Tiburon year

The following are common problems associated with Hyundai Tiburon:

  • Clutch problems were reported by owners of Hyundai Tiburon vehicles from 2008, 2006, and 2004.
  • Hidden damage to the car in the 2003 model, bubbling and cracking paint in the 2004 model.
  • Peeling off the clear coat in the 2005 Tiburon model has been reported as an issue with the body and paint.
  • Linkage bolt fall-off, clutch stuck in gear and vibration of car complaints from 2005 model, and inability to change from 3rd to 4th gear from 2006 model are transmission concerns.
  • Reports of the automobile battery cable loosening in the 2003 model, resulting in an inability to start the vehicle, were made. Several reports of broken clock springs surfaced as well.

Is Hyundai Tiburon a Reliable Car?

The best year for the Tiburon is the 2005 – 2006, which had the least reported issues. Tiburon’s are pretty reliable as long as the stipulated maintenance is done. Ensure you get the service history of the vehicle to ascertain the number of repairs previously done. It is properly best you avoid the 2003 model as it’s the one with the most reported complaints.

Are Hyundai Tiburon Parts Available?

Tiburon spare parts are available with a huge aftermarket. Especially the spare parts for its second-generation sport coupe models.

Spare parts like starter, valve cover gasket, catalytic converter, the transmission are easy to find. Also, the spare parts of the sports coupe come at a cheaper price with a low maintenance cost.

Is a Hyundai Tiburon Expensive to Maintain?

As with other Hyundai models, Tiburon’s uses many of the same spare parts. Spare parts usage is also the case with servicing the sports coupe. There is no extra cost to buying spare parts or servicing the sports coupe because it is a sports model.

Tiburon’s sports car cost far less in basic maintenance with available spare parts. This aspect depends on the vehicle’s age, mileage, location, repair, and maintenance costs. Basic maintenance could cost you a couple of hundred dollars yearly. 

On average, the cost for both repair and maintenance stands at $274. The annual cost of maintaining a Tiburon is estimated to be about $454. For this reason, the sports coupe is not a bad choice if you’re on a budget.

Why Did Hyundai Stop Making the Tiburon’s?

Hyundai automakers stopped making the Tiburon with the all-new Hyundai Veloster replacing it in 2009. The discontinuation comes as no surprise as little room exists in the company’s line-up for two similar coupes.


Tiburon’s are fun, reliable, and practical to drive with available spare parts and nominal maintenance costs. A perfect candidate for a sports coupe on a budget. Note that this vehicle occurred in the period that Hyundai was getting its feet into the market. It is not without its issues, but that should be easily rectifiable. 

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