I don't particularly like the Tiburon's exterior redesign. The models before this latest refresh looked a lot better - now the car looks too cheesy and obviously shark-like at the nose (I know I know, "Tiburon" means "shark" in Spanish). I also prefer the older model's side air vents. One of my neighbors has an '06 Tiburon with a body kit and I have to say it looks really mean. I'm not so sure if that kit would have the same effect on this car.
The Tiburon's interior has me torn. I like Hyundai's red leather-type seats and the corporate blue Hyundai lighting. Yes, the blue may clash with the red, but it's Hyundai's interior lighting color now. However, the Kenwood aftermarket radio looks absolutely ridiculous shoved into the center stack. Very tacky. Fit and finish could also be improved.
I didn't really get much time behind the wheel, but I wasn't too impressed with the clutch/throttle relationship. It seemed particularly difficult to find the clutch's grab point (and it felt kind of cheap). For $23,000, Hyundai gives you a V-6 engine with only 172 hp - not a great selling point considering the 262-hp Mazdaspeed 3 starts at $23,000.
David Yochum, Assistant Editor