Review: Hyundai Coupe (2002 – 2009)

Rating:

Good-looking coupe that's packed with kit. Drives well, particularly the V6 model. All offer keen value.

Other coupes offer a sharper drive. Reports of rear brake pipe corrosion on 2002-2003 cars.

Recently Added To This Review

5 November 2014

2009 Hyundai Coupe SIII suffered failure of parking brake. Cables tightened while still under warranty, but fault found to be with the rear callipers and with the car out of warranty dealer asking £750... Read more

8 April 2008

Limited edition TSIII joins the Coupe range, priced at £19,595. Styling enhancements and special colours are included as standard, along with sports suspension, quilted leather seats and anthracite... Read more

12 March 2007

Range facelifted again as 'new look' SIII for 2007. Read more

Hyundai Coupe (2002 – 2009): At A Glance

First it was dubbed the "swoopy coupe", launched in 1996. Then, in January 2000, it grew bulbous protrusions, like an early nineties Celica GT-4. Then, in January 2002, it became the seriously good looking car of today.

I admit the Bank Holiday Grey sky made ideal photographic conditions. But that rear three quarters view is one of the best of any sports coupe ever. Including Ferraris. The design team must have studied the form of exotic sports coupes a bit like Quentin Tarantino studies movies. It's got heart. It got passion. There isn't any way it could be improved. It's a stunner.

And the only real competition from this era is the Toyota Celica.

That's the slightly worrying bit. Volkswagen didn't cancel the Corrado, Ford didn't chop the Cougar and Vauxhall didn't curtail the Calibra because the cars were selling too well. The market moved away from that kind of car. Instead of climbing down into their low-slung cabins, punters clawed their way upmarket into more upright saloon-based coupes, like the BMW CI and the Mercedes CLK. Which, of course, are much easier to get in and out of for anyone past the age of 60.

Hyundai Coupe 2.0SE 2004 Road Test

What does a Hyundai Coupe (2002 – 2009) cost?

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Hyundai Coupe (2002 – 2009): What's It Like Inside?

Dimensions
Length 4395 mm
Width 1760 mm
Height 1330 mm
Wheelbase 2530 mm

Full specifications

It is a very long way down to the driver's seat. You sit low and encased, like a racing driver. The seats are fully adjustable and very comfortable. Yet the sight lines are good, with big sensible door mirrors. The dashboard is fine too, apart from the usual fiddly DIN-fit CD radio and the unpleasant, un-sports-car like column stalks. Leather is standard in the £16,495 2.0SE and the £18,495 V6. There's a very neat cupholder for the passenger. The back seats fold individually creating a decent flattish area for golf clubs or for a pooch to snooze on. Be warned the turning circle is surprisingly large: bigger than the Santa Fe which I had parked in exactly the same place the week before.

Child seats that fit a Hyundai Coupe (2002 – 2009)

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What's the Hyundai Coupe (2002 – 2009) like to drive?

Twin exhausts sound very sporty without going over the top. The car accelerates with a fair bit of alacrity, grips and handles well, and has excellent ride quality for a sports coupe. Nothing to fault there. They have got everything right. I can't tell you how much harder the V6 goes with its extra 24bhp and six-speed box. Not sure how relevant that is anyway. The 2.0SE goes well enough not to be a sheep in wolf's clothing and driving very fast on public roads doesn't impress anyone any more.

I do have to ponder who will buy the car, though. Four years ago I went on the launch of the protrusive Mk II Coupe in Majorca and I thought it was a car for divorced men in their late 40s to drive divorced women in their late 30s back from nightclubs. The Mk III is a much better car and a truly great looker. But who's going to go for it?

Perhaps former owners of Ford Probes, Ford Cougars, Mazda MX6s, old-shape Toyota Celicas, Vauxhall Calibras, Volkswagen Corrados, Volvo 480s.

If that's you, you won't be disappointed. And until a more knowledgeable neighbour puts them right, at least one person on your street will think you've won the Lotto and bought yourself a Ferrari.

 

Engine MPG 0-62 CO2
1.6 37 mpg 11.9 s 182 g/km
2.0 35 mpg 9.3 s 193 g/km
2.7 V6 29 mpg 8.3–8.4 s 236 g/km

Real MPG average for a Hyundai Coupe (2002 – 2009)

Real MPG was created following thousands of readers telling us that their cars could not match the official figures.

Real MPG gives real world data from drivers like you to show how much fuel a vehicle really uses.

Average performance

91%

Real MPG

23–39 mpg

MPGs submitted

65

Diesel or petrol? If you're unsure whether to go for a petrol or diesel (or even an electric model if it's available), then you need our Petrol or Diesel? calculator. It does the maths on petrols, diesels and electric cars to show which is best suited to you.

What have we been asked about the Hyundai Coupe (2002 – 2009)?

Every day we're asked hundreds of questions from car buyers and owners through Ask Honest John. Our team of experts, including the nation's favourite motoring agony uncle - Honest John himself - answer queries and conudrums ranging from what car to buy to how to care for it as an owner. If you could do with a spot of friendly advice before buying you're next car, get in touch and we'll do what we can to help.

Ask HJ

Which sports car for £3000

My current car is a little banged up and I'm thinking of getting a new one but need some advice. I am a small business owner working from home as a web designer. I rarely drive other than for the occasional meeting and once a week to the gym. I have no kids nor any plans for any so it's just me and my girlfriend/business partner. This will be the second car as we also have my girlfriends car too. I will have a maximum of about £3,000 to spend after the sale of my current car. I'd like something nice looking so that my business clients take me seriously. I've been told to steer clear of the RX-8. What would you suggest looking at? My current car is a 2002 Honda Civic Vision with 28k miles on the clock. My girlfriends car is a 2002 Volkswagen Beetle which is too girly for me to drive. I'm looking at Toyota Celica, Hyundai Coupe, Smart Roadster and Mazda MX-5.
The Celica is the best idea on your list; the MX-5 the next best, but check carefully for rust.
Answered by Honest John
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