Hyundai Coupe SIII Review (2008)

Hyundai Coupe TSIII

Hyundai Coupe Review

Hyundai Coupe SIII Review  | Part TwoHyundai Coupe SIII Road Test

Hyundai is understandably proud of its new Coupe, the SIII.

Hyundai is understandably proud of its new Coupe, the SIII. Easily the most recognisable in the company’s stable and now in its third generation (hence SIII), it is hoped that it will build on the past incarnations that have attracted well over 43,000 customers, since it was first launched in 1996.

Originally, the US design featured a variety of curves, some of which, it has to be said, were a little hotchpotch in their application but the overall impression was one of a sporty-looking coupe and with bargain prices, it was sure to be a winner.

Then, in 2000, the Coupe was smartened up somewhat. The curves were still there but the sharp swage lines gave a sharper, more consolidated impression. The waist was pulled in and shark-like gills appeared behind the front wheels. 2005 saw a further facelift but the styling changes were more subtle, in keeping with the trend at the time.

The Coupe SIII, changes are also subtle and although the company describes the new car as having undergone a complete exterior re-design, there are still elements that have been carried over, as far as I can see. That said, the front end does have a new but familiar face. The headlights have been elongated and there is a new front bumper, grille and fog-lights. It looks even more focused and even a little menacing.

From the side, it looks much the same as the most recent model except that the ‘gills’ have been replaced by smaller vents that incorporate the indicator repeater lights. At the rear, the lights have been restyled but the boot lid appears to be unchanged and has the same spoiler but the bumper is more rounded and sculpted with a diffuser-effect ‘cut-out’ that exposes the reshaped, twin tailpipes.

I have said that it is easily recognisable but that was more the older version, which was very distinctive. The New Coupe is a little enigmatic and to prove the point, a month or two before testing the TSIII, I saw one on the road. It was sleek, black and looked very low. As it approached from behind, I couldn’t figure out what it was. I was none the wiser when it drew alongside and it wasn’t until it had passed, that I saw the badge on the back and was surprised at how well it compared to some of the more expensive coupes on the road. In fact Hyundai tells us that, in the UK, the Coupe outsells the BMW 3-series Coupe and the Mercedes Benz CLK.

Hyundai Coupe SIII Review  | Part TwoHyundai Coupe SIII Road Test
Hyundai Coupe Road Test Data
Model ReviewedHyundai Coupe 2.0 Litre TSIII
Body TypeCoupe
ColourCrystal White
Performance (manufacturers data) 
0 - 62 mph9.3 Seconds
Top Speed 129 mph
Transmission5-Speed Manual
Fuel TypeUnleaded Petrol
CO2 Emissions (NEDC Figures) g/km
Economy (NEDC Figures) 
Urban25.9 mpg
Extra Urban25.9 mpg
Combined35.3 mpg
Insurance Group10
Euro NCAP RatingTBA
Warranty 5-Year Unlimited Mileage Warranty
Price (when tested on the 31/07/08)£19,705

The information contained within this Hyundai Coupe review may have changed since publication on the 31 July 2008. The actual model road tested may feature options and functionality specific to that model, which may not be available as on option or be fitted to other models in the range. Options may not be available on UK specification cars. You may wish to check with your local Hyundai dealer, before making a purchasing decision. E.&.O.E. You may NOT reproduce this car review in full or part, in any format without our written permission. © 2019