You'll Like The 2007 Hyundai Entourage If...
If you like to keep expenses down but don't want to sacrifice any helpful necessities, the Entourage may be a good common-sense choice. Shoppers who demand abundant safety features should note that the Entourage contains six airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), a tire-pressure monitor and Electronic Stability Control, and is expected to get the same five-star crash-test rating earned by Kia's Sedona.
You May Not Like The 2007 Hyundai Entourage If...
Naturally, if you're not a fan of minivans in general, the Entourage isn't likely to appeal to you, since - unlike a few current competitors - it doesn't try to be anything else. South Korean models also tend to trail their Japanese-brand rivals in resale value, which can be a drawback if you don't expect to keep the minivan for more than a couple of years.
Hyundai's first minivan and its Kia cousin might not quite stand above the pack, but they deliver just about everything needed by families, including a "hideaway" third-row seat that folds into the rear cargo well. Like Kia's Sedona, the Entourage comes with a long warranty: specifically, 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain coverage.
Inside, too, similarities to the Sedona outnumber differences. Front occupants get loads of head, leg, and elbow room. Seat bottoms are somewhat short, but thigh support is good, and grippy fabric keeps you in place. Second-row occupants also enjoy abundant space, and flip/fold seats slide forward for third-row access. The large speedometer is easy to read. High-mounted audio/climate controls are within easy reach. The gearshift is on the vertical console, with a manual-shift gate at the right. A wide glovebox sits near at hand, with a second glovebox above it. The deep cargo well holds plenty.
Styling touches follow the lead of the redesigned 2007 Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle, according to Hyundai, including dropped fenders. Integrated roof rack rails and color-keyed bodyside moldings are standard. Visually, except for details of the grille, headlamps and lower air intake up front, not much differentiates the Entourage from Kia's Sedona. Both look a lot like most minivans on the road. Considered "truly full-size" by Hyundai, this minivan measures 202 inches long overall and 78.1 inches wide, on a 118.9-inch wheelbase. External dimensions translate to 172 cubic feet of interior space, which Hyundai says beats the Honda Odyssey.
Similarities to the Kia Sedona aren't limited to appearance or amenities, but also include road behavior. Considering the improved merits of the latest Sedona, that's a bonus, as it's on par with most minivans and better than some. Solidly built and capable all around, the Entourage uses the same proficient powertrain, which delivers prompt, non-intrusive gear changes and ample power. Steering is confident and positive, with satisfying feel and feedback to maneuver neatly around town. Although the ride is generally comfortable, this minivan doesn't glide across bumps and holes quite as smoothly as some. Urban pavement yields a fair amount of motion.
On sale since April, the Entourage starts at $24,495 (destination included) for the GLS model. An Entourage SE stickers for $26,995, while the top-of-the-line Limited commands a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $29,495. The Fair Purchase Price, which represents what consumers are actually paying, is likely to be significantly lower. Be sure to click on Fair Purchase Prices to check what the Entourage is currently selling for in your area. Hyundai competes mainly against the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, which start near Entourage level but can cost considerably more in abundantly-equipped form. The related Kia Sedona is offered in only two trim levels and is priced lower than Entourage. In terms of resale value, we predict that the Entourage will perform poorly over time. The Entourage is expected to retain 27 percent of its original value over a 60-month period, which is on par with the Kia Sedona but below its Honda and Toyota competitors.
Even in the base GLS trim, the Entourage includes tri-zone climate control, power mirrors, windows and door locks, remote keyless entry and 16-inch tires. A foldaway center tray table contains four cupholders: two for front occupants and two for the second row. Twin captain's chairs are installed in the second row, along with a three-place 60/40-split back seat for seven-passenger capacity. Dual power sliding doors, 17-inch alloy wheels, fog lamps, automatic temperature control and a power driver's seat are included in the SE edition. Topping the line, the Limited adds leather seats (heated up front), a power tailgate and an electro-luminescent instrument cluster.
Only a few individual options are available, including a cargo net, carpets and mudguards. Limited models may be equipped with an Entertainment Package that includes a rear-seat DVD entertainment system with an eight-inch screen, plus an Infinity CD changer with MP3 capability and Logic7 surround sound. An Ultimate Package for the Limited also adds power-adjustable pedals, backup warning sensors, a sunroof, power front passenger seat and pedal/driver's seat memory. The sunroof is available as a separate option, but only for the Limited model.
Hyundai Hideaway Third-Row Seat
No, Hyundai isn't alone in providing a 60/40-split third-row seat that folds into the floor - specifically, into the cargo well at the rear. Even so, it's a feature that adds storage utility. Each side of the seat easily folds down into the cargo well, taking up that space as it creates an almost-flat load floor.
Somewhat fuzzy suede-like fabric in the handsome two-tone interior gives the Entourage an upscale look and promises easy care, though its durability compared to other materials is uncertain.
Under the Hood
The Entourage has a 3.8-liter V6 engine, driving a five-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual-shift capability. Kia's Sedona powertrain is similar.
242 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
251 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/25
Hyundai is a late arrival to the minivan market, but its brand-new offering - while breaking little fresh ground - builds upon the reputation of a well-regarded current offering. The Entourage is related to the latest Kia Sedona, which went on sale as a mid-2006 model. Hyundai is Kia's parent company; both automakers promote the high-value attributes of their vehicles, compared to the league-leading Honda Odyssey and other familiar nameplates. But Hyundai model line manager Michael Deitz considers the Entourage a "more refined" model than Sedona, thus warranting moderately higher prices. "People lean toward minivans with all the extras," Dietz said.