December 5, 2006 > 2007 Entourage
This month’s test vehicle was a 2007 Hyundai Entourage minivan. The Entourage comes in three models: GLS, SE, and Limited. They all share the same engine, transmission, brakes, safety, and mechanical packages. The GLS has 16” tires on steel wheels and the other two have 17” alloy wheels.
The three differ in the many features that are added as you move up the model line. You can equip your Entourage with one of my favorite options, back-up warning sensors. The sensors sound an alarm while backing up and the Entourage comes close to something. They can help prevent unwanted consequences as you reverse out of a parking space. Also, the side mirrors dip down a few degrees when you are in reverse, so you can actually see the ground behind you. When you shift into a forward gear, they come back up to the normal position.
Another handy feature is that the Entourage has sliding doors on both sides of the vehicle. This gives you a lot of entry/exit flexibility. Just be careful not to pop out of the door into oncoming traffic. On the SE and Limited models, the doors are electrically powered.
There are many entertainment systems to choose from, including a DVD system for the rear compartment.
Under the hood, the Entourage is no slouch. Its 3.8-liter, V-6 has 4 valves in each cylinder and puts out 250 HP and 253 foot pounds of torque. Just a few years ago, this was sports car type power output. The EPA numbers are 18/25 MPG. This minivan has real get-up-and-go over 3500 RPM.
A 5-speed automatic transmission drives the front wheels. Around town, in Drive, the transmission seemed to keep the RPMs too low, and the Entourage seemed to take a few seconds to get up to speed when you needed to accelerate. I found that by using the Sport setting on the transmission in town, the engine speed was higher and the throttle response was much better.
The GLS lists for $23,795 with the SE $2,500 more (at $26,296). The Limited starts at $28,795. We had a black Limited with a very nice grey leather interior. It had the “ultimate package” that included a high-end sound system, DVD, sunroof and other items for an extra $3,950. If I were buying one, and looking at the feature list, I would go for the SE.
The Entourage contains an impressive array of safety features. First, it gets a five star crash test rating for front and side impacts and the best rating ever for a minivan. Then there are the six airbags including side air curtains for all the rows. Next, it has Electronic Stability Control. It also has active anti-whiplash active front head restraints. Anti-lock brakes are also standard.
Hyundai offers what they claim as “America’s Best Warranty” on all its vehicles. The “bumper to bumper” coverage lasts for 5 years or 60,000 miles. The power train coverage lasts 10 years or 100,000 miles. AND the Entourage gets a 5 year 24 hour roadside assistance package.
My only real complaint centered on where my knees rubbed the interior portions of the Entourage. The hard plastic surfaces made my knees hurt. Hyundai should have foreseen that people would use the side of the door and the engine cover as leg rests. They could have put some padding in those areas to make it more comfortable.
Barring that one small complaint, I enjoyed the Entourage. With its low price and great warranty, it certainly deserves a look if you are in the market for a minivan.
By Dick Ryan
Freelance Automotive Journalist
Member of the Western Automotive Journalists