The all-new 2007 Hyundai Entourage is the Korean automaker's first minivan. Compared with the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna, the Entourage offers attractive pricing and a load of safety equipment, elements that should appeal to anyone with common sense.
Its safety equipment includes established life-savers such as electronic stability control (skid control) and air curtains to cover the side windows and offer head protection in a side-impact crash. The Entourage has also gotten the top minivan rating for crash protection from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety which conducted frontal, side and rear-impact crash tests. But what minivans are all about is practicality and the Entourage offers that. There is just enough room for six in pleasant yet functional surroundings. Seven would really be a squeeze unless the kids are small.
The ride is comfortable and yet the Entourage has no barge-like tendencies when it comes to handling. It has a five-speed automatic transmission to help get the best fuel economy and performance out of its V6 engine.
Another attractive feature is Hyundai's long warranty. The bumper-to-bumper coverage is five years or 60,000 miles while the powertrain is covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. That's more than either Honda or Toyota, but those Japanese automakers have a superior track record when it comes to reliability.
Some independent studies have shown Hyundai's quality has improved considerably although on a long-term basis it does not yet match Honda or Toyota. But attractive features, performance and pricing make the Entourage worth a serious look.
The 2007 Hyundai Entourage comes in three trim levels: GLS ($23,795); SE ($26,295); and Limited ($28,795).
Options include Sunroof ($950); Entertainment package with DVD player, Logic7 surround-sound stereo ($2,200); Premium package including heated front seats, backup-warning system and auto-dimming mirror ($700); Ultimate package with sunroof, DVD player, Infiniti Logic7 surround-sound system, back-up sensors, power-adjustable pedals and power passenger seat ($4,000); mud guards ($75); floor mats ($175).
Safety features that come standard on all models include anti-lock brakes, electronic brake-force distribution; curtain air bags, electronic stability control, seat-mounted side-impact airbags, and active head restraints for front seats. The curtain airbags cover all the side windows in a side-impact crash to offer head protection and to keep heads and arms inside the vehicle in a rollover. Air curtains are not, however, designed to be a substitute for wearing seat belts, so be sure to wear your seat belts.
The active head restraints are designed to reduce neck injuries by moving forward to cushion the head in a rear-end crash. In crash tests conducted by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, which represents the insurance industry, the Entourage moved ahead of all the other minivans by getting a "good" rating in the rear-impact crash test. The Honda Odyssey got a "marginal" rating for rear impact while the Toyota Sienna and Nissan Quest got "poor" ratings. All four got "good" ratings in frontal and side-impact protection. The institute uses a rating system of good, acceptable, marginal and poor.