A cousin to the redesigned Kia Sedona, the 2007 Entourage is Hyundai’s first-ever entry into the minivan market.

Available in four trim levels, the Entourage is powered exclusively by a 3.8-litre V6 mated to a five-speed automatic with Shiftronic manual mode. All models include seven-passenger seating, 60/40 split fold-into-the-floor third-row seat, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and electronic brake force distribution (EBD), anti-whiplash active head restraints and six airbags, including curtain airbags for all three rows.

The base GL line includes 16-inch steel wheels, CD stereo with six speakers, body-coloured door handles, cruise control, heated windshield, power locks with keyless entry, power heated mirrors, power windows with driver’s express-down, manual air conditioning with rear-seat controls, tilt steering, tinted glass, variable intermittent wipers, rear wiper/washer and collapsible front-seat centre table. An optional rear-seat DVD entertainment system can be added to the base model for $1,100.

The GL Comfort Package adds 16-inch aluminum wheels, dual power sliding doors, power rear quarter glass and roof rack.

The GLS adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, CD/MP3 stereo, automatic climate control, chrome door handles, self-dimming rearview mirror, electronic stability control, traction control, fog lights, heated front seats, illuminated vanity mirror, leather-wrapped wheel and shifter knob with wheel-mounted audio controls, power driver’s seat, solar control glass, premium cloth seating, backup warning sensor, trip computer with compass, and standard rear DVD entertainment system.

The GLS Premium Leather Package adds leather seats and power rear liftgate.

The Entourage is a large minivan; Hyundai claims it is longer than the Dodge Grand Caravan or Honda Odyssey, longer and wider than the Toyota Sienna, and has more interior volume than the Dodge Grand Caravan or Honda Odyssey. It feels more plasticky than most of its competitors and suffers from wind noise on the highway. Its Japanese counterparts handle better, but this really isn’t a segment where drivers take it through the slalom, and the Entourage’s long list of standard features at a relatively moderate price should put more than a few in driveways, especially since six airbags, including full-length curtain, are not usually found at this price level. The Entourage/Sedona has also received the gold “Top Safety Pick” award from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS), the best-ever rating for a minivan, for its front, side and rear crash protection. The Entourage’s most logical competitor is really the Kia Sedona, which is similarly-equipped, but priced $500 lower for the base 2006 model.

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