By Paul Williams
Photo Gallery: 2007 Hyundai Entourage

Dave and Carolyn’s weekly comments. Read More!

2007 Hyundai Entourage
Click image to enlarge

As the Hyundai Entourage experience comes to an end for Dave and Carolyn, they have several thoughts to share about the Entourage, and minivans in general. And they’ve each rated the Entourage in 20 key areas, which will be done for all our test vehicles in the Minivan Challenge.

The Entourage is the first minivan Dave has driven since the early Dodge Caravans, and the first minivan for Carolyn, period. Some ideas they both had about minivans needed updating and refining.

“To tell you the truth,” says Dave, “I thought it would be like driving the minivans of old, but minivans have certainly evolved. Today’s minivan is really much more of a luxury-type vehicle. Even in base trim, it seems, there are so many amenities. Of course, with the Entourage, you get just about everything, so it’ll be interesting to compare it to the other vans.”

Dave suggests that the terms “van” or “minivan” are almost misnomers these days. “These are very luxurious ways to get around; almost like the comfort you get in big coaches.”

During Dave and Carolyn’s time with the Entourage, many people (friends, relatives, neighbours) commented on its size. And they were surprised by its level of appointment, perhaps echoing Dave and Carolyn’s preconceptions that vans have remained much like they were 20 years ago. The extra space available in a vehicle like the Entourage was put to good use, according to Dave and Carolyn.

2007 Hyundai Entourage
Click image to enlarge

“Even with only a single vehicle in the family,” says Dave (they drive a Kia Sportage), “Carolyn and I always seem to end up hauling a lot of stuff. With the extra space in the Entourage, it was still pretty much full when we went on outings.”

Dave and Carolyn are aware that some of the comments on the forum suggest that their family is too small to require a minivan.

“I’m not suggesting that we have to have a minivan,” says Dave, “But we absolutely don’t consider it overkill for our needs. It afforded us a lot more flexibility when we went out.”

Maybe a short wheelbase van would suffice, he concedes, but, “They’re no longer available, as far as I understand.” (The 2007 Dodge Caravan is available with a short wheelbase, but this is its last year.)

For one person’s daily commute to work, for instance, Dave agrees you don’t need a van. “But when we go for a drive, or out on a picnic, we bring a cooler, baby stuff, the dog, stroller, bags; we use the space, believe me.”

2007 Hyundai Entourage
Click image to enlarge

He adds, “What we find is that when I’m driving, for instance, Carolyn is continuously moving back to the vacant second row seat to attend to Anna. So even with only one seat occupied back there, we still use both seats.”

And behind the second row seat? “Dog, stroller, groceries if we shop. We’ve kind of expanded to fill the extra space. It’s very handy, there’s no doubt.”

But Dave cautions that big vehicles like the Entourage are not cheap to run. If it was your only vehicle, he reckons fuel costs would be prohibitive. “You need a second, small, vehicle. Something to run errands, or dash to the store. You don’t need a big van for that.”

Highlights for the 2007 Hyundai Entourage:

The many options included with this particular van: most notably, the leather interior/steering wheel, the power doors/tailgate (very helpful), power driver’s seat, climate control, back-up sensors, power rear windows (allow a nice flow of air without much wind noise), power middle windows, entertainment/DVD system (nice large screen). The seats (rear and middle rows) were very easy to fold/store, and they were quite comfortable. The van included many cup holders and storage compartments. The van was very roomy.

Lows:

The brakes – this van shook during moderate braking conditions, and it did not stop quickly. The acceleration – one needs to stomp on the accelerator to get this vehicle to accelerate quickly or to get up a steep hill without slowing to a crawl. In this regard, the van was “reluctant” to gear down. At high speeds, the van shook slightly, and was somewhat noisy (e.g., difficult to carry on a quiet conversation). The B pillar creates quite a blind spot for the driver (even when checking over the shoulder for vehicles. Lastly, those annoying arm rests!

Dave and Carolyn’s weekly comments. Read More!


Dave and Carolyn’s evaluation of the 2007 Hyundai Entourage

(Each item is rated on a scale of one to five. Maximum score: 100)

Item Dave Carolyn
Exterior Design 3.5 4
Ease of Entry/Exit 4 4
Ride 4 4
Engine/Transmission 3 3
Ease of Operation 4 4
Visibility from Driver’s Seat 3.75 3.75
Comfortable Driving Position 4 4
Interior Ergonomics 4 4
Quality of Materials 4.25 4.25
Interior Design 4 4
Interior Functionality 4 4.25
Build Quality (rattles, etc.) 3.25 3.25
Entertainment System 3.75 4
Night Driving 4 4
Braking 2.75 2.75
Acceleration 3 3
Cornering 3.25 3.25
Stability 3.25 3.25
Fuel Economy 3.5 3.5
Overall Appeal 3.75 3.75
Total 73 74

(Carolyn rates the Entourage slightly higher than Dave for Exterior Design, Interior Functionality, Entertainment System)


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