by Paul Williams

Photo Gallery: 2007 Hyundai Entourage

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The first van scheduled for our “We’re not Minivan people” test family is the 2007 Hyundai Entourage. This is Hyundai’s first ever minivan, and true to Hyundai’s form it offers a lot of standard features for a very competitive price.

2007 Hyundai Entourage
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Starting at $29,995 for the Entourage GL, the $37,195 GLS Premium model supplied by Hyundai Canada comes standard with front and rear climate control, 17-inch aluminum wheels, CD/MP3 stereo, 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, backup warning sensor, trip computer with compass, and standard rear DVD entertainment system.

The GL Comfort and GLS trim levels offer power dual sliding rear doors and power windows for second row passengers, an adjustable conversation mirror and fold-away centre tray table with four cup holders.

Our test family’s example with the Premium Leather Package includes leather seating surfaces and the useful power rear lift gate, along with power, heated driver’s and front passenger’s seats with power lumbar support.

All Entourages are powered with a 3.8 litre V6 engine that makes 242 horsepower and 251pounds-feet of torque. Transmission is a five-speed automatic with “Shiftronic” and fuel economy is rated at 13.2/8.8 L/100km, city/highway.

2007 Hyundai Entourage
Click image to enlarge

If interior space was a problem for Dave and Carolyn before, it’s apparently not anymore. “The cargo area is absolutely cavernous,” says Dave of this full size family van (the term “mini” van seems anachronistic in relation to current examples). Is it perhaps too big for this family? Hard to tell at this point. Growing families will plan ahead, and as children get older and groups of friends need rides to events and activities, the extra space will be put to good use. To this end, the Entourage is a seven-passenger vehicle, with flip-and-fold second row captain’s chairs and a split-folding, 60/40 third row seat that folds flat into the floor.

With standard anti-lock brakes, traction control and electronic stability control, the Entourage GLS packs some desirable equipment into its list of safety features. Additionally, six airbags, including full-length curtain, are standard on the Entourage. Along with its “sister” van, the Kia Sedona, the Entourage has received the gold “Top Safety Pick” award from the U.S. Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). Furthermore, the Entourage has received a Five-Star rating for driver, passenger and rear seat passengers in frontal and side collision testing, and a Four-Star rating in rollover testing.

The standard child seat LATCH system points allow child seats to be secured in both the second and third row seats.

2007 Hyundai Entourage
Click image to enlarge

With an overall length of 5130 mm and a width 1985 mm, the all-new Entourage is longer than the Dodge Grand Caravan and Honda Odyssey and longer and wider than the Toyota Sienna. One question that many prospective owners will have of a large vehicle like the Entourage is, “How easy it to drive?” Indications from journalist test drives are that it drives much like a car, but we’ll be following our test family’s driving impressions throughout this extended test drive.

The Hyundai Entourage is built in Sohari, South Korea.

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