June 18, 2007 (Dave)

Intitial impressions of the Hyundai Entourage from Dave and family after one week in the van:

This GLS model is very well equipped: leather interior, all the amenities. Nicely appointed.

Not having driven vans before, we are certainly impressed by the size of this vehicle. Interior space is abundant. Interestingly, we’re finding the Entourage is easy to drive, park, manoeuvre. Actually, it feels pretty much like driving a car, except it is heavier than our Sportage, and you have to adjust to this when cornering and stopping.

The power sliding door is a godsend, and the power liftgate is very helpful. But the sliding door is hands down the most useful feature for us.

Putting the dog behind the third-row seat doesn’t work, as it is too confining. With the third-row seat folded into the floor (very convenient) the space back there is cavernous. Now we worry that the dog might get thrown around in hard braking. Possibly a safety issue for all of us. But so far, so good.

Putting the seats up and down is a piece of cake. It’s a one-hand operation: pull this, pull that and it’s done. Very well thought-out.

2007 Hyundai Entourage
Click image to enlarge

We notice that when you take your foot off the gas, the Entourage maintains its speed for 1-2 seconds before decelerating. We’re not used to this; don’t know if all vans do this, or all Hyundais. It’s a bit disconcerting at first, but we are adjusting.

Amazing how small the turning circle is. Very little room required to do a u-turn; very easy to wheel around a parking lot. Quite surprising.

We’re finding the automatic climate control a bit complex, mainly setting it front and rear. We actually had warm air coming out at the rear and cool at the front. Better read the manual!

Notice that windows in side doors go up and down. Convenient for rear seat passengers and unexpected.

Access to baby in car seat much easier than in the SUV. Lots of room between seats to move around; lots of places to put things.

Fuel economy seems good.

So far this is working out okay.

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June 25, 2007 (Carolyn)
The minivan is wonderful! I absolutely love the power sliding doors and the side windows which also open. There are many cup holders and lots of places to store things – and this is all excellent. Also, there is a baby mirror at the front so that you can see Anna at the back – EXCELLENT idea.

However, the mirror is positioned more for the convenience of the front passenger rather than the driver, and so it is not as helpful to me when I am driving alone with Anna. Therefore, one should be able to rotate the mirror so that you can see the baby in the back regardless of whether you are in the front driver or passenger seat. The minivan seems to be using quite a bit more gas than the KIA. We have already put on over 1000km over the past two weeks and we have had to stop to fill up the gas tank a number of times already.

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July 2, 2007 (Dave and Carolyn)

Here are some of the features that we especially like about the Hyundai Entourage:

  • The power sliding doors � and I like the fact that there are many buttons which are located in many different areas of the minivan to open these sliding doors and the tailgate

  • The seats are VERY comfortable
  • The many cup holders and large glove compartment (2 glove compartments to be exact!)
  • The air conditioning system which cools the minivan quite quickly (yes, we have figured out how to operate it!)
  • The way that the volume control for the radio is located conveniently on the steering wheel � along with a mute button.
  • The minivan is mostly quiet except for a faint but constant ticking sound coming from somewhere at the front of the driver�s side?
  • The minivan is easy enough to maneuver
  • The built-in conversation mirror
  • The power seats � excellent because Dave and I are different heights so this is convenient
  • The middle seats fold out of the way very easily and quickly, which is also nice
  • Very smart looking minivan

Here are some of the features that we find less appealing about the Hyundai Entourage:

  • In addition to the volume control and mute buttons, a scan button should also be located on the steering wheel so that you can easily change radio stations. As it stands, you have to reach over quite a distance (a bit uncomfortable) and lean over the gear shift to change the radio station, which is something that I do more often than increasing or lowering the volume!

  • The minivan is a bit underpowered (e.g., going up a large hill in the city)
  • The minivan really has difficulty braking quickly and it always shudders when braking, it seems (this is perhaps the MOST unappealing thing about the minivan so far, and this may just be a factor common to all minivans?)
  • The conversation mirror is only convenient for the front passenger and should be made to rotate more freely so that the front driver could also use it more effectively
  • The front driver and passenger arm rests are in the way when you want to do up your seat belt and if you lift the arm rest only slightly it locks into place (it will not go back down), thus you have to lift it all the way back up again in order to put it back down (this is inconvenient and annoying)
  • It does seem to use up a lot of fuel
  • Does NOT handle high winds well (e.g., I was on the Burlington Skyway the other day and the minivan was just (as the Guess Who used to say) �shaking all over�). Maybe this is typical of minivans?

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July 10, 2007

From Carolyn:

The Entourage is the biggest vehicle that I’ve ever driven, and it’s true that at first I was a bit intimidated by its size. I found I was continuing to drive our Kia Sportage rather than the van because of this. However, now I drive the Entourage almost all the time. You have to adapt to the size and weight of the Entourage but lately I can wheel it around like I’ve been driving a minivan for years. Backing up was something that also initially concerned me, but the Entourage has backup sensors (new to me) and they work really well.

2007 Hyundai Entourage
Click image to enlarge

Only thing I haven’t done is parallel park!

Of course, I’m able to take more baby-related things with me when I go out. I know people think perhaps I take too much, but I’ve got the space and why not use it? For our recent trip to Ottawa we were able to fit the stroller, bags, luggage, baby’s exersaucer, and have room for the dog.

If anything, the Entourage is kind of like a room on wheels. You can move around in it much more easily than you can in an SUV. I can easily reach the baby and attend to her, where in the SUV I have to reach over the seat and it can be much more difficult just to hold things and do what I need to do.

We discovered that the middle seats fold flat; this is very helpful when we need to change the little one’s diaper while out and about.

The ride is smooth, very smooth. So is the engine, but there is noise from the road (tires? wind? traffic?) which intrudes somewhat. It’s not loud, but sometimes we need to raise our voices to be heard. Maybe we’re quiet people�

2007 Hyundai Entourage
Click image to enlarge

And we’re finding the seats very comfortable. The leather’s great; I don’t know what else you could get in a van other than a sunroof and navigation (we have a portable navigation system, so that’s okay). But really, everything we need is here, plus things we didn’t know we needed, but now use all the time (I can’t overstate how much I like the power doors, both sides, and the power rear liftgate. They make life so much easier. It’s like having an extra pair of hands).

Here’s something we haven’t been able to master: the audio for the DVD entertainment centre. We’d like it to come through the speakers, not the headphones. The manual says this is possible, but we haven’t solved the instructions. We may not before the Entourage goes back.

My only other concern is the brakes. Our van has only about 8,000 km on it, but the brakes vibrate when they are applied with any real pressure (stopping quickly). I’m interested to see how the next minivan stops in comparison.

There’s no doubt about the functionality and practicality of this vehicle.

Dave here, with some more observations concerning the Entourage. The car seat was very easy to install – the fasteners were easy to locate and easy to reach. We have not removed the car seat since it was first installed.

The van is easy to manoeuvre. But it is a large vehicle and although it is easy to drive I feel as though I am driving a small bus.

Regarding the visibility around the van, I have cut off two vehicles during the past couple weeks because of a blind spot that I was unaware of, One of these vehicles was a large, Ford pickup truck which I simply did not see despite checking my rear-view and side-view mirrors. Now I shoulder check all the time

The van is comfortable to drive, and it serves its purpose well. While driving around with Carolyn, we noticed that it is difficult to hold hands (when we feel romantic) because we are seated so far apart – young/affectionate couples take note!

The Entourage is huge inside. You just have to experience it to understand how much room you have. I don’t know if I should say this but we actually put a tree in it. There was an ornamental tree for sale at Canadian Tire when we were there. I’ve wanted one of these for a while and it was on sale and it was the last one. Then I realized, “I can probably fit this in the Entourage, no problem,” and I did. So we had two adults, baby, dog, stroller, groceries and somehow we’ve put this tree in there.

2007 Hyundai Entourage
Click image to enlarge

As I say, it’s huge inside.

However, I find myself opting to use our Kia Sportage when I am given the choice to use either vehicle – it’s much more nimble and less imposing. The Sportage is “fun” to drive, whereas I cannot say that the van is fun to drive – it is, after all, a van. Moreover, our Sportage uses far less gas than the van does. In this regard, we have driven the van approximately 2300 kilometres during the past three weeks, and thus we have filled its tank many times. Overall, according to the trip computer, we are averaging 12.6 L/100km, combined city/highway. I’m thinking two vehicles would be the best solution: a practical one like a van or SUV, and a compact or subcompact for zipping around.

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