2007 Hyundai Entourage GL w/ Comfort Package
2007 Hyundai Entourage GL w/ Comfort Package. Click image to enlarge


Review and photos by Jil McIntosh

Discuss this story in the forum at CarTalkCanada

Find this vehicle in Autos’s Classified Ads

In my purely unscientific studies – conducted mostly in grocery store parking lots – most minivans are the family equivalent of work trucks, which means they need to be cost-efficient. Sure, a high-end hauler like the Mercedes R-Class is a lovely vehicle, but if your van is just going to end up crammed with funky gym bags, muddy shoes and dog hair, why invest a fortune?

Hyundai takes price into account with its 2007 Entourage, its first foray into the minivan market, which starts at $29,995 for the base GL line. Yes, you can get into some other minivans for less, but all Entourage models are the equivalent of a “long wheelbase” model, all use a 242-hp, 3.8-litre V6 engine, and in a segment where safety is a primary consideration, all come with anti-lock brakes, four-wheel discs, front-seat active head restraints, front seat side airbags, and curtain airbags for all three rows. (Entourage and sibling Kia Sedona have earned the highest “gold” rating in U.S. crash tests from the IIHS, the only minivans to do so, which indicates top performances in frontal, side and rear protection.) GLS models also receive standard stability and traction control. There’s also a 5-year/100,000 km warranty on pretty much everything, with roadside assistance for three years with unlimited mileage; that warranty can be an important consideration for families who want the security of longer coverage.

On the convenience side, the base GL model also includes dual sliding doors, power windows in all four doors, a/c with second-row controls, heated mirrors, conversation mirror (shouldn’t you be looking at the road?), cruise control and keyless entry. My tester was the GL with Comfort package, at $31,995, which adds power sliding doors, electric rear quarter windows, alloy wheels and roof rails.

2007 Hyundai Entourage GL w/ Comfort Package
2007 Hyundai Entourage GL w/ Comfort Package. Click image to enlarge

Should catatonic children be preferable to parental interaction, you can add the rear-seat DVD to the GL and GL/Comfort models for $1,100 (it’s standard on the GLS models); it includes a 10-inch screen, remote control and two wireless headsets.

The GLS, at $35,695, adds 17-inch alloy wheels, CD/MP3/cassette stereo, automatic climate control, auto-dimming rear-view mirror, fog lights, heated front sweats, leather-wrapped wheel, power driver’s seat, reverse warning system, trip computer, and the aforementioned DVD player. The line tops out with the GLS Premium, at $37,195, which adds leather seats and power lift-gate.

2007 Hyundai Entourage GL w/ Comfort Package
2007 Hyundai Entourage GL w/ Comfort
2007 Hyundai Entourage GL w/ Comfort Package
2007 Hyundai Entourage GL w/ Comfort Package
2007 Hyundai Entourage GL w/ Comfort Package. Click image to enlarge

The Entourage holds up to seven people, with second-row seats that fold and tumble forward, or can be removed entirely. Chrysler is still the only minivan with disappearing second-row seats, but Hyundai’s third row sinks entirely into the floor, and it’s a very simple operation involving pulling on two straps and tipping them down.

The van is crammed with storage cubbies, including a drop-down tray between the front seats, and there are grocery bag hooks on the rear seats and alongside the front passenger seat. Heater and stereo buttons are big and simple, and all the air vents can be closed completely; the rear-seat air and heater controls have redundant controls at the console and roof, so adults in the second row can adjust to taste, while the driver can do the honours for pint-sized passengers.

The interior is very plastic-heavy – the higher-end models dress it up with some metallic inserts – and while it’s very utilitarian, it also looks easy to clean.

The sliding door windows open a little more than halfway, which is really nice on mild days, but there’s a safety lockout on the doors: they won’t open all the way if the window is open, which prevents protruding child or pet appendages from being sliced off between the glass and the side of the van.

The 3.8-litre pulls the van away from stoplights at a decent clip, and provides sufficient highway passing power, while returning a respectable 11.4 L/100 km for me; the five-speed transmission also includes a silly manual mode (perhaps to make sports car-deprived fathers feel better about piloting a minivan?) which most owners will probably play with for the first couple of days and then ignore. The ride is firm, but not unpleasantly so; there’s a fair bit of road noise on rough surfaces, and wind noise from the mirrors on the highway.

2007 Hyundai Entourage GL w/ Comfort Package
2007 Hyundai Entourage GL w/ Comfort Package
2007 Hyundai Entourage GL w/ Comfort Package. Click image to enlarge

The Entourage’s head-on competitor is from sister company Kia, which sells the 2006 Sedona at $500 less, and which begs the obvious question: why pay more for basically the same vehicle (and which includes the backup sensor, sold on the higher-end Entourage, on the base Kia)? When asked, Hyundai said there’s a higher grade of quality control and materials, plus a higher retained value. They look pretty much the same to me, but I did find that a top-of-the-line Kia Sedona had considerably more squeaks and rattles than my base Hyundai Entourage.

The similarity is enough that you should test-drive them both; for many buyers, it may come down to which dealer is most convenient. For many families, time is money, and it can be an important consideration. No one buys a minivan with their hearts; do your homework and buy the one that fits the best into your busy lifestyle.


Pricing


Specifications

  • Click here for complete specifications


Related stories on Autos

  • First Drive: 2007 Hyundai Entourage


Competitors

  • Buyer’s Guide: 2006 Kia Sedona
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2006 Dodge Grand Caravan
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2006 Honda Odyssey
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2006 Nissan Quest
  • Buyer’s Guide: 2006 Toyota Sienna


Crash test results


Manufacturer’s web site

Connect with Autos.ca