Hyundai minivan hard to beat as a total package
Value for money is what the Hyundai Entourage is all about.
Sure, the Entourage offers a very high level of safety, but it is also a minivan that better harmonizes all the features needed for a family while keeping a little touch of driving pleasure so important for family trips.
Looking at the competition, it’s easy to find one thing for each that they do well.
The Honda Odyssey might be more refined. Toyota’s Sienna feels more powerful. The Dodge Grand Caravan serves up a folding table and it could be argued Nissan’s Quest sports edgier styling. But they’d be hard-pressed to match the Entourage as a total package.
For 2008, the Entourage adds numerous new standard features, headlined by the addition of Electronic Stability Control on all trim levels — the latter, incidentally, now includes four choices: L, GL, GLS and an all-new range-topping Limited version.
The Limited trim brings several comfort and convenience items, such as power adjustable foot pedals, sunroof, and an Integrated Memory System, which you may not expect from a minivan in this price range — which starts at $30,995 for the base Entourage L and tops out at $39,495 for the Limited.
The mid-range GL ($33,395) and GLS ($37,495) round out the trim levels.
Other equipment levels have been adjusted for ‘08 to include the addition of a standard reverse warning sensor on the GL and a standard power opening/closing tailgate and leather interior on GLS models.
There’s also been a modest power increase for the Entourage’s 3.8-litre V6. It now puts out 250 horsepower (up from 242 previously) and adds a little more in the torque delivery department for good measure.
The five-speed automatic transmission (with manual shift mode) offers velvet-smooth shifts.
Government testing rates the powertrain at 8.8 L/100 km on the highway and 13.2 L/100 km in city use.
Inside, the seven-passenger seating arrangement makes very good use of the very generous interior space and offers enough flexibility to combine cargo and passenger content in a variety of useful configurations.
Minivans have never been sexy transportation choices but their devotees couldn’t care less. Their beauty is in the eye of the beholder … and the Entourage is a quite an eyecatcher.
2008 Hyundai Entourage
• Type: Mid-size 7-pass. minivan FWD
• Price: $30,995 - $39,495
• Engine: 3.8L V6 DOHC
• HP: 250 @ 6,000 rpm
• Torque: 253 @ 3,500 rpm
• Strong engine
• Roomy and well-equipped
• Electronic stability control on all trims
• Power tailgate for GLS