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2008 Hyundai Entourage

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2008 Hyundai Entourage Review

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Hyundai is a late arrival to the minivan market, but its latest offering -- while breaking little fresh ground -- builds upon the reputation of a well-regarded current vehicle; the 2008 Hyundai Entourage is related to the Kia Sedona, which first went on sale as a mid-2006 model. Hyundai is Kia's parent company, and both automakers promote the high-value attributes of their vehicles compared to the league-leading Honda Odyssey and other familiar nameplates. But Hyundai model line manager Michael Deitz considers the Entourage "more refined" than the Sedona, thus warranting moderately higher prices. "People lean toward minivans with all the extras," Dietz said.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you like to keep expenses down but don't want to sacrifice any helpful necessities, the 2008 Hyundai Entourage may be a good common-sense choice. Shoppers who demand abundant safety features should note that the Entourage contains six airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), a tire-pressure monitor and Electronic Stability Control, and has the same five-star crash-test rating earned by Kia's Sedona.

You May Not Like This Car If...

Naturally, if you're not a fan of minivans in general, the Entourage isn't likely to appeal to you, since -- unlike a few current competitors -- it doesn't try to be anything else. South Korean models also tend to trail their Japanese-brand rivals in resale value, which can be a drawback if you don't expect to keep the minivan for more than a couple of years.

What's New for 2008

The mid-level SE trim is discontinued, with much of its content added to the GLS' optional Popular Equipment Package. The GLS now offers a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, while the Limited receives a new Infinity Logic 7 Surround Sound audio system. Both trims now offer Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity.

Driving the Entourage
Driving Impressions

Similarities to the Kia Sedona aren't limited to appearance or amenities, but also include road behavior. Considering the improved merits of the latest Sedona, that's a bonus, as it's on...

... par with most minivans and better than some. Solidly built and capable all around, the 2008 Entourage uses the same proficient powertrain, which delivers prompt, non-intrusive gear changes and ample power. Steering is confident and positive, with satisfying feel and feedback to maneuver neatly around town. Although the ride is generally comfortable, this minivan doesn't glide across bumps and holes quite as smoothly as some, and urban pavement yields a fair amount of motion.

Hyundai Hideaway Third-Row Seat
No, Hyundai isn't alone in providing a 60/40-split third-row seat that folds into the floor -- specifically, into the cargo well at the rear. Even so, it's a feature that adds storage utility. Each side of the seat easily folds down into the cargo well, taking up that space as it creates an almost-flat load floor.

Two-Tone Interior
Somewhat fuzzy suede-like fabric in the handsome two-tone interior gives the Entourage an upscale look and promises easy care, though its durability compared to other materials is uncertain.

2008 Hyundai Entourage Details
Interior

Inside, too, similarities to the Sedona outnumber differences. Front occupants get loads of head, leg and elbow room. Seat bottoms are somewhat short, but thigh support is good, and grippy fabric keeps you in place. Second-row occupants also enjoy abundant space, and flip-and-fold seats slide forward for third-row access. The large speedometer is easy to read. High-mounted audio and climate controls are within easy reach. The gearshift is on the vertical console, with a manual-shift gate at the right. A wide glovebox sits near at hand, with a second glovebox above it. The deep cargo well holds plenty.

Exterior

Styling touches follow the lead of the redesigned Santa Fe sport-utility vehicle, including the dropped fender line. Integrated roof-rack rails and color-keyed bodyside moldings are standard. Visually, except for details of the grille, headlamps and lower air intake up front, not much differentiates the Entourage from Kia's Sedona. Both look a lot like most minivans on the road. Considered "truly full-size" by Hyundai, this minivan measures 202 inches long overall and 78.1 inches wide, on a 118.9-inch wheelbase. External dimensions translate to 172 cubic feet of interior space, which Hyundai says beats the Honda Odyssey.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Even in the base GLS trim, the Entourage includes tri-zone air conditioning controls, power mirrors, windows and door locks, front seat side-impact airbags and full-length side-curtain airbags, remote keyless entry and 16-inch tires. A foldaway center tray table contains four cupholders: Two for front occupants and two for the second row. Twin captain's chairs are installed in the second row, along with a three-place 60/40-split back seat for seven-passenger capacity. Topping the line, the Limited adds leather seats (heated up front), Logic 7 Surround Sound audio, automatic headlights, fog lights, a power tailgate and 17-inch alloy wheels.

Optional Equipment

Optional on the GLS is the Popular Equipment Package, which adds dual power sliding doors, power rear quarter windows and a power driver's seat. The Premium Package adds rear-seat DVD entertainment, Infinity Logic 7 Surround Sound audio, heated side mirrors, automatic headlights, fog lights, chrome accents and dual-zone automatic climate controls. The Limited model may be equipped with the Ultimate Package, which includes a rear-seat DVD entertainment system, power-adjustable pedals, a sunroof, power front passenger seat and memory for the driver's seat, mirrors and adjustable pedals. Bluetooth hands-free phone connectivity is optional on both GLS and Limited trims.

Under the Hood

The Entourage has a 3.8-liter V6 engine, driving a five-speed automatic transmission with Shiftronic manual-shift capability. Kia's Sedona powertrain is similar.

3.8-liter V6
250 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
253 lb.-ft. of torque @ 3500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/23

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