The Hyundai Entourage minivan made its debut at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show and went on sale that spring as a 2007 model. It was made in South Korea by Kia Motors, 51% of which had been acquired by Hyundai in 1998. It was a rebadged version of the second generation Kia Sedona, which had been very well received after arriving at North American dealer showrooms in 2006. GLS, SE and Limited trim levels were offered, but only one powertrain was available - a 252-hp 3.8-litre V6 and five-speed automatic with manual shift gate. Standard equipment, even on the base GLS, included second row captain’s chairs, tri-zone climate control, cruise, power/doors/windows mirrors. The more upscale SE got 17-inch alloy wheels, power sliding doors and tailgate, and a power driver’s seat. The top-of-the-line Limited added items such as heated leather seats, 13-speaker audio system and power front passenger seat. A power sunroof was optional.
THE GOOD STUFF
Entourage is considered one of the safest minivans ever. Dual front and side airbags, plus side curtain airbags, along with ABS and traction control were standard. It earned five stars from the U.S. National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) for all seating positions in both front and side impact tests. In 2007, it was rated a “gold top pick” by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). The 2008 version was named Best New Minivan by the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC). These seven-passenger vehicles came only in extended wheelbase versions and had roomy interiors and exceptional cargo space. The third row seats folded into a well and the second row was removable. Entourage was a “Recommended” choice by Consumer Reports in 2007.
Online consumer forums are populated mostly by happy Entourage owners; however, there are a few common repair issues such as power side doors, creaking interior panels, A/C compressor and brakes. Complaints such as body lean in corners, a bouncy ride over large bumps and wind rush at highway speeds are typical of most minivans. The most frequent complaints seem to centre on fuel economy, which was rated by EnerGuide at 13.2 L/100km city and 8.8 L/100km highway, but in real world driving was closer to 14.6 and 12.1, respectively. More expensive premium grade gas was recommended by the manufacturer to keep the V6 purring happily.
Entourage came late to the minivan party, just when that market segment was beginning to lose traction, and didn’t stay around for very long. That’s too bad because it was a reliable, reasonably priced alternative to Dodge’s Grand Caravan, the Honda Odyssey and Toyota Sienna. Newer models will be harder to find, but still may have some factory warranty remaining. Entourage was discontinued in April, 2009 but Sedona is still part of Kia’s 2012 line-up.
PRICES AT A GLANCE
Note: These are asking prices, not selling prices, in a cross-Canada survey using Autonet.ca and other sources.
Year Approximate price range
2007 $9,650 - $15,999
2008 $10,950 - $16,995
2009 $17,883 - $18,900
Engines: 3.8L DOHC V6 (252 hp)
Transmissions: 5-speed automatic
Layout: front engine/FWD
Bodies: 5-door minivan