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sciguy_0504

Pricey Hyundai does the job

13 posts in this topic

Hyundai has never sold a minivan in North America -- until the arrival of the off-again, on-again 2007 Entourage, essentially a clone of the redesigned 2006 Kia Sedona.

For a first-time effort, the Entourage is not bad. Although it breaks no new ground, it manages to assimilate many -- but not all -- of the best characteristics of the leading competitors from Toyota and Honda.

Unfortunately, the $33,445 sticker on our test vehicle, a loaded 2007 Entourage Limited with the $3,950 Ultimate package, is hardly a bargain.

SHE: The Entourage passed our kid test with flying colors. I asked our 2-year-old niece Julia, who spends most of her time in a Chrysler minivan, if she wanted to take a look at Aunt Nini's new Korean minivan. So we grabbed her Cinderella DVD and headed out to the driveway. Julia and her 11-year-old brother Nick were delighted with our test car's rear-seat entertainment system, which includes wireless headphones and a large LCD screen. Julia sat in the back, clapping her hands and singing "Bibbidi-Bobbidi-Boo." But all the fun stopped when her mom poked her head in the Hyundai and started fussing with the second-row seats. "Why don't these fold into the floor?" she asked. "They should."

HE: Good question. I was pleased to see Hyundai got the third row right. Those seats were pretty easy to stow at the hardware store, where I loaded up three 40-pound bags of salt and a new hose reel cart. But I was also impressed with the front row, which looks like it belongs in a premium sedan. The new Entourage has plenty of amenities, which should be no surprise considering that lofty $30,000-plus sticker. But I was amazed at the lack of items most minivan buyers would expect, from simple stuff like a tilt steering column to advanced features such as a navigation system and satellite radio, which Hyundai says is coming later in the year. Perhaps that's the result of the last-minute decision to cancel, then restore this vehicle to Hyundai's North American lineup.

SHE: This is the most expensive Korean vehicle I've ever driven -- more expensive than the snazzy new Hyundai Azera near-luxury sedan we tested earlier this year. Granted, the base sticker on the Entourage is $24,495, including shipping. But most families and kids who live in minivans have been conditioned to expect a lot of goodies. And this is no discount minivan. But in a very basic way, the Entourage represents a good value, especially when you consider the high level of comfort, performance, quality and safety, even on the base model. In the area of safety alone, it's a leader, better than the Sienna and right up there with the Odyssey. With the Entourage, you get six standard air bags, including side curtains for all three rows, plus standard traction and stability control and standard antilock brakes.

HE: Hyundai offers only a single powertrain combination on the Entourage -- a 242-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6 mated to a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift capability. It's a smooth powertrain team with lots of muscle, and the fuel economy isn't bad either, at 18 miles per gallon in city driving and 25 on the highway.

SHE: I was disappointed that there isn't much in the way of innovation on the Entourage, but at least Hyundai got the basics right. The ride is really comfortable, thanks to an all-independent suspension design that bundles coil springs, gas shocks and stabilizer bars. The Entourage seemed almost impervious to all the torn-up roads and construction in our neighborhood -- much better, in fact, that many of the expensive sports cars we've been testing in recent weeks.

HE: Despite its deficiencies, the Entourage is a pretty impressive effort right out of the box -- a better product in most respects than the aging minivans sold by Ford and General Motors and nearly as good as the class leaders from Chrysler, Toyota and Honda. And the Entourage Limited with the Ultimate package is a definitely a premium offering in the class.

SHE: A premium offering with a premium price tag to match.

SHE

Likes: Sturdy, capable family hauler. Terrific standard safety features. Power tailgate and sliding doors on Limited. Third row folds easily into floor. Industry's best warranty coverage. Tire pressure monitor on individual wheels. Decent fuel economy. Comfortable ride.

Dislikes: Bland, derivative exterior styling. Not much of a bargain. Breaks no new ground. No all-wheel drive. No satellite radio.

HE

Likes: Impressive first-time effort for Hyundai. Large, powerful V-6 engine. Five-speed Tiptronic transmission. Nice-looking, two-tone interior. Excellent workmanship and high-quality materials.

Dislikes: Mere clone of new Kia Sedona. Second-row seats don't fold into floor. No navigation system. Steering column does not tilt.

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No satelite radio... who cares?!

No tilt wheel? :rolleyes:

No fold down rear seats? :rolleyes:

They need 3.8 liters to make 242? :rolleyes:

"SHE: A premium offering with a premium price tag to match". :rolleyes:

Minivan & Permium just don't seem to mesh for me...

it's kind of an oxymoron.

Sorry just reacting to this seeing as how even Huyndai get's a

free pass where GM does not.

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But I was amazed at the lack of items most minivan buyers would expect, from simple stuff like a tilt steering column to advanced features such as a navigation system and satellite radio, which Hyundai says is coming later in the year.

...?????????

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Still can't beat the ZChrysler minivans for practicality. The new ones will blow the competition away

In terms of feature, probably, but the design will probably be another ugly thing like most of their lineup. :yes:

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I wonder if Hyundai is working w/ HBO on a product placement deal for this in their show 'Entourage'.. :)

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No satelite radio... who cares?!

No tilt wheel? :rolleyes:

No fold down rear seats? :rolleyes:

They need 3.8 liters to make 242? :rolleyes:

"SHE: A premium offering with a premium price tag to match". :rolleyes:

Minivan & Permium just don't seem to mesh for me...

it's kind of an oxymoron.

Sorry just reacting to this seeing as how even Huyndai get's a

free pass where GM does not.

They probably meant telescoping wheel; the Entourage's tilts. The third-row does fold into the floor, but the second rows do not.

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...?????????

I KNOW!!!!!! WTF????

DEAL BREAKER

give chrysler credit, for as tacky old as their vans are, they are still a great product.

hyundai is REACHING big time with the price they want.

if anyone has seen the 07 Quest interior with its chrome/wood and perforated leather, its hard to find anything that is as interesting and nice style wise. the Honda and toyo interiors are still nice too, if bland. the entourage is deficient in features and high in price and lacks seating versatility.

sorry hyundai, as a kia its ok, but as a hyundai trying to pretend its a sienna is frikin dumb.

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Still can't beat the ZChrysler minivans for practicality. The new ones will blow the competition away

The Caravan/Town and Country have always been the best. Now if only Chrysler would offer the 3.5 250 hp engine as a hot version for those seeking more refinement.

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The Caravan/Town and Country have always been the best. Now if only Chrysler would offer the 3.5 250 hp engine as a hot version for those seeking more refinement.

Wait till the '08s come out. They could/will have some combination of the new 3.8L, the new 4.0L, and the current (maybe refined)3.5L. There is also a rumor of a new engine codenamed Phoenix, possibly based off the old 3.8L. These will most likely be paired with 6 speed transmissions.

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Good points, and the Chryslers have always been nice, but one big issue still--the usefulness of the Stow 'n Go is AMAZING, but the comfort of the seats is awful.

They look fine, and I really wanted to try them out, and couldn't stand them--the 3rd is inclined too much, and feels small, and the middle seats are just tiny. It's very hard to make seats that can be both comfortable and able to fit into a floor hole, but they better be a lot nicer in the next gen.

Same with the interior noise, which has always been a problem in the Chrysler vans.

But, regardless, I'm VERY impressed by the Kia/Hyundai twins. The material and build quality puts every other van to shame, as do the combination of features and price.

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Chrysler currently has the oldest van on the market yet it is still the sales leader. The Chrysler interior and exterior styling is from 2000 - nearly seven years old. In addition, the Chrysler drivetrain is ancient. That said, the DCX vans have dominated the market since they created the market over 22 years ago. The new vans that debut in 8 months will be ground breaking. It is rumored that they will have superior powertrain options as well as a world class interior.

GM and Ford should be embarrased that on Kia/Huyndia's second attempt - they come closest to matching the class leaders (DCX, Honda and Toyota) than either Ford, GM, Mazda or Nissan who have all been at it for almost two decades.

Kia/Huyndai introduced this right time - take advantage of GM and Ford's failures but hit the market before DCX reignites the minivan segment.

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Besides price, they are not differentiated enough for me, especially exterior and interior-wise.

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