Just as General Motors and Ford were abandoning the minivan market, Hyundai introduced the Entourage as a 2007 model. The Entourage is essentially the twin of the Kia Sedona. Following the pattern of all new Hyundai models, the Entourage is a well-equipped vehicle loaded with safety equipment and priced toward the low end of its competitive set. Hyundai offers the Entourage in two trim levels: the GLS and the decked-out Limited.
The 2009 Hyundai Entourage looks a lot like other minivans; it's your basic one-box design, simply styled with little detailing. Inside, the story is the same. The quality of the materials is more than acceptable, but Hyundai is still outclassed by competitor Honda in this regard. The gauge and control layout is simple and straightforward. You won't find Chrysler-style Stow 'n Go seats or other whiz-bang features, but the standard seating for seven works just fine as is. If you need maximum cargo room, the second row of seats is removable, but they're heavy.
The 3.8-liter V-6 that powers the 2009 Hyundai Entourage also sees duty in the Azera, Hyundai's luxury sedan, and it delivers brisk acceleration in the Entourage. It produces 250 horsepower, which makes it competitive with every major minivan on the market. The transmission is a five-speed automatic. Economy ratings are similar to those of other minivans at 16 mpg city, 23 highway. Handling is what you would expect from a box on wheels, but the standard electronic stability controls work well in emergency handling situations.
2009 Hyundai Entourage
In terms of safety, performance in government and IIHS crash tests is excellent. Ace drivers from TheCarConnection.com have never crashed one, but we trust these tests to be accurate. The 2009 Hyundai Entourage includes anti-lock brakes, stability and traction control, as well as front, side, and side curtain airbags that cover all three rows of seats.
The 2009 Hyundai Entourage feels like it's a generation behind in features. The 2009 Hyundai Entourage GLS offers two option packages that include features such as power sliding side doors and a power driver seat, as well as backup warning sensors and steering wheel audio controls. A new Premium package gets a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and an eight-inch monitor. The Limited version packs on some new standard features for 2009, and this year's audio system gets an upgrade to include XM Satellite Radio with iPod integration.
If you're interested in the 2009 Hyundai Entourage, also consider:
- Honda Odyssey
- Toyota Sienna
- Chrysler Town & Country
- Dodge Grand Caravan
- Ford Flex
For those responsible for keeping kids happy while on the road, the vast number of features on the all-new Chrysler Town and Country make this minivan a standout achiever. The Chrysler also offers in-floor storage and seating options not available on the Hyundai. In keeping with each brand's positioning, the Dodge Grand Caravan matches the Chrysler feature for feature but is priced slightly lower. If you're shopping around but know you want a refined, high-quality driving experience, then the Honda Odyssey is the minivan for you. As with the Chrysler and Toyota, editors from TheCarConnection.com heartily recommend the recently updated Odyssey. Specification junkies will note that the 2009 Hyundai Entourage offers more room than the Honda, but the Odyssey with the advanced V-6 engine gets better fuel economy. The Toyota Sienna matches the Honda Odyssey in terms of refinement and polish. However, the Sienna doesn't drive with the same enthusiastic personality exhibited by the Honda. And if you don't think you can make it through the styling boredom of van ownership again, the 2009 Ford Flex is a different take on the traditional minivan. With its MINI-esque styling and seven-passenger interior, you can have a comparably spacious interior without the ubiquity.