Full 2008 Hyundai Entourage Review
What's New for 2008
Hyundai's first minivan enters its second year with minor adjustments to feature availability.
Closely related to the second-generation Kia Sedona, the 2008 Hyundai Entourage combines all the comfort, utility and safety that budget-minded families are looking for. Available in two trim levels, the base GLS and upmarket Limited, the Entourage has the modern minivan basics down pat. A capable V6 comes standard, as does a full complement of safety equipment and seven-passenger seating with second-row captain's chairs and a fold-away third-row seat.
Overall, the 2008 Hyundai Entourage remains a smart choice for value-minded shoppers who don't need a lot of icing on their cake. It may not offer the top-notch refinement, amenities and drivability of class leaders like the freshened Honda Odyssey or the model selection of the redesigned Dodge Grand Caravan, but it's capable enough for most buyers. If you're looking for maximum value and confidence-inspiring safety and warranty protection in a minivan that covers most of the bases with competence, the Hyundai Entourage is a very good bet.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
The 2008 Hyundai Entourage minivan comes in two well-equipped trim levels. The base GLS offers 16-inch wheels, removable second-row captain's chairs, a foldaway 60/40-split-folding third-row seat, tri-zone air-conditioning, cruise control, full power accessories and six-speaker CD audio. The uplevel Entourage Limited adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, rear privacy glass, automatic headlights, dual power-sliding side doors, a power liftgate, heated side mirrors, automatic climate control, a power driver seat, heated front seats, leather seating, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and wood or metal dash trim.
Many Limited features are also available on the GLS model in Premium and Popular Equipment Packages. Limited trim options include an Ultimate Package, which gets you a sunroof, a rear-seat entertainment system, a power front passenger seat, power-adjustable foot pedals, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a driver seat memory system. Other available Entourage features include backup warning sensors, Bluetooth and a premium 13-speaker Infiniti surround-sound system with six-disc CD changer.
Powertrains and Performance
The front-wheel-drive Hyundai Entourage minivan is powered by a 3.8-liter V6 producing 250 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque. The engine is coupled to a five-speed automatic transmission with manual shift control. For 2008, EPA-estimated fuel economy is rated at 16 mpg city and 23 mpg highway, about average for its class.
All 2008 Hyundai Entourage minivans include standard antilock brakes with brake assist, stability control, traction control, front seat side airbags, head curtain side airbags for all three rows and active front-seat headrests. Safety is an Entourage strength, as it scored a perfect five stars in government crash tests for occupant protection in frontal and side-impact collisions. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety testing, the Entourage and its Kia Sedona twin were the only minivans to receive a "Top Safety Pick" award last year by scoring a highest possible "Good" rating in its frontal-offset and side-impact crash tests, as well as for the effectiveness of its head restraints in rear impacts.
Interior Design and Special Features
The Entourage offers typical minivan versatility, seating seven with sliding-adjustable second-row seats that allow you to divvy up space as needed. All three rows offer ample legroom; however, headroom is tight for adults in the third row despite their low positioning. To make room for cargo, the folding rear seats disappear into the floor and the second-row chairs are removable -- though this operation requires some muscle, as each chair tips the scales at more than 75 pounds. The Hyundai's switchgear and interior materials are mostly acceptable and in keeping with its price point, but don't expect the refinement of the more expensive segment leaders. Also don't look for premium items like a navigation system or back-up camera. The Entourage does offer a rear DVD player, but it's not integrated with the front controls and must be operated from the second row. There are 141 cubic feet of total cargo room available, just a bit less than other mainstream minivans.
The 2008 Entourage's capable V6 accelerates this minivan smartly and provides ample power around town and on the highway. The transmission operates smoothly in most situations, but its response can be a bit lazy at times. Occupants enjoy a comfortable and quiet ride, though handling dynamics aren't what we would consider eager or precise, as it exhibits a somewhat slow steering response and more understeer and body roll than you'll find among its segment-leading rivals.