The plans for the Hyundai Entourage minivan were written up many months ago. Then they were unceremoniously torn out of Hyundai’s product-plan book last summer when officials decided that the brand didn’t need a minivan in today’s crossover-happy market. But just recently, the plans were pulled back out of the garbage bin, uncrumpled, and the Entourage was made ready for its Chicago-show debut.
The Entourage shares just about everything underneath its skin with its well-done-but-unexciting corporate cousin, the Kia Sedona. (Actually, the two mom vans are Mary-Kate-and-Ashley similar on the outside, too.) This means one powertrain choice: a strong 242-hp, 3.8-liter V-6 teamed to a five-speed manu-matic driving the front wheels. Standard features include flat-folding third-row seating, numerous air bags, stabillity control, a windshield-wiper de-icer, and a tire-pressure-monitoring system, not to mention Hyundai’s impressive 10-year powertrain warranty. The lengthy options list adds power-sliding doors and tailgate, power-adjustable pedals, a clever thirteen-speaker Infiniti sound system, and rear-seat DVD entartainment.
Hyundai’s first minivan should turn out to be a fine vehicle, but don’t expect HBO to accept any advertising deals for it’s hit TV show, “Entourage.” Even the low base price of $23,795 wouldn’t help this van’s case in a garage with a Maserati Quattroporte. This is one Entourage Vince Chase just wouldn’t be seen with.