Hyundai is very clear about what it expects from its Entourage Minivan - it is aimed at the budget-conscious family who want great performance, maximum safety and reliability but don't need too much luxury and above all want value for money. Every year Hyundai gets better and better at delivering this set of criteria to its growing band of loyal followers, and this year the 2009 models are no exception.
Hyundai's approach this year has been to cut away all of the mid-range models of the Entourage and standardize a huge swag of features into the base GLS model, as well as offering the top-of-the-range Limited with even more special features. This is a clever strategic move, because it makes the Entourage look like even better value for money to the average American family.
2009 Hyundai Entourage Interior and Features
Standard now in the GLS model is an impressive range of features including power everything, premium cloth seat covers, cruise control, side-rail roof racks, Hyundai's Hideaway folding third-row seat and the 172-watt six-speaker Infinity sound system that includes Satellite Radio, MP3 and iPod auxiliary inputs (which can charge your iPod as well as play it). There is also a Popular Equipment Package available for the GLS which adds dual power sliding doors, backup warning sensors as well as a power driver's seat and audio controls on the steering wheel. Plus there is yet another additional option of the worth-its-weight-in-gold rear-seat entertainment system with an 8-inch LCD monitor to keep the kids quiet on those long trips.
And if you thought that was good, the Entourage Limited includes all that plus more. The upgrade will get you a premium 660-watt Infinity surround sound system, heated leather seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, chrome door handles, glass sunroof, heated side mirrors, automatic headlights, fog lights, dual-zone front climate control, memory controlled driver's seat settings and 17-inch alloys.
Seating is for up to seven passengers with the second-row seats folding over for access to the back, and the Hideaway third-row seat folding into the floor when it is not needed, giving plenty of extra cargo space. There is a handy storage well behind the third seats with plenty of other nooks and crannies for storing all that family stuff so that overall the Entourage provides more space that even the Honda Odyssey and Chrysler Town and Country.
2009 Hyundai Entourage Performance
Performance-wise this year's Entourage still offers an engine that beats all in its class for horsepower except the Toyota Sienna. It carries the standard 3.8L V6 engine that produces 250hp and with the Shiftronic five-speed automatic transmission for optional manual shifting if the mood takes you. Handling is much as you would expect for a minivan - a bit of noticeable body roll in the corners and not the world's most responsive steering, but if you keep in mind that it is not a sports car, the acceleration is impressive, taking you from 0-60 in 8.4 seconds, and the suspension gives a smooth ride even in the back seat. Hyundai even claims you can tow 3500 pounds with trailer brakes fitted. Fuel economy is average at 16/23mpg city/highway, but amazingly for a V6, the Entourage runs clean enough to qualify it as an Ultra Low Emissions vehicle.
Hyundai prides itself on reliability, and offers amazing warranties to back up its performance including a five-year/ 60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty, 10-year/100,000 mile engine warranty and five-year unlimited mileage 24-hour roadside assistance.
2009 Hyundai Entourage Safety
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently awarded the Hyundai Entourage with the first ever 'Top Safety Pick'? rating for a minivan which is a sign of how seriously Hyundai takes their safety performance. In the crash tests, they received a perfect five stars in every category except Rollover safety, which still had an excellent four stars. This is due largely to the range of standard safety features including six airbags (side air bags for all three rows of seats, front and curtain airbags) and Electronic Stability Control (ESC) to manage loss of control from under and oversteering. The IIHS shows that the ESC system reduces fatalities by 56% in single-vehicle crashes which makes you wonder why every manufacturer does not include it as standard. The Entourage also carries Anti-Locking Brakes with Brake Assist and Electronic Brake Force Distribution to provide superior braking in emergency situations.
- Anti-locking brakes
- Electronic Stability Control
- Traction Control
- Brake assist and Electronic Brake Force Distribution
- Front, side and curtain airbags
- LATCH seatbelt system for children
- Active head restraints
- Tire pressure monitor
Overall the 2009 Hyundait Entourage offers outstanding value for money compared to almost all other minivans in its class, and combined with superior performance, safety and after-sale service, it has to be one of the top choices on the market.