Avg. Price Paid:$8,153 - $10,407
Original MSRP: $23,995 - $29,895
MPG: 16 City / 23 Hwy
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2008 Hyundai Entourage Performance

This performance review was written when the 2008 Hyundai Entourage was new.

Most test drivers say the front-wheel-drive 2008 Hyundai Entourage is an excellent performer, especially considering its large size and hefty curb weight. Automobile.com touts it as "a big box that rides as quietly as a dignified sedan -- and quite possibly as smooth."

Acceleration and Power

Under the hood, the 2008 Hyundai Entourage boasts a single engine for all three trims -- a 3.8-liter V6. Most reviewers praise the powerplant's 250 horsepower and 253 pound-feet of torque, which About.com says "can pull the Entourage to 60 mph in under 9 seconds." Note that models produced before July 2006 are rated at 242 hp and 251 pound-feet of torque. Of even those slightly decreased figures, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram points out horsepower is "on par with the Odyssey and Sienna" and offers more than the Caravan. The Detroit News calls the V6 "a smooth powertrain team with lots of muscle" and Automobile.com says it's "more than capable of a little spark."

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reflects the general consensus on acceleration, noting, "There's plenty of power to pull away from lights or zip onto the interstate, if needed." Cars.com has a similar opinion, explaining, "For modest vehicles like minivans, I break acceleration down into three categories: not quick enough, quick enough and more than quick enough. The Entourage is certainly quick enough, though it won't be setting any records, despite having a large engine."

But a minority of reviewers finds engine power somewhat disappointing. The Sacramento Bee calls the V6 "sluggish on acceleration, and it struggled noisily at the top of inclines. Even with the revs up, there was delayed engine response when my right foot asked for more power." Consumer Guide agrees, saying, "Rolling acceleration can seem sluggish, the automatic transmission being sometimes slow to downshift for extra power."

The Environmental Protection Agency estimates fuel economy for the Entourage at 16 miles per gallon in the city and 23 mpg on the highway. Regular gasoline is recommended. In a comparison test, New Car Test Drive reports, "During about 300 miles of highway cruising with an Entourage and an Odyssey at a steady 65 miles per hour the Honda got significantly better fuel economy. The Odyssey got 26.3 mpg compared to 24.5 mpg in the Entourage." However, many reviewers find the fuel economy acceptable considering its weight and capacity. The Fort Worth Star-Telegram says its numbers are "better than most other vehicles on the market that can hold up to seven people and their stuff," and MSN similarly reports "the Entourage can be more fuel-efficient than nearly any sport-utility vehicle that offers seating for at least seven people."

The V6 engine is paired with a five-speed automatic transmission that includes Shiftronic manual control, making it one of the only minivans to offer clutchless shifting. Reviewers have mixed opinions. Cars.com notes the transmission "does its job admirably," and especially likes the manual feature "in case you want to pretend you're in something other than a minivan." About.com is also delighted with the manumatic, noting it "proved to be invaluable as I used it for braking downhill, climbing uphill and generally having fun -- wow, now there's a word I usually don't associate with driving a minivan!"

However, while many reviewers note the transmission is smooth, others point out shortcomings. Edmunds says it "can occasionally be a bit slow to respond," while Motor Trend says, "shifts are slow in Shiftronic mode." Consumer Guide agrees, noting, "It isn't always quick to follow manual gear changes."

Handling and Braking

Handling is by far one of the Entourage's most praised attributes, though reviewers are quick to note the Entourage favors comfort over athleticism. The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel says, "Ride is a strong point. The front and rear stabilizer bars along with a multi-link rear suspension give this a controlled ride with little disturbance over railroad tracks or our cracked and cratered Wisconsin byways." Likewise, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram says, "The van's unibody construction -- frame and body are combined in one unit -- helps give it a smooth, quiet, carlike ride, and the 118.9-inch wheelbase and 66.3-inch track width help keep the vehicle quite stable, even in tight turns."

Though most see the ride as smooth, some reviewers note shortcomings. New Car Test Drive calls the Entourage "a lovely highway cruiser, quiet and stable," but also points out "a particularly deep pothole sends a quiver through the body that suggests the structure isn't as solid as it could be. Driving the Honda Odyssey on the same roads shows it has a better structure. On the other hand, the Odyssey does not ride as comfortably." Kelley Blue Book similarly says, "Although the ride is generally comfortable, this minivan doesn't glide across bumps and holes quite as smoothly as some. Urban pavement yields a fair amount of motion."

The Entourage features engine RPM-sensing power rack-and-pinion steering that reviewers say is typical for such a large minivan. Kelley Blue Book calls it "confident and positive, with satisfying feel and feedback to maneuver neatly around town." Several reviewers praise the Entourage's 39.6-foot turning diameter, which About.com says is "delightfully small, giving the Entourage exceptional maneuverability." U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman likewise points out, "The nose tracks adroitly into a standard parking space -- no embarrassing three-point maneuvers to make the turn." New Car Test Drive is one of the few reviewers to offer criticism, saying the Entourage "doesn't feel as crisp and quick to turn as the Honda Odyssey. However, most adults eventually realize that nothing is free and the downside to the Odyssey's quicker reflexes is the less-comfortable ride."

The minivan's braking capabilities are comprised of a four-sensor, four-channel system with four-wheel disc anti-lock brakes and standard Electronic Brake Force Distribution and Electronic Stability Control with Traction Control. All this equates to what the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel calls a "first rate" braking experience. Automobile.com further reports, "These binders felt strong and predictable while delivering emergency stops quickly and effortlessly -- but impressive braking is just the start of Hyundai's commitment to safety and occupant protection."

When properly equipped with a trailer with its own brakes, the Entourage can tow up to 3,500 pounds. Otherwise, it's rated at 1,000 pounds -- "which is enough for a small boat or one-horse trailer," says the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Review Last Updated: 2/17/09

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