After cancelling its spring 2006 launch of the Entourage minivan a few months ago, Hyundai announced Thursday that the company changed its mind, and the people hauler is back in the lineup for 2006.
Hyundai originally cancelled the minivan because it couldn't differentiate it sufficiently from its sistercar, the Kia Sedona (shown at right). But the booming U.S. minivan market, plus a delay in rolling out its new crossover to 2008, persuaded the company to reinstate the Entourage.

Robert Cosmai, president and CEO of Hyundai Motor America, points out that "The surge in gas prices, which we believe is not short term, and the resulting movement away from truck-based full-size SUVs has given additional life to the traditional minivan segment."

The Entourage will be an upmarket version of the Sedona, with different front- and rear-end styling, a new instrument panel design, and a much longer list of standard equipment. The Entourage will only be available in the long-wheelbase version.

The Entourage will feature the 3.8-liter V6 and 5-speed automatic transmission used in the new Azera.




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