Road & Travel Magazine

Auto Advice & Tips
Auto Buyer's Guides
Car Care Maintenance
Climate Views & Videos
Auto Awards Archive
Insurance & Accidents
Legends & Leaders
New Car Reviews
Planet Driven
Road Humor
Road Trips
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Teens & Tots Tips
Tire Buying Tips
Used Car Buying
Vehicle Model Guide

Travel Channel
Adventure Travel
Advice & Tips
Airline Rules
Bed & Breakfasts
Cruises & Tours
Destination Reviews
Earth Tones
Family Travel Tips
Health Trip
Hotels & Resorts
Luxury Travel
Pet Travel
RV & Camping
Safety & Security
Spa Reviews
Train Vacations
World Travel Directory
Bookmark and Share
ROAD & TRAVEL Magazine: 2007 ICOTY Vehicle Nominees

by Martha Hindes

2007 Hyundai Entourage
Minivan of the Year - 2007 Hundai Entourage

Put together a wish list of features that could make driving a more enjoyable effort. Roominess for comfort and utility would certainly make the list. So would safety enhancements designed to protect one's most precious cargo -- those children and adults along for the ride. Add "value" to the equation and the result would a best vehicle bargain. Its category? A minivan/life stage vehicle, of course. Hyundai's latest entry, the all-new, full-size Entourage minivan, hit enough high points right out of the gate to garner RTM's top Minivan/Life Stage category honors for 2007.

Standard is an operative word here, following Hyundai's earlier trend of offering all its vehicles with enhanced safety features. Complete airbag systems include the wraparound side curtain type designed for protection during vehicle rollovers, while anti-whiplash headrests meet advanced safety requirements. Styling is another key, with an assertive presence, bold chrome face, rear spoiler, roof rails and even available fog lamps adding trendy design punch. On the utility side, seating for seven can diminish when more cargo space is needed. A "Hideaway" third row seat folds into the rear floor. A punchy V-6 provides low emissions power. Expect a long, well protected lifespan thanks to extended warranty coverage.

(Find Your Hyundai Entourage Now)

Honorable Mentions:

Kia Sedona

Since it first was introduced to American buyers five years ago, Kia's Sedona has concentrated on establishing a record for safety. A second generation minivan on an all new platform introduced last year has won top safety honors, including five star governmental crash ratings. Now as Kia introduces a downsized version of gen 2, it has dubbed the minivan its "flagship safety vehicle."

To underscore that focus, short wheelbase models have full airbag systems including full-length side curtains as standard equipment as well as antilock braking and stability, tire monitoring and active front headrests systems.

In addition to some updated styling and interior amenities, revised Sedonas have improved power and performance, lighter weight and independent four wheel suspension. Kia continues to offer its longstanding 10-year, 100,000-mile limited powertrain warranty on their minivans.

(Find Your Kia Sedona Now)

Nissan Quest

If there's a need for a cavernous cargo area in a minivan, look to Nissan's Quest to supply it. While it has undergone considerable updates for 2007, downsizing isn't one of them. Exterior changes include front fascia, grille, lighting and roof rail trims, but the defining arched beltline remains. Inside, auto fold third row headrests make it easier to access all that carrying space.

Among updates inside are a number of bells and whistles electronic amenities including Bluetooth connectivity, MP3, a larger, 8-inch DVD screen, available rearview monitor and rear sonar. Nissan wisely put the IP gauges back where they belong behind the steering wheel, rather than in center console as before. Many of the full complement of safety features are standard. All four models continue to ride on 3.5-liter V-6 power, with a five-speed auto trans. A kicky update is a new interior color called "Chili."

(Find Your Nissan Quest Now)

2007 ICOTY Awards Links