Hyundai’s Palisade has become a top pick among midsize, 3-row SUVs as it offers an all-encompassing spacious and upscale interior, the latest safety features, top safety scores and the most generous warranty in the business.
Palisade has a host of competitors in its class including the mechanically identical Kia Telluride, but few offer the amenities as this Hyundai does. Features like second and third row heated seats, a camera rearview mirror, Ergo Motion driver’s seat with air embedded air cells, and remote smart parking assist that allows parking or exiting a parking spot from outside the vehicle by merely pressing the key fob.
Palisade is offered in SE, SEL, XRT and top-shelf Limited and tested Calligraphy trim models.
Palisade can comfortably accommodate up to eight, or seven with captain’s chairs. It sports a 12.3-inch touchscreen that serves the audio, navigation, rearview camera with overhead and revolving views, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Wi-Fi hotspot connectivity, satellite radio, climate display and more.
HVAC controls are easy to view and use and selections can be displayed on the infotainment screen. As for the gear selector for the 8-speed automatic transmission, its push-button activation may take a little getting used to if coming from a console mounted selector. But once getting the hang of it, it’s easy to acclimate to. In fact, you may never want to go back to a handle selector. The Palisade Calligraphy also comes with paddle shifters that’s nice to have when descending long hills as the trans can be down-shifted to a lower gear which avoids riding the brakes.
Residing on the center stack is a rotary dial for Comfort, Eco, Snow and Smart driving modes. And in the center is a Lock mode button that locks the rear axle for improved traction when the going gets extra tough and when Snow mode is not enough. When selecting the modes, they appear on the driver information display within the gauge cluster.
Heated/cooled Napa leather front seats are heavily padded and have extended under-thigh support that makes long trips less tiring.
Over on the digital gauge cluster, it offers a driver information display for features, functions, alerts, drive modes and left and right blind side view cameras when activating the respective turn signals. Included is a wireless phone charging ad heated steering wheel.
Wide opening rear doors offer easy access to both the second and third row seats. The comfy second row slides well forward for accessing the third row which can actually accommodate two short-statured adults. This is rare for many three row vehicles where that seat is mainly for children.
Back in the spacious cargo area, it offers 18 cubic feet of space that measures 20.5 inches deep, 47.5 wide and 31.5 high. Press a button and the seats power down for 45.8 cubic feet and 52 inches of loading length. Flip the second row and capacity expands to 86.4 cubic feet for 80 inches (over six feet) of loading depth. And when loading heavy packages or gear, Palisade has a low 30 inches of lift-over.
With a curb weight of 4,508 pounds, Palisade’s 3.8-liter V6 with 291-hp and 262 lb/ft of torque moves this SUV with ease. Switch to Sport mode and acceleration from a dead stop or highway passing maneuvers, is quick and robust. There’s certainly no want for power, even with four aboard. Palisade AWD is EPA rated at 19 city, 25-higway mpg with auto start/stop engine technology and when coupled to the 8-speed auto trans.
Handling for this large SUV is impressive as well and has a turning diameter of 38.7 feet. Sharp turns taken too fast does produce some body roll, but it’s composed. With 7.9 inches of ground clearance, Palisade AWD can handle modest snow depths but it’s not quite high enough, or suited, for any severe off-roads.
Palisade AWD Calligraphy had but one extra cost option as it was loaded with a long list of safety features like forward collision avoidance, blind side collision warning, rear cross traffic collision avoidance, parking collision avoidance, lane following assist, front/rear parking distance warning, driver attention warning and more.
On the amenity side, there’s satellite radio, ambient lighting, Bluetooth and other goodies.
For all this, Palisade had a base price of $50,800, but after adding carpeted floor mats ($215) and delivery ($1,295), this impressive SUV bottom-lined at $52,310.
But that’s not all.
Palisade earned a full five-stars for the government’s safety ratings for driver/passenger frontal crash, and four for rollover. It wasn’t as yet tested for side crash.
Added to this, Hyundai’s warranties are unbeatable as it offers 5 year/60K mile new vehicle warranty, 10/100K powertrain, 7/Unlimited anti-perforation (rust), 5/Unlimited roadside assistance, and 3/36K complimentary maintenance.
If you’re looking for an all-season family car for a possible long trip to Disney in Florida this summer, Palisade is a compelling choice that will get you there in complete comfort.