In this hot market for family size crossovers and SUVs, Hyundai was not to be left out. Their new Palisade midsize three row SUV enters the market as an instant winner, judging from the number of them already seen on the roads.
Palisade is all new in Hyundai’s stable of crossover/SUVs and it goes up against formidable competition from Ford’s Explorer, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander and probably a few others, not to mention Kia’s Telluride which shares a platform and drivetrain with the Palisade.
While the Telluride is more on the rugged side, Palisade is on the luxurious side and boasts a very long list of standard and optional features that make it an all encompassing SUV.
Offered in base SE, SEL and top line Limited that we tested, it’s also available in FWD and AWD, the latter of which is definitely needed here in the Snowbelt (at an option price of $1,700).
Palisade’s interior is one of quality materials and loaded with every conceivable safety and luxury item today’s SUV buyer wants. There’s a 10.25-inch display that not only features such desired apps like Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, but has a rearview camera that gives multiple and selectable views including a surround view; a 10.23-inch instrument cluster with Heads-Up-Display; dual sunroofs; a console box that can hold a one-gallon jug plus a purse bin beneath it; LED running and taillights; sueded headliner; smartphone charger; Nappa leather seating; left and right side view cams and lots, lots more. In fact, the only option on the Limited was for floor mats ($160).
Heated/cooled front seats are heavily padded, nicely bolstered and sofa soft. The Nappa leather seams have contrasting stitching that feature tufted top inserts.
Second row seats offer gobs of leg and headroom and feature one-touch sliding fore/aft after pressing two release buttons. The rear of the console has second row HVAC controls while the third row seats offer power folding/reclining, a feature not available on the Kia version.
Cargo space is voluminous as well. There’s 18.0 cubic feet behind the upright third row that measures 20 inches deep, 47 wide and 31.5 high. Flip them and space increases to 45.8 cubic feet for 49.5 inches of depth. Flip them and overall capacity expands to 86.4 cubic feet for 82 inches of cargo depth.
Beneath the cargo floor is an 8-inch deep bin for small item storage, and for cargo loading, lift over height is a mere 29.5 inches.
Instrumentation and HVAC controls are all easy to use. The 8-speed automatic transmission shifter is a push button affair and if coming off a traditional floor or column shifter, it takes a bit of getting used to. It’s flanked by a rotary mode switch that offers six selectable modes of Sport, Smart, Comfort, Eco, Snow and Lock. The latter delivers 50/50 of torque evenly between all four wheels and maintains this up to 25 mph. It’s especially helpful if getting stuck in mud, on a sandy beach or deep snow.
Driving wise, the large SUV remains planted in tight turns with only a tad of body lean. For its size, Palisade has a surprisingly tight 38.7 foot turning diameter.
Ride quality is exceptionally good and particularly quiet on Bridgestone 20-inch tires. It’s a vehicle you’d want to take on a trip to Disney in Orlando when you don’t want the hassle of flying. And when traveling between states where you could hit inclement weather, Palisade can handle it all.
Palisade is offered with but one engine. A 3.8-liter V6 generates 291-hp and 262 lb/ft of torque for EPA mileage estimates of 19 city, 24-highway mpg. With a curb weight of 4,284 pounds, the powertrain has a tow rating of 5,000 pounds but this heft can be felt when traversing steep hills and during highway passing maneuvers, particularly with four adults aboard.
With all this luxury and convenience, it all comes at a price. But not a bad price. As previously mentioned, the only option was for carpeted floor mats. Otherwise, the Palisade Limited came standard with the gamut of safety features such as forward collision avoidance with pedestrian alert, lane keeping assist, blind spot collision avoidance, rear cross traffic assist, smart cruise control, Blue Link connected services and many more. For all this in an AWD three row SUV, Palisade carried a base price of $46,400. Add the floor mats and $1,045 delivery and the bottom line reflected $47,605. Not bad for this much content in an SUV.
If that’s a bit out of your budget range, the base SE has a base of $32,595 or you can step up a bit to the SEL.
Palisade becomes especially attractive when considering a much smaller, two row, Chevrolet Blazer RS we previously tested, had a bottom-line of $50,765 after a base of $42,500.
But that’s not all. Chevy, for instance, can’t compete with Hyundai’s generous 5 year/50,000 new vehicle, 10/100K powertrain, 7/Unlimited anti-perforation and 5/Unlimited Roadside warranties.
Hyundai’s Palisade is one of the most compelling SUVs on the market. It deserves a look.