Written by Marco Carvajal
Photographs by Marco Carvajal
The automotive industry keeps evolving, the market is growing on certain segments like SUVs and decreasing sales on traditional sedans.
Hyundai smart marketing strategy is to adapt to this evolving automotive market and produce new cars according to consumer needs and new trends, this is how a new Hyundai SUV is included in their lineup.
The new baby has been born, Hyundai delivered a new 3 row midsize SUV from scratch. Hyundais’s new baby has been baptized «Palisade».
Hyundai is using the name Palisade, comparing this new SUV with a line of high cliffs, and with the strength of a fortress. This strong name relates to the bold exterior and the sense of safety and security for all the family on board the new Palisade.
Hyundai’s classic Santa Fe SUV previously had a regular version and an extra large 3-row version, but Hyundai decided to keep the Santa Fe only as a regular size SUV and instead of keeping an XL Santa Fe version, the Palisade has been born to replace it.
From a marketing perspective I think this is a smart move by Hyundai, having two different SUV models instead of only one model with a large trim and regular size. It will be easier to penetrate the market and position each SUV separate with a stronger original identity, the new Palisade and the Santa Fe.
Even if the Palisade can be considered a replacement for the Santa Fe XL, the truth is that both cars are completely different. The Palisade is original with a unique design, its own interior architecture brings more luxury and premium style than the Santa Fe. When driving a Palisade the pilot can feel the power and precision on the road merged into a great and convenient luxury SUV.
The bolt and elegant look of the palisade is enhanced with full volume over-fenders and body sides with muscular detailing. According to Hyundai, the Palisade is an expression of rugged utility with premium detailing, using a unique & distinctive «Crocodile Eye» light signature look that can impress the most demanding and stylish drivers.
The Palisade is bolt beautiful powerful and original. With the Palisade’s design, Hyundai’s inspiration wants to reflect the atmosphere of the modern serenity of yachting, with relaxing comfort and family adventure.
2020 Palisade Highlights
Lambda II 3.8L Atkinson Cycle GDI D-CVVT 24-Valve V6
291 HP @ 6000 RPM
262 lb.-ft. @ 5200 RPM
5,000 lbs towing capacity
19 city / 26 highway / 22 average
8-speed Automatic with SHIFTRONIC Manual Shift Mode
7 or 8 Seats dived on 3 rows.
One-touch 2nd Row Seat Slide for 3rd Row Access Standard
Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection Standard
Rear Occupant Alert Standard
LED Accents and LED Daytime Running Lights Standard
Apple CarPlay and Android Auto Standard
Test Driving the Hyundai Palisade at the Biltmore off-roads in Asheville, North Carolina
Part of my test driving of the Palisade included the difficult off-roads at the Biltmore Property in Asheville, North Carolina. I was able to navigate the Palisade through great off-road obstacles and the Palisade responded great on all road conditions.
The Palisade proved its off-road skills on a set of terrain that included ditch crossings, log crossings, steep hill climbs, hard rocky descents, on several deep mud conditions in Asheville, NC.
Trims and Pricing
|SE||3.8L V6 GDI||8-Speed Automatic SHIFTRONIC||
|SEL||3.8L V6 GD||8-Speed Automatic SHIFTRONIC||
|Limited||3.8L V6 GD||8-Speed Automatic SHIFTRONIC||
|SE||3.8L V6 GD||8-Speed Automatic SHIFTRONIC||
|SEL||3.8L V6 GD||8-Speed Automatic SHIFTRONIC||
|Limited||3.8L V6 GDI||8-Speed Automatic SHIFTRONIC||
Additional $1,045 Freight Charge Applies
The interior of the Palisade has good materials and a high quality feel.
For all passengers there are intelligent storage functions, such as cubicles and shelves, a blessing for long trips. Behind the third row there are 18 cubic feet for the load that rises to almost 47 cubic feet with the third row folded flat.
The Palisade is not huge but it is large enough and the interior is very spacious.
Hyundai designers and engineers accomplished what most drivers are looking for, to have a lot of interior space without having to drive a huge car.
The front seats are among the best in the segment and the passengers in the rear seats have plenty of legroom and three rows of seats that can accommodate adults in almost any position, something unusual on 3-row SUVs.
The front seats are very spacious, the driver and the front passenger both have enough space to stretch legs, arms, bring accessories, purses or bags on board without feeling too tight. The second row and the third row both have very comfortable space for passengers on board.
One of the design details I can highlight is that the distance between the second and third row is larger than in most 3-rows. There is enough space for adults to seat in the 3rd row. Also the trunk has a very good size compared to most 3-rows. Hyundai did its homework by finding the right interior measurements to please everyone on board. I can give an A+ grade to the Palisade’s interior design.
For those who love premium audio quality, the Limited Trim model includes Harman Kardon premium audio.
The Palisade is powered by a 3.8-liter V6 engine with 291 horsepower and 262 foot-pounds of torque coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission with standard front-wheel drive, or you can go for All-Wheel Drive for an additional $2,000 more, what in my opinion is totally worth it. The V6 engine is strong and robust, with a fairly sporty acceleration, as well as its handling and steering.
Hyundai’s smart HTRAC all-wheel drive system tracks vehicle speed and road conditions to control braking between the left and right wheels. It balances power between the front and rear wheels to ensure safety while delivering superior cornering and driving dynamics on multiple road surfaces. Traditional 4-wheel drive systems were made for off-road conditions and generally not very fuel efficient. Hyundai’s HTRAC is designed to combine the capabilities of a 4WD system with the performance and full efficiency of front-wheel drive. While the AWD system is always engaged drivers have the option of selecting different driving modes, like Snow mode, Smart mode, lock AWD, ECO mode.
The Palisade has enough power to tow up to 5,000 pounds, and it can be ordered with a Class III hitch and an automatic rear suspension.
The rear shocks have been pushed more vertically for a longer ride and better ride quality, along with a body that is more rigid. The MacPherson rear multi-link suspension system is robust. The 8-speed automatic transmission resolves smoothly, offering a refined feeling.
The Palisade is a family SUV that produces great performance. Driving the Palisade you can feel how efficient is the car and how it offers a superior and well-receptive driving experience
The Palisade has some similar elements to its relative the new Kia Telluride, but both SUVs look completely different, with their own design and functions. Some of the main competitors are the Volkswagen Atlas, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Subaru Ascent, Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder and the Dodge Durango.
With a low initial price around $31K, it is less expensive than all key competitors and it offers a great warranty of 5 years or 60,000 miles. The competition for the Palisade won’t be easy, but it is equipped with all the right tools to be a successful new kid on the block.