To offset its big and boxy stature, the Palisade curls the headlights and taillights into a crease that runs the length of the vehicle. Photo: Hyundai

2020 Hyundai Palisade

A larger, fancier, flagship utility vehicle to fit the whole family

The eight-passenger Palisade, arriving this summer, is Hyundai’s biggest and boldest utility vehicle since the Veracruz tall wagon was cancelled in 2012.

The Palisade is also a solid replacement for the seven-passenger Santa Fe XL that was essentially a carry-over for 2019.

Compared to the XL, the Palisade has 10 more centimetres between the front and rear wheels. It’s built on a new platform that’s shared with Kia’s new range-topping Telluride utility vehicle. The Palisade will be built in Korea.

Overall length has increased by more than 7.5 centimetres and the body is taller by roughly six centimetres. Those numbers position the Palisade mid-pack with the competition, but at or near the top for passenger volume, which is especially good news for adults occupying the third-row seat.

The cabin also stands apart from the crowd. The 20-centimetre touchscreen is positioned adjacent to the gauges (a 26-centimetre screen is optional), while the wide floor console mounts the transmission’s pushbuttons and stores assorted valuables. A grand total of 16 cup holders is particularly good news for beverage lovers wherever they’re seated.

Unlike other Hyundai models, the Palisade has an imposing grille that’s wrapped with a wide band of bling. The rounded fenders and bumper edges contain projector beam headlamps and available LED running lights. The taillights tie into the rear fenders in similar fashion. Hyundai’s design team definitely avoided anonymity in sculpting this big machine.

Despite the Palisade’s aggressive exterior, Hyundai installed a rather standard engine. The 3.8-litre V-6 puts out 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, which is actually ahead of most of the competition. The Palisade can tow up to 2,270 kilograms. The sole transmission is an eight-speed automatic.

It’s still too early for fuel-economy figures, but based on the same engine installed in the similarly sized Kia Telluride, you can expect about 12.5 l/100 km in the city and 9.6 on the highway for all-wheel-drive versions (front-wheel-drive is standard for the base model).

The AWD system has settings for Normal, Sport (sends more torque to the rear wheels), Snow (varies torque between the left and right wheels for increased traction), and Smart (eco). The locking differential increases traction at lower speeds in slippery conditions.

As of this writing, Palisade trim designations for Canada, their exact content and pricing are not available, but the typical base-model starting point for competing utility vehicles is in the low-$40,000 range, including destination fees (add about $2,000 more for AWD).

Palisade buyers will get an assortment of active-safety technology plus Safe Exit Assist. It warns the driver if a vehicle approaches from behind, and will actually prevent the rear doors from opening, thus keeping children out of harm’s way.

The options list will include a panoramic sunroof, navigation system, head-up information display, 12-speaker Infinity-brand audio, and 20-inch wheels (18-inchers are standard).

Also optional is an intercom system that allows those in back to communicate with the first-class riders in the front row. An interesting extra is Rear Occupant Alert. Its sensors can detect any movement inside the Palisade after the car has been locked from the outside, which causes the horn to honk and issues an alert to the driver’s smart phone. You’ll never accidentally leave the kids behind.

Top trims will make available a set of second-row high-back bucket seats — just like in a private jet — in place of the split-folding bench seat.

The Palisade will undoubtedly agree with a growing legion of big-and-tall-wagon buyers wanting plenty of room for themselves and the gang, and enough comfort and performance to make the journey a relatively effortless experience.

What you should know: 2020 Hyundai Palisade

Type: Four-door, front- /all-wheel-drive utility vehicle

Engine (h.p.); 3.8-litre DOHC V-6 (291)

Transmission; Eight-speed automatic

Market position: Hyundai is late to join the full-size utility-vehicle party, but the Palisade comes with all the necessary ingredients to compete and succeed against the more established players.

Points: Eye-grabbing design will most definitely grab attention. • Plenty of space for all aboard. • Non-turbocharged V-6 is almost surprising, but has enough thrust. • Rear Occupancy Alert safety system — standard for Palisade — should be mandatory on all four-door vehicles.

Active safety: Blind-spot warning with cross-traffic backup alert (std.); active cruise control (std.); driver-attention warning (std.); lane-departure warning (std.)

L/100 km (city/hwy) 12.5/9.6 (est.); Base price (incl. destination) $37,000 (est.)

BY COMPARISON

Honda Pilot

Base price: $43,000

Well-regarded utility vehicle has a smooth V-6 and an effective AWD system.

Mazda CX-9

Base price: $38,400

Shapely styling and a comfortable interior. Peppy turbo four-cylinder.

Chevrolet Traverse

Base price: $37,400

Biggest of the bunch is spacious in all three rows. Base 310-horse V-6 hustles.

written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

The elegant dashboard is a feast for the eyes and minimizes button clutter, despite the fact the transmission is controlled by buttons. Photo: Hyundai

The Palisade is a daring, but pleasing design, supported by a commonplace 291-horsepower V-6 mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Photo: Hyundai

Compared to the Santa Fe XL, the Palisade has about 10 more centimetres of space between the front and rear wheels and is nearly eight centimetres longer overall. This means more space for third-row riders. Photo: Hyundai

Just Posted

Wet’suwet’en herreditary chiefs meet with provincial, federal ministers

Neither party speaking on the groundwork laid for tomorrow’s talks

Coastal GasLink agrees to two-day pause of pipeline construction in Morice River area

Work will stop once Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs begin talks with province and feds

RCMP cease patrols on Morice West Service Road

Withdrawal opens door for talks today between hereditary chiefs, province and federal gov

CGL must revise impact assessment on Unist’ot’en Healing Center

Environmental Assessment Office not satisfied with report’s shortcomings

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs call for end of police patrols

Temporary closure of field office not enough to meet demands

Clothing, jewelry, purses: RCMP ask court about disposal of evidence in Robert Pickton case

Pickton was sentenced to life with no chance of parole for 25 years for the murders of six women

Ryan nets hat trick in return as Senators beat Canucks 5-2

Ottawa winger received assistance for admitted alcohol problem

Speaker ‘will not tolerate illegal activity’ on B.C. legislature grounds, says chief of staff

Chief of staff to the B.C. speaker Alan Mullen says situation with demonstrators appears ‘fluid’

MPs to examine privacy implications of facial-recognition technology used by RCMP

The MPs will look at how the technology affects the privacy, security and safety of children

Dates back to 2009: Calgary police lay charges in fraud involving semi-trucks

Three people from Calgary are facing charges that include fraud over $5,000

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs optimistic ahead of talks with feds, province

Discussions with provincial and federal governments expected to start later today

‘The project is proceeding’: Horgan resolute in support of northern B.C. pipeline

B.C. premier speaks as talks scheduled with Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs

BREAKING: Kelowna RCMP to further investigate 12 sexual assault cases, create sexual assault unit

Recommendations come five months after it was revealed 40% of sexual assaults were deemed ‘unfounded’

Most Read