If final 12 months and the instantly previous few laps of the solar felt like “The Yr of the Small Crossover” caught on repeat, 2019 is quickly shaping as much as be “The Yr of the Three-Row SUV.” An onslaught of recent sheetmetal carrying acquainted names is beginning to hit sellers, plus there is a bunch of promising new fashions getting into the family-minded fray. Chief amongst them? This 2020 Hyundai Palisade. And whereas next-generation autos just like the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander might have stronger title recognition, if you happen to’re looking for a brand new kinschlepper, this distinctive-looking crossover ought to very a lot be close to the highest of your consideration checklist.
Earlier than you ask, sure, the Hyundai Palisade shares structural and powertrain underthings with the Kia Telluride, a mannequin additionally hitting showrooms as you learn this. Regardless of being company cousins that share unseen bits and many sensible tech, these SUVs look fully completely different, and so they really really feel like they’re focusing on completely different consumers, too.
Whereas Kia’s Telluride is good-looking in a extra upright, conventional mildew, the Palisade’s designers have not performed it in the least secure. Frankly, I’ve discovered that this automobile’s crocodile-eyed entrance finish takes some getting used to — not not like my response to different current Hyundai SUVs, from the Santa Fe to the Kona. As these different fashions have proliferated, nevertheless, I’ve discovered I’ve shortly gotten used to their uncommon grille shapes and novel cut up/stacked front-end lighting. The truth is, I am beginning to actually take pleasure in seeing them on the road. I anticipate the identical can be true for the Palisade briefly order, and I even began to understand the best way this mannequin appears as my week of testing went on.
That fondness-with-familiarity factor seemingly is not simply because the Palisade will get simpler on the eyes the extra you absorb each its particulars and general form. It is as a result of this automobile is so well-engineered and seamlessly designed that it wins you over with the best way it suits into your hectic household life. What’s extra, in full-boat Restricted trim, Palisade is lush sufficient to show Hyundai’s still-SUVless Genesis sellers envious.
For starters, it is best to know that regardless of being categorised as a midsize, the 2020 Palisade is large. Larger than any Hyundai earlier than it, together with the outgoing Santa Fe XL, in addition to the short-lived Veracruz you are in all probability going to need to Google to recollect. The Palisade rides atop a brand new platform, and its measurement pits it towards section stalwarts just like the Explorer and Highlander, in addition to the Honda Pilot, Volkswagen Atlas and Subaru Ascent (word: it is nonetheless a superb seven inches shorter than the leviathan Chevrolet Traverse). In case you’re accustomed to Hyundai’s aforementioned Santa Fe XL, know that this new Palisade is appreciably beefier in each dimension: It rides on a four.Zero-inch longer wheelbase and spans three.Zero-inches longer general, it stands 2.four inches taller and it is a whopping three.6 inches wider.
No matter whether or not you are contemplating the bottom, front-wheel-drive Palisade SE ($31,550 plus $1,Zero45 supply) or the top-shelf, Restricted with HTRAC all-wheel drive ($46,400 plus supply), energy comes completely from a three.Eight-liter naturally aspirated V6 paired to an eight-speed automated, a partnership yielding 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. If this chassis and powertrain mixture have a defining attribute, it is smoothness. Palisade’s energy supply is predictable and unfussed, with the defeatable cease/begin system working unobtrusively sufficient that you just may simply depart it on.
This darkish cabin shade would not present simply how luxurious this Palisade can actually be.
Extra aesthete than athlete
To be clear, it doesn’t matter what drive mode setting you choose, this isn’t a sporty crossover in both deed or demeanor. Nonetheless, as a result of three-row SUVs perform like 21st-century minivans as usually as not, you are in all probability extra involved with avoiding sippy-cup spills than corner-carving prowess or Zero-to-60 instances. That mentioned, I estimate the latter to be round 7.5 seconds, and it is potential to dial up considerably sprightlier throttle response, firmer transmission shifts and heftier steering really feel when Sport is chosen. Plus, not like Kia’s Telluride, the Palisade is obtainable with paddle shifters for elevated guide management — helpful on downhill grades for summoning engine braking or making ready for a fast cross.
My $47,605-as-delivered Restricted arrived outfitted with elective AWD ($1,700), a system able to routing as much as 50 p.c of accessible torque to the rear wheels. As my drive occurred mid-summer, I sadly did not have the prospect to evaluate this method’s efficiency in snowy circumstances (and even throughout a superb downpour), but it surely operated unobtrusively and obediently all through the week.
Gasoline financial system is wholly aggressive but additionally totally unremarkable for the category, with EPA estimates calling for 19 miles per gallon metropolis, 26 freeway and 22 mixed for FWD fashions. AWD fashions like my Restricted checklist at 19 metropolis/24 hwy/21 mixed, and primarily based on my testing, these figures appear attainable. Not less than for the second, there is not any hybrid choice to enhance gasoline effectivity just like the Highlander and Explorer supply.
Whereas it is no heavy-duty rig, the 2020 Hyundai Palisade pulls up with sturdy towing numbers for this class. A normal transmission cooler, digital sway management and trailer pre-wiring means you will simply want a superb hitch and a trailer with built-in brakes to tow 5,000 kilos. Restricted fashions like this one characteristic auto-leveling rear air suspension, one other good characteristic when load lugging.
The Palisade additionally comes with simply shy of Eight.Zero inches of floor clearance, but it surely’s no off-roader. You will be advantageous for the fireplace trails resulting in Cub Scout campsites, depraved blizzards and something suburban life can throw at you, however if you happen to want extra functionality, you are going to desire a body-on-frame automobile. (Remind me to inform you in regards to the time my co-driver beached a preproduction Palisade as much as its axles in sand simply outdoors Seoul.)
Quilted Nappa leather-based, microsuede headliner — this Restricted seems like luxurious with out the label.
Three-row crossovers are all about carrying capability and luxury, and the Palisade delivers in addition to something in its section. All seats ship good room, even the third row, which has simple one-touch entry and a decently sized aperture that even permits full-size adults to clamber again there. Seating is obtainable in configurations for seven or eight folks, and within the case of the tip-top Restricted mannequin seen right here, these seats are coated in richly quilted Nappa leather-based, and each the entrance and second-row seats characteristic heating and cooling. The second row seats are notably good as a result of they’re elevated barely for higher ahead visibility, and the roof-mounted HVAC ducts characteristic intelligent wide-dispersion ducts to curb uncomfortably direct airflow.
Not like the Telluride, the Hyundai encompasses a by-wire pushbutton shifter. I have a tendency to seek out such issues gimmicky, preferring the intuitiveness of conventional PRNDL gearshifts, however the Palisade’s unit is not a foul execution of this sort of selector, and it does enable for a big void beneath the floating heart console to accommodate purses and tissue containers. The truth is, there’s tons of cupboard space to be discovered within the Palisade, together with a bevy of cupholders, USB ports (together with some cleverly mounted ones within the seatbacks for second-row occupants) and so forth.
If I’ve a major criticism in regards to the cabin, it is the principle cupholders. They characteristic a spring-loaded retractable brace that may be folded out of the best way for extra cubby area. That is nice in precept, however these cupholders are non-adjustable and never terribly accommodating of different-sized drinks. Nitpicking? Maybe. However in a automobile that is all about family-minded comfort, it is an annoying and not-insignificant design flub that rivals do with out. Different lacking options embrace an obtainable Wi-Fi hotspot and rear-seat leisure, though as of late, tablets are cheaper, extra versatile and fewer susceptible to obsolescence.
An intuitive 10.25-inch touchscreen is obtainable on greater trims.
In any other case, the Palisade provides an exemplary cabin that is loaded with class-above supplies, particularly in Restricted trims which additionally get niceties like a microsuede headliner surrounding a dual-element moonroof, Harman Kardon premium audio, power-folding third row (a category rarity) and an ideal head-up show. The only largest improve could also be going from lower-end fashions’ Eight-inch infotainment touchscreens to this 10.25-inch widescreen. All Palisade head items are intuitive and have customary Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration, however the bigger show is nicer and comes with two-source Bluetooth, plus a reconfigurable, totally digital gauge cluster.
I might go as far as to counsel that on this high-content Restricted trim, the Palisade feels each bit as premium as any Acura RDX, Buick Enclave, Infiniti QX60 or Lexus RX 350L and it options smarter and easier-to-use cabin tech than all of them. Even in its most-expensive guise, the Palisade is not simply well worth the cash, it borders on being a real discount.
There’s additionally a superb quantity of cargo area on supply. One of many cardinal sins of many three-row crossovers is that when each seat is occupied, there is not any room for anything. The outdated Santa Fe XL was responsible of this, however Hyundai evidently discovered the error of its methods. The Palisade delivers a helpful 18 cubic toes of storage behind the third row and there is over 45 cubic toes with the way-backs folded. Flop the second-row seats down, and you have 86-plus cubes obtainable.
There’s 18 cubic toes behind the third row, 45 with the way-backs stowed, or over 86 with two rows flat.
Security first, second and third
As you’d anticipate with a family-minded automobile, the Palisade is packed a phalanx of security options. BCA, RCCA, ROA, LKA, DAW, SEA, HDA, ABS, ESC, TCS, BA, VSM, TPMS, SRS (with OCS) — there’s extra abbreviations on the Palisade’s spec sheet than I’ve the area or endurance to clarify. Evidently, even base SE fashions include ahead collision warning, automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection, auto excessive beams, adaptive cruise management, lane-keep help and rear parking sensors. The Palisade is obtainable with a handful of different superior driver help programs, too, together with 360-degree digicam protection, rear occupant alert (so you do not depart Junior or Rover behind by chance), rear cross-traffic alert and blind-spot warning — a characteristic I want got here customary.
There are even some surprising security watchdogs on supply, together with an much more highly effective ultrasonic occupant detector able to sending a warning to the driving force’s telephone by way of Blue Hyperlink telematics, Secure Exit Help (to stop opening a door into oncoming site visitors) and a very trick blind-spot viewing system that shows a rear digicam feed within the gauge cluster when the flip alerts are activated. Restricted fashions additionally characteristic a better model of the bottom mannequin’s clever cruise management , a hands-on system that mixes in-lane centering and a forward-facing digicam that reads speed-limit indicators and adjusts automobile velocity accordingly. It is a powerful quantity of substances for a automobile on this class.
With a Hyundai model this good, simply think about how good the Genesis model can be.
Head and coronary heart proposition
In case you’re getting the sense that this Ulsan, Korea-built utility provides numerous stuff to your cash, you are getting the image. However you could but be lacking out on how well-executed and pleasant the 2020 Hyundai Palisade is general. This is not simply the most effective new crossovers to hit the market this 12 months, it is the most effective in the marketplace, full cease.
Naturally, Hyundai will not be capable to preserve a secret this good to itself for lengthy — Genesis’ Palisade-based GV80 SUV is simply across the nook.