IT’S A BEST BUY BECAUSE:
The Palisade stacks up very well against its direct competitors in terms of passenger and cargo space, road manners, and all-around comfort—but it also offers several thoughtful features that help it stand out from the pack.
The top-line trim level is a bit pricey.
The Palisade has several clever interior convenience touches, such as molded-in grab handles for easier third-row-seat entry and exit, and an underfloor storage bin that can hold the retractable cargo cover when it is not in use.
WHAT IS IT?
The Palisade debuted last year as Hyundai’s largest SUV, replacing the Santa Fe XL in the brand’s model lineup. It offers seating for up to 8 passengers and can accommodate a 100-quart cooler behind the third-row seat. SE, SEL, and Limited trim levels are offered, each with front-wheel drive or all-wheel drive. New for 2021 is the top-line Calligraphy trim level, which comes only with AWD. Standard safety features on all include forward collision warning and mitigation with pedestrian detection, driver-attention warning, lane-keep assist, rear obstacle detection, rear occupant alert, and automatic high beams. Additional available safety features include a multi-function head-up display and a Blind View Monitor that provides bodyside views whenever a turn signal is activated. Among the Palisade’s standard or available comfort and convenience features are a 10.25-inch “widescreen” touchscreen display, “One-Touch” articulated second-row seats for easier third-row access, power-folding/reclining third-row seats, 16 cupholders, up to seven USB outlets, the ability to connect two Bluetooth devices simultaneously, and a unique roof-vent diffuser design that Hyundai says provides quieter rear air-conditioning airflow and a more uniform distribution of air. Also available is a Driver Talk in-car intercom system that also includes a Sleep Mode that allows the driver’s row to listen to audio with the second- and third-row speakers off, so as not to disturb sleeping passengers.
The new Calligraphy trim level takes over as the Palisade’s top model for 2021. It comes standard with upscale features such as exclusive 20-inch wheels, microfiber-suede headliner, quilted-leather door panels, and a unique front fascia.
The Palisade is EPA-rated at 19 mpg city/26 mpg highway with front-wheel drive and 19/24 with all-wheel drive. During Consumer Guide® evaluation, an all-wheel-drive Limited returned 22.8 mpg in a test that consisted of 75 percent highway driving. Palisades use regular-grade gas.
VALUE IN CLASS
Hyundai’s biggest SUV is also one of its best yet. The Palisade is competitive with its three-row class rivals by most every measure—it’s extra spacious, and laudably easy to drive for its size. It’s also available with a plethora of useful comfort and convenience features. Kia’s Telluride SUV (also a Best Buy) shares its engine and basic platform with the Palisade, though the two differ significantly in interior/exterior styling and available features.