The 2020 Hyundai Palisade is another new entry into the growing three-row crossover segment. Like its cousin the Kia Telluride, the Palisade boasts a roomy and upscale cabin, a smooth and comfortable ride, the latest tech and a long list of standard features you’d normally find on luxury vehicles.
There are several excellent three-row crossovers, including the Ford Expedition, Honda Pilot, Kia Telluride, Mazda CX-9, Subaru Ascent and Toyota Highlander. The Palisade competes very well in this crowd and should be on the list of anyone shopping in this category.
The Palisade rides on an all-new SUV chassis and has room for seven or eight passengers, depending on whether you choose captain’s chairs or bench seating in the second row. It’s available in SE, SEL and Limited trims. Starting prices range from $31,550 to $46,400. Front-wheel-drive is standard and all-wheel-drive is available for an additional $1,700.
There’s one powertrain: a 3.8-liter V6 that makes 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. While handling isn’t exactly sporty, there’s enough smooth power for most daily driving scenarios. However, the Palisade isn’t as quick off the line as some rivals, and you may wish for more oomph when traveling uphill, especially when the Palisade is loaded with passengers and gear. The Palisade negotiates curvy roads surprisingly well, with limited body lean for a large, tall vehicle. You will notice some wind and engine noise in the cabin.
Paddle shifters on the steering wheel and five driving modes—Eco, Comfort, Sport, Snow and Smart let you tailor driving dynamics more to your liking. There’s no gearshift knob—instead there are buttons located in the center console. It takes a little getting used to but quickly becomes second nature.
Fuel efficiency is about average for the class. EPA ratings for my tester are 19 mpg city and 24 mpg highway with a combined rating of 21 mpg. I got 21 mpg during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. Front-wheel-drive models get 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway with a combined rating of 22 mpg.
When properly equipped, the Palisade can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
The interior is one of the most modern, stylish and upscale in the class, similar to what you’d find in a luxury brand. Fit and finish are top notch with lots of soft-touch materials and every stitch in place.
Passengers enjoy roomy, comfortable and supportive seats in the first two rows. Most three-row crossovers have a third row that’s only habitable by kids, but not the Palisade. Even adults will be comfortable there thanks to its decent leg- and headroom.
Getting in and out of the third row is also easy with just one touch of a button. All second-row seats power-fold. The third row is a bench with a 60/40 split, providing flexibility in hauling passengers and cargo.
The Palisade comes very well equipped. Standard features include a rearview camera, cloth upholstery, six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, eight-inch touch screen, Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, three first-row USB ports, and two second-row USB ports.
Lots of driver assistance technologies are standard including lane keep assist, lane centering assist, Smart Cruise Control (adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability), forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian detection, rear parking sensors, driver attention monitoring, and rear occupant alert.
Available features include proximity keyless entry, push-button start, dual-zone automatic climate control, leather upholstery, leather-wrapped steering wheel, heated steering wheel, driver’s seat memory settings, eight-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with two-way lumbar adjustments, additional driver’s seat lumbar and leg cushion extension adjustments, eight-way power-adjustable passenger seat, heated front seats, heated second-row seats, ventilated front and rear seats, single- or dual-pane sunroof, second-row captain’s chairs, power-folding third-row seats, navigation, 10.25-inch touchscreen, 12-speaker Harmon Kardon surround sound audio system, satellite radio, HD Radio, wireless device charging, household-style power outlet, third-row USB ports, automatic high-beam headlights, ultrasonic rear occupant alert, rain-sensing windshield wipers, puddle lights, head-up display and a surround-view parking camera.
Hyundai also puts some unique features in the Palisade including the Driver Talk in-car intercom that amplifies the driver’s voice for those seated in the back rows, and the ability to pair two phones at once to the infotainment system so you can talk on one phone and use the other for music.
The Palisade has more storage space than average for a three-row crossover with 18 cubic feet of space with all rows of seating in place, 45.8 cubes with the third row folded and 86.4 cubes with the third and second rows folded. Another storage compartment under the cargo floor lets you conceal smaller items.
Smooth and comfortable ride
Roomy and comfortable seating
Very upscale cabin for the class
Modern and stylish interior
Even adults will be comfortable in third row
Lots of standard and available features
Tons of available tech
Above average cargo space
Acceleration not as quick as some competitors
Some wind and engine noise can be heard in the cabin
My tester starts at $46,400. Carpeted floor mats are $160. Delivery fee is $1,045 bringing the grand total to $47,605.
Hyundai hits a home run with its new three-row crossover. The 2020 Palisade boasts a smooth ride, comfortable and upscale interior, and the latest tech. Be sure to check it out if you’re shopping for a family hauler.