2020 Hyundai Palisade: A Star Is Born

22 May 2020 | 302 views | No Comment
By Donald Hammonds Which car company gets the gold for the  best mid-sized SUV? For many buyers and journalists alike, Hyundai's Palisade takes it.  It is a vast improvement over the Santa Fe XL,  which I think suffered from identity issues with consumers. The Palisade is a solid value in its class, and I think one of the biggest selling point for it will be the incredibly lengthy and up to date safety technology and other features which you simply cannot find on other cars.  How about a rear seat monitoring system--standard equipment-- that lets you know if you are about to leave somebody or something on the third row seat? And what about the level of luxury you get in even the lowest model in the Palisade line.  The creature comfort is amazing, and the room in the second row seat area, for example, provides genuine legs stretched completely out comfort for passengers. The quality of materials inside the Palisade is top notch, easily equaling, or maybe even beating SUV competitors that compete in higher price brackets. And if you are towing, I think you will find the 291 horsepower, 3.8 liter V6 to be up to snuff as well. With a 18.8 gallon gas tank and a 5,000 pound towing capacity, I believe you will be just fine. I was also impressed by the quiet atmosphere inside the Palisade; you barely even hear the engine unless you are accelerating, and you don't detect much of a difference there either. Let's take a closer look at the Palisade: 2020 Hyundai Palisade SUV Price range: $32,843 (front wheel drive model) to $46,451 (the all wheel drive, top of the line Limited version) Performance: It performs quite well on the street and on the open road.   Powered by  a 291 horsepower, 3.8 liter V6, the Palisade is smooth, quiet, accelerates well, and just feels very stable and planted on the road.  And I think that Hyundai hit just the right balance and setting for the steering system. And Hyundai gets big time kudos for the drive mode system. On most cars and SUVS that I have driven which have a mode system, there seldom seems to be much difference in how the vehicle feels or performs. Not with the Palisade. The sport mode for instance feels even more smooth because it automatically adjusts the steering effort, as well as the engine and transmission control logic.  And yes, the performance is quite significantly enhanced. The other modes--there are considerably more than you find elsewhere in similar systems--include smart mode, which selects the proper drive mode between comfort an bad sport by judging the driver's habits on the road; ECO mode for fuel efficiency, which works like a charm, delivering three or four miles per gallon more driving while not affecting the way the car feels at all; comfort mode, which provides the normal driving performance expectations, and the snow mode that distributes the right amount of driving force on icy, or snowy roads.   Economy: 22 miles per gallon combined, 19 city and 22 highway. The car: The Palisade quite successfully uses Hyundai's formula: Lots of value, lengthy warranty, and styling that sets it apart from competitors.  It replaces the Santa Fe XL in Hyundai's lineup, and has gotten rave reviews from auto writers for its value, performance and safety features.  It is built on the same platform as the fabulous Kia Telluride which is garnering quite a lot of sales and attention, but the two are dramatically different.  The Telluride, with its aggressive styling, and rugged, yet lovely interior, is clearly sportier and athletic looking, while the Palisade looks more conventional and subdued. Technology Regardless of model, know that you are going to get an awful lot of standard equipment on the Palisade that would cost you extra if you chose a different brand. Hyundai just stuffed this car with so much, starting with the bottom model, the SE.  There also are SEL and Limited models for you to choose from as well. First, all Palisades get the same engine, no matter which model you choose: A 3.8 liter V6 producing 291 horsepower. The transmission on all models is an eight speed automatic transmission.  Front wheel drive comes with the car, and of course, you can get all-wheel drive but it will cost you more. They come in either seven or eight passenger layouts.   Let's start with the SE. It includes standard features like heated mirrors, rear parking sensors, remote keyless entry, push-button ignition, full-range adaptive cruise control, second-row air-conditioning controls, power-folding second-row bench seats, 60/40-split folding third-row seats, an 8-inch touchscreen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and three USB ports up front. There are two USB ports for the second row.
If you've got the money, the next model up, the SEL might be just the ticket.  Along with the other standard equipment on the lower level models. SEL gives you roof rails, keyless entry, remote ignition, heated front seats, second-row captain's chairs (the bench available as a no-cost option), a leather-wrapped steering wheel, dual-zone automatic climate control, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and a blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert. If you'd like, you can get a Convenience package for the SEL. It comes with front parking sensors, a power liftgate, a self-leveling rear suspension, second-row window shades, a wireless charging pad, third-row USB ports, and a household-style power outlet. The Premium package can be ordered if you buy the Convenience package. You will then get  LED headlights, leather upholstery, a power front passenger seat, driver-seat memory functions, heated second-row seats, power-folding third-row seats, and a heated steering wheel. I think a must-have feature will be Hyundai's Drive Guidance package, comprised of enhanced driver-assist features, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, a navigation system, satellite radio, an intercom system, and Hyundai's Blue Link Connected Car system. Now for the cherry on top: The Limited. Added to all the stuff I've mentioned earlier, the Limited provides you with  a dual sunroof, automatic wipers, additional driver-seat adjustments, premium leather upholstery, ventilated front and second-row seats, a head-up display, a digital gauge cluster, a surround-view camera system, a blind-spot camera, interior ambient lighting, and a 12-speaker Harman Kardon premium surround-sound system
Safety: Along with the usual safety features you get on every car or truck, Hyundai provides a lot of advanced standard features like a drowsy driver monitor, lane keeping assist and a rear passenger reminder that lets you know somebody's still in the car on that seat,  a rare feature to be found anywhere. Standard advanced driver-assistance systems (ADAS) include adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, forward-collision warning with pedestrian detection, automatic emergency braking, lane-departure warning, lane-keeping and lane-following assist, and automatic high-beam headlights. Aesthetics and Styling: From the side, the profile is quite lovely, well balanced and a big departure from its corporate kith and kin, the Kia Telluride. Hyundai and Kia deserve the highest of kudos for the way that they have distinguished these two brands from each other, giving both brands their own distinct flavor, marketing and ambiance. Way to go! But.... The grille is, to put it mildly, is interesting.  To be truthful, for some of us--including me--it's ugly. But see for yourself. My opinion? I know Hyundai can do better.  The new Sonata is absolutely stunning. Just plain exquisite.  And have you seen the new Genesis sedan designs?  Unbelievable. Just fantastic. But the Palisade grille?  Too many elements. Too many competing lines and odd placement.  It needs editing. Fast. Now the good stuff. The REALLY good stuff. This SUV is hands down one of the best interior designs for that type of model in the mid-price segment, that I've seen in a long time.  Fit, Finish, materials, execution it is all there.  And it screams rich! In addition, the Palisade has full-out, stretch your legs to the limit rear seat space. Seriously. If you want to take a nap in the back seat, go for it! It's worth it!  The dashboard looks sufficiently rich for the most part, with only one glitch: the placement of the parking brake button. Don't look for it on the console, or  under the dash on the left. It's kind of hidden behind the steering wheel on the bottom left of the dash. I also wasn't crazy about the pushbutton shift mechanism.  Until you get used to it, you find yourself consciously searching for a gear shift or a console shifter. But nope. There it is. Big as day. Pushbuttons. I just wonder if this was just an effort to be different, because the Telluride uses a conventional console mounted shifter.  I just think that using pushbuttons is a bit gimmicky. Warranty: 10 year, 100,000 mile powertrain limited warranty; five year, 60,000 mile bumper to bumper warranty.

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