The Auto Channel
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
The Largest Independent Automotive Research Resource
Official Website of the New Car Buyer

2020 Hyundai Palisade Review By Larry Nutson

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

2020 Hyundai Palisade
Good looks; good value

By Larry Nutson
Executive Editor and Bureau Chief
Chicago Bureau
The Auto Channel

I was looking forward to more time behind the wheel of Hyundai’s all-new 3-row midsize SUV, the Palisade.

My previous time with the Palisade was on the invite from Hyundai along with other members of the Midwest Automotive Media Association to spend a day driving Illinois' highways to Starved Rock State Park, a scenic wilderness area located in LaSalle County about 100 miles southwest of Chicago.

This time around I would have the Palisade at my disposal for a week. Within that time my wife and I would be making one of our periodic weekend road trips to visit family in southeast Michigan.

The Palisade is the new Hyundai flagship. It will seat up to eight, has a powerful V6, can tow a bunch, and is surprisingly luxurious for the price.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

From a design perspective the Palisade is boldly styled with a large cascading front grille and crocodile eye headlights. Its profile with the large C-pillar creates a strong image. LED lighting front and rear mark the overall refined look.

The cabin has a very upscale look and feel with quality materials and surface finishes throughout. Overall there’s a very serene and airy sense that abounds with quilted Nappa leather seats, ambient lighting, Harmon Kardon premium audio system, and a surround-view monitor.

Rear cargo space is plentiful at 18 cu.ft. to near 86 cu.ft. with all seats folded. Plus, you can tow up to 5,000 lbs. with a tow package being standard equipped.

The Palisade is available in three trims each with front- or all-wheel drive. Seating is for seven or eight. Prices start at $31,550 for the SE trim with front-wheel drive. Above that there’s an SEL for $33,500 and a range-topping Limited at $44,700. Add $1,700 for all-wheel drive (AWD) on any of the three.

For our road trip we would be driving the Limited AWD with a bottom line price of $47,605, including the $1,045 freight and handling charge.

Naturally a road trip provides the perfect opportunity to monitor fuel consumption. EPA test-cycle ratings for the Palisade with AWD are 21 mpg combined with 19 city mpg and 24 highway mpg. The 291-horsepower 3.8-L V6 is coupled to an eight-speed automatic. The Palisade’s V6 is designed to seamlessly switch between Otto cycle and Atkinson cycle operation to deliver the best power and the best economy possible for driving conditions.

For our road trip across I94 from our Chicago home to Oakland County, Michigan and return we averaged between 23 and 25 mpg. Traffic on I94 moves quickly and is often pushing beyond the 70 mph posted speed limit. I was quite pleased with the Palisade basically matching the EPA highway rating driving at those highway speeds.

The V6 delivers plenty of performance and the automatic is crisp-shifting. The HTRAC AWD system has different selectable drive modes that optimize performance based on driving conditions.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

I very much like the interior of the Palisade. The floating center console provides space below for a purse or small umbrella. I really liked the push-button shift-by-wire gear selector. Cupholders in the center console fold to make space for other objects when needed. The second row seats slide with the touch of one button for easy third row access. Power-folding third row seats are an option. A driver talk in-car intercom broadcasts the driver’s voice through the rear speakers making for easier talking to the children. There’s seven USB outlets and a Qi wireless charging pad.

A Blind View Monitor on the Limited displays what’s in the right or left blind spot when the turn signal is activated. It’s great for checking for bicyclists. Safe Exit Assist detects vehicles approaching from the rear alerting the driver with an audible warning and a pop-up in the cluster. Rear doors remain locked for passenger safety.

The 2020 Hyundai Palisade has been awarded a 2019 TOP SAFETY PICK+ from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) when equipped with optional LED headlights. Advanced Driver Assist Safety (ADAS) features are offered including forward collision assist with pedestrian detection as standard on all trims.

More information and details on the 2020 Hyundai Palisade can be found at

It’s no secret that the Hyundai Palisade shares its architecture and powertrain with the Kia Telluride. The Telluride is also a very good new entry in the midsize SUV segment.

PHOTO (select to view enlarged photo)

From my view it’s important that I like the exterior design and appearance of a vehicle but I give higher priority to the interior. After all, that’s where I’ll be spending my time. It needs to look good and function well to make my driving task enjoyable and comfortable.

This is where the Palisade gets my vote over the Telluride. I like the interior for all the reasons I mentioned previously in this review. Sitting in the driver’s seat is very much a pleasant and relaxing experience.

But the choice is up to you. Different drivers have different priorities as well as likes and dislikes.

The good news for all new vehicle shoppers is: there are no bad cars today!

© 2019 Larry Nutson, Chicago Car Guy