By: Jimmy Gill
I have always been intrigued by different makes and models of vehicles. However, I have never been behind the wheel of a completely brand-new vehicle until I was provided the opportunity to spend a week with the 2020 Hyundai Palisade.
The Palisade by Hyundai is its best and biggest to date, even though it is not their first three-row SUV for the brand. The Palisade offers three spacious rows of seating, loads of safety and driver assisted technology, all-wheel drive, and distinctive styling, which I found was a bold statement for this Korean manufacturer.
The trim line of the Hyundai Palisade press vehicle had all the bells and whistles and the pricing for this model topped out at $53,999. It had Nappa leather seating surfaces, a faux-suede headliner, heated and ventilated first and second row seats, a 12 speaker Harmon/Kardon audio system, and a vast amount of safety and driver assisted systems. I found the price tag as a shock because when I was comparing the Palisade with the likes of higher-end German manufactures like Mercedes or BMW, the latter did not provide as many features or their vehicles were base entry levels at this price point.
Engine, Transmission, and Towing
What do you get for all that money? You get a lot, and then much more. You get a smooth and responsive 3.8 litre V-6 engine with idle start-stop technology and an eight-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC paddle shifters. The engine produces 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. I enjoyed driving the Palisade with the steering wheel mounted paddles. The paddles provided a sporty feel to the SUV. I found the gearbox shifted smoothly on its own; however, when I drove it up to UBC with my family, I found the Palisade had some hesitation when climbing the hills. Now this could be that the vehicle was fully-loaded with 6 full adults. The Palisade I was driving was all-wheel drive with multi-terrain control modes and had 5,000 lbs of towing capacity.
Interior, Infotainment, and Cargo
I find the Palisade to have a spacious interior, simple infotainment operation and a large cargo area that can be easily expanded. One very neat touch which was added to this SUV was push buttons for gear selection instead of the conventional gear shifter. I found this feature saved lots of space. This added space expanded into two very well sized cup holders which open at the push of a button and they could hold more than your Tall or Venti sized Starbucks drink. Moreover, it had a built-in wireless charging pad and I found this feature very convenient for me because I was constantly using my mobile phone to check emails or updates on various sports which I follow religiously. As a result of the built-in wireless charging pad, I had no worries of my phone running out of battery. Overall, I found the controls for the climate system and drive modes were conveniently laid out and easy to use. There was room for up to seven passengers and I found there was plenty of space in all three rows for the occupants. The second row features a one-touch button to move the seat forward for easy access to the third row and I found this to be a very nice added touch. Moreover, I found the Napa leather seating was very comfortable and long drives were not an issue with heated and cooled seating for front and second row passengers. Since, I was driving this vehicle when it was raining and cold in Vancouver, the heated steering wheel was the perfectly added feature at keeping my hands warm.
The three-zone climate control allows both the driver and front passenger to select their desired temperatures, as well as the second-row passengers.
This model of the Palisade came equipped with a 10.3-inch touchscreen infotainment system featuring Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth connectivity. The touch screen had sharp resolution and had navigation and SirusXM satellite radio. Both systems can be operated by physical knobs and buttons. I found there were up to seven USB ports, meaning all passengers could essentially have their own USB port – how cool is that?
With three rows up, there is still some truck space which can be utilized. However, with some Tetris skills, I think I could fit a few suitcases or some duffle bags in there. Underneath the load floor, there is plenty of room to store muddy or wet items. The cubbies in the doors are tight, but there is reasonable storage within and below the floating bridge center console.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
If you are looking to buy a three-row SUV to transport your loved ones, then the Palisade might just be what you’re looking for. To transport these important people, safety features are vital when choosing a family SUV. The Palisade I was driving came equipped with a whole suite of features, such as forward collision warning with pedestrian detection and automatic emergency braking, lane departure warning with lane keeping assist, blind-spot collision avoidance assist and parking distance warning – reverse/parking distance warning for front. I found the most useful safety feature to be the blind spot collision avoidance assist because the steering wheel vibrated when I was about to change lanes and there was a vehicle in my blind spot.
With the starting price of $38,499 and the top price being $53,999, the 2020 Hyundai Palisade shows the perfect balance of practicality and luxury. Even our tester Palisade, which was heavily optioned at $53,999, I still feel you are getting a lot for your money. I would recommend this SUV to family-oriented individuals who would not want to break the bank just to get into the SUV market.