2020 Hyundai Palisade Limited AWD
Class: Midsize Crossover/SUV
Miles driven: 612
Fuel used: 26.8 gallons
|CG Report Card|
|Room and Comfort||A|
|Power and Performance||B+|
|Fit and Finish||A-|
|Report-card grades are derived from a consensus of test-driver evaluations. All grades are versus other vehicles in the same class. Value grade is for specific trim level evaluated, and may not reflect Consumer Guide's impressions of the entire model lineup.|
|Big & Tall Comfort|
|Big & Tall comfort ratings are for front seats only. "Big" rating based on male tester weighing approximately 350 pounds, "Tall" rating based on 6'6"-tall male tester.|
|Engine Specs||291-hp 3.8L|
Real-world fuel economy: 22.8 mpg
Driving mix: 35% city, 65% highway
EPA-estimated fuel economy: 19/24/21 (city, highway, combined)
Fuel type: Regular gas
Base price: $46,400 (not including $1045 destination charge)
Options on test vehicle: Carpeted floor mats ($160)
Price as tested: $47,605
The great: Impressive passenger room and cargo space, available high-end features, strong dollar value
The good: Acceleration, ride quality, cabin small-item storage space, assembly quality and premium-feel cabin materials
The not so good: Audio tuning knob a long reach for some drivers, some control buttons difficult to see in certain lighting conditions
More Palisade price and availability information
Our Palisade posed a bit of a problem in writing this Test Drive report … though perhaps not in the way you might think.
Under our Quick Hits section above, we list elements we consider to be “The Great,” “The Good,” and the “Not So Good.” It was the last category that proved problematic.
You see, there just wasn’t much we could come up with to really criticize. OK, so the audio tuning knob was a stretch to reach and some accompanying buttons were hard to discern in some light, but those seem a bit … petty. And fuel economy wasn’t the best, but it’s acceptable for such a large, 8-passenger crossover.
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We covered the Palisade in depth in our First Spin report, so we invite you to read that for more details. Here we’ll get into specifics gleaned from our local Chicagoland test.
While ride quality was in question after our preview drive in Idaho — as the roads were fairly smooth — our test over Chicago’s bumpy thoroughfares revealed that the Palisade rides very nicely over bumps. It can also hustle. With a 291-horsepower 3.8-liter V6 underhood (the only engine available), our Palisade got a strong jump off the line to record a 7.2-second sprint in the 0-60 dash, a laudable performance. Less laudable but still decent was fuel economy, which worked out to 22.8 mpg in 65 percent highway driving, beating the EPA’s 21-mpg combined figure.
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Although they’re mentioned in our preview-drive report, a few elements warrant repeating.
There’s good space in the first row, and the driver seat — at least in the tested top-line Limited — gets lumbar adjustment and an extendable cushion, both real comfort pluses. There’s also a head-up display that shows speed and other information on the base of the windshield, where it’s closer to the driver’s line of sight. A flat floor in the second row aids someone sitting in the center of the available bench seat. Also of benefit (again, on Limiteds) are heated and ventilated seats, full temperature controls, and USB/12-volt/115-volt AC (household current) outlets. Front-seaters can see those in back through a conversation mirror, and can converse with them using the Driver Talk function, which sends their voice through the audio speakers. Our tester had second-row captain’s chairs, which provide for a walkway between the second and third rows, though there’s a 6-inch rise in the floor that has to be cleared. Room in the third row is adequate for normal-size adults, getting back there is fairly easy, and occupants get reclining seat backs, four cupholders, and two USB ports.
A few other standout features include rear occupant alert (so you don’t accidentally leave someone sitting in back), Safe Exit Assist (which sounds a warning if a rear door is opened when upcoming traffic is detected), a head-up display for the driver, rear automatic braking (automatically applies the brakes if an obstacle is detected when backing), and rearview cameras that automatically come on when you activate the turn signal on either side, displaying their images on instrument-panel screens.
Equally impressive is the cargo compartment. A hands-free power liftgate raises to reveal a large cargo area, and there’s a good amount of space even behind deployed third-row seats. Second-row seat backs have a release in back, and the third-row seats have a power-fold function. There’s also a wide underfloor bin that can hold the cargo cover, a nice touch. A self-leveling rear air suspension compensates for heavy loads, which means your headlights shouldn’t be aimed at the sky.
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The Palisade is the largest crossover Hyundai has ever built, and the only one in the Hyundai stable to offer 8-passenger seating. While it’s very similar to the Kia Telluride under the skin, it offers a few features the Kia doesn’t. While there are other 8-seaters in the game with more established nameplates, the Palisade managed to hit a home run in its very first time at bat, earning one of our Best Buy awards in its rookie season. ‘Nuff said ….
Check out our Midsize Crossover/SUV Best Buys
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2020 Hyundai Palisade Limited AWD