Palisade in the dictionary means an area of defense created using iron railings or wooden sticks. We think that Hyundai is definitely trying to make a statement with the name. The grand 3-row family SUV segment was missing the most reliable Korean brand in the mix and Hyundai plans to change that with their all-new Palisade.
While all other manufacturers have started poking this segment with at least one of their contenders, Hyundai went a step back and discontinued one of the well-established models - The Santa FE XL. Then, they developed an all-new SUV platform from scratch for this segment in conjunction with their sister brand Kia to rectify the mistakes they had made with the Santa Fe XL. This is the largest Hyundai ever and boy have they nailed it with this one.
With tonnes of road presence and a refined 3.8L, V6 unit discharging duties under the hood, Hyundai seems to be pretty serious to win this battle of the full-size Crossovers. It checks all the right boxes for a comfortable mile muncher and comes loaded with a plethora of features that can rival high-end luxury cars from a segment or two above.
With prices starting from $31,550, the 2020 Hyundai Palisade takes on the likes of Honda Pilot, Chevrolet Traverse, GMC's Acadia and it also battles its own sibling - The Kia Telluride. Does the Palisade have what it takes to take on the segment leaders? And is it anymore practical than its predecessor, the Santa Fe XL? Let’s move ahead and find out!
However, when it comes to comfort and convenience, the base trims lack a lot of tech. Most of the drool-worthy features begin from the “SEL” trim that sits smack bang in the middle of the trim table. The top of the line “Limited” Trim has been outfitted with everything from Hyundai’s stable that sets it on top of this segment as no other manufacturer is able to serve up the level of features and luxury that the Palisade has to offer at least in its class. The Kia Telluride comes closest to the Palisade in terms of features and equipment but there's no getting away from the fact that the Palisade is the more luxurious SUV of the two.
8.0-inch infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Adds/Upgrades to SE
Adds/Upgrades to SEL
Projector headlamps with DRLs
Door handle welcome lights
All LED headlamps
6-way adjustable driver seat
8-way power-adjustable driver seat
8-way power-adjustable passenger seat
Acoustic laminated windshield
Cloth seating surface
Premium cloth seats
Nappa leather seating surface
60/40 split fold-flat seats
Heated front seats
Heated and ventilated front and rear seats
Auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink
10.25-inch infotainment system with navigation
Despite so many features, Hyundai has also made provisions in case you want to add some exclusivity to your pick. Except for the top-trim “Limited” which is already loaded with these packages as standard, they can be only mated with the middle trim “SEL”. This format of offering flexible customization is followed mostly by luxury manufacturers that give customers the choice to opt for packages to personalize their vehicle to their taste, this goes to show how serious Hyundai is about their all-new flagship and it also shows the target demographic that Hyundai is aiming for with this luxurious family hauler. Unfortunately, these packages are not compatible with the base trim. Hence, if you opt for the mid-range “SEL” trim, you can get any of the below-mentioned packages fitted in it at a nominal price.
Driver Guidance Package
20-inch alloy wheels
10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with navigation
Power tilt-and-slide sunroof
Auto-leveling rear suspension
Leather seating surfaces
Highway drive assist
LED interior or map lights
8-way power passenger seat
Sirius XM radio
Front Parking sensors
Memory function for driver seat
Driver talk (in-car intercom)
Hands-free smart liftgate with Auto-open feature
Heated second-row seats
Multiple device connection
7-inch high-res display in meter console
Third row with reclining/folding/unfolding functions
Blue-link connected car system
Ultra-sonic rear-occupant alert
Heated steering wheel
Wireless charger for smartphones
Premium dashboard/door armrests
3rd row 115-V power outlet
Rear side window shades
Which Trim to go for?
The mid-range “SEL” trim coupled with the convenience package has to be our pick of the lot. Since the top-end trim is a bit fair bit more expensive for the equipment it has to offer, we believe that the mid-range trim can rival in the Limited trim in terms of equipment with the addition of the Convenience Package, but there's no denying that the Limited trim of the 2020 Hyundai Palisade is the most feature-rich vehicle under the 50 grand mark.
The 2020 Hyundai Palisade is clearly not sporty or athletic by any means, in fact, it is quite far from it. With a modest 3.8L, naturally aspirated V6 engine propelling either the front or all four wheels, the Palisade is best for cursing down boulevards and motorways and that's exactly what most full-sized seven-seater SUVs are appointed to do in their life cycle. This V6 GDi unit produces 291 horsepower at 6,000 RPM and 262 lb-ft of torque at the crank. Though slightly underpowered, it comes from a quality manufacturer and promises to be reliable and efficient making it the perfect family SUV.
While the numbers might seem intriguing at least on paper for a $30k SUV, let’s not forget that the Hyundai Palisade is a massive vehicle and the 291 horsepower just about gets this monument of an SUV moving down the road, but overtaking on two-lane roads at cruising speeds feels just about right behind the wheel of the Hyundai Palisade thanks to a clever combination of the slick 8-speed transmission and the H-TRAC AWD that play a major role in getting this behemoth off the line as quickly as possible and makes it feel faster than it actually is. The engine is, however, one of the most refined in the segment and the cabin is also well damped which results in the Palisade leading its class in the NVH department, thus adding to this SUVs luxury credentials.
3.8L, Naturally Aspirated V6
3.8L, Naturally Aspirated V6
3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6
3.6L Naturally Aspirated V6
9-Speed Shiftable Automatic
Both the 2020 Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride share the same motor and powertrain setup which gives them identical performance figures but the Palisade is a tad bit faster when it comes to real-world performance. The Chevrolet Traverse is the most powerful vehicle of the lot and the Honda Pilot is the exact opposite with the least powerful engine of the lot. That said, this could turn out to be a whole different story once the weight factor is considered too. That's the reason why the Honda Pilot which is the least powerful in this round-up manages to accelerate just as fast as the Hyundai Palisade courtesy its low curb weight and a highly optimized transmission and AWD combo.
How Fast is the Hyundai Palisade?
Flat-footing the Palisade’s accelerator will get you to the 60mph mark in 6.9 seconds and it can cover the quarter-mile in 15.3 seconds which might not be lightning quick but is ample for a family SUV and is surprisingly the same as the more powerful Ford Explorer but that is provided you choose to go for the AWD variant of the Hyundai, the FWD equipped Palisade is relatively slower off the line and only manages to get to 60 mph in 7.2 seconds. While its acceleration figures are just mediocre for a petrolhead, it is still faster than many other rivals in its segment thanks to Hyundai's quick and efficient HTRAC AWD platform along with usable mid-range grunt that helps it leap off the line quickly.
Under normal driving conditions, there will be no dearth of power from the motor and you will have just about enough power on tap, at all times. Overtaking isn't difficult in the Palisade and you won't have to break a sweat to do so, be it in the city or out on the motorway. The GDI motor under the hood is similar to the one found under most new Genesis products, only with a different stroke and bore and minus the turbos. So this motor does love to rev when compared to other SUVs here, but it does not feel annoying or overly loud. Surprisingly the Telluride that uses the same motor, is a fair bit louder than the Palisade and the difference is clearly evident at motorway speeds, so kudos to Hyundai with their in-cabin insulation that makes the overall experience a lot more pleasant.
Kia Telluride FWD
3.8L, Naturally Aspirated V6
3.8L, Naturally Aspirated V6
3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6
3.6L Naturally Aspirated V6
The Honda outshines the competition with a wide margin here. While other SUVs tread over the 15-second mark for the quarter-mile timings, the Pilot clears it in under 14-and half seconds which is commendable. The Traverse accelerates to 60 MPH before the Telluride but then the Chevy’s heavyweight slows it down to the quarter-mile mark. But ultimately the quarter-mile and 0-60 times are all just figures on paper, in the real world, the Palisade is quick enough for most situations and out on the highway what it lacks in grunt, it makes up for it in refinement, so in theory, you should be able to maintain high speed more comfortably in the 2020 Palisade in comparison to the competition.
What about the Hyundai Palisade's Braking performance?
Unfortunately, we do not have the braking details of the 2020 Hyundai Palisade. However, judging by its sister - Kia Telluride’s performance, we think that the Palisade’s performance will not be bad either. Especially considering the fact that the Palisade weighs over 100 lbs less than the Telluride. Hyundai has also equipped the entire Palisade range with the best in braking tech, most notable of which is the Forward collision avoidance system that does help it avoid a potential accident and ultimately take a lot of load off the brakes during panic braking, giving the driver tremendous amount of control.
On the road, the brake pedals feel decent in modulation and have enough stopping power on all occasions. Nosedive is evident, owing to the sheer size and soft suspension setup of this SUV but it manages to hold its ground. Things never tend to go out of place at any moment courtesy the ESP system keeping the tires in check and preventing wheel slip.
Kia Telluride FWD
Brake Rotors Front
Brake Rotors Rear
Since we do not have the details of the Palisade, we won’t be able to compare it with the lot. However, we think that Telluride will outshine this competition here. Because 120ft of stopping distance for a 4,000 lbs SUV is way more than just impressive. And the addition of features like the auto emergency braking adds to the confidence factor of maneuvering this gigantic SUV in bumper to bumper traffic.
Is The Hyundai Palisade as composed while driving as its rivals?
The 2020 Hyundai Palisade is a massive SUV and this factor gets even more evident once you get behind the steering wheel. The steering feedback is next to non-existent, as is in most full-size SUVs. You won’t feel any connection with the road, however, navigating this mammoth is fairly easy. The outward visibility is excellent and the chunky A-pillars have also been placed very carefully that do not hinder your view.
The suspension is inclined towards providing a plush ride hence it is softly sprung. While the setup does manage to iron out most undulations and imperfections on the tarmac with utmost ease, the petrolheads are certainly not going to like it. But that’s alright, the Palisade is a luxurious commuter and it executes its duties fairly well. In a straight line, the car feels planted and most of the external noises are subdued. Come to the twisties and the Palisade gets upset. You’ll be thrown around the cabin if you try to push it hard. That said, we think Hyundai has nailed the ride quality, hence it is safe to safe to say that the 2020 Hyundai Palisade is easy to live with.
If you want to know how economical the 2020 Hyundai Palisade is? then it's safe to say it is not going to impress anyone with its fuel economy figures. It can manage a not so frugal 19 miles to the gallon in the city. However, the highway figures at 26 mpg for the FWD variant is not so bad after all. However, if your Palisade is mated to the H-TRAC All-Wheel-Drive system, the highway mileage gets reduced to 24 MPG. That said, we had expected better than this especially considering that Kia Telluride uses this same unit and still guzzles less fuel than the Palisade. Oh, and Kia is the heavier one out of the two as well. But the fact that it is not as economical as some of the more conventional SUVs from this segment like the GMC Acadia is a bummer.
Emission (Tons/yr of CO2 Emissions @ 15K mi/year)
The rivals offer better figures here. In fact, the Chevy Traverse is the heaviest vehicle in this comparison and yet it offers a better fuel economy than the 2020 Palisade if you take the AWD variants of the two into consideration. The Honda Pilot is the most fuel-efficient vehicle of the lot. The Telluride takes second place and the Hyundai is overshadowed by everyone else here. But if you stay in a place that does not get much snow, the FWD Palisade should do the trick as it manages to offer almost the same fuel economy as the majority of its rivals.
Hyundai has blessed the 2020 Palisade with top-notch seats that can give top luxury brands a run for there money. They are large, wide, and offer supreme comfort. The bolsters are equally capable too. The top-variant features leather-wrapped seats which feel more premium than the cloth-wrapped ones on the other two variants. Further sweetening the deal is the wide adjustability traits of the Palisade. They are electrically powered and can be adjusted in 8 different ways. There is a 4-way lumbar support feature too. And that's still not it, the front seats also offer ventilating and heating functions as well. What more could you ask for?
The second-row seats are no different from the ones on the front either. They are equally spacious and feature loads of legroom. Three people can easily spend hours over here. Also, they can be reclined too.
The third row is usually the aspect that receives the least attention but that's not the case with a palisade. if the question looming in your heads is how spacious is the Palisade? well, It features tonnes of usable legroom and doesn’t feel like an add-on to the existing two rows. The third row of the Palisade feels like it was meant to be there, as opposed to the ones in other cars where it looks like someone stuffed it there forcibly. We are impressed with the seating forte of the Palisade’s cabin.
First Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)
Second Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in)
Third Row (Head/Shoulder/Leg) (in
All of the rivals in this category are matched equally with the Traverse as an exception. It is even bigger than the Palisade and offers the maximum room on all sides when compared with others in the lot. The Pilot and the Telluride stack up head to head with each other and the Palisade is left for the last position. However, do not underestimate these numbers as Hyundai has cleverly sculpted the interior layout of the Palisade’s cabin.
What features to expect on the inside?
There are a ton of features that set the Palisade a class apart from the rest of the lot. Some of those drool-worthy features are:
Nappa leather-wrapped seating surface
8-way powered driver and passenger seats
4-way lumbar support for driver seat
Heated and Ventilated seats (first two rows only)
Dual-zone climate control with air-ionizer
Auto-dimming rearview mirror with Homelink
Rear window defroster with timer
Steering wheel mounted paddle shifters
Tilt and telescopic steering wheel
10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system
How good is the Hyundai Palisade's Infotainment system?
The entertainment duties in the Palisade have been undertaken by an 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system on the base trims, “SE” and “SEL”. The top-trim, however, takes things up a notch. It features a bigger 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system that looks gorgeous inside. It is a full resolution unit. For the “SEL” trim, Hyundai offers this unit as an option in the Driver Guidance Package. Both these units work fine and the transition between the menus is also fluid.
The top-trim also flaunts a better sound system as well. It comes with a Harman Kardon 630-watt, 12-speaker unit which sounds ballistic. The treble and base both are equally matched and there is no distortion even at fairly high volume levels.
As for the features, there is also another display tucked neatly between the meter console. Well at least for the base trims, SE and SEL. Because come to the top-trim “Limited”, the whole meter console is then replaced by a 12.3-inch multi-function display. It caters to the driver’s needs and even offers vital information about the vehicle.
Some features of the infotainment and other tech-savvy features are mentioned below:
Android Auto and Apple CarPlay
Multiple Bluetooth connections, up to two devices
Wireless charging pad
Driver Talk-in intercom
How much Cargo can you carry in the Hyundai Palisade?
Though large enough for passenger space, the 18.0 cu.ft of cargo capacity goes against Palisade’s persona. It might not be segment-leading but is more than enough especially if you take into consideration that the Palisade offers usable third-row seating and is only second to its sibling the Telluride in terms of third-row legroom. However, if you need more space than this, you can always fold both the second and third rows down-flat, with the touch of a button, to unveil a massive space of 86.4 cu.ft.
Though the segment offers better space at the back, the Palisade’s numbers aren’t bad either. Hyundai has cleverly made use of the space and it looks bigger than what the numbers suggest. The tailgate lifts high and wide. The rear suspension can also be lowered a bit, in case you want a more “convenient” loading/unloading height.
Cargo Capacity (with third row folded)
Cargo Capacity (with second row folded)
The Chevrolet Traverse, with its unmatched dimensions, takes the prize here. It is the largest of the lot and this clearly accounts for its largest cargo space among the rivals. The Telluride, surprisingly, offers more space than the Palisade at the back with all the rows upright, despite sharing their underpinnings. The Pilot, being the smallest of this lot, takes a hit in this regard.
We believe you would expect us to go blabbering around typical Hyundai’s Fluidic 2.0 design language here. However, that’s not the case anymore. The 2020 Palisade is completely different from the rest of the lineup.
As most of Hyundais follow a more conservative design language where they tend to blend each and every component into the other just to deliver a “fluidic” feel, the Palisade takes a completely different route. It is On the face, massive and features a wide track-width. Each and every part can be distinguished pretty well.
The front grill of the Palisade is surprisingly massive, not something that we have come to expect from Hyundai over the years. The bracketed headlamps that are swept towards the fenders are very distinctive. One look at them and you will immediately recognize the car. The hood of the Palisade is very American-like. It is squared, boxy and thus, feels massive to look at.
The sides of the 2020 Hyundai Palisade are no different than a typical SUV silhouette. The upright C-pillar extends all the way to the roof and seamlessly blends into the body giving it its signature reverse hockey-stick design. The large wheel arcs add to the rugged appeal that leaves a lasting impression on the bi-standers.
The rear of the vehicle is equally eye-catchy, if not more. The small bulge below the Hyundai badge gives a muscular feel at the rear. The tail-lamps also follow a bracket like a shape just like the headlamps. Subtle chrome accents at the rear further escalate the lux-appeal of the Palisade.
The Hyundai Palisade might not be the best out of the lot here, however, let us remind you that all of these SUVs are massive on the inside. They are very spacious and one won’t be disappointed with either of them. However, the Traverse is the biggest and brawniest of the lot and the Pilot sits at the other end of this comparison. The Korean twins are in the middle with the Telluride just inching ahead of the Palisade.
What features will draw your attention to the Hyundai Palisade's exteriors?
Some of the key highlights of the Palisade’s exterior are:
Hyundai has never taken things lightly when it comes to the safety of its occupants but is Hyundai's largest SUV, the Palisade safe? Complying with the same ideology, Palisade’s build quality is one of the best. Don’t believe us? Then do check out the IIHS ratings for the 2020 Palisade and we bet you’ll be impressed. It has also been listed as a “Top Safety Pick+” by them. NHTSA is yet to test it though.
Now that Palisade is the biggest SUV of the lot, it is ought to be the most responsible one as well. And that is exactly what it does. Some of the super-advanced safety features equipped in the top-trim of the Palisade are:
Began the journey together, almost, the Korean siblings had to face each other at some point. Both these SUVs share most of the components so there is barely any difference in their build qualities. The Kia has a better road presence and also offers more flexibility with the optional equipment list. If rightly done, Kia Telluride would come to be a better value for money package. That said, the Palisade offers most of those optional features as standard but then its top trim comes out to be more expensive than Kia’s.
Hyundai Palisade vs. Chevrolet Traverse
If you think the Palisade is big, then you should really check out the Chevrolet Traverse. It is just massive in size and covers up a lot of road. It is also the heavier one of the two and behaves like it too. Though it has more power, its extra weight delivers a sluggish performance overall. The Hyundai’s motor feels peppier than the Chevy’s. In terms of ride quality, both these cars are equally matched. But the Hyundai flaunts a better build quality and safety scores than the Traverse.
Hyundai Palisade vs. Honda Pilot
The Honda Pilot is one of the most flourishing crossovers in this segment and that it deserves. It does what it does very efficiently saving time and money. It is the smallest one in dimensions as compared to others and is also one of the most fuel-efficient one. It also flaunts a slick transmission which is fairly intuitive too. Hyundai’s transmission takes some time to understand the driver’s needs. We believe that the Pilot offers a better deal. But then you have to compromise with a ton of features and some space and then again some visual road presence as well.
2020 Hyundai Palisade Final Verdict
The Palisade was created to haul up to 8-people engulfed in luxury and comfort, and that’s what it does best. If your search included a handsome urban lifestyle SUV with tonnes of road presence, the Palisade ticks all the boxes. It is reliable, solidly built, and offers a ton of drool-worthy features. If you can compromise on the fuel economy, we think that Palisade is without a question our pick of the lot in this segment of full-sized SUVs at this price point. Although, before making a decision, we’d check out the Kia Telluride too. But if you are looking for a luxurious SUV in a similar price range with an American badge, make sure you take a look at the GMC Acadia AT4.
2020 Hyundai Palisade FAQs:
Does the Hyundai Palisade come with Apple Car Play and Andriod Auto?
Yes, Apple Car Play and Andriod Auto are standard across the board and it does not matter if you go for the lower trims with the 8-inch infotainment or the top-of-the-line variant with the 10.25-inch infotainment, both the systems have support them.
How far can the Hyundai Palisade go on a single tank of fuel?
The Hyundai Palisade is equipped with an 18.8-gallon fuel tank and can offer up to 488 miles of range when driven efficiently motorways, but in bumper to bumper traffic or city driving the range drops down to 357 miles due to reduced fuel efficiency.
How much boot space does the Hyundai Palisade offer?
The Hyundai Palisade offers 18 cubic feet of space behind the third row but the folding seats mean that space can be increased drastically on demand. With the third row of seats folded down, it offers 45.8 cubic feet of space and with both the second and the third row folded down, the Palisade offers 86.4 cubic feet of cargo space.
In the past couple of months, I have been to quite a few places and I have to say it has been very impressive. It is comfortable, fun to drive, and entertaining.
by Kathy J. Roth
User Overall Rating
"Fun to drive"
Fun to drive is a term that fits it perfectly. Throttle response is good, handling and transmission are better, and ride quality is the best.
by Christine C. Cotta
User Overall Rating
"Far better SUV than I imagined"
It nails all the fundamentals and even excels at some. Refined engine with less noise and enough power, handling that puts a smile on your face every time a corner comes around. Ride quality makes long road trips less of a pain and more of an enjoyable experience with friends and family.
by Katrina M. Rapp
User Overall Rating
Very comfortable and full of features. The engine is very refined and handling is good too.
by Faye J. Freeman
User Overall Rating
"Comfortable and stylish"
Fuel economy is very poor, way lower than advertised. Not a tactic I would suggest to make it more appealing. Especially when the rest of it is so good.