2019 Hyundai Palisade - Hyundai's Show Stopper at the L.A Autoshow

B. Sreenath's image
B. Sreenath 

Automotive Journalist

June 3, 2021  at 11:38 AM

The Hyundai Palisade is Hyundai’s all-new flagship unveiled at the LA Autoshow in 2018 and will be sold as a 2020 model year vehicle. This 3-row SUV aims to be the successor to the Santa Fe XL and take on the biggest vehicles in the 3-row SUV segment with its sheer size and luxury. Does it have what it takes? Let’s find out.

What’s the New Flagship All About?

In the 2018 LA Auto show, Hyundai had showcased its 8-seater SUV based on an all-new platform, called the Palisade. The vehicle showcased at the LA Auto show was still in its pre-production phase. This all-new Hyundai, though aimed as a viable replacement for Hyundai’s Santa Fe XL, takes a very different approach to a 3-row SUV. Where the Santa Fe XL was merely a stretched-out version of Hyundai’s popular 5-seater SUV, the Santa Fe, the Palisade is designed from the ground up to compete with the big American SUVs not just in terms of size but also in terms of equipment. 

Hyundai Palisade unveiled at 2018 L.A Autoshow

Therefore Hyundai, during the unveiling of the Palisade clearly stated that SUV was specifically designed to pamper its users with a suite of premium tech, and safety features. 

Since it was being pitched as the company’s flagship from the very beginning, the interiors of the Prototype showcased at the LA Auto show only seemed to justify the approach that the brand was taking with this SUV.

What Hardware does the new Flagship get?:

Initially, it was speculated to have the same 3.3 Liter V6 as found in the Santa Fe XL and was expected to be put in the Palisade at a higher state of tune with 290 HP and 342 Nm of peak torque. It wasn’t until mid-2019 that the real specs of the Hyundai Palisade were announced and boy was it impressive. 


Hyundai Palisade

Kia Telluride FWD

Honda Pilot

Chevrolet Traverse

0-60 MPH 

6.9 sec

7.2 sec

5.9 sec

7.1 sec

Quarter Mile

15.3 sec

15.4 sec

14.4 sec

15.5 sec

Top Speed 130 MPH N/A N/A 130 MPH


3.8L, Naturally Aspirated V6

3.8L, Naturally Aspirated V6

3.5L Naturally Aspirated V6

3.6L Naturally Aspirated V6

For starters, the SUV was offered in both 7 & 8 seater specifications which was a much welcome move for people who were looking for a more luxurious experience thanks to the addition of the Captians chairs in the middle row. Hyundai even went on to design a bespoke engine for the Palisade which was a 3.8 L GDI V6 unit with 291 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque mated to Hyundai’s 6-speed automatic transmission with SHIFTRONIC as standard so unlike its predecessor, the customers got paddle shifters across the board. Another new touch was the all-screen MID which was also something seen only in high-end German luxury cars at the time. 

With the addition of the H-TRAC AWD, Hyundai has also made it a capable vehicle that can take on almost any weather and even do some light off-roading if the situation so demands. The H-TRAC system which is developed by Magna powertrain specifically for Hyundai and this system is pretty good since it’s also used by the brand’s luxury division, Genesis. As Hyundai revealed at the time of the launch, this AWD system is going to be optional across the board but it will be a worthy upgrade. 

The  Bold-New “Sensuous Sportiness” Design:

The Hyundai Palisade carries the brand’s design language forward while giving it a new direction. The styling of the Palisade trakes a lot of elements and cues from the Santa Fe and Kona such as the full-LED split headlight setup but adds its own distinct touch which looks more futuristic than the brand’s other vehicles. The grille, for instance, is the largest one Hyundai has used on any of their vehicles in typical Hyundai fashion, and the reverse hockey stick as Hyundai likes to put it, is used to describe the body-colored and chrome accent used on the C - Pillar that gives the roof its signature floating appearance. 

The Brand's Flagship is based on the "Sensuous Sportiness" Design Philosophy

Hyundai has made sure that the Palisade was as safe as it was luxurious because ultimately its a family hauler and safety is a top priority for people who are shopping for a family-friendly vehicle. Apart from the standard suite of airbags and advanced crumple zones, Hyundai plans on outfitting their Flagship with state of the art safety tech such as Blind Spot Monitoring, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Forward Collision-avoidance Assistance, Driver Attention Warning and of course Hyundai motor group’s state of the art Lane Keep Assist that’s also used in all new Kia and Genesis and is arguably the best system in any modern car only second to Tesla’s Autopilot.

Luxurious Interiors Loaded with Tech:

The interiors of the Palisade are contemporary and will look more at home in a vehicle wearing a Genesis badge rather than a Hyundai one. The quality of materials is top-notch and miles ahead of its predecessor. Space is also a major upgrade from its predecessor, as now it looks like it gets a functional and usable 3rd row that can actually seat fully grown adults in relative comfort. 













Key Features 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

Single sunroof

Dual-panel sunroof


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

In the features department, Hyundai has cut no corners and thrown absolutely everything at their disposal into the Palisade’s features list. Starting from 10.25-inch widescreen infotainment to a massive 12-inch plus full-digital instrument cluster and even a premium sound system by Harman Kardon are all here.

Final verdict:

Hyundai has upped their game in the SUV segment over the past years and this all-new Palisade is their biggest leap yet and its safe to say that they have nailed it with this. Taking on the likes of the popular Ford Explorer and Chevy Traverse, this SUV looks and feels miles ahead of its competition and the overwhelming response suggests that this might just be on its way to be the segment leader in the near future.