2020 Hyundai Palisade Debuts With Bold Design And 8 Seats

Hyundai's flagship SUV is also its most technologically advanced model to date.

The new Santa Fe launched earlier this year is bigger than its predecessor, but Hyundai knows there are families looking for something even larger. Enter Palisade. The new midsize SUV is not only larger than the regular Santa Fe, but also bigger in every way than the Santa Fe XL. It’s 196.1 inches long, 77.8 inches wide, and 68.9 inches tall, with a generous wheelbase stretching at a Nissan Pathfinder-matching 114.2 inches or a full four inches more than that of the aforementioned Santa Fe XL.

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When it comes to styling, beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but it’s safe to say there’s nothing quite like the Palisade in this segment. Heavily related to Kia’s new Telluride, Hyundai’s flagship SUV gets a bold front fascia design in many ways similar to the Santa Fe’s by adopting a large and imposing cascading grille flanked by two-tier headlights.

The sheer size of the vehicle is more evident when you look at the side profile, specifically the length of the rear doors and the generous greenhouse. Those massive wheel arches can accommodate 20-inch wheels to give the Palisade a powerful presence. Although it’s a large and tall vehicle, Hyundai’s range-topping SUV has an impressive drag coefficient of just 0.33 thanks to several aerodynamic tweaks such as rear wheel aero deflectors and underside panels. At the rear, a pair of sweptback LED taillights provides a clear visual distinction from the Santa Fe, as does the model’s name generously featured on the tailgate with big characters.

Inside, the ample cabin can seat up to eight people on three rows, with the second one featuring ventilated captain’s chairs while the rearmost seats recline and feature power-folding/unfolding. Perfect for big families, the Palisade has a total of seven USB outlets, 16 (!) cupholders, and all the technology Hyundai has at the moment. There’s wireless charging, a 10.25-inch touchscreen, a 12.3-inch digital driver’s display, and the possibility to hook up two devices through Bluetooth at the same time – one for mobile phone connection and the other for audio streaming.

We’re barely scratching the surface here as Hyundai has crammed a lot of tech into its biggest SUV: shift-by-wire controls on the center console, head-up display, intercom system, adaptive cruise control, and much more. The company refers to its roof vent diffuser design as an “industry-first,” mentioning it provides a quieter and more uniform airflow coming from the rear air conditioning while giving passengers the freedom to pick from focused, partially-diffused or fully-diffused stream of air.

In regards to the oily bits, the 2020 Hyundai Palisade is powered by a 3.8-liter V6 producing an estimated 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet (355 Newton-meters) of torque. The engine is hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission and will be offered with both two- and four-wheel-drive setups. Hyundai’s proprietary HTRAC all-paw system comes with the usual driver-selectable Normal, Sport, and Smart modes, plus a newly developed Snow mode for slippery conditions.

After its big debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show, the Korean-built Palisade will go on sale in the United States in the summer of 2019.

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