Hyundai Palisade Perks Up to Battle Tough Competition

Appearance tweaks plus upgrades to safety, driver assistance and convenience technologies help Palisade keep up with the 3-row competition.

Gary Witzenburg, Correspondent

August 19, 2022

4 Min Read
Hyundai Palisade 23 front 1.4
’23 Palisade’s carryover 3.8L V-6 produces 291 hp, 262 lb.-ft. of torque.Hyundai

ASHEVILLE, NC – Five years ago, Hyundai offered two SUVs/CUVs. Today, it fields seven: the entry-level Venue, the size-up Kona (which offers both BEV and performance N Line models), the compact Santa Fe and its Santa Cruz pickup sibling, the midsize Tucson, the Ioniq 5 BEV and the 3-row Palisade, the brand’s spotlight vehicle for 2023.

Faced with increasingly tough competition (including from corporate cousin Kia Telluride), Palisade touts significant upgrades, most of them driver-assist, safety and convenience features.

Key among them are Digital Key 2 Touch (compatible with iPhone and Android), navigation-based Smart Cruise Control, a new 12.3-in. (31.2-cm) navigation screen, Hyundai’s first Wi-Fi hotspot, new Bluelink connectivity features, Remote Smart Parking Assist, a new fatigue-reducing “Ergo Motion” Driver’s Seat, second-row seat ventilation and third-row seat heating.

Digital Key 2 Touch allows owners to leave their key fobs at home and use an iPhone, Apple Watch or Samsung Galaxy smartphone to lock, unlock and remote-start their Palisade. And Apple Wallet or Samsung Pass enables secure sharing of keys with family and friends.

The latest Hyundai Bluelink connected-car service allows customers to check and control vehicle functions with their smartphone or voice, and its new features include Connected Routing, Last Mile Navigation and a User Profile feature.

Hyundai Palisade XRT 23 front 1.4 closeup.jpg

Hyundai Palisade XRT 23 front 1.4 closeup

If an airbag deploys in an accident, it automatically notifies the Bluelink Customer Care Center, where a trained operator can communicate with the vehicle occupants, dispatch appropriate services and remain on the line until help arrives.

Also notable inside are a new configurable instrument panel and gauge cluster, upgraded materials throughout and Hyundai’s first digital-camera center mirror. Dynamic Voice Recognition is enhanced, quicker-charging USB-C ports replace USB-A ports and 15-watt wireless phone charging replaces the previous 5-watt charger.

One-touch second-row seats (pictured, below) move forward for easy access to the power-folding/unfolding third-row seats, which also recline. Second-row captain’s chairs are available, and a conversation mirror allows the driver to clearly see passengers in the rear.

Hyundai Palisade 23 2nd row.jpg

Hyundai Palisade 23 2nd row

Ultrasonic Rear Occupant Alert monitors the rear seats to detect children or pets, reminds drivers to check the rear seats when exiting and alerts if there is still movement in back once the vehicle is locked.

Cargo capacity is 18 cu.-ft. (510 L) with all three seating rows up, 45.8 cu.-ft. (1,297 L) with the back row down and 86.4 cu.-ft. (2,447 L) with both second and third rows folded flat.

Even the $34,950 base SE is well equipped with eight-passenger seating, Bi-LED Projector Headlamps and LED DRLs, Proximity Key with pushbutton start, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Auto-Dimming Mirrors, Dynamic Voice Recognition and Sirius/XM Satellite and HD Radio.

The Palisade also comes with a suite of safety and driver-assistance features designed to keep it competitive in the segment. In particular we love Hyundai’s Blind Spot View Monitors (both sides), which display a clear view over your shoulder whenever either turn signal is on, and we found the Palisade’s adaptive cruise and lane centering very effective when we chose to use them.

Hyundai Palisade 23 cockpit.jpg

Hyundai Palisade 23 cockpit

Driving Impressions

The ’23 Palisade’s carryover 3.8L Atkinson-cycle V-6 delivers 291 hp and 262 lb.-ft. (355 Nm) of torque through an 8-speed automatic transmission. Available HTRAC all-wheel drive offers driver-selectable Normal, Sport and Smart modes, and a new Tow Mode (for up to 5,000 lb. [2,268 kg]) adjusts the powertrain profile to hold lower gears longer and reduce shift frequency.

In the limited on- and off-road driving we experienced near Asheville, NC, we found it performed well with two aboard, but it likely could use more power when more heavily loaded and at higher altitudes.

Our Limited AWD test vehicle’s self-leveling rear suspension automatically adjusts its ride height for vehicle load, and its Downhill Brake Control gives speed-controlled descent on steep hills.

We found its steering, handling and braking surprisingly good despite its two-ton-plus weight even in Comfort (not crisper Sport) mode, but its passing performance from cruising speeds just adequate. We also found its cabin pleasingly quiet and its front seats comfy all day, with generous hip, shoulder, leg and head room.

We appreciate both the bigger touchscreen which, for example, can be split to simultaneously display both navigation and entertainment, and our test vehicle’s (increasingly rare these days) volume and tune/scroll knobs and hard buttons for Map, Nav, Radio, Media, Seek, Track, Setup and a configurable “Favorite” button.

The pushbutton gear selector is easy to use, as is the rotary mode control with a differential lock button in its center.

The large open console bin offers a USB port and a phone charging pad, and the covered box behind it has a 12V plug and another USB outlet.

Offered in SE, SEL, (new rugged-look) XRT, Limited and full-luxe Calligraphy trims ranging from $35,000-$49,000, this feature-loaded ’23 Palisade seems poised to continue its segment success.

The Palisade, arriving at dealers this summer, ranked fifth in Wards Intelligence’s Large CUV segment for first-half 2022 with 43,637 deliveries, up 0.3% from a year earlier.

Hyundai Palisade 23 rear 3.4.jpg

Hyundai Palisade 23 rear 3.4

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