2023 10 Best Interiors & UX

Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Rewrites 3-Row CUV Rulebook

At $50,000, there is no other big 3-row CUV that can match the features and sophisticated design of the Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy.

Drew Winter, Contributing Editor

June 1, 2023

2 Min Read
Sophisticated design, lush materials and great user experience make Palisade a winner.

Calligraphy is the art of taking simple handwriting and turning it into artwork. The Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy  takes the simple 3-row CUV rulebook and turns it into a work of art as well, and it is surprisingly affordable art.

Big 3-row CUVs are among the most popular and profitable vehicles in the market. The segment is highly competitive and filled with great products. Unfortunately, the greatness usually is accompanied by jaw-dropping price tags.

The Palisade Calligraphy interior and user experience stand out in this crowd, even though most others cost thousands more.

The combination of sophisticated interior design, user-friendly controls and great features earned the Palisade Calligraphy a 2023 Wards 10 Best Interior and UX trophy.

Our $52,310 (including $1,295 freight and handling) top-of-the-line, all-wheel-drive Calligraphy model had ADAS and comfort and convenience features we expect in an upscale CUV, but also perks we would not expect at this price, such as a massaging driver’s seat, heated seats in all three rows, ventilated front and 2nd row seats, 2nd-row captain’s chairs and power-folding rear seats.

“The power folding feature for 2nd and 3rd rows is a big plus here,” proclaims one 10 Best judge. 

Despite the abundance of seating features, what first impressed Wards judges were the opulent interior materials, excellent user-centric ergonomics and overall design creativity. These are elements we normally see only in much more expensive vehicles.

The suede-like white Dinamica microfiber headliner instantly catches the eye with a soft, super-plush look that oozes luxury and begs to be touched. Similar to Alcantara microfiber, we usually see such premium materials only on vehicles with six-figure price tags.

“Spectacular design with high level functionality. The gorgeous white interior and beige wood trim is a standout,” says judge Dave Zoia, also pointing out perforated and patterned Nappa leather on seats and doors, textured trim on the console and generous screens with interesting graphics.

There is a head-up display and a 12.3-in. (31-cm) digital instrument cluster. The cockpit controls are exceptionally user friendly, placed high on the center console with the electronic shifter, climate control and infotainment buttons positioned at a perfect angle next to the driver. The on-screen graphics are creative and groundbreaking. They enable the driver to view information in new ways.

The touchscreen is very responsive and the phone syncing is fast. Voice recognition also works well and includes the ability to get weather reports and change cabin temperature. 

In terms of connectivity, there’s Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, Hyundai Bluelink Connected Services, and a Wi-Fi Hotspot. USB charging ports can found in all three rows of seats.

Sums up one judge: “At $50,000 there is no other big 3-row CUV that can match the features and sophisticated design of the Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy.”
Hyundai Palisade


About the Author(s)

Drew Winter

Contributing Editor, WardsAuto

Drew Winter is a former longtime editor and analyst for Wards. He writes about a wide range of topics including emerging cockpit technology, new materials and supply chain business strategies. He also serves as a judge in both the Wards 10 Best Engines and Propulsion Systems awards and the Wards 10 Best Interiors & UX awards and as a juror for the North American Car, Utility and Truck of the Year awards.

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