MM Static-Review: 2020 Hyundai Palisade

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MM Static-Review: 2020 Hyundai Palisade
A Static Review of the all-new 2020 Hyundai Palisade


https://www.hyundaiusa.com/palisade/...palisade;image;;






















Recently, in a static-review, I looked at the LX and SX versions of the all-new 2020 Kia Telluride....its corporate brother, the Hyundai Palisade had not yet started arriving here in the D.C. area. Palisades are now starting to arrive, and a few of them are in stock, although most are still on order or are in transit. And the few that do arrive don't last very long.....they are either pre-sold, promised to certain customers, or spend little time on the lot before they are sold. One of the largest Hyundai dealerships in the area, that also sells Genesis products (I like it because it is huge, easy in and out and easy to park) had a Palisade SE AWD model sitting on the lot, (apparantly) unsold and unlocked, so I decided to use the opportunity for at least a static-review. It was dark gray, with an attractive two-tone black/light gray cloth-seat interior, and, with almost no options, listed for $34,775....quite reasonable, IMO, when one considers that it includes AWD and a nice, normally-aspirated 3.8L V6 instead of the more common 2.0L turbo four in base versions of this class of vehicle. The SE trim-level, of course, is the base-level Palisade, with the SEL and Limited trim-levels as upmarket. I spent some time inspecting it inside and out, though, for several reasons, I put off a test-drive, at least for now, for several reasons....First, it was the only Palisade they had in stock, and I usually don't like to risk the (extremely small) chance of something happening to it on the road. Second, the dealership itself gave the impression that they themselves weren't too Gung-Ho on an idle test-drive, either (I suspect that this particular vehicle may have been, in fact, ordered for someone or was being held for them, though the dealership did not specifically state that). Third, traffic was quite dense around the area on this summer Friday, and it probably wouldn't have been a test-drive under the best of circumstances (D.C.-area traffic can sometimes try the patience of a saint). So, for those reasons and more, I limited the review today to a static inspection, though I do plan to test-drive either the Telluride or Palisade (perhaps both) later on, when more are available.


First, as I mentioned above, the Palisade and Telluride are corporate brothers, share the same platform/chassis/drivetrains, and are very similar in general shape and styling outside except for the grille/headlights/front-end, beltline below the windows, and the way some of the pillars are shaped. Both, in person, look somewhat smaller than in their media and ad-pictures.....much has been mentioned about that in reviews, and I agree. In general, I liked the Palisade's general styling more than the Telluride, which I thought was a little more blocky-looking. I also, in general, thought the Palisade's exterior trim was a little more nicely-done. Both seemed more solidly-built on the exterior, with less-tinny doors, better exterior hardware, and a more solid feel in general than the competing 2020 Ford Explorer XLT I just finished reviewing. Neither the Telluride or Palisade, however, seemed quite as solid with the door-closings as other recent Kia/Hyundai products....perhaps the Koreans are finally being forced into a little cost-cutting of their own. Still, no real problems on the outside, and both are still probably better than average (for today) in their solidness. The Palisade's paint job was extremely good.....better, IMO, than the Telluride's, though, to be fair, the Telluride's paint was somewhat dirty when I looked at it, while the Palisade's was clean enough to eat off of. The Palisade's exterior paint-color choice, though, was not impressive...the usual funeral-home shades, plus dark blue and Burgundy. As with most SUVs, a belt of black and brushed-metal trim runs around the lower-rim of the vehicle to protect the paint from salt and road debris.


Under the hood, the Palisade is simply worlds ahead of the XLT Explorer I recently reviewed. The Explorer had a turbo-four, a rather thin-feeling hood with no insulation-pad underneath (just bare painted metal), and a manual prop-rod for the hood. The Palisade, even in the base SE version, comes with a thick, solid steel hood, a nice insulation pad underneath, two nice gas struts to hold up the hood for you, and, perhaps best of all, a nice 3.8L normally-aspirated V6 instead of the turbo four. I'm a firm believer in non-turbo V6s over turbo fours, even if the turbo fours sometimes produce more torque. The V6 fits in underhood fairly well, and access is generally pretty good except for the (as usual) too-large plastic engine cover. Filler caps, dipsticks, and fluid-reservers, as usual, are generally easily accessible. And, to top it off, this Palisade was some 10K less on the sticker-price than the Explorer.......I think it's obvious who is offering the better value for the money.


Inside, like with the exterior, I generally preferred the Palisade SE to the (equivalent) Telluride LX...the sample Palisade I was looking at had a nice two-tone black/light gray cloth interior. The front seats were very comfortable and shaped almost perfectly for my frame and torso, although, as is typical with Hyundai/Kia and some Japanese-sourced vehicles, I found the seat-padding too firm for my tastes. In general, I also preferred the Palisade's dash and general interior styling theme a little more than the Telluride's. But, like the Telluride, the Palisade, in comparison to other recent Hyundai products, showed a slight degradation in the solidness of the interior/exterior hardware, buttons, and the precise-feel with how the controls/switches operate. Again, like wth the exterior, it was NOT serious, but just slightly noticeable. It could (?) be attributed to either cost-cutting or weight reduction....perhaps both. The Palisade uses large metallic transmission-buttons on the console for Drive/Reverse functions, and shift-paddles on the steering wheel for manual-shifting...less-awkward, IMO, than the Explorer's rotary-switch, but still not as nice as a conventional fore/aft shift-lever.


In back, the cargo area is generally well-finished and uses nice materials. It is reasonably space-efficient, in conjunction with the vehicle's squarish styling. The third-row seats, as in most mid-sized SUVs, are useful mostly for children, very small adults, or as a package-shelf.....don't expect to fit any NBA-sized guys back there. The third-row seats, if desired, can be lowered for extra cargo room. One bad design, though, on the Palisade, is the temporary spare tire being mounted completely under the rear end of the vehicle, under and forward of the rear bumper....a PITA to try and reach if or when you get a flat tire. However, having the spare tire out of the way like that (for most of the time when you DON'T have a flat tire) does allow for a rather nice storage-compartment under the rear floor of the trunk.


Also, before I close, to be clear, I do NOT mean, by my comments, to give the impression that the new Explorer is a piece of junk. It is not, and, in fact, can be a decently nice vehicle to drive....and I have yet to sample either the Telluride or Palisade on the road (I will in the near future). But, in the quality of construction/materials, design of the interior controls, and value for the money, it simply doesn't compare to what Kia and Hyundai are offering. I will be very interested to see how the Subaru Ascent compares.....I plan to take a look that before long. I took a short, quick test-drive in VW Atlas at the Washington, D.C. auto show earlier this year, and was favorably impressed....I also will take a better look at the Atlas in the future.

And, as Always, Happy SUV-Shopping.


MM
 

suxeL

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The interior optioned well, looks fit for the genesis brand. Its tech features impress. All around great place to spend endless time in. Exterior styling is not my cup of tea, but the vehicle is a solid buy even making more expensive luxury vehicles question their place in the market.

BTW MM, is that snow in the 2nd row pic?
 

Ian Schmidt

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Not a fan of the exterior - it's still got the (thankfully now going away) Hyundai "pick which other cars they crammed together to make this" thing going on instead of being a single design. And the chrome strip going down after the C pillar instead of extending back as you'd expect makes me wonder if they sell an Explorer Sport Trac-style version someplace where there's a short pickup bed in back instead of the third row.

Interior looks nice though, especially for a base model, and the NA V6 is a nice selling point for the segment.
 

mikeavelli

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Front end is insane but this car is a grand slam home run. I'm in a Palisade FB group and its amazing to see how excited and involved people are for it. The interior is beautiful, great features and it looks manly.

They are going to sell every last one. Great job Hyundai.
 

suxeL

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Had some time to stop buy a dealer to check it out in person. Cant keep them in stock, and nothing lower then sticker.
 
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I dont think you can goo wrong either way, but there is a difference right?
From my experience as a 'customer', Kia dealers think you need special financing right off the bat, which sucks because cars like the Stinger don't need too much convincing. In comparison, the Hyundai dealer I went shopping at with the buying family member treated us MUCH differently.

Of course, YMMV, there are good and bad dealers for every brand (There is one Lexus dealer (or two) in Phoenix to stay the hell away from)
 

Joaquin Ruhi

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This or the Telluride?...
I dont think you can goo wrong either way, but there is a difference right?
Having had the good fortune of being invited to press previews for both vehicles (representing the Spanish-language QueAutoCompro.com website and video channels), I learned a good deal on the subject.

Mechanically, both are virtually identical. Both share the same platform and 114.2" (2900mm) wheelbase, and the same powertrain (3.8-liter, 291 hp naturally aspirated V6 with dual Atkinson/Otto cycle capability much like the Toyota/Lexus FKS engines coupled to an 8-speed automatic transaxle). The individual transmission gear ratios and final drive ratio are identical for both. Curb weights are within 20 lbs of each other (with the Hyundai Palisade being a smidge lighter if I remember correctly).

There might be minute differences in steering and suspension calibrations. I felt the Hyundai Palisade to be a little bit peppier and better handling than the Kia Telluride, but I'd chalk this up to the Palisade drive (around Coeur d'Alene, Idaho) involving twistier, more enthusiast-friendly roads at lower altitudes than the Telluride's (whose drive to its namesake Colorado city took place at much higher altitudes that sap some of any naturally aspirated engine's responsiveness). Having said that, I did get the Telluride up to 120 mph without too much effort. It's also worth noting that Kia opts for a conventional T-shaped transmission shifter with PRNDLS in a row, whereas the Hyundai uses more trendy (and off-putting to some) separate buttons for Park, Reverse and Drive on the center console.

The Kia Telluride comes in 4 distinct trim levels plus a Prestige Package available for the top-of-the-line SX. The Hyundai Palisade only offers 3 trim levels (SE, SEL and Limited) but two optional packages (Convenience and Premium) on the SEL, so the net effect for both is 5 individual equipment levels.

There is one piece of equipment that is only offered on higher-level Hyundai Palisades that is totally unavailable on any Kia Telluride: a power-folding 3rd-row seat. (both Palisade and Telluride offer power-folding 2nd-row seating). And, if location of manufacture is of importance to you, Kia Telluride is built exclusively in West Point, Georgia for export around the world, whereas Hyundai Palisade is built solely in Ulsan, South Korea. Other than that, one can freely choose between the two based on exterior and interior styling, dealer proximity, current incentives and lease offerings, etc.
 

mmcartalk

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Thanks for your response, Joaquin. You bring up a good issue for American buyers.....the American-build of the Tellurides. The Korean-build of the Palisade. Many buyers, today, want to support plants and workers in their home country.

And thanks for the road-report. I plan to test-drive one of the two (maybe both, if possible), sometime next week.
 

suxeL

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I know theirs always the question of quality differences between plants, any such difference here?
 

Joaquin Ruhi

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I know theirs always the question of quality differences between plants, any such difference here?
Both interiors seemed to be assembled with good-quality materials, many of them soft-touch. One brand did not stand out versus the other in that regard. Bear in mind, though, that press vehicles way more than not tend to be the top-of-the-line trim levels, which, in some instances, use better materials than their lower trim level brethren.

One striking comment is that, rather than pretending they used real wood and metal trim in their Telluride interior, Kia honestly admitted that both were faux finishes, and their focus was on how realistic they looked. This is true, particularly the brushed metal-look trim.
 

suxeL

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unfortunately yes, until the first batch of owners come back with some miles, hard to tell. I wonder if any models have had split production between those same plants before and any one notice any differences.

Again not to point out the differences here, but in years past, production location has been a thing of concern for some buyers, for example the ES and RX production where folks believed (whether legitiate concern or not) that products assembled in Japan vs NA varied in quality.
 
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