Hyundai Palisade

Editors' Review

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If the last few years felt like "The Year of the Small Crossover" stuck on repeat, 2019 is rapidly shaping up to be "The Year of the Three-Row SUV." An onslaught of new sheetmetal wearing familiar names is starting to hit dealers, plus there's a bunch of promising new models entering the family-minded fray. Chief among them? This 2020 Hyundai Palisade. And while next-gen vehicles such as the Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander may have stronger name recognition, if you're shopping for a new kinschlepper, this distinctive-looking crossover should very much be near the top of your consideration list.

Before you ask, yes, the Hyundai Palisade shares structural and powertrain underthings with the Kia Telluride, a model also hitting showrooms as you read this. Despite being corporate cousins that share unseen bits and lots of smart tech, these SUVs look completely different, and they actually feel like they're targeting different buyers, too. 

Avant-garde design

Whereas Kia's Telluride is handsome in a more upright, traditional mold, the Palisade's designers haven't played it the least bit safe. Frankly, I've found that this vehicle's crocodile-eyed front end takes some getting used to -- not unlike my reaction to other recent Hyundai SUVs, from the Santa Fe to the Kona. As those other models have proliferated, however, I've found I've quickly gotten used to their unusual grille shapes and novel split/stacked front-end lighting. In fact, I'm starting to really enjoy seeing them on the street. I expect the same will be true for the Palisade in short order, and I even started to appreciate the way this model looks as my week of testing went on.

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The Good The 2020 Hyundai Palisade is big on space and refinement, with available cabin and safety tech that rivals far pricier vehicles.

The Bad The Palisade's nontraditional styling may not be for everyone. Minor quibbles include no Wi-Fi hotspot and fiddly cupholders.

The Bottom Line A surprise-and-delight SUV loaded with luxury, tech and safety features, this Hyundai delivers big value.

Editors' Rating
  • Performance 8.5
  • Features 9
  • Design 8
  • Media 9

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