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2020 Hyundai Palisade long-term update: Suburban living through social distancing

As spring sprung in the midwest, our Palisade got a taste of suburban living and plenty of running about.

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The Palisade has since left my garage, and honestly, I miss it.

Sean Szymkowski/Roadshow

It's time to check in on the latest addition to the Roadshow long-term vehicle fleet, our 2020 Hyundai Palisade. As you may recall, I brought the newly delivered SUV to my home near Cleveland, Ohio, and it got a taste of spring time in suburbia. That's putting it nicely, I suppose. In reality, the Palisade quickly turned into leather-lined workhorse.

As local stay-at-home orders and social distancing measures continued, I felt it was the right time to check off some to-dos around the house. Mulching and putting down new pavers outside, sprucing up the inside with ceiling paint and other odds and ends, the list goes on and on. Home ownership, am I right?

So, rather than load up the Palisade's three rows of seats with friends and family for some grand road trip, I used the time to see how the SUV handled day-to-day life and challenged its versatility. Needless to say, its 86.4 cubic feet of space (with both rows of seats folded) proved helpful for the tasks I tossed at the Palisade.

Twenty-two bags of mulch? Not a problem, and the SUV held it together with poise on the trip home with hardly a struggle. Brick pavers, leveling sand, flowers and potting soil? Easy-peasy with the third row folded to create enough space for the larger items, while tucking the flowers ahead of the second row. I really appreciated the power controls for the seats as well.

All this space? Very much appreciated.

Sean Szymkowski/Roadshow

And a hand-me-down dining set fit squarely in the SUV -- all four chairs and two leafs included. Mind you, as the driver, I still enjoyed heated or ventilated seats depending on Northeast Ohio's bipolar-like weather pattern, a sunroof and a Harman Kardon stereo system.

Outside of trips to home improvement stores, the Palisade remained cozy on typical trips for groceries, visits to see family at a  safe social distance and more. I ran into no major hiccups or issues save for a pesky wind whistle at high speeds I first mentioned in the SUV's introduction, and it seems the stop-start system gets a little confused when pushing P for Park. In a 50/50 shot, the engine would kick off and fire up again as I shifted from Drive to Park while lifting my foot off the brake pedal.

I've since delivered the rig to our social media editor, Daniel Golson, who'll continue piling miles on the SUV in Michigan. During my time, I managed to rack up just over 1,000 miles and clocked an average fuel economy of 20 miles per gallon. That's a tick over the EPA-estimated 19 mpg city, and indeed, the SUV spent most of its time wandering around town with a handful of longer-distance trips involved. During those times, I saw trip-specific fuel economy around 23 mpg, one mpg shy of the Palisade AWD's EPA-estimated 24 mpg rating.

We spec'd our Palisade to reflect the luxury chops Hyundai thinks it has, and during my stint with the SUV, it delivered. Stay tuned because the Roadshow staff has some long journeys planned for the SUV this summer where we'll issue its toughest family-readiness and fuel economy tests yet.