12 months ago, this 2020 Hyundai palisade came to join us, just as the Coronavirus threat was starting to come into focus and disrupt America.
That may sound like a truly lousy time to make an entrance.
But the timing probably couldn't have been any better for this three row escape pod.
Now it's time to say goodbye and while I'd rather forget about the last year entirely, the same can't be said for this palisade Frankly, I love this vehicle.
Happen, I will tell you why I'm so fond of it, and how Hyundai could still make it better.
For a lot of the airlines, Mileage accumulation was slow, due to shelter in place, and our staff wanting to keep safe.
Mostly the Palisade did short distance around town stuff, picking up groceries, and gardening supplies, and so on.
Most importantly, it piloted our families through all four seasons during this weird socially distance time.
Fortunately, we were able to break up the everyday with a couple of long distance trips, plus regular stints as a video support vehicle.
That's where this Palisades cabins cargo area tow hitch and smooth stable ride came in seriously handy.
We've learned a lot about Hyundai's range topping SUV which has cemented its status as one of our very favorite crossovers.
So lets start with the interior, it's fantastically flexible and it's surprisingly nice.
In fact that's under selling it a little bit.
This is a down right luxurious interior, in fact the first time I drove this car was in late 2018 in Korea, way before the U.S model launched.
And when I drove it, I was overwhelmed with how nice it was inside.
In fact, I thought there is no way that Genesis will be able to produce a vehicle that has a nicer cabin than this.
Now, the gvhd proved me wrong about that.
But that still doesn't mean the Palisades interior isn't great.
In fact, I think it's better than rivals like the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, and even Hyundai's brother from another mother, the Kia telluride.
In fact, I think it's better than the cabins in luxury rigs, including the Cadillac XT six, Infiniti QX 60 and Lexus RX L. There's nothing like a good road trip to prove the mettle of a vehicle.
So I drove this thing.
From Detroit to North Carolina, and then a little while later I drove it from Detroit all the way down to New Orleans and back, that's 1100 miles each way.
And I gotta say, the palisade acquitted itself beautifully.
What I really like is not just the outward visibility, but also the seat comfort there all day comfortable plus, they're heated and cooled in the front and second rows.
So everybody stays comfortable.
And it's got a bunch of nice luxury touches, like the quilting on the seats and the doors, and even the suede headliner, things that make it feel a little bit special.
Overall, this is a really great place to while away the way the miles.
Combine all that with useful tech like a great head up display, crisp and simple infotainment and the Palisades advanced cruise control with lane centering and you get a peerless road trip machine.
It didn't even feel too big for New Orleans is narrow centuries old streets We're it's been a couple of months as we did work from home from an Airbnb just to break things up the Palisades 360 degree camera made street parking a cinch, and it's great ride quality men's the city's mangled roads really well.
I've even come around on the push button shifter on this thing and You got to know this about me, I'm not somebody that takes kindly to change just for the sake of change, but I don't feel that's the case with this Sunday.
First off, the layout is intuitive.
Plus, it frees up a tonne of space underneath, so that you have space for things like tissue boxes or purses or bottles and stuff that they inevitably accumulate on big road trips.
It's got a functional benefit, which strikes me as a better situation than a lot of these sort of secret handshake shifters that take a while to get used to and don't really deliver a benefit.
Does that mean the Palisades cabin is perfect?
Well, of course not.
The spring loaded cup holders are gimmicky and they don't hold bottles and cans of all sizes very well.
Though there standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, it's not wireless on this 2020 Yes, Hyundai did add wireless CarPlay on 2021 models, but you still can't cut the cord on models equipped with navigation, which is just bizarre.
You also still can't get a Wi Fi hotspot.
It took us a while but we finally started to notice an unusual aroma that we Just couldn't quite put our finger on seem to come mostly in hot and sunny weather.
Hyundai is blaming a weird garlicky leftover smell on a supplier saying it's the result of a faulty manufacturing process for the headrest upholstery.
That makes the smell sound worse than it is, at least in our experience.
Heck, it took nearly three quarters of the year for us even to notice it in our tester.
On they says it's corrected the problem but if you're looking at us 2020s Be sure to have a good sniff.
Even if the seller looks at you a little funny, with 291 horsepower and 262 pound feet of torque This v six backed by conventional eight speed automatic is more than up to your road trips, your interstate slogs with all the vacation stuff that you got in the back, and it's definitely up for commuting.
But I gotta be honest, we never tried the 5000 pound Max Tow rating.
And we never really drove this vehicle at high altitudes and I suspect that if you're in either of those scenarios regularly, you might want something a little bit earlier.
Maybe something with a turbo but you can't get that.
That said, fuel economy is pretty good for a big all wheel drive guy like this.
We saw up to 25 miles per gallon per tank in highway driving slightly better than EPA estimates.
And we weren't exactly trying to be frugal.
In fact, I average 23.4 miles per gallon for over 1900 miles on our Outer Banks beach run, but when I clamped a big hole Yakama on the rack and headed to New Orleans, I only managed 19.5 mpg one way and a smidge over on the return trip.
So you might want to think twice about leaving your roof box on just to get that outdoors.
The luck Of course, our time with the Hyundai wasn't all about southern exposure.
We had a pretty nasty winter in Detroit too.
And our team reports that they were really impressed with how well the Palisades Ace track all wheel drive setup, handled deep snow, even on stock all seasons.
It just powered through everything.
So you're probably wondering what sort of problems we had with this vehicle and the truth is For the 13,500 miles and 12 months that we've had it, it's been dead nuts reliable.
We've had absolutely no extracurriculars.
In fact, for things like oil changes and routine maintenance Hyundai's got you covered for three years or 36,000 miles which is pretty solid.
Okay, so we did have one issue.
We suffered a cracked windshield after a rock strike and it proved to be a serious pain between COVID related production issues and the fact that the palisade has been a red hot seller replacement class isn't exactly in ready supply Plus, it's expensive.
A Hyundai Dealer quoted us nearly 20 $500 for a new windshield and calibration of the Ford facing a gas camera.
They wanted us to wait weeks for the privilege while they actually located a windshield.
We ended up going to a third party company for the glass into a different dealer for the calibration All in.
We spent under 1100 bucks and we didn't have to wait the message here, shop around people, even that negative service experience, couldn't color our overwhelming affection for this vehicle.
At the end of the day, I'm going to leave you with a parting thought.
Whenever a family member or friend asks which new vehicle they should buy, I usually give them a whole bunch of choices and an exhaustive list of pros and cons to give them the full picture.
These days when it comes to buying a three row crossover, I just say go buy a Palisade, be happy.