The Hyundai Palisade is a Bargain Range Rover

Appealing to full size SUV buyers from Range Rover aficionados to Ford Expedition cross-shoppers is the new Hyundai Palisade full size upscale SUV. Practical with three rows of seats, many would-be large SUV buyers will want to consider this 7 to 8 passenger vehicle. Built in South Korea, this Asian-import shows just how far “chaebol” Hyundai Motor Group has come, the driving force behind both the Palisade and its platform-mate the Kia Telluride (which is not made in Telluride, Colroado). These two vehicles have been such a smash hit, in fact, that Hyundai and Kia have been raising the price every year since they debuted in 2020 at about $33,000, and they’re still selling like hotcakes. The Palisade thrashes assumptions about Korean cars, tossing the Hyundai Accent and the Kia Sephia into the rightful dustbin of automotive history.

The base model SE trim is for the full-size SUV bargain hunter, and it starts at $36,400 msrp, a hair more than the $35,990-starting base Kia Telluride, a price we find worth it for the Palisade’s superior styling. An impressive 291 horsepower V6 engine is standard on the Palisade, and the base SE comes with 8 passenger seating and a 2nd row bench seat. A standard 12.3 inch touchscreen display with navigation and proximity key with push button start are among impressive features you won’t have to pay extra for.

Bump things up to the SEL at $39,150 msrp, and you can get 7-passenger seating due to second row captain’s chairs, H-tex faux-leather trimmed seats (instead of cloth SE seats), hands-free liftgate, leather-wrapped steering wheel, and LED tailights. Optional all-wheel drive adds $2,000 to the price, and reveals that without it the Palisade is a front-driver.

More premium trim levels are where the Palisade will start to satiate the desires of premium SUV customers. The Limited Trim starts at $47,700 and the Calligraphy trim starts at $50,100 msrp. Limited seats are leather-trimmed, while cross-shoppers from Mercedes will be interested in Calligraphy-trim Nappa leather seats, a sure rarity at the $50k price point. The list of options becomes hard to list, but the Limited adds heated second and third row seats, 10-inch heads up display, ventilated front seats, rear window sunshades, memory electric seats, power thigh support and 4-way lumbar in the front seats, a host of collision-avoidance systems, heated steering wheel, 20 inch wheels, rear dual sunroof, door sill plates, ambient lighting, and Harman Kardon premium audio.

The Calligraphy steps up further with a premium exclusive grill, premium side door garnish, exclusive wheels, exclusive bumper, puddle lamps, quilted door panels, microfiber headliner, and a two-tone leather steering wheel. If you can think of an option that a luxury vehicle should have, there is a good chance the Palisade Calligraphy has it.

Another consideration for the Palisade is its relatively good gas mileage, rated at 26 MPG highway for FWD and 24 MPG highway for AWD. While this may not sound mind-blowing, it is nonetheless a good number for 7 to 8 passenger vehicles, especially considering showings like 20 MPG from the Chevy Tahoe. It also has a 5 star crash test rating from the NHTSA and Hyundai’s signature 10-year, 100,000 mile powertrain warranty.