Friday, 19 April 2024

Reimagined 2023 Hyundai Palisade delivers, remains a leading 3-row SUV Featured

Posted On Monday, 10 April 2023 23:31 Written by
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The interior of the 2023 Hyundai Palisade is spacious for both passengers and cargo. The interior of the 2023 Hyundai Palisade is spacious for both passengers and cargo. Photo by Matt Myftiu/AutoTechReviews.com

 

When the Hyundai Palisade burst onto the scene a few years ago, the brand new flagship SUV became an instant smash.

With upscale and comfortable seating for up to 8 passengers, the Palisade is one of the vehicles leading the resurgence of Hyundai in the tough SUV battleground. Ironically, one of its top competitors is a corporate cousin, the Kia Telluride, along with the Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer and Toyota Highlander.

But everything must change to stay relevant, so a refresh to the Palisade’s design inside and out has arrived for 2023. There’s also a new stylish and rugged trim level (XRT) added for 2023, improved tech setup, and safety upgrades.

I recently tested a 2023 Hyundai Palisade, and I’m back with a full report on how it measures up against today’s best SUVs.


LOOKS

The 2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy that I tested featured a host of changes to the design of the vehicle.

The cascading front grille gets a more bold, squared-off design, along with sharp new headlight design. Wheel design options are also improved for 2023. My test-vehicle featured 20-inch Calligraphy-exclusive alloy wheels, as well as a dual-pane sunroof and roof rails.

The Palisade is a pretty sizable ride, charting at a length of 196.7 inches, width of 77.8, and a height of 68.9 inches, and weighing around 4,500 pounds. And it’s one of the best-looking and most elegant rides in the segment, with plenty of design options.

Color options include: Abyss Black, Hyper White, Steel Graphite, Sierra Burgundy, Typhoon Silver and Moonlight Cloud, with Robust Emerald new for 2023.

The new XRT trim level features a darker finish, 20-inch wheels, rugged front and rear fascia with skid plate design elements, rugged lower door trim, dark-finish front grille, and black roof rails.

Moving inside the Palisade, you’ll find plenty of space in all three rows of the vehicle, though it's best to put the little ones in the third row. Depending how you outfit the Palisade, the interior seating is offered in cloth, leatherette, leather and premium Nappa leather options, and seating is quite comfortable.

The Palisade can boast of an extremely versatile design. Third row features power controls for lowering and raising the seats, and the second row can be powered down (and raised manually). Other nice touches are heated seats being offered in all three rows, and a massaging driver’s seat to keep you comfortable on long rides.

Heated seats work quickly and effectively in the Palisade, and massage options include pelvic, lumbar and whole body in the driver’s seat.

Depending on whether you choose Captain’s Chairs or a bench in the second row, you can fit either 7 or 8 passengers.

If you opt for the Calligraphy model, you’re approaching luxury territory, and closer in quality to what you’ll find in the Genesis SUV lineup from Hyundai’s more elegant big brother. Calligraphy features a faux suede headliner; premium leather upholstery; quilted-leather door inserts; and customizable interior ambient lighting. Beautiful wood accents throughout the vehicle made it stand out vs. rivals

Updates to the interior across the Palisade lineup include an updated instrument panel and gauge cluster, refreshed steering wheel design, and more.

Just as you can fit a lot of people comfortably in the 2023 Palisade, you can also fit plenty of cargo. You get 18 cubic feet of space with all three rows up, and 86 cubic feet with the second and third rows folded down. The number drops to 46 cubic feet with the second row upright.

There’s also a lot of small storage areas throughout the vehicle, which is great on road trips.

HOW’S THE RIDE?

The 2023 Hyundai Palisade comes with a single powertrain option — a 3.8-liter V6 engine with start-stop technology that is present throughout the lineup. No hybrid or EV options are currently available.

The engine is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, and paddle shifters are included. Output from the power plant comes to a total of 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. FWD is standard, but AWD can be had on all Palisade trim levels.

On the whole, the Palisade offers a smooth and quiet ride, with very little road noise intrusion. Drive modes include: Eco, Comfort, Sport, Smart, and Snow modes.

The Palisade is no hot rod, but still has plenty of power. It gets moving quickly when it needs to go, like in highway merging or passing situations. And it handles well and brakes effectively for its size. Overall, it offers one of the better drives in this class, and can get from 0 to 60 in roughly 7 seconds.

The Palisade’s push-button shifter can be a bit confusing at first, but you’ll get comfortable with it over time. I like that it doesn’t take up much space, opening up the design of the vehicle.

In terms of towing, the Palisade is rated to pull up to 5,000 pounds with the Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel drive setup.


TECHNOLOGY, SAFETY

Technology is one of the highlights on the 2023 Palisade, as it is well-equipped compared to rivals.

The 12.3-inch touchscreen with 720p resolution houses the excellent navigation system as well as the overall infotainment setup. This system responded well to my voice commands for navigation, music, calls and climate, asking about weather and more, with only occasional repetition needed.

The large, wide bright screen is one of the best in class, all touch controls are well-placed and easily accessible, and drivers should be able to master the controls quickly. 

A wireless phone charger is offered, and the tech setup is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, features satellite radio, Bluetooth capability, and as many as 7 USB ports are available in the vehicle. You can also use remote apps to lock, unlock and start the vehicle.

The Palisade’s Harman Kardon sound system was another highlight — booming yet always clear with both bass and treble.

Moving on to safety, crash test ratings are excellent on the Palisade, making it a 2023 IIHS top safety pick.

Highway Driving Assist — the basic self-driving/lane centering system of the Palisade — is among the best systems of its kind that I have tested. While you must keep your hands on the wheel, I let it take control for a lengthy highway ride including lots of curves, and felt very comfortable, with not even a hint of any missteps from the autopilot.

While full automation is a ways off, the systems we have right now are very promising, and this is one shining example.

Other helpful safety features include: Surround View Monitor, Blind-spot View Monitor, Parking Distance Warning Forward and Reverse, Highway Driving Assist and a Head-up Display.

You also get a full complement of nine airbags throughout the vehicle, as well as a Driver Attention Warning, Forward Collision Mitigation, Adaptive Cruise Control, and Lane Keeping Assist.

The surround-view camera was especially helpful in tight spaces, and drivers will appreciate the head-up display that allows them to keeps their eyes on the road ahead. The Safe Exit Assist is another neat feature that prevents any collisions with approaching vehicles as you are opening the car doors.

Also of note, the Remote Smart Parking Assist feature lets you remotely park or exit a parking spot from outside the vehicle via buttons on the smart key fob, which is pretty cool technology.


MPG

The official fuel numbers on the AWD Palisade I tested were 19 city/25 highway/21 combined.

However, the actual fuel mileage I experienced in real-world driving was only about 14 mpg. That’s a poor showing compared to rivals in the segment, and fuel economy is the one main weak point in a vehicle that otherwise shines.


PRICE

My test vehicle was priced just over $52K, and I was driving the top-trim Calligraphy model. Base price on the Palisade starts around $37K.

Trim levels include: SE, SEL, XRT, Limited and Calligraphy, and all versions can be had with AWD if so desired.

As strong as the Palisade looks and performs even in base trim, this is solid pricing and compares well with rivals in the segment.

Add to that the industry-leading Hyundai warranties (5-year/60,000 mile new vehicle warranty, 10-year/100,000 mile powertrain warranty), plus three years of complimentary maintenance, and cost of ownership improves even further.

BOTTOM LINE

The 2023 refresh of the Hyundai Palisade takes an SUV that debuted with an instant impact a few years back and makes it even better, and the Palisade is easily one of the top three-row SUV options available today.

It may even lure some people away from a luxury ride and let them keep a few dollars in their pocket, as it offers a level of quality that rivals vehicles that are much more expensive.

Any detriments are minor, and it does almost everything well, making it a truly exceptional crossover that the entire family should love.

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AutoTechReviews.com can be found on Twitter @AutoTechReview, or stay updated at the AutoTechReviews Facebook page. Follow AutoTechReviews on Instagram at @Autotechreviews. Matt Myftiu can be found on Twitter @MattMyftiu







Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2023 Hyundai Palisade 
  • Price as tested: $52,310 (starts around $36K)
  • Best feature: High-end and spacious interior; smooth ride, excellent tech and safety features
  • Rating: 4.5 out of five stars   
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Families seeking a luxury-level experience from a non-luxury SUV
Matt M. Myftiu

Matt Myftiu has been a journalist for two decades with a focus on technology, NASCAR and autos.

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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