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Family-friendly 2020 Hyundai Palisade thunders into SUV battlefield Featured

Posted On Thursday, 26 December 2019 10:51 Written by
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Photo courtesy of Hyundai Photo courtesy of Hyundai The 2020 Hyundai Palisade made a strong debut in the three-row SUV category this year, offering luxury-level design for a more affordable price.

In the U.S., the vehicle trend in recent years has been “bigger is better”. Sedans are disappearing every year, and large SUVs appear to be growing on trees.

Even companies that had traditionally were not focused on the larger SUV category are now dipping their toes in the water. Once such company is Hyundai, which debuted its 2020 Hyundai Palisade three-row SUV during 2019.


The Palisade is the largest SUV ever offered by Hyundai, jumping to the top of their lineup above the Santa Fe, Kona and Tucson. And it’s an impressive debut, to say the least.

A corporate cousin to the Kia Telluride (another impressive debut for the 2020 model year in this segment), the Palisade offers an attractive design, both on the exterior and the roomy interior setup.

The outside features a bold, rugged look, a sharp-looking grille up front, as well as attractive side lines. This may be a family machine that’ll make many trips to the grocery store and soccer practice, but it doesn’t look like a daffodil.

My test vehicle featured 20-inch wheels; LED headlights, tail lights, and daytime running lights; dual sunroof w/ shade; and a trailering package with sway control.

Inside, the decision to include a unique set of buttons instead of a traditional shifter opens up storage space in the center console — a wise decision, and you quickly get used to the button controls for shifting.

Comforts inside the Palisade include: Nappa leather seating surfaces; heated steering wheel; microfiber suede headliner; rear side window sunshades; ambient lighting; driver integrated memory seat; and much more.

Overall, the Interior design especially stands out vs. the competition, to the point that you will often feel like this is a legitimate luxury-level vehicle. There are high-quality materials throughout the Palisade, and heated seats in both the front AND second rows will be a hit in the winter season, especially in colder climates.

The steering wheel feels great in hand, and there is an attractive luxury-style look to the door interiors, a good mix of soft and hard materials with a nice pattern design.

The Palisade is not only attractive, it’s versatile. Both the second and third rows can be lowered for a massive amount of storage space (up to 87 cubic feet), if you have some cargo to move.

My test vehicle sat 7 people, but other configurations offer up to 8 (with a second-row bench seat). The third row is quite roomy vs. the competition … the Palisade is roomy all around in fact, no matter what row you’re in. 

Head space, leg room, storage space are all at a premium. Comfort is the name of the game for all passengers in this vehicle, something I can’t say about all vehicles that offer a third row.


The 2020 Hyundai Palisade is quite a large vehicle, but despite its size it can move fast when you need it to get going in a hurry. Helping you control the drive are several modes, including: Sport, Smart, Comfort, Eco and Snow.

The Palisade is not the most powerful option in its segment, but it’s no slowpoke either. Its performance will suit most families just fine, and its handling is also very impressive for a larger vehicle, turning well and responding to driver input smoothly.

The numbers are as follows:
A 3.8-liter V6 power plant, with idle stop & go, powers all Palisade models. The engine offers 291 horsepower, 262 lb.-ft. of torque, and is paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission.

Paddle shifters are also included if you’d like to control the gears.

Towing capacity is 5,000 pounds, and you can choose between FWD and AWD. The Palisade also features an auto-leveling rear suspension.


The Palisade performs well in the safety and tech areas, two topics that are front of mind for most families considering an SUV purchase.

First, the Palisade’s navigation system works extremely well. Voice commands work very effectively and I always got to where I needed to go without any issues. POI recognition was also very strong for taking breaks on your journeys (i.e. finding gas stations, restaurants, etc.).

Beyond navigation, the overall infotainment system, what I like to call the brains of the operation in modern vehicles, was very well-designed and easy to control. Whether by voice or touch, things worked very smoothly at all times.

You can also see a lot of info all at once. The 10.25-inch tri-screen splits up info so you can see details on music, navigation and weather all at the same time. And the vehicle is compatible with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay for phone mirroring.

You also get a whopping 7 USB outlets, plus a 115-volt AC power outlet, a wireless phone charger, and a stellar sound system.

Safety is another focus for families, and the Palisade is well-equipped.

The head-up display lets the driver focus on the road, and the Palisade is heavily loaded in terms of safety features.

Features offered include: Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection; Lane Keeping Assist; Driver Attention Warning; Rearview Camera; Ultrasonic Rear Occupant Alert; Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist; Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist; Smart Cruise Control w/ Stop & Go; Surround View Monitor and Blind View Monitor.

Official fuel mileage numbers on the 2020 Hyundai Palisade are 19 city/24 highway/21 combined. In my time driving the Palisade, I averaged 17 mpg, which was a bit lower, and a number that will be beaten by some of the competition. This is one of the very few weak points on the Palisade, but overall shouldn’t be a deal-breaker as the numbers aren’t drastically lower. 

My loaded Palisade test vehicle was priced at $47,605; and the Palisade’s base price starts about $32K. Especially on the lower end, this is an affordable price for this size of vehicle.
Trim lines on the Palisade include SE, SEL, and Limited.

Another cherry on top that may sway some buyers are Hyundai’s best-in-the-country warranties, including:

  • 5-year/60,000-mile New Vehicle Warranty
  • 10-year/100,000-mile Powertrain Warranty
  • 7-year/Unlimited-mile Anti-perforation Warranty
  • 5-year/Unlimited-mile Roadside Assistance


The Palisade is a tremendous family vehicle that checks all the boxes that a three-row SUV should check, and should attract a strong number of fans. Expect this vehicle to make its presence known and continue to disrupt things in this segment for years to come.

While the Palisade won’t immediately overthrow the leading SUV sellers, the competition will definitely feel its presence in the sales charts.


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

Additional Info

  • Vehicle: 2020 Hyundai Palisade 
  • Price as tested: $47,605 (starts around $32K)
  • Best feature: Size, versatility, price  
  • Rating: 4.5 out of five stars 
  • Who will want this vehicle?: Three-row SUV shoppers who want a new option that checks all the boxes 
Matt M. Myftiu

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

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