You can add another SUV to the already-impressive number of utility models offered on the market. Media day at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show was the occasion for the big unveiling of what was really a badly-kept secret, the 2020 Hyundai Palisade.
The new model is actually really new, as it sits on a new, distinct platform. Hyundai adds a new player to what was already a pretty full roster of SUVs, especially given that the manufacturer was already producing two variants of its Santa Fe model, one of them able to accommodate seven occupants.
The new Palisade takes that one step further, and can welcome eight! In any event, Hyundai has confirmed that it will be removing the XL version of the Santa Fe from its product offering.
Visually, the Palisade definitely has airs of luxury and refinement, starting with the massive cascading front grille. The headlights are in line with the recent Hyundai trend toward a sharper, more streamlined look, and the effect is quite successful. All those lights can be had in LED as an option.
The most impressive element when it comes to the design of this big SUV is the low drag coefficient of the Palisade, 0.33 cx. This is obtained thanks mainly to a sharper angle for the A pillars and to the inclusion of a rear spoiler, a front cooling surface featuring integrated air vents, panels on the undercarriage and rear wheel deflectors.
Clearly, Hyundai put a lot of energy into maximizing aerodynamics.
The 8-person configuration is standard in the Palisade, which serves nicely to differentiate the model from other Hyundais. This is an SUV designed for larger families, no doubt about it. Just to drive that point home, Hyundai presented a story of sorts during the model’s presentation in LA, of a family with three kids.
For the rest, the focus is on luxury and functionality, for example with the inclusion of Nappa leather and power fold-down second- and third-row seats. And just so you understand we’re talking about a big SUV here, there’s even an intercom system for communicating with passengers in all three rows!
In terms of connectivity, drive assist and safety features, the list of what’s included is big and comprehensive. One notable safety function is an alert sent to the driver when a child or animal is detected in one of the back rows of seats. If any movement is detected there after the driver has left and locked the vehicle, a warning message is sent to the vehicle owner.
The Palisade is powered by a 3.8L Atkinson cycle V6, which delivers an estimated 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque. Power is delivered by an 8-speed automatic transmission to the front wheel or all four wheels via the HTRAC AWD system. When equipped with the latter system, the Aviator offers several drive modes so the driver can adjust to the road conditions… or to their mood in the moment.
As for the driving experience the big Palisade offers, we’ll have ot wait for an opportunity to actually test drive it. It’s clear, though, that Hyundai designed its new SUV with the North American market in mind (and even more specifically for our neighbours south of the border, we’d add).
The 2020 Hyundai Palisade is expected at Canadian dealerships next summer.