The 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show has set the stage for the car industry to showcase some of its upcoming offerings. Getting its fair share of attention is Hyundai with the unveiling of the 2020 Palisade, the brand’s new flagship midsize crossover SUV. Yes, it’s the sport-ute flanked by the South Korean boy band BTS in recent social-media photos—Hyundai has hired them to seduce their fans into purchasing this ride.
In a competitive mobile world where the crossover has become a staple, the eight-seater Palisade comes in an attractive package that delivers comfort, technology, safety and spaciousness in a regal and bold form. This premium SUV packs a smorgasbord of modern amenities set to please the most discerning of families with a taste for road trips.
For starters, the Palisade’s exterior styling is a culmination of ideas from Hyundai’s global design teams. Its robust and chic character takes the so-called fluidic design to a level worthy of the vehicle’s flagship status. With a standout front fascia sporting a huge flowing grille and vertical LED headlamps with sleek LED daytime running lights stretched toward the muscular fenders, this SUV shines with strong road presence. It retains this theme all the way to the elegantly shaped rear, and tastefully finishes its glorious stance with 20-inch alloy wheels.
Form is gracefully married with function as the Palisade, according to Hyundai, combines good aerodynamics with exceptional ride quality and power. The combination of fast A-pillar angle design and airflow channeling around and underneath the body results in an impressive coefficient of drag (0.33). This aids the car in making the most out of its 3.8-liter Atkinson-cycle V6 gasoline engine, which churns out a healthy 291hp at 6,000rpm and 355Nm of torque at 5,000rpm. All that muscle is delivered to the road by an eight-speed automatic transmission in front- and four-wheel-drive configurations. Maximized suspension width and enhanced chassis engineering greatly improve body-roll stiffness, stability and ride comfort.
Inside, tech and comfort features abound. The Palisade boasts a large 10.25-inch audio and navigation touchscreen display in widescreen format. It is paired with a 12.3-inch fully digital TFT center instrument cluster with various view modes. To help keep eyes on the road, a heads-up display relays relevant information to the driver. The infotainment system enables the simultaneous use of two Bluetooth connections—one for mobile phone use and the other for audio streaming. The car also comes with an array of safety amenities, including the Blind View Monitor and the Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist. In addition, this model has the Hyundai SmartSense technology as standard.
One key aspect of the onboard tech is the considerate integration of the Driver Talk intercom system, allowing separate conversations between the driver and the passengers in the second and third rows. This includes a Rear Sleep Mode, which minimizes audio disturbance as the driver listens to his music without leaking the sound to the cabin area with snoozing occupants. The Palisade even has Rear Occupant Alert, which prevents the driver from forgetting or leaving children or pets inside the vehicle (because that’s really necessary these days, you know). Meanwhile, Safe Exit Assist prevents accidents when passengers are alighting onto busy streets.
Users will appreciate the Palisade’s one-touch second-row seats, power-folding/reclining third-row seats, and capacious cargo area. Wireless charging and seven USB ports add great convenience for all gadget-loving passengers. Roof-mounted diffuser vents allow a full range of air-streaming control for rear passengers.
“Palisade” literally means “a fence of stakes especially for defense.” Hyundai seems to have created a solid enclosure of luxurious comfort and motoring safety for the traveling family in this new midsize SUV. The Palisade is set to hit US showrooms in the summer of 2019. It is expected to do battle in the North American market with the Ford Explorer, the Honda Pilot, the Nissan Pathfinder and the Toyota Highlander. It sure would be a treat to see this elegant-looking crossover on Philippine soil.