The latest sales numbers indicate four of every five vehicles sold at retail in the U.S. is a truck or a utility vehicle, which also means there is some intense competition in segments such as three-row SUVs.
Hyundai has pushed its way toward the top of the midsized or three-row segment, which appeals to many families because of carrying capacity, with its new Palisade.
The Palisade offers a cut above in both luxury and technology at a price a bit below rivals in what has become expensive turf as manufacturers have hiked prices during the past 18 months. Moreover, the Palisade is quite capable, carrying up to seven people comfortably with room to spare for packages or luggage — perfect for outings or even longer trips.
However, it is up against an impressive list of competitors, including vehicles such as the Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Chevrolet Traverse or GMC Acadia all of which have been upgraded during what has become an intense duel for attention from potential customers in a critical segment.
Since this is a crowded segment, Hyundai’s designers have concentrated on the details. They’ve dressed up the standard utility vehicle’s tall, elongated shape with deftly crafted sheet metal, a dramatic front fascia, which carries the light fixtures and the Hyundai badge on a stylized grille.
The overall exterior design also seems to emphasize the Palisades’ role as a people mover. The ute’s appearance is enhanced by 20-inch alloy wheels, roof rails, LED daytime and LED taillights. The rear tailgate also is styled to fit into the vehicle’s overall design scheme and does not look like an afterthought tacked on at the end.
The spacious interior of 2023 Palisade Calligraphy boasts an upscale look, which is reinforced by the integration of the safety and connectivity tech used in the vehicle. The Palisade’s interior furnishings include a mix of bright work, wood veneer and leather, which is used on the dashboard and seats, adding to the cabin’s luxurious feel.
The driver’s seat is very comfortable, especially on a long drive, while the entertainment system delivers high-quality sound. The cabin is well insulated from road noise, reducing the stress on driver. The controls are within easy reach and the screens offer very sharp images, which is particularly helpful for navigation and conveying information about the vehicle. Visibility from the driver’s seat is excellent and the rear liftgate is easy to use.
For power, the Palisade relies on a 3.8-liter turbocharged V-6 engine. The engine is matched to an 8-speed transmission, which can produce 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The transmission also has a stop-start system and an H-Trac all-wheel-drive system. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency gave the 2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy a combined fuel economy rating of 21 mpg, including 19 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
Safety and Technology
The Palisade is equipped with multiple airbags, including side-curtain airbags for protection of front and second-row passengers as well as driver-side knee airbags. It is also equipped with forward collision avoidance, blind-spot collision warning, rear cross-traffic collision avoidance and lane-following assistance and driver attention warning.
Other features include a heads-up display, 12.3-digital instrument cluster, heated second row s eats, heated steering wheel, ambient lighting, Harmon Kardon Premium Audio, wireless phone charging. It is also equipped with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, Bluetooth and satellite radio connection as well as surround view camera.
Even though the Palisade is a large, tall vehicle, weighing more than 4,300 pounds, it has more than enough power out on the highway as well as for getting around town. It is particularly pleasant to drive on the freeway and just as enjoyable to drive and maneuver while running everyday driving.
The suspension holds the Palisade on the road and also feels well-tuned — the vehicle does well as it travels over all sorts of road surfaces. Overall ride and handling are pleasing, making the car a friendly vehicle for everyday commuting. It also has good brakes and the steering is well balanced with a responsive feel despite the vehicle’s overall size.
2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Specifications
|L: 196.7 inches/W: 77.8 inches/H: 68.9 inches/Wheelbase: 114.4 inches
|3.8-liter turbocharged V-6; 8-speed automatic
|19 mpg city/25 mpg highway/21 mpg combined
|291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque
|Base price: $35,250; As tested: $41,890 including $1,295 destination charge
The Hyundai Palisade measures up well against some very tough competition thanks to its spacious interior, sturdy powertrain and long list of features. The features and luxury feel built into the stylized cabin push the manufacturers suggested retail price, or MSRP, for the version I drove to $52,000.
The price probably puts it out of reach for a lot of the buyers, who have on their list of vehicles to consider. However, it is a solid, versatile vehicle capable of meeting the needs of young, active families, looking for modest adventures.
2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy — Frequently Asked Questions
What trim levels does the 2023 Hyundai Palisade have?
For 2023, Hyundai also incorporates a fifth trim level into the Palisade’s line-up that includes SE, SEL, Limited and Calligraphy. Following the lead of the Santa Fe and Tucson, the new XRT trim squeezes between the SEL and Limited.
Does the 2023 Hyundai Palisade have digital key?
The 2023 Palisade is the first Hyundai model to include Hyundai Digital Key 2, which allows the Palisade to be unlocked, locked and started with your iPhone or select Samsung Devices. The system also allows the primary user to share Digital Key access with three other users.
Does the Hyundai Palisade have a towing package?
You can add a towing package with the hitch to all the trims, even the top-of-the-line Palisade Calligraphy. Being able to tow a trailer while carrying passengers is one of the best parts of having an SUV.