Review: 2020 Hyundai Palisade

2020 Hyundai Palisade driving

Move over Santa Fe, there’s a new flagship in town: the first ever 2020 Hyundai Palisade. This premium mid-size SUV offers distinct styling, some neat tech and seating for up to eight. Read on.

An Overview of the New Palisade

Bold is an excellent adjective to describe the exterior design of the vehicle. What appear to be sliver-thin headlamps are in fact LED turn signals, with the actual projector headlights and foglights below, separated and stacked on top of one another in the centre of the bumper. In the middle is a large signature cascading grille comprised of several 3-D aluminum elements intertwined together

Looking down the side, big sculpted fender arches and aluminum-coloured door handles and available 20-inch wheels draw one’s gaze, and around the back, the brake and indicator lights are arranged vertically within the tail lamp housing to complement the front. Despite the rather boxy form factor, the crossover employs a number of tricks like a raked windshield, roof spoiler and aero panels installed underneath to achieve a low 0.33 coefficient of drag.

2020 Hyundai Palisade Interior Seating

The Interior of the Palisade

Occupants are afforded quite a bit of interior comfort, enjoying 1,120 millimetres of legroom in the front, 1,076 middle and 797 rear. Buyers have the choice of swapping out the three-passenger second row bench for a couple of plush captain’s chairs. Access to the third row in the case of the former is made easy as they slide forward and out of the way via easy one-touch operation.

Instead of floor-mounted HVAC, the vents are actually fixed overhead providing quieter and more efficient distribution of airflow. Another innovative feature is an optional Blind View Monitor system, which uses integrated cameras to display the side view of the vehicle on the 12.3-inch high-resolution digital instrument cluster screen anytime the turn signal is activated.

2020 Hyundai Palisade front view

The Engine and Suspension

Propelling the Palisade is an Atkinson-cycle 3.8-litre V6, mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Generating 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, the engine is quite capable of moving the approximately 2,000 kilogram SUV around even if acceleration isn’t particularly spectacular. It can be a tad on the noisier side as well when the RPMs begin to climb.

Both front-wheel and HTRAC all-wheel versions are sold. AWD-equipped models are able of varying torque distribution between the axles if additional grip is required, like on a rainy Vancouver day, or if the driver selects one of the custom settings using a knob on the centre console. Sport, for instance, sends extra power to the rear wheels to deliver a sportier experience on winding roads.

The 2020 Hyundai Palisade is assembled in Ulsan, Korea, and is in showrooms now. Test drive the new first-ever Palisade at

Want to see the new Palisade for yourself? Check out our available inventory at OpenRoad Hyundai here!

Posted by Benjamin Yong

Benjamin Yong is a freelance journalist and communications professional living in Richmond, B.C. He is often found writing about cars and the auto industry, amongst other things, or driving around in his work-in-progress 1990 Mazda MX-5. Twitter: @b_yong Instagram: @popuplights