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2024 Hyundai Palisade Road Test and Review

Brady Holt
by Brady Holt
February 23, 2024
2024 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Night Edition ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Night Edition ・ Photo by Brady Holt

The 2020 Hyundai Palisade was a revelation. It stormed into the market as a rejection of its competitors’ compromises. No longer did a three-row crossover SUV have to be family-friendly or luxurious or affordable. The Palisade ticked all three boxes with gusto. 

The competition hasn’t stood still. New or improved rivals have dialed up their luxury and functionality alike, while also offering their own unique strengths. And the Palisade’s starting price has risen by about $5,000 since 2020. To see how it stacks up in today’s three-row crossover segment, we just spent a week testing the 2024 Hyundai Palisade. Keep reading to learn more about the Palisade’s many strengths, its handful of weaknesses, and how it compares with the latest competitors. 

High-End Features, Moderate Prices

The Palisade has always been packed with features that defy its status as a bargain-priced SUV. Even after its price increases, it comes in fully loaded at the price of a mid-level Ford Explorer or Chevrolet Traverse. 

Prices for the 2024 Palisade start at $36,650 for the base SE model. That price buys cloth upholstery and manually adjustable seats, but it also has plenty of standard luxury: a 12.3-inch touchscreen with GPS navigation, keyless entry with push-button starting, automatic climate control, adaptive cruise control, lane-keeping steering assistance, and blind-spot monitoring. The SEL ($39,400) adds heated, power-adjustable, and leatherette-trimmed front seats and the chance to buy a $4,950 bundle of luxury features: a sunroof, ventilated front seats, memory settings for the power driver’s seat, a heated steering wheel, a Harman Kardon stereo, an in-cabin intercom called “Passenger Talk,” and more. These options are included in the Limited, $47,950, along with genuine leather, a dual-pane sunroof, and a few other goodies. The top Calligraphy, $50,350, has upgraded upholstery, a massaging driver’s seat, and a few other goodies. Overall, the Palisade continues to provide incredible luxury and convenience for the money. 

2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Choose Your Style

The Hyundai Palisade debuted alongside its corporate cousin, the Kia Telluride. The two SUVs took different styling approaches (the boxier Kia versus the more complex Hyundai). But Hyundai has also given more choices for folks who choose the Palisade. 

Every Palisade has two tiers of headlights: slim upper lamps that dip menacingly into the big grille, then a vertical rectangle that sits below them. Around the back, the taillights are rounded off and vertical, with a decorative inset facing them on the liftgate. The roof is styled to connect the rear windshield to the side windows with blacked-out roof pillars hiding between them. Most Palisades have a big gray grille, but it’s shiny chrome on the Calligraphy and black on this year’s new Calligraphy Night Edition, which also includes black wheels and other details. (Our latest test vehicle is a white Night Edition, while we've previously tested a green Calligraphy that you see here.) Another appearance-based trim level is the off-road-themed XRT, which is based on the SEL model and has more rugged styling cues.

2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Graceful Interior With a Big Screen

The Palisade’s interior quality has been a selling point since 2020, and it remains one of the most upscale three-row crossovers in its price bracket. It has high-quality materials and a functional yet elegant center console, which flows up to meet the dashboard and provides an open storage area underneath. It exemplifies the way Hyundai made this interior both luxurious and highly useful. The Palisade also has a flexible console bin with cupholders that can pop out or be folded away. 

As we mentioned, every Palisade comes with a 12.3-inch touchscreen – bigger than even the optional upgrade on such rivals as the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, and Nissan Pathfinder. It supports Android Auto and Apple CarPlay (though only through a wired connection, unlike some competitors), and it also has simple buttons and knobs for common functions. 

2024 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Night Edition ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Night Edition ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Seating for Eight

Some SUVs have three-row seating only for emergencies, with enough room only for small children to wedge into the far back for occasional emergencies. The Palisade is instead one of the roomier three-row crossovers. 

First of all, the Palisade is among those that can seat eight passengers with a second-row bench seat and seven passengers with second-row captain’s chairs. A number of rivals have only two third-row seatbelts, dropping their capacities to seven and six, respectively. What’s more, the Palisade’s third row is usable for even adults. No one would pick it over a shotgun position, but it’s far from a torture chamber. It’s even available with heated cushions on upper trim levels. The Palisade also has a useful amount of cargo space: 18 cubic feet behind the third row, 45.8 cubic feet with the third row folded, and 86.4 cubic feet behind the front seats. Some competitors have even more space, though. Towing capacity is similarly competitive yet not class-leading at 5,000 pounds.

2024 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Night Edition ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Night Edition ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Genteel Drive

Some three-row crossovers aim to be tough and burly. Others offer sporty performance. The Palisade instead provides supreme competence with an air of serene gentility. It has the same comfortable, easy-to-drive composure that would make a great minivan, but not a lot of personality.

We don’t mean to understate the competence, though. The Palisade rides and handles quite well for an SUV. Available laminated windows keep even more sound out of the cabin. And the 3.8-liter naturally aspirated V6 engine makes 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque, enough to accelerate this big crossover with ease (if not invigorating thrills). This big-displacement engine — paired with a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission — also sounds traditionally rich and smooth in an era of turbocharged four-cylinders. You can select a “Sport” driving mode that tweaks the steering, throttle, and transmission responses, and some drivers will indeed pick it every time. 

2024 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Night Edition ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Night Edition ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Decent Gas Mileage

The EPA estimates that the front-wheel-drive Palisade will average 19 mpg in the city, 26 mpg on the highway, and 22 mpg combined, while all-wheel-drive models will get 19 mpg city, 24 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. We averaged about 21 mpg in a week of mixed driving in the two AWD Palisades we’ve tested, in line with the EPA estimate. 

These are competitive but not exemplary figures for this class. Four-cylinder rivals like the Volkswagen Atlas, Ford Explorer, and Toyota Grand Highlander manage another mile per gallon or two (to say nothing of the 36-mpg Grand Highlander Hybrid). So do the V6-powered Nissan Pathfinder and Mazda CX-90. 

2024 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Night Edition ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Night Edition ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Highest Safety Status

The 2024 Palisade earned the highest designation of Top Safety Pick+ in crash testing and other evaluations from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, along with five out of five stars from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. 

Hyundai also provides plenty of technology to help you avoid a crash in the first place. The Palisade’s standard safety gear includes forward automatic emergency braking that can detect pedestrians, bicyclists, and turning cars; blind-spot monitoring with a rear cross-traffic alert; a lane-departure warning with lane-keeping steering assistance; and second-row torso-protecting side airbags to complement the existing head protection. Upper trim levels are also available with rear automatic emergency braking, a surround-view parking camera, and a blind-spot camera that activates in the gauge cluster when you signal a turn. It would be impossible to fault the Palisade’s safety bona fides, either in protecting occupants in a crash or in helping the driver avoid one in the first place. 

2024 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Competitors to Consider

As good as the Palisade is, it faces a number of strong competitors. The closest is its cousin, the Kia Telluride, which has mostly aesthetic differences from this Hyundai. You can choose based on your preferred style, preferred dealer, or preferred deal. The Palisade does have a bit more console storage, thanks to using a push-button gear selector instead of the Telluride’s conventional lever. It also includes Hyundai’s three years or 36,000 miles of free scheduled maintenance; Kia lacks that perk. 

Our other favorite three-row crossovers include the Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, Volkswagen Atlas, Mazda CX-90, and the Toyota Grand Highlander. The Pilot, Pathfinder, and CX-90 are crisply refined in their driving manners and interior finishes, and the Pilot and Grand Highlander offer standout cargo room. However, the Mazda less room and clunkier infotainment than the Palisade, and the Honda and Toyota cost thousands more. The Atlas is hugely roomy yet surprisingly agile, but its swanky new interior has cumbersome controls. And the Grand Highlander is roomy and economical, particularly in hybrid form, but it’s expensive without being as swanky as the Palisade. 

2023 Kia Telluride ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2023 Kia Telluride ・ Photo by Brady Holt

Final Thoughts

Do you want a family-friendly crossover with lots of features for the money? The 2024 Hyundai Palisade delivers space, safety, and value. How about a bargain-priced luxury ride? Enjoy a serene ride, richly finished interior, and long list of high-end options. Or do you just want a great three-row SUV without sweating the price tag? The Palisade’s supreme competence goes far beyond its value advantage. 

Some of the Palisade’s competitors edge it out here and there. If one of those specific areas is a top priority for you — be it gas mileage, towing capacity, a character-infused driving experience, or cargo capacity — you may be happier in one of those rivals. But except for the near-identical Kia Telluride, no other three-row SUV can match it as a complete package. We’d caution you to watch out for steep markups, as many Hyundai dealers know what a compelling package they have. (Others are reportedly willing to part with their Palisades at better prices, so shop around.) But the Palisade is worth more than its sticker price. It’s an excellent three-row SUV. 

2024 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Night Edition ・  Photo by Brady Holt

2024 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Night Edition ・ Photo by Brady Holt


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