2021 HYUNDAI PALISADE


Hyundai Palisade is the largest SUV imported to Australia by the South Korean auto maker. It’s aimed at those wanting a large vehicle to carry people so leans in the direction of comfort and ease of driving rather than full-on off-road work.

Interestingly, it has a near-twin brother in the latest model Kia Sorento that was introduced in 2020.

Two models are offered, the first simply called Palisade, the other is Highlander.

STYLING
The large grille treatment works well and Palisade looks longer than it really is thanks to the large windows that stretch all the way to the rear.

The shape of the C-pillar gives it a sort-of sleek look when viewed side on. The slight downward slope of the roof adds to the effect.

The tail is squared off, with lights that have a purposeful appearance. The word PALISADE is spread loud and proud in capital letters across the rear. When you realise that it was initially designed very much with the American market in mind you will understand this.

Guards have a purposeful look that appealed to those to whom we showed the Palisade during our week’s road test.

INTERIOR
The cabin carries on with the spacious look created by the exterior. This is an eight-seater with a two:three:three arrangement.

There’s also a seven-seat version with twin bucket seats in the centre row. This is likely to make it popular with upmarket limousine companies as their customers like individual seats (with three plebs squeezed into the rear!).

The fit and fitment of the interior is to a high standard. These days you won’t even find upmarket European vehicles with fitment that’s better than Hyundai’s.

INFOTAINMENT
The large central touchscreen gives easy access to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is a plethora of ways of connecting as Both Palisade models have seven USB ports and four 12V sockets.

ENGINES / TRANSMISSIONS
Interestingly, both petrol and diesel engines are offered. A four-cylinder turbo-diesel with a capacity of 2.2 litres drives all four wheels. It puts out 147 kW, and 440 Nm with a big spread from 1750 to 2750 revs. This range is where the great majority of drivers will be driving with virtually all the time.

The petrol is a 3.8-litre V6 with 217 kW of power, and 355 Nm of torque at a very high 5200 revs. It drives through the front wheels. We haven’t had a chance to road test a petrol but will hopefully get into one soon and report back to you with your feelings on the torque band.

SAFETY
Palisade has yet to be ANCAP tested. Crash avoidance features are lane-keeping assistance, rear cross-traffic alert and blind zone warning with intervention. All have IsoFix child seat positions.

DRIVING
The driver’s seat is comfortable and we had no problem getting it adjusted to our needs.

The second-row seats slide forward by up to 220mm for easier access to the third row. Both rear rows in eight-seat versions have a 60:40 split to let you juggle passenger/cargo space. The seven-seater isn’t as versatile but the comprises are understandable.

The steering is well weighted, responds within a few degrees of movement and gives good feedback.

The turning circle is good for a car of this size, but in tight carparks some backing and filling may be required. Test this for yourself if you feel you might be parking in areas where this is a problem.

During our testing on hilly country roads the fuel consumption sat in the eight to ten litres per hundred kilometres range. Flat easy running saw this down to as little as six to seven litres. Around town, and in the suburbs, it was about nine to eleven litres. These are pretty good figures.

Visibility all around is good thanks to the large window area and good side mirrors.

SUMMING UP
An impressive vehicle in that it’s almost sedan-like in some ways and has plenty of standard equipment. It’s not quite as easy to drive as a car but comes pretty close.

AT A GLANCE

MODEL RANGE
Hyundai Palisade 3.8 GDI 2WD: $60,000
Hyundai Palisade 2.2 CRDI AWD: $64,000
Hyundai Palisade Highlander 3.8 GDI 2WD: $71,000
Hyundai Palisade Highlander 2.2 CRDI AWD: $75,000
Note: These prices do not include government or dealer delivery charges. Contact your local Hyundai dealer for drive-away prices.

SPECIFICATIONS (Hyundai Palisade 2.2-litre turb-diesel five-door wagon)

ENGINE:
Capacity: 2.199 litres
Configuration: Four cylinders in line
Maximum Power: 147 kW @ 3800 rpm
Maximum Torque: 440 Nm @ 1750 rpm
Fuel Type: Diesel
Combined Fuel Cycle (ADR 81/02): 7.3 L/100km
CO2 Emissions: 243 g/km

DRIVELINE: Eight-speed automatic

DIMENSIONS, WEIGHT AND CAPACITIES:
Length: 4980 mm
Wheelbase: 2900 mm
Width: 1975 mm
Height: 1750 mm
Turning Circle: 11.8 metres
Kerb Mass: 2059 kg
Fuel Tank Capacity: 71 litres

BRAKES:
Front: Ventilated disc
Rear: Ventilated disc

STANDARD WARRANTY:
Five years / unlimited kilometres

About Ewan Kennedy

Ewan Kennedy, a long-time car enthusiast, was Technical Research Librarian with the NRMA from 1970 until 1985. He worked part-time as a freelance motoring journalist from 1977 until 1985, when he took a full-time position as Technical Editor with Modern Motor magazine. Late in 1987 he left to set up a full-time business as a freelance motoring journalist. Ewan is an associate member of the Society of Automotive Engineers - International. An economy driving expert, he set the Guinness World Record for the greatest distance travelled in a standard road vehicle on a single fuel fill. He lists his hobbies as stage acting, travelling, boating and reading.
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