Driving.ca has started their long term test update on the Palisade and they released their first update. So far there hasn't been any issues and the reviewer is loving it.
Is it wrong to confess how brilliant I am for picking my long-term test vehicle?
Hockey season is in full swing, and between my son’s experiment with the goalie position while coaching his team and my own beer league excursions, the Hyundai Palisade is the large crossover I never knew I wanted. The best thing about it, however, is that despite being large and accommodating in terms of passenger and cargo space, it doesn’t feel large to drive — the seating position is high and commanding, but the turning circle is nice and tight, the steering is linear and quick, and best of all, the excellent outward visibility, 360-degree cameras, and parking sensors make parking easy and stress-free. Even with the third row up, there’s room for a couple of kids’ hockey bags and my coaching gear, so it’s carpool friendly — even for hockey excursions.
After enjoying the Palisade myself for a few weeks, I sent resident crank David Booth off with the Palisade for the weekend and the most criticism he could come up with was: “The engine is not as smooth or as powerful as I expected. When hauling, there’s more noise than expected and not as much fury as the cacophony promises.” This criticism isn’t even unanimous — both my wife and I find the power level is entirely reasonable, and the throttle appropriately responsive in every mode. For example, even in Eco — which I use frequently on my commute — there is good jump off the line when you plant the throttle, while in ordinary situations it prioritizes smooth, tepid acceleration. Comfort and Smart both provide mildly different balances, and Sport is always ready with quicker throttle tip-in, holding gears longer and quicker downshifts when getting on the go-pedal at most speeds. Booth did agree on that point: “I like the modes. There seems to be more differentiation between modes than in most vehicles.”
The transmission has also been nearly flawless, and only the most severe changes from cruising to braking and then acceleration have generated any hiccups. It doesn’t hurt that the 3.8L V6 makes up to 291 horsepower and 262 lb.-ft. of torque, which doesn’t sound like a lot these days, but between the eight-speed automatic and the throttle tuning, I don’t feel that it struggles at all with the 2,022 kilogram-plus the weight of the family and gear we’re carrying around.
Booth actually had many more positives to list from his short time, and speaking of transmissions, he noted, “I find this the best push button control for an automatic transmission yet. Intuitive and easily deciphered even without looking, the separate park function works well.” Here we’re in agreement, and even when making seven-point parking maneuvers (yes, I’m a bit parking-challenged), the Reverse button on top and Drive button on the bottom have become second nature and I barely need to look.
As mentioned, we wanted to answer any questions you had, and we had a few on our Driving Youtube channel that I’ll share here. Our first question was about refinement: “How is the comfort and the cabin noise compared to [the] MDX or GLE? I know these cars expensive to convert to. Just curious.” Another viewer also was interested in the noise: “Have read comments about some wind noise at front pillar and window, any thoughts?” I can confirm the comments about noise: There is some wind noise from the front A-pillars, and as Booth points out, the sound of the engine is unrefined, but the comfort is just right, absorbing rough bumps erasing them without being soft and wallowing in turns. However, it is interesting to see that people are more than willing to compare the Hyundai to well-established luxury brands like Acura and Mercedes-Benz. The Mercedes GLE only starts at $64,000, while the Palisade tops out at $53,999 for this fully loaded Ultimate.
The base Acura MDX, which starts at $54,390, is a fairer comparison, but you’re trading brand reputation (and likely some refinement) for features like the 360-degree camera system, perforated leather seats that are cooled in addition to being heated (if you have the second row captain’s chairs, those are also ventilated), various driving aids like blind-spot warning and rear-cross-traffic alert, and the MDX is showing its age as it does not even offer head-up display in any trim, though it does counter with a built-in widescreen in top trim to keep the kids zoned out on long trips.
The next question we had was about the technology: “How customizable is the digital display? How does the ACC and lane centre work compared to others?” At this point, I have used adaptive cruise quite a bit, and it’s been very good at maintaining the pace of traffic and smoothing changes of speed, without leaving huge gaps or lurching forward when a car moves out of the way. Lane keep assist has also been good, but it does sometimes react a bit late and give a bit of a jerky tug rather than smoothly getting the Palisade back to centred. The digital instrument cluster’s customization is a little disappointing, as I was hoping it would offer something along the lines of Audi’s Virtual Cockpit, but it’s little more than an advanced trip computer that can be displayed in the available slots and different skins to the same setup of speedo on the left and tach on the right.