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54 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Can't say I agree with the ratings. 96 for the Ascent? Highlander above the Palisade? These are the guys that gave the Telluride a higher score than the Palisade on the road test simply because the Telluride they tested had 18" wheels and the Palisade they tested had 20" and they thought the 18" wheels were more comfortable. That, of course, has nothing to to with the car itself and both cars can be fitted with 18s or 20s.


54 Posts
Discussion Starter #2
And here is the text of the review:

The all-new, three-row Palisade is an extremely functional family vehicle, distinguished by a no-nonsense powertrain and thoughtfully designed interior. It joins the mechanically related Kia Telluride in disrupting the rankings within this popular vehicle class.
The Palisade scored high in our testing but not as high as the Telluride. Several nuances in terms of ride, handling, braking, and control layout account for the difference.
This SUV can seat seven or eight people depending on whether it has a second-row bench or two separate seats. Test drivers of various sizes found it quite easy to get comfortable. The roomy cabin has convenient features, such as readily accessible USB ports for the rear passengers and a handy release for the second-row seat to allow access to the third row. The infotainment system and most controls are simple to use, except for the push-button gear selector.
The front seats are comfortable and the second row is particularly generous. Getting in and out is extremely easy, and outward visibility is good. The third-row seat is tight but that’s par-for-the-course in this class. Still, that foldaway seat can come in handy for an occasional use by kids. Interior ambience is quite inviting and fit and finish is very good.
Like the Kia Telluride, the Palisade’s V6 engine is smoother and punchier than some of its rivals’ turbo four-cylinders. This quiet engine provides effortless acceleration and returns a reasonable 21 mpg overall.
The SUV does a decent job of absorbing bumps, though the large 20-inch wheels—common on the Palisade—compromise ride comfort. Handling is sound but doesn’t feel agile due to lackluster steering and some body roll during routine driving. But the Palisade impressed with tenacious grip and well-tuned stability control through our avoidance maneuver.
The Palisade is a very practical, competitive, and appealing vehicle. However, compared to the Telluride, it has a less plush ride; it is fitted with a tricky gear selector; and blind sport warning is only optional. Consequently, the Telluride is the smarter buy.
Best Version to Get
We would pick an SEL with the Premium package for its leather seats, power passenger seat, rear heated seats, and heated steering wheel. Unfortunately, that combination requires buyers to get the Convenience package, adding cost and the larger 20-inch wheels that hurt ride comfort. We would also add the Driver Guidance for the active cruise control and satellite radio.
Buyers who want to avoid the larger tires and the Palisade’s unintuitive gear selector should consider the Kia Telluride.
Notable changes:
The Palisade is all new for 2020 and shares significant components with the new Kia Telluride.
Driving Experience
The Palisade delivers smooth, punchy acceleration with power from the V6 engine coming on in a linear fashion. It is responsive to throttle input, and it dashes 0-60 mph in a commendable 7.1 seconds.
The eight-speed automatic transmission shifts smoothly and responsively. The shifts are unobtrusive and when the driver tips into the gas pedal for more acceleration, the transmission responds promptly.
Fuel economy
We measured 21 mpg overall in our fuel economy tests. This result is par for the course for the segment and equal to the related Kia Telluride.
Routine handling
Agility isn’t one of the Palisade’s strong points. It handles soundly, but body roll and vague steering take away from a feeling of control and precision, particularly on narrow country lanes.
Emergency handling
However, the Palisade impressed in our accident avoidance maneuver test thanks to tenacious grip and well-tuned stability control. It posted a relatively high speed through the rapid lane change instilled a lot of driver confidence.
The Palisade also remained under control when pushed through our road course, approaching its cornering limits in a predictable manner.
Ride comfort
The suspension and the 20-inch tires do a decent job of absorbing bumps. It’s only on the sharpest bumps that the big Hyundai transmits a noticeable jiggle. The body stays steady except for the odd rocking motion on uneven pavement.
The Palisade is pleasantly quiet with good road and wind isolation. There is an unobjectionable engine hum in the background. The sound character is very similar to the Telluride and more serene than several competing models.
In our tests, the Palisade had short stopping distances, especially in the wet. The brake pedal had a gradual progression and made it easy to come to a smooth stop.
Partial automation
Adaptive cruise control (ACC) is called “SCC” in the instrument cluster menu. There are settings to adjust the rate of acceleration and braking to suit the driver’s preference. Because of these personalization settings, the experience was pleasant and helped reduce stress in heavy traffic. However, to change the following distance, the control must be repeatedly pressed to cycle through the distances in descending order, rather than a quick up or down adjustment.
The lane departure warning (LDW) feature gives an audible alert than when the SUV strays from its lane. This can be adjusted in the menu for volume and on/off. The lane keeping assist (LKA) system, called “Lane Following Assist,” is controlled via the same button on the dashboard for LDW. The light torque nudge to steering helped with some lane departures and wasn’t invasive during intentional maneuvers to avoid potholes.
Highway Driving Assist combines ACC and LKA. It can be toggled on and off separately through the driver assist menu. If on a highway and lane lines are detected, the vehicle slows to traffic-jam speeds, the system will be activated and a green steering wheel icon will appear in the instrument cluster. The system worked pretty well at keeping the car centered within the lane, even on wide, sweeping curves.
Optional LED headlights do a very good job of lighting up the road with both low and high beams. They provide a very white and bright light. The low beams do a good job illuminating the road ahead and to the sides. High beam assist, which automatically makes the switch to high beams as traffic and conditions allow, is also standard. This convenient feature allows drivers to take advantage of the additional high beam light as soon as they can. Halogen headlights are standard on the lower trim levels of the Palisade.
Ratings of the halogen lamps by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) show that they do not perform as well overall as the LEDs especially in curves. LED headlights are standard on the highest trim.
The Palisade can tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped.
The Palisade is not designed for serious off-road adventures. However, it lets drivers lock the center differential and thereby route equal power to the front and rear wheels for optimal traction on sand, mud, or snow. In addition, the SUV has a hill descent control feature that electronically limits speed on slippery downhills without applying the brakes.
Inside The Cabin
Interior fit and finish
The Palisade’s cabin has a pleasing mix of soft-touch surfaces and textured, aluminum-look trim. It is a nice presentation, especially for the class and price, and the glossy black infotainment screen that runs across much of the dashboard lends the SUV an upscale feel. Hyundai did a nice job varying textures and colors of the trim pieces throughout the cabin, and a good portion of the door panels are padded (not a given in this class). A few surfaces, such as the center console, don’t feel as solid to the touch as they appear, and the door pockets have a slight rough edge. Panel gaps are nice and uniform, though. The perforated leather seats in our SEL test vehicle don’t look overly special, with just some non-contrasting stitching. We were impressed that the third-row seats get the perforated leather; sometimes manufacturers skimp on the quality back there.
Driving position
The Palisade offers a spacious, elevated driving position that affords a good view out over the tall hood. There are lots of headroom and elbow space. Most testers were able to find a comfortable driving position easily. The armrests are on the hard side and the center console is quite wide, but it’s padded where the driver’s right knee might rest at times. The manual tilt/telescoping steering column has a fluid action and is easy to use.
The Palisade’s fairly upright shape and large windows all around help visibility. Frontal views are aided by slim windshield pillars, even at the base. The third side window is large enough to help with spotting a vehicle in the adjacent lane, but the rearmost roof pillars are thick. The back window is quite large. Rear parking sensors come standard on all Palisade trim levels. Front parking sensors are optional on the SE and SEL, and standard on the top Limited.
Front seat comfort
The Palisade has comfortable seats that were well liked by our testers. They offer good support and fit most people. Our vehicle has a two-way lumbar adjustment on the driver’s side only.
Rear seat comfort
The rear seats are not only comfortable, they are roomy and adjustable. These seats slide fore and aft, and they even have a seatback angle adjustment. Larger passengers will find there is plenty of room all around.
Third-row comfort
The third row is best suited for children. In a pinch, two adults can sit there with some adjustments to the second row to give a little more knee room. The seat itself is quite low to the floor and flat.
Front access
Getting into the front seats is quite easy as you would expect from an SUV in this class. The door openings are large, and the seat is easy to reach.
Third-row access
The second-row seats fold and spring forward at the push of a button to allow access to the third row. This opens up a reasonable path to the rear seat. Some ducking and twisting is required to access it, as is common with three-row models.
Most of the Palisade’s usability issues stem from the difficulty to see and use common controls. For example, the media and infotainment buttons on the center stack are gray on gray and they appear washed out and hard to read. Turning on the headlights to backlight the buttons doesn’t help much. This problem continues into the door locks and other controls on the driver’s door. Using the push-button shifter requires extra concentration by the driver. Even though testers liked the large buttons and good location, shifting can’t easily be done by feel, requiring the driver to look down to ensure the proper button is pushed and engaged.
Most of the buttons throughout the Palisade are very nicely damped, whether on the steering wheel, or on the center stack for the infotainment and climate controls. The temperature knob detents are a bit mushy, though; we’d prefer a more solid click with each turn.
Interacting with a paired phone is straightforward. When drivers press the steering wheel button marked with a phone, a list of recent calls appears on the center screen. Alternatively, drivers can utilize the Android Auto and Apple CarPlay interface as long as their device is plugged in. Both compatible systems are automatically launched when the device is plugged in. However, the most recent audio used on the phone begins playing automatically when an Android phone is connected.
Initial setup of audio, vehicle settings, and user profile is quick and simple. The large, cluttered touch screen to access vehicle settings is a bit of a reach. Accessing menus via the instrument cluster requires decisiveness as the menus disappear quickly while reading the options.
The navigation uses a straightforward search engine that doesn’t require precision in spelling or locations. All settings such as canceling the route or muting voice guidance are just a click or two away.
Climate features
Our tested SEL trim came well equipped with features, including automatic climate controls for both front- and second-row passengers, and seat heaters for the driver and front passenger. We also added the Premium package, which brings seat heaters for the second row as well as a heated steering wheel. Everything worked well. Cooled front and rear seats come with the top-shelf Limited model.
Cabin storage
The center console houses two enormous open bins to store stuff. The one under the console is a bit stealthy; you might not know it’s there at first. There’s also a covered storage bin under the padded armrest between the front seats.
Cup holders
Front passengers get two cup holders in the center console, each with a slippery plastic base and one plastic anti-tip measure per holder. Second-row passengers have two cup holders nestled into the fold-down center armrest. Those stuck in the third row get cup holders built into the outboard elbow rests. All four doors include built-in bottle holders.
The Palisade does not have an overhead container for sunglasses.
Cargo area
A power liftgate is available on the mid-trim and standard on the top trim, and it includes a convenient hands-free system. If a person stands behind it with the key fob, the liftgate will unlock and rise automatically. The opening can be adjusted for height and opening speed. However, the slow operation frustrated some of us on rainy days.
The rear cargo/seating area can easily be configured for hauling cargo, people, or a combination of both. The cargo area behind the raised third-row seat will easily handle a few duffel bags. Lowering the third-row seatbacks increases the cargo space. Likewise, folding the second row expands the cargo capacity even further. A handy set of controls in the rear cargo area allows drivers to drop the second row from the very back when needed. That’s a nice convenience for when drivers realize their cargo is just a bit too long to sit behind the second row. Our SEL equipped with an option package added buttons that fold/raise the third-row seatback. Another option is a one-piece security cover that helps hide all the goodies behind the second row from prying eyes. An added bonus is that the cover stores under the cargo floor. This helps to keep it from being lost in the garage or left in a parking lot while trying to rearrange the cargo. The carpeting on the cargo floor is thin and cheap-feeling.
Spare tire
A temporary spare tire is standard on all trims.
Safety & Driver Assist Systems
Crash-test results
The Palisade is a Top Safety Pick Plus according to the IIHS due to a good performance in crashworthiness and Superior rating in front crash prevention testing.
Crash-avoidance systems
Forward collision warning and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection is standard on every trim. Blind spot warning and rear cross traffic warning, both with an active braking avoidance system, is standard on all but the base model.
Forward collision warning with automatic emergency braking and pedestrian detection -- Hyundai calls its system "Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection." The system monitors for vehicles and pedestrians ahead in the Palisade’s path. It alerts the driver with multiple audible and visual warnings when it detects a likely collision. The initial warning timing can be adjusted to “Normal” or “Late” through the instrument cluster. During the warning process, the system will pre-charge the brakes to help the driver apply maximum braking force. If the driver fails to apply the brakes, the system will initiate automatic emergency braking if a collision is imminent.
Blind spot warning -- The Palisade’s system is called “Blind-Spot Collision Avoidance Assist.” The warning timing, volume, and other settings can be personalized through the display in the instrument panel. This handy feature monitors a vehicle’s flanks, indicating with a lighted symbol in the side mirrors if a car is detected in an adjacent lane. The symbol will flash and an audible warning will sound if drivers attempt to move over into an occupied lane when the turn signal is activated.
Rear cross traffic warning -- The Palisade’s system is called “Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist.” When in Reverse, this system scans for vehicles approaching from either side behind the vehicle, giving audible and visual warnings regarding approaching vehicles. This feature is very helpful when backing out of a parking space or driveway. The system can even apply the brakes to help avoid a collision.
Crash notification
Three years of Hyundai’s Blue Link telematics access comes free. With either a press of the SOS button located overhead or an airbag deployment, Blue Link connects the driver with an operator who can summon first responders.
Child safety
Child seat installations with the seat belt were easy to secure in all seating positions. Some rear-facing infant seats may be challenging to install in the second-row center seat because of tall, flexible buckle stalks and shoulder belt anchor locations. In the third row, the center belt’s buckle stalk has to be twisted in order to orient it correctly for buckling. This may help the seat belt installations be more secure, despite the very narrow belt anchor spacing. Rear-facing convertible seats in the third-row center seat will likely overlap the left outboard seat and buckle, making it unusable for a passenger. The second-row seat can be locked at approximately mid-track to accommodate a rear-facing car seat in the third row.
Lower anchors, found in the second-row outboard seats and third-row left outboard seat, are exposed at the seat bight, where the seat base and seat back meet. The second-row anchors are close to the seat cushion, while the third-row anchors are very easily accessible in large ISOFIX pockets. Top tether anchors are exposed on the seatbacks in both rows. The third-row right outboard seat position does not have a tether anchor. Kids using boosters in the second-row center seat will need two hands to buckle because of the flexible buckle stalk. There is a slight overlap of the left outboard seat but depending on the width of your booster, the left outboard buckle can still be accessed. The center head restraint will likely need to be removed for highback boosters and forward-facing car seats to sit flush against the vehicle seat back. Three child seats can likely fit across the second row.
Rear seat belt reminder
Hyundai’s rear seat belt reminder system displays an icon of the rear seating positions to the right of the center dashboard. The icon will light up initially when the engine is turned on. If a rear passenger unbuckles and the car is moving less than 12 mph, the icon will light up as a warning. It will eventually turn off even if the rear passenger hasn’t fastened their seat belt again. If the car is going faster than 12 mph and a rear passenger undoes their seat belt, the icon will light up and a warning chime will sound for 35 seconds. The loophole here is when a rear passenger unbuckles at vehicle speed less than 12 mph and remains unbuckled even when the car is going faster than 12 mph, no warning chime will sound and the rear passenger icon will go dark. This system may not work as effectively for children that quickly unfasten their seat belt at the start of the trip before the driver has brought the vehicle to typical traveling speeds.
Rear-seat reminder systems
Hyundai's Rear Occupant Alert feature incorporates motion detection and rear door logic. This system displays a warning in the driver's gauge cluster after the engine is turned off to remind the driver to check the rear seat, if either rear door had been opened before or during the trip. If the vehicle is locked, the rear cabin's ultrasonic sensor will detect motion for up to 24 hours. If motion is detected, the vehicle will honk for 25 seconds and send an email or text to the owners, if they are BlueLink subscribers. The door logic system is standard on all trim levels, and the addition of the motion sensor is optional for the SEL and Limited trims.
All cars come with basic warranty coverage, also known as a bumper-to-bumper warranty. This protects consumers against unexpected problems with non-wear items. Powertrain warranty protects against engine and transmission troubles. Rust through, or corrosion warranty, covers rust to non-damaged components. Roadside aid provides on-location assistance in case of a breakdown and may include limited towing services.
Extended warranties provide peace of mind. Owners of models known to have worse-than-average predicted reliability can mitigate risks with an extended warranty. Generally, we recommend buying a model with better-than-average reliability and skipping this expensive add on. If you do buy an extended warranty, it is key to read the small print to understand what is covered and where you can bring the car for repairs.

673 Posts
I think it's a fair review. We drove the Ascent and that 4 cylinder was loud, buzzy and sluggish. Subarus are renowned for their reliability - whether that's deserved on this new model or bestowed is up for debate. I also didn't think the Subaru came close to the Palisade in fit/finish, quality of materials or amenities. As for the Telluride, I use to the Kia finishing ahead of the Palisade. That's how Car & Driver scored it and most recently Edmunds. I can live with that as most pick the Telluride for styling and the shifter. Everyone here already made that choice. I've found that CR is great for picking appliances, but has a lot to learn on the subjective pieces of buying a vehicle.

5 Posts
This review is one of several reasons I am letting my Consumer Reports subscription lapse. Their reviews often seem pretty superficial. After driving an Ascent and a Telluride and buying a Palisade Limited, CR's ratings don't make sense at all to me.

673 Posts
This review is one of several reasons I am letting my Consumer Reports subscription lapse. Their reviews often seem pretty superficial. After driving an Ascent and a Telluride and buying a Palisade Limited, CR's ratings don't make sense at all to me.
I chimed in through the comments section as I do with most reviews that were handing out incomplete or worse, misinformation. Really in the Telluride vs Hyundai battle it comes down to:

1) I like the styling of X better than Y = subjective
2) I like the interior layout of X better than Y = also subjective
3) The Telluride has more space behind the 3rd row. = FACT
4) The Hyundai has blind spot cameras in the binnacles, more storage up front, digital dash. = FACT
5) One has black wheels, the other silver. = FACT

58 Posts
They completely lost my respect with the “tricky gear selector” comment. I’m fully aware that people are more used to a PRNDL lever, but come on- how hard is it to press a clearly marked button? I’ve only had my car for a month, and I don’t even look down anymore (of course I always verify my gear in the gauge cluster, just like I have for the last 20 years or so).

The fact is, I have a huge extra cubby below the console, and I don’t have to lift heavy bags and boxes of graded college term papers over a bulky shifting lever when I grab them from the front seat. Who has time to walk around to the passenger side to get stuff out? Those benefits far outweigh the tiny acclimation period, in my humble opinion.
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