I traded my '16 Mazda CX-9 Signature in on a Palisade Ultimate 10 days ago. I can't comment on the differences in the driving dynamics at this point since I have driven only 600 km so far. Also, I am 79 years old and my hooning days are long behind me. I love the Palisade so far, and am leaving on a 5000 km road trip on Saturday which will be a test of comfort and practicality.
I like the Palisade at least as well as I liked the CX-9, but will be able to comment more fully after I return from my trip to northern Manitoba in early August.
So far, my observations are that there is more room in every seating position, that the technology is awesome, to the point of being almost overwhelming. The HVAC is quiet and capable, the ride on the 20" tires is similar to the CX-9, that is to say, firm.
I miss the walk away auto locking that the CX-9 had, and have inadvertently left the car unlocked on at least one occasion, but got a BlueLink message to remind me, and then I locked remotely.
Overall, more than satisfied, but am still at the honeymoon stage.
As a current owner of a 2018 Mazda CX-9 GT I’m really interested in a Palisades.
Why? Because the CX-9 is a so-called “Driver’s Car”. What that means in real life is that Mazda apparently has no interest in "Level 2" advanced driver assist systems. In my understanding that means that the (Kia / Hyundai) vehicles will almost “drive themselves” for 30-40 second intervals on well marked highways, while Mazda's will not. (Not even the newer 2020 CX-9 can do this).
In other words Mazda’s do not have “Lane Centering” (Auto-steering for extended periods), while Palisades do.
I do understand that many owners may not be interested in these advanced driver assist systems, but for those of us that are interested and have researched, Kia / Hyundai are second only to Tesla. (Mazda and GM take up the rear).
As for “Auto-lock” in my Mazda, it (in theory) is great except that you cannot rely on it. Too often I have come back to my vehicle to find auto-lock failed (the vehicle is not locked)- (once again). So whenever someone leaves her purse (or whatever) in the vehicle, I always have to manually lock it, cause “Auto-lock” cannot be trusted.
I'm coming from a '14 CX-9 and I loved that car to pieces. Intended to be my "forever" car, until an accident totaled it. Even after owning only Mazda cars (i've owned 7 Mazda cars before my first Hyundai) since i was 15 yr old, I can say the Palisade is better than the CX-9 in almost EVERY other way except driving dynamics. But even then, the Palisade is probably like, 90~95% just as good, just not quite as sporty as the CX-9. Palisade is not a slouch by any measure.
Mazda makes very premium and sporty feeling cars. But their (convenience/creature-comfort) tech is downright ancient, and the simple fact that the base-level trim '19 CX-9 didn't have Android Auto in this day and age made the newest models a non-starter for me. I wasn't going to buy a car in 2019 without AA, that's absurd.. lol
As someone that came from a 2017 cx9 GT to a palisade, I'll tell you that the palisade is vastly superior in every single way.
Man, I hated that cx9. Infotainment was the most miserable excuse for a system in a modern car. 3rd row was useless. Paint loved to chip. Piano black center trim attracted scratches like crazy. Technology was dated. It was still a big vehicle, so the whole drives car bs is not applicable at all. My wife and were ecstatic the day came that the vehicle was worth more than our lease buy out. Sold it to carvana and couldn't be happier.