Car Reviews

2023 Hyundai Palisade First Drive Review: A favorite gets better

ASHEVILLE, N.C. — The 2023 Hyundai Palisade isn’t the brand new child in class anymore. It’s established, promoting like gangbusters and nonetheless being lauded by all people right here at Autoblog — Senior Editor John Snyder even purchased one final yr. This 2023 refresh is a textbook instance of what an replace ought to appear to be for an already profitable automobile. An extended record of tiny tweaks and enhancements make the Palisade that little bit higher than earlier than, and immediately noticeable styling modifications guarantee you already know that you simply’re wanting on the refreshed Palisade, not the previous one.

Hyundai’s new beak is definitely essentially the most contentious or brow-furrowing revision on show right here. The grille is bigger than earlier than, affords each a blacked-out or shiny look, and there’s a brand new horizontal protect proper on the forefront of the hood. It appears to be like a little bit misplaced, and it’s left a few of us with the opinion that this refreshed Palisade truly appears to be like worse than the unique design. You’ll must look carefully to note different modifications, corresponding to redesigned headlights, a brand new decrease rear bumper and new wheels.

The brand new XRT trim is supposed to enchantment to of us wanting a Palisade that appears extra rugged, however doesn’t truly enhance off-road functionality in any method. In individual, it’s essentially the most good-looking of the redesigned Palisades. The blacked-out trim and grille makes the large SUV stand out extra, in a great way, than any of the whole-model design modifications do. The Restricted trim snags the black grille, too.

Though the Tucson and Santa Fe provide hybrid and plug-in hybrid powertrains, the Palisade continues to supply solely a 3.8-liter V6 with 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Similar to earlier than, front-wheel drive is customary on each trim, with all-wheel drive being an added value choice. The one new powertrain addition is a brand new Tow Mode that comes customary whenever you choice all-wheel drive. Toss it into this setting, and the transmission will maintain gears longer and scale back the frequency of shifts . Most towing is unaffected, although, as capability is similar at 5,000 kilos.

Having spent 1000’s of miles in our long-term Palisade, it’s abundantly clear that this tweaked Palisade drives practically identically to the previous one. The one minor change seen was the steering effort. It’s each lighter and silkier in operation than earlier than, partly because of Hyundai’s new frequency sensing valve that detect tough highway impacts and goals to extend stability when the wheel would possibly in any other case be knocked about in your palms. It wasn’t needed to alter something with how the Palisade drove, although. The V6 has loads of energy for its dimension and the phase, and its trip and dealing with are simply what we would like from a giant three-row SUV: cozy, sure-footed, low effort. Sure, the April Idiot’s joke a couple of Palisade N can be superior if it got here true, however Hyundai received’t be doing any such factor.

Crawl inside the brand new Palisade, and whereas issues appear acquainted, there are a whole lot of notable updates. For starters, the sprint will get a revised design that leads to a side-to-side, horizontal air vent look. A brand new steering wheel with horizontal spokes and nicer buttons provides a flash of sophistication. That is complimented by a bigger, 12-inch infotainment system and enhanced digital instrument cluster working new software program. We dig the crisp new cluster, and equally get pleasure from the brand new digital local weather management show within the middle stack. The final new display of word is a rearview digital camera mirror. It’s inconceivable to understand how effectively this digital mirror will maintain as much as environmental situations till we get our palms on it throughout a Michigan winter, as North Carolina solely offered us with heat sunny situations for our Palisade drive.

If you happen to spring for the highest shelf Calligraphy trim (what we drove), Hyundai tosses in a brand new “Ergo-Seat.” Primarily, it’s a massaging driver seat, and the therapeutic massage is for each again and backside. We’ve sat on this seat in Genesis fashions up to now, so it’s nice to see the Palisade get a few of that love right here. Sadly, as in a few of these Genesis vehicles, solely the motive force can get the Ergo-Seat, a reality finest left unmentioned to your un-massaged passenger.

The luxurious seat enhancements proceed within the third row, as Hyundai added heated seats for the Calligraphy as customary, and consists of them in an extra-cost bundle for the Restricted trim. That’s a uncommon, upper-crust luxurious SUV characteristic. Even the second row will get some consideration, because the captain’s chairs get new winged headrests you can curl in to offer a cushty resting cradle to your head whereas sleeping. The armrests are improved with a better quantity of journey, too, in an effort to allow you to get extra comfy when in a totally reclined place.

The record of tech and comfort enhancements proceed, and a few are positive to make present Palisade homeowners a little bit jealous. Hyundai’s Digital Key 2 steps in for 2023, which lets you use your telephone as a key, assuming you may have both an iPhone or Samsung gadget — sorry, different Android customers. Along with a standard key fob, Hyundai is giving of us an NFC-enabled “key” card, too, just like the one you get with Teslas. A WiFi hotspot is offered for the primary time, in the event you pay a month-to-month payment. The wi-fi telephone charger (the place you set your telephone to show the car on utilizing the Digital Key perform) is improved with sooner charging. The BlueLink app for the Palisade will get an replace with better management and performance. Plus, a variety of USB-A ports are changed with quicker-charging USB-C ports all through the cabin.

Each aspect mirrors now characteristic auto-dimming to maintain these shiny headlights from blinding you — that’s one characteristic we might’ve beloved on our long-term Palisade. Plus, the notorious “Smaht Pahk” distant parking characteristic is onboard. The final security characteristic we’ll level out is the addition of rear aspect influence airbags as customary gear that ought to additional enhance the Palisade’s security for rear occupants.

Maybe one, or a couple of, of these updates are a recreation changer for you, however they’re largely nice-to-haves in our e-book. All the goodness of the Palisade pre-refresh stays, which means that the cabin is definitely one of many nicest within the phase — that is very true for the top-level Calligraphy trim. And for the worth, it frankly can’t be beat on the subject of tech and luxurious options.

Having to decide on between it and the Kia Telluride continues to be a troublesome ballgame, because the Telluride is enhanced for 2023, too. If a little bit extra off-road efficiency is what you’re after, the XRT trim would possibly look the half, however it received’t do any higher off-road than the opposite trims. As proof of this, Hyundai took us via some trails with a little bit mud and the occasional small whoop, however we did so in Calligraphy fashions, not XRTs. The fake skid plates and black trim is only for present, however at the very least the usual roof cross bars will make sticking objects up prime a seamless expertise. Kia affords true off-road enhancements with the Telluride X-Professional, so direct your consideration there in the event you’re after one thing with higher off-road efficiency (or a Jeep Grand Cherokee L).

All of those updates end in a small value improve to the varied trims, however not cripplingly so. A base mannequin begins at $36,245 ($1,420 greater than final yr), whereas the top-of-the-line Calligraphy stickers for $50,195. Including all-wheel drive with the brand new tow mode is one other $1,900. We’re left to conclude that the Palisade is a notably improved household transport gadget, and in the interim, there’s no bumping it from the rostrum as probably the greatest three-row SUVs.


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