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So here's a review I never thought I'd write. We've been looking for a new SUV, mostly for my wife to replace our 2013 Jeep Grand Cherokee Overland. Frankly at the time, no other 2-row SUV could touch the Jeep GC for value. $37K and a ton of options like heated 2nd row and steering wheel, heated/cooled front seats, PANO sunroof, nappa leather, NAV and on and on. Well with 84K miles and our 2nd grand-baby on the way we decided to give our son the GC and set out on a search for a 3 row SUV family hauler trying to stay under $55K (so no Mercedes, BMW or Audis). We also wanted new (with 1 exception) and based on some reviews I read we decided the Toyotas (highlander/land cruiser) were not going to make the cut.
Quick disclaimer. I love the Chrysler Pacifica. Nothing hauls people or stuff better than a minivan. My wife will NOT drive one ever again. She's made this very clear. As a Z06 owner, obviously I believe in driving something you love. So with that out of the way. Here's the vehicles we drove:
Infiniti QX80, Honda Pilot, Subura Ascent, Cheverolet Traverse, Buick Enclave, Volvo XC90, VW Atlas, Kia Telluride and finally the Hyundai Palisade. Now for the cut:
Infiniti QX80 - This was always going to be a used option only as new ones are north of $85K to get the technology package and limited trim. The 2017 we drove was surprisingly quick and agile, especially for a truck framed SUV riding on air shocks. Seats are super comfy in every row and plenty roomy. This one was a tough walk away, but not being new and with a very dated electronics package it was always going to feel like a used older model.
Honda Pilot - What a great vehicle. I hate the styling, but my wife wasn't nearly as turned off by it. Inside, it's just very well put together. Test drive was nice, peppy engine, good ride. But, to get this optioned the way we wanted put it squarely at $55K OTD after negotiating. It still was missing several options that both the Kia and Hyundai had, not to mention the warranty.....more on that later. Again, tough walk away here as well.
Subura Ascent - Our dealer just got these in about a month ago. I very much like how rugged these look. Very purpose buit, or so they appear. Inside feels very modern, good materials, good options, but somehow a step down from even Honda in quality. The back row though is tight and not easy to get to. I honestly can't imagine putting anyone back there. Price was right at $50K but so much else was wrong....easy to say good bye.
Chevy Traverse - Easily one of the roomiest we looked at. I really like the way these look, especially the blacked out versions. But, let's cut to the chase, the worst dash layout, worst technology and cheapest feeling of everything we looked at except the VW Atlas and at over $52K another easy one to kick off the list.
Buick Enclave - We've always like the styling on these, in fact we owned a 2012 for about 6 months. The A-pillar was so large my wife had a huge pedestrian blind spot. After nearly killing a couple people she said it had to go. The new ones are only slightly better in this regard, but the real deal breaker was the $60K sticker when optioned the way we wanted, inferior technology and another cramped 3rd row.
Volvo XC90 - Awesome technology, my favorite interior hands down, technology was nearly best in class, but impossible 3rd row and $65K sticker optioned the way we wanted it. On a side note, we saw one of these in San Diego on vacation with custom forged, brushed aluminum rims, lowered about 2".......damn it looked good. If you really only need 2 rows, this should be on your list.
VW Atlas - The roomiest of the bunch but let's be honest. Only the rear end of this thing looks decent. The worst styling IMHO. The carachter line around the wheel arches does nothing for the vehicle. And in an odd way, especially considering Audi's parts bin, surfaces/materials/switch gear that feel well built but look cheap. Like 5 years ago Kia cheap. And this thing was slow. I didn't look up the 0-60 but I'm guessing closer to 8 seconds than 7. Even my wife commented. Great warranty though, post-EPA-gate, with 6yrs/60K B2B. An excellent appliance, but terrible vehicle to me.
Finally the Kia Telluride. If it was up to me, this would've been the choice. Nearly everything I'm about to tell you about the Hyundai Palisade would be a me-too for the Kia. Ultimately you choose Telluride = tough OR you choose Palisade = palatial/plush. My wife preferred, well just about everything in the Palisade when compared to the Telluride. They're different enough to make choosing pretty cut and dry.
Remember I started with "I never thought I'd write this". In fact, I haven't written a review like this since buying my first Z06 in 2016. And yes, this new 2020 Hyundai Palisade is that good. First off, let's get the quality thing out of the way. Hyundai/Kia have been climbing up the quality/reliability rankings steadily over the last 6 years. And with their 5yr/60K B2B and 10yr/100K mile drivetrain warranties I'm feeling pretty safe.
Even though the Kia is built basically the same there were notable differences on the test drive and in their amenities. The Palisade's ride is geared for comfort. It definitely soaks up the bumps better than the Kia. Neither vehicle 'falls over' in the corners, both stay remarkably flat and stable. But these are still large vehicles and there's no denying that on a test drive. The V6 has similar power to our Jeep with 291hp/262tq. That sound like a lot when straddled with over 4,000 lbs of curb weight, but both Kia and Hyundai are peppy with 0-60's in 7.2seconds (way better that the Jeep), mid-15 second 1/4 mile and stops from 60mph in under 118'. (Stolen from M/T's road test). The Palisade is also more quiet. Thicker glass and sound deadening make this one the choice for those that like their road trips with a side of serenity.
Now there's no way to make this concise as I've droned on for far too many paragraphs already, but here's a quick list of amenities and tech that surprised us in the Palisade:
- 20" wheels, look very much like Infiniti's Limited wheels (that's a good thing), smoked chrome looks stunning
- Bright work is all in that smoked chrome/nickel finish....very classy
- LED head/tailights, with automatic high beams. And these things are bright. Wish the Corvette headlights were this good.
- Signal indicators in side view mirrors
- Rear hatch opens when you linger at the back of the vehicle. No foot wagging, magic dance or button-pushing. Why else would you just stand there unless your hands were full and you wanted in......GENIUS!!!
- Rear hatch has a slow or fast open option. Fast is...well...fast at less than 5 seconds from start to finish.
- Front end grill that only Hyundai could dream up. Gotta admit, this thing is pretty homely in pictures. Somehow in person it just works. There are character lines that are echo' by the daytime running lights and the stacked projector beam headlights.....well, there's a lot going on, but seeing it in person I'm beginning to warm to it.
- Profile is very Range Rover and rear is definitely got some Volvo influence. Neither is a bad thing.
- Suspension is self-leveling and with dealer added tow hitch, capable of towing 5,000 pounds
- Wow, just wow. Nappa leather, quilt stitched heated and cooled front and rear seats. Most comfy I've sat in in quite some time.
- 12 way adjustable driver's seat with adjustable thigh pad. 8 way passenger. 2nd row adjusts fore/aft and reclines. 3rd row seats recline with push button. Yes push button.
- 3rd row has push button fold and rise, 2nd row has push botton down only (not available on the Kia)
- Push button on 2nd row seat/should and seat folds away for great access to 3rd row. News flash, a normal sized human (6' / 200lbs) can not only get back there, but has room to breathe especially with seat reclined. Wouldn't want to do a 5 hour road trip, but 2 hours is doable.
- 2 sunroofs, front opening/tilting, rear pano with sun shade
- 2nd row manual sun shades
- Every row has 2 USB ports
- Tilt/telescope steering wheel that is definitely ripped from the last gen' Mercedes
- rain-sensing wipers
- Everything you touch is either leather, soft touch rubber or a metal-flaked piano black accent. Looks very rich. Everything you could kick or knee is highly durable, scruff resistant plastic.
- Door sills are brushed aluminum with Palisade engraving
- Plenty of storage, behind 3rd row, under cargo area, door pockets and a thoughtful opening under the center console large enough for my wife's purse
- roof and A-pillar are lined with synthetic suede (they did not call it alcantara, but it looks like it), classy.
- there's a cool feather to 'lock' unused seatbelts in a holder to minimize chatter as well
Technology (and there's a ton!)
- Adaptive cruise
- Emergency braking
- Lane keep assist
- Combine the 3 above and you can set the cruise at 80mph, let go of the steering wheel for up to 45 seconds (then it beeps asking you to place your hands on the steering wheel). It will drive itself even around a decently sharp curve at speed. It's no a Tesla, but pretty damned cool.
- Driver's info center is a 10.25" projection with 2 dial style gauges + center programmable info. It also changes the animation based on Eco, Sport, Comfort or Smart settings. (Not available on the Kia which has analog gauges)
- Select L/R turn signals and a blind spot camera illuminates in you L or R gauge. Also genius!
- Center infotainment screen is 10.25" as well. Programmable home screens (3) and all the standard tech bits.
- Parking cameras front, rear, side, aeria - you select the view based on your parking needs.
- Hyundai's blue link APP. Similar to GM's with remote lock/unlock, start, find my car and diagnostics.
- Standard suite of NAV, XM, Bluetooth, local weather, wifi hotspot, (I'm sure I'm missing a ton here)
- wireless phone charging in center console
- HUD that's actually better than the Z06, here's why. In addition to the brightness and position you can program - font size, color, information to include/or not like NAV directions, blind spot warning and more.
- There are also redundant buttons on the steering wheel and dash so you decide how you want to interface versus Hyundai deciding. Genius again!
- Push button shifter on center console with steering wheel mounted paddle shifters. The push button shift is cool/functional in the way the Jaguar shift knob is cool. It gets rid of hardware (shift lever) and allows the designer to create a classy center console. It functions great so it works in this case. Doubt I will ever use the paddle shifters anymore than I do in my Toyota Avalon (company car).
- Position hold feature. You don't need it, until you find your self in B2B traffic. Push the button and the car won't move until you apply the gas. Come to a stop and take your foot off the brake. Great for those with long B2B commutes.
- Interior accent lighting is programmable via the center stack, rainbow color wheel has at least 50 options. Gotta admit that purple aura looks pretty cool at night.
- Quiet talk feature that turns off the radio and plays the driver's voice through the rear speakers so you can have an actual conversation without screaming 3 rows back. Or for actual screaming at passengers 3 rows back that deserve it.
There's even more tech, but really this review has gone waaaayyyyyyy longer than I intended. MSRP for the limited is ~$47K with destination and NC sales tax. Our dealer (2nd Hyundai in 6 months, never thought I'd say that either) was great to work with. They knocked off $2K so net $45K OTD for us. $500 for conquest since we own a Jeep GC and $1,500 which is a large piece of their 3% hold back. Ultimately Hyundai finance did our loan at 1.9% for 60mos which was better than our credit union's quote of 2.49%.
One last thing that I didn't expect. The MPG is listed at 19city/26hwy. We recently took a 150 mile trip. I reset the MPG on the Palisade and achieved over 31mpg using the Hyundai's Atkinson cycle V6. That's infinitely better than our Jeeps best of 23mpg. Call me smitten.
Here's a couple of media pictures in the same color combo we chose. Way better photos than I could take.
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For the last decade or so, the Korean cars have been on my radar(especially that Stinger GT). Mrs. Dub Rubb says she will NEVER own a Kia or Hyundai, but I am slowly working on charging her mind. They are what VW used to be. Great value, solid reliable car with a surprising amount of performance and interior comfort. Great choice and well done.
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We needed a 3 row so Murano wouldn't be on the list. Back in 2013 the Jeep was just too good to pass up. We never went to the dealer in 6 years and 85K miles. I did all of the oil changes and it's still on its original brakes. It's also the first vehicle we've ever owned that the tires actually lasted through their mileage warranty, no small feat at 60K miles. No complaints whatsoever on the Jeep.......we just needed 3 rows.
I've only written 2 car reviews in my life. One for the 2016 Z06 and now this 2020 Palisade. Most reviewers are now calling it a 2 way tie for 3 row SUV/CUV between the Palisade and the equally impressive Kia Telluride. I think between the 2 (Telluride/Palisade) the deciding factors will be:cheddar wrote: ↑Sun Jul 14, 2019 2:14 amI have a 2011 Hyundai Elantra Limited, and I feel like I got a ton of car for the $ (bought used). Leather heated seats (front and back), a pretty dang good sound system, bluetooth phone audio, a moonroof that hasn't given me any trouble, and the little things like heated side mirrors. Also gets about 35 hwy / 25 city. My wife's been bugging me about getting an SUV for our next vehicle, so this will go to the top of the list. Thanks!
1) Styling interior/exterior - 100% subjective and it should be. You're the one who has to look at it everyday.
2) Center console - You either like the Palisade's push button shifter and how this enables more efficient use of the center console, or you don't.
3) Driver info center - Palisade is 12.3", 100% programmable and digital versus 7" digital + 2 analog, non-customizable gauges in the Kia.
4) Push button 3rd row decline is only available in the Palisade.
5) 20" wheels - black only on the Telluride, black chrome on the Palisade.
6) Palisade has different rear end suspension. Makes the ride VERY compliant. Shocks are supplied by 2 different suppliers. Palisade uses Sachs/ZF and are tuned to react faster than Kia which means it can actually be both more compliant and a better handler.
7) Palisade has more sound deadening and thicker glass. Makes for a very quiet ride, although the Telluride is not far behind.
8) Telluride has more space (2") behind the 3rd row. Slightly different length and body lines for the Palisade surrenders the space.
9) Palisade limited comes standard with self-leveling suspension. Telluride you need to order the trailering package.
10) Kia has power folding mirrors, Hyundai doesn't.
That's really it for differences between the 2. 600 miles is not enough to judge quality yet, but I can tell you that initial fit/finish in the Hyundai was better than the Kia we drove. The Kia is built in West Point, GA while the Palisade is built in Ulsan, South Korea alongside the Genesis G sedans. I won't argue that this makes the quality better in any way, just that we could see some ill-fitting interior plastic pieces on the Kia that we didn't see on our Hyundai.
Since buying the Hyundai we made 4 changes/upgrades:
1) $9 - We pulled the GIANT Hyundai logo off the rear of the vehicle. The intent was to leave this off entirely. Nothing against Hyundai, I just don't like giant emblems on cars, didn't care for it when Mercedes did the same thing. Unfortunately we discovered 3 rather large mounting holes. Solution was to add a more subdued, non-branded Genesis wing. (not up-branding, just trying to kill an ugly giant chrome emblem.
2) $70 - Tinted the driver/passenger side windows with legal 25%. They're the only windows that weren't tinted on the side. It looks MUCH better and is definitely cooler.
3) $30 - Added the OEM mud guards (4) direct from Hyundai in Korea. We added them to our Jeep Grand Cherokee as well. They definitely help, especially with 20" wheels.
4) $39 - Added side vent shades (4), again directly from Korea. These are unfortunately 3M taped versions. Hoping that someone will design a set like WeatherTech did for the Jeep that snap in. Ours lasted 6 years on the Jeep with no fading and discoloration.