Hyundai’s New Palisade SUV Is What The VW Atlas Should Have Been

Remember 2017? That’s when VW put its mid-size Atlas SUV into production, after its official unveiling at the LA Auto Show the prior year. It was also the year in which the German automaker had supposedly figured out the recipe to having strong SUV sales in the U.S.

Yet, throughout 2017 as well as the first two quarters of 2018, the Atlas couldn’t even come close to being middle of the pack as far as overall sales were concerned. Now, it’s not that we have a crystal ball or anything, but we doubt Hyundai’s new Palisade will struggle the same way.

The reason for that is simply the fact that Hyundai ticked all the necessary boxes with its new flagship SUV. Compared to something like the Atlas, the Palisade is more stylish, more modern and has a higher-quality interior, or at least perceived quality – which can be equally important. It has the looks and the tech (on paper), to hang with the segment’s best, and as long as it’s going to be competitively priced, we have no reason to doubt its success.

What’s there to like?

While we can always debate things like exterior styling or interior design, there’s no denying the fact that Hyundai stuffed the Palisade full of modern-day safety and convenience features. Here’s a list: Forward-Collision Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Following Assist, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist, Safe Exit Assist, High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning and Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go. You even get seven airbags as standard and an optional safety feature dubbed Rear Occupant Alert.

The cabin holds premium quilted Nappa leather, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.25-inch infotainment screen, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, Heads-up Display, Qi wireless charging pad and an Infinity audio system with Clari-Fi and QuantumLogic Surround Sound technology.

As for what makes it go, that would be a 3.8-liter V6 unit, producing 291 HP and 262 lb-ft (355 Nm) of torque, feeding the wheels with the help of an 8-speed automatic transmission.

But what do you guys think? Would you rather have the Palisade, or a segment stalwart like the Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander or the Honda Pilot?

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  • TheBelltower

    Really? This is a lumbering mess.

  • jason wu

    Hyundai already has Tucson(compact) and Santa Fe (mid size). This is more competing with Armada or oven Sequoia full size SUV.

    • EL CHAPO

      This is more of a pilot competitor, not the off road armada with a v8 engine. But that’s your opinion

    • Rocket

      This replaces the Santa Fe, or what Hyundai is currently calling the Santa Fe XL.

      • Rj Mansfield

        This actually takes the spot of what used to be the Veracruz. The Santa Fe XL is new with the new generation of Santa Fe – which may come here as just an elongated Santa Fe with a 3rd row. Similar to the last generation. Palisade is a lot bigger than the Santa Fe XL.

        • Rocket

          The Santa Fe XL, previously known as the Santa Fe, replaced the Veracruz. The XL only exists now because Hyundai renamed the Santa Fe Sport the Santa Fe, and needed to use the XL designation as a placeholder until the Palisade arrives. The Palisade is just 3″ longer than the 3-row Santa Fe XL.

  • Mike Kraemer

    All because it looks like a Suburban? Nice looking vehicle today, where will it be in 40,000 miles? Is the pricing competitive with the Pilot and will Toyota release something in this segment? Between Highlander and Landcruiser

  • Jim Ragland

    I’m down with the interior of this SUV. However the outside needs to tamed down somewhat with elegant traditional lighting arrangement. Jeep went there with the Cherokee and changed it on the update. Overall we will see how it does in the market place.

    • Bill Nguyen

      Since the head designer guy at Hyundai/Genesis has stated that he hates traditional headlights, I think these weird layouts are here to stay. They do look strange though, hehe.

      • Jim Ragland


  • William

    What’s with the white reflector-like thing next to the taillights? I see they were trying to mirror the shape of the LEDs in the front, but it’s a visual distraction IMO.

    • EL CHAPO

      They trying to make it to be a little bit of a concept.

  • Rocket

    Force me to choose one of the many 3-row mainstream crossovers currently on the market, and this would definitely make the cut. I don’t love the exterior styling, but I like that it’s not a cookie cutter design. The upcoming Telluride and 2020 Explorer would be on that list as well. The CX9 needs to fix some of its issues. Being a great driver simply isn’t enough.

  • Steve Cohn

    Yes, on paper the Palisade looks great, checks all the boxes, etc. BUT, how does it drive? Some Hyundais I’ve driven on paper are great but not great to drive. Here the Atlas may in fact be a better auto because it simply drives better than this Hyundai.

    • EL CHAPO

      It’s german, duh. What do you think it is, an American junk?

      • Jørn-tommy Skjellnes

        The Atlas isnt german its made in Amerika/usa ,.U cant even buy a new Vw Atlas in Europe

        • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

          Excuse him. He’s inbred with several missing chromosomes.

    • Rj Mansfield

      With the most recent Hyundai reviews – especially after theyve snagged BMW engineers to fix driving dynamics – I think this car would be a great all around driving hauler.

  • danno

    Logical next step progression and good looking model in the Hyundai family.
    Styling cues look like a pumped up Santa Fe.

    I think they will sell “lots”

  • Time for a logo/badge redesign because this one looks cheap and dated and Hyundai has progressed so much.

    I do not like SUV’s one bit, but this thing is very nice.

    • EL CHAPO

      Hyundai logos are fine and can last for a while now.. It’s KIA that needs to redesign their logo.

  • LJ

    My sister was in the market for a compact car and had her sights set on the Elantra Sport, until she sat in it. Hard plastic and cheap materials everywhere. Very disappointing.

    She ended up with a Mazda 3 Grant Touring and couldn’t be happier. I’d go with a CX-9 over this thing.

  • Dennis Scipio

    I kind of wished that the chrome was toned down or removed completely around the grille.

  • Bash

    It looks amazing. Minus those ugly lights on all of the four corners.

  • Nick Robinson

    Anything VW is all i will ever own.

    • DMax

      This is what I call a quality comment! Relevant, concise, unbiased.

  • jeremyseattle

    What’s the deal with the chrome down the C-pillar and no visible D-pillar? I just don’t get that design concept…kinda makes it look like a Baja with a topper on the back. And as somebody else said, they need to either refresh or tone-down the Hyundai emblem. It cheapens the look.

    Interior looks decent, but I wonder how it feels – again, it’s easy to look good but feel cheap due to a few details. That infotainment knob looks like a long reach.

    As for competing with the Atlas, I think a lot will depend on how how it performs – and of course the pricing at different trim levels/feature groups. They need to include a towing package somewhere in the range. Time will tell…

    • Galaxium

      For me, I really like the chrome they used for the greenhouse outline.

      If you look at the side profile, and just focus on the greenhouse shape created by the chrome, it sort of “inspires” a look of a truck. Hopefully that makes sense.

  • ErnieB

    Looks great.. especially inside.. but I just hate the Hyundai logo.. it just cheapens the car to me. I know it’s shallow but that logo.. yuk

  • E35II

    I’d take Hyundai over Ford, Toyota or Honda. But prefer VW or GM.

    • EL CHAPO

      Ford is crap. I would use it as rental than buying it.

  • Subi-Rubicon1

    The overall design looks good, but the grill and logo need a little finishing. The headlamps and rear lamps need to be redone. The interior looks good too.

  • Camel Feet

    I drive an Atlas. Best vehicle I’ve owned. Don’t know where the hate comes from. I’m sure the Palisade will be compelling and more competitive but, when the Atlas was released, nothing else came close. I test drove all of the other 3rd row cross-over suvs and they were all lacking in some facet. Sure, maybe the Hyundai beats the VW now that they’ve observed and priced the market for the “roomy” 3rd row seaters (I qualify with roomy because most are made only for children in the back and they have no cargo space when the 3rd row is up), but why such a negative comparison?

    • Let’s see how the quality and reliability holds up on your Atlas after 2 years. Hopefully you leased and not purchased.

      • Camel Feet

        Helpful comment. Yes, let’s see.

      • diesel_vdub

        I’ve owned 2 different VWs that I kept combined for a total of 11 years, only did basic maintenance that I would expect with any similar vehicle. I know others that have owned multiple VWs and never had major issues with them. Unless you’ve personally owned a VW or know someone that has and had issues, your opinion of their reliability is useless.

        I still miss my VW over a year later, but the buyback offer was just too good to pass up.

      • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

        You’re speaking as if a Hyundai is a quality product: it isn’t. I would take ANY VW over any Hyundai, day or night.

        • Thunderbolt

          Do your research before you try to be an expert.

          • EL CHAPO

            i feel like that guy is a troll or just a full blown idiot.

          • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

            You are literally the stupidest c unt here so any commentary by you is instantly dismissed.

          • EL CHAPO

            Damn son, I must have hit a nerve on you. You people get triggered too quick when it comes people speaking facts about you.

          • Thetruthísntalwayspopular

            The irony…..

        • Good luck to you then.

        • bd0007

          Hmmm, according to Germany’s own Auto Bild – Hyundai has taken the top spot in its Quality Report 3 out of 7 years (Kia also took the top spot 1 year).

          VW hasn’t even sniffed the top spot.

          And the Palisade’s interior looks a bit more premium than what’s in the Atlas.

    • EL CHAPO

      My dude, it’s because you’re on CS. It’s full of proud american libtard that couldn’t afford new cars, that’s why they love their american junk and unreliable jap cars.

  • No question the Palisade will run rings around everyone in this class. The Atlas is not even a close contender, with 7 serious recognized recalls and counting. Legendary VW “reliability.”

  • ctk4949

    If the outline of the grill was a darker color or even body color, it would look much better. But the rest is nice, for a big ass SUV.

    • diesel_vdub

      Exactly! The outline on the grill makes it look gaudy. Either make it thinner or body color and it will look much better. Interior looks really nice, though I personally would prefer a traditional gear shifter than the push buttons.

  • briant26

    This car looks great but the Atlas has something that the Palisade is missing. They say these cars are for growing families yet typically lack the ability to get into the 3rd row with a car seat in place. For a family with young kids, this is an important feature. The Atlas has it, and I wish the Palisade did as well.

  • Cobrajet

    The Atlas should have been a GLSed Touareg.

  • Bo Hanan

    I like it but the front and rear clips are horribly overdone.



    Looks like a CaddiLexus Durango with Quilt-a-Bear interior. Got a little sea sick trying to follow all the design cues.

    • Andrewthecarguy

      Ha! I agree.
      The side profile is GM … a bit of Denali / Tahoe / Escalade. Even the wheels look GM.
      The back is Range Rover
      The front is Infiniti QX80 and a bit of Lexus.

      The interior is budget BMW.

      That said, I understand why Hyundai would go this route: it is for people who want to be me too without actually committing to the demographic that drives certain brands. It also looks like the first gen Santa Fe on steroids.

      • EL CHAPO

        first gen santa fe on steroids? Nah, it doesn’t remind me of that. But that’s your opinion.

    • diesel_vdub

      Haha “Quilt-a-Bear interior”! I love it and some descriptive that even if you heard it on the radio you’d know exactly what they are talking about.

  • Justin Spencer

    I think it looks a little too busy on the outside but the interior looks fantastic!

  • BlackPegasus

    The interior is where it shines. Beautiful.

    • Andrewthecarguy

      So you should like BMW interiors… 🙂

      • BlackPegasus

        Welp, the new batch of BMW interiors at least.

  • Bash

    Absolutely. The interior is a winner here. But face and the back side are important as well because it’s the first image or impression it gives you when you look at it. I hope Hyundai didn’t ruin it with those lights. But as of from where I am standing, I don’t like those lights.

  • Walter Avalos

    Does it come with a trabsferratra 6 year warranty though?

    • MayTheBestCarWin05

      Bc the atlas does!! ☺️☺️

  • Camel Feet

    I have actually talked to many different mechanics in America and they pretty much agree that VWs are like any other brand. Good and bad, 300k miles and 30k lemons. Your argument from authority fallacy, without any actual facts, is common, though.

    Not that either of these mean anything significant, but food for thought:

  • bd0007

    Still a little busy, but the exterior looks better in the live-shots and video.

  • bd0007

    Except when it (Ascent) comes to sheetmetal; both it and the Pilot are bland as can be.

  • bd0007

    Jeep just did a horrendous job at the split lights (which, btw, were originated by Citroen).

    Hyundai, Chevy, Skoda, Kia and others are doing a better job of it.

  • Eric

    The back is ugly as sin. Close to Volvo ugly.
    The front though not as bad is still fugly. I prefer the cool bulldog look of the Atlas. Just looks simple and rough

    • Galaxium

      The Atlas looks incredibly boring and cheap.

      • MayTheBestCarWin05

        One mans boring is another mans clean

    • Aus Rice

      The Atlas looks like it’s from 2002 and the interior is very cheap and reminds me of a GM vehicle.

      • MayTheBestCarWin05

        Been a GM owner my whole life. I bought an atlas recently and can tell you the interior is leaps and bounds better than anything I’ve owned from GM.

  • Galaxium

    The 1st gen Santa Fe I believed helped save (and strengthen) Hyundai’s sales in the US.

  • Aus Rice

    The 1st gen still looks great today. It looked like a Land Rover with a bit more flair.

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