The line between mainstream and premium cars is getting thinner and thinner with each passing generation, to the point where even affordable hatchbacks are packed to the brim with comfort, convenience, safety and the latest technological features.
It’s only natural that the big players in today’s market, SUVs and crossovers, offer even more. And the Hyundai Palisade is one ride that tries to pass on as a luxury alternative at a very decent price. In the Limited top spec, the Korean SUV offers premium Nappa leather, dual sunroof, second-row captain’s chairs, a 10.25-inch infotainment system with standard Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a fully-digital instrument cluster and much more, all for just $44,700.
The all-wheel drive system is a $1,700 option, but other than that, you’re good to go. The 3.8-liter V6 that delivers 291 hp and 262 lb-ft (355 Nm) of torque and is paired to an eight-speed auto ‘box, provides sufficient power. The cabin is well insulated, the ride is smooth, handling is safe and predictable and despite being almost as big as the Audi Q7, the Palisade doesn’t feel gargantuan, partially thanks to the new architecture, which is about 25 percent stiffer than the old Santa Fe XL.
There are some minor quibbles like the push-button gear selector that takes some time getting used to, but nothing major.
In fact, CNET’s RoadShow that drove the Limited spec with AWD went as far as claiming that the Palisade should worry some more expensive alternatives, adding that it could even get away with the Genesis badge in this grade.