2020 Hyundai Palisade: New Take on Midsize Crossover SUV

Hyundai's New 8-Passenger Palisade is set to become the brand's flagship vehicle

Hyundai has just introduced its new flagship, and the Hyundai Palisade is very competitive addition to the hotly competitive midsize crossover SUV market. By clearly acknowledging that the Palisade is the top of its lineup, Hyundai makes the statement that it intends to offer a crossover SUV in every imaginable segment from entry level on up. And after our lengthy first drive in the new Palisade, we believe Hyundai has a winner on its hands.

The Palisade can stand up against more familiar names in the segment in every utilitarian category, and yet it also offers a new, upscale take on crossover styling inside and out. The Palisade is one of those rare vehicles that looks more expensive — in this case much more expensive — than it is. And that kind of offer has always been a ticket for success.

During our test drive opportunity in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, we had the chance to sit down for an exclusive interview with one of the key architects of the Palisade, Mike O’Brien, vice president of product, corporate and digital planning, Hyundai Motor America. He offered a number of insights into the features the Palisade offers midsize SUV buyers and the special touches that it brings to the segment.

To hear our exclusive DT interview with Hyundai product chief Mike O’Brien please click on the player below.


The 8-passenger 2020 Palisade rides on an all-new chassis that offers exceptional second- and third-row accessibility and space. The “One-Touch” second-row seat enables even children to move the seat forward and out of the way for entrance to the third-row, and unlike some others, it is equally easy to operate on the way out. The Palisade is also filled with new technology, including a class-exclusive Blind View Monitor that offers body-side views in the dash whenever the turn signal is activated. It complements the available Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist and an array of other safety technology bundled as Hyundai SmartSense.  Among the standards are Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, Lane Keeping Assist, Lane Following Assist, High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning and Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go.

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With its very accommodating interior, good acceleration, varied safety features, and robust towing capacity, the Hyundai Palisade is a welcome new entrant to a segment that will see a lot of competitive action this summer.  Ford has already shown us its new midsize Explorer, and Toyota is set to introduce a new version of the midsize Highlander a bit later this year. That should provide strong competition, but the new Palisade has everything it needs to carve out its own buyer base from the vast number of consumers who crave midsize SUVs.

A brand’s flagship should have gravitas that marks it as “not just another vehicle,” and the Palisade succeeds in that quest. We believe many families will choose the Palisade as their next all-around vehicle and be happy they did.

Listen to our interview with 2020 Ford Explorer engineering manager Scott Slimack.