It was time to bow to the inevitable. It is a crossover world these days, so how could the best of the Best Car Buys 2020 not reflect that fact?
In our continuing desire to provide you with straightforward, accurate and unbiased information that will help you choose your next vehicle, we couldn’t ignore the reality of what is being bought. So though there are great new sedans on our 2020 Best Car Buys of 2020 list, this time around the Best Car Buy of 2020 isn’t a car. It is a crossover utility.
Of course, it is not just any crossover SUV. It is the supreme value in the American marketplace today, filled with looks, style, capabilities and features.
The Driving Today Best Car Buy of the Year for 2020 is the Hyundai Palisade
Measured up against every other vehicle on the market, the Hyundai Palisade midsize crossover utility vehicle just exudes “extra value.” It can stand up against more familiar names in its very popular and hotly competitive segment in every utilitarian category, yet it also offers a new, upscale take on crossover styling inside and out. The Hyundai Palisade is one of those rare vehicles that look more expensive — in this case much more expensive — than it is. And it strikes us at Driving Today to be the very essence of what a Best Car Buy really is.
As Hyundai’s family flagship, the Palisade offers an ideal vehicle for family road trips with a 10-inch navigation display, wireless charging, seven USB outlets, second-row ventilated seats, shift-by-wire and innovative roof-based diffuser vents. The interior style is definitely luxury-class. For instance, the Palisade offers two distinct leather types, one of which is a premium, quilted Nappa leather. On the instrument panel, an available smooth woodgrain trim in a wraparound interior design delivers just the right touch of style with function.
More of what American families need
The 2020 Hyundai 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. In contrast to the norm in the class, the third-row seats are power-operated for exceptional convenience when loading and unloading cargo.
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.
High technology for real efficiency
The Palisade is far more than a rolling living room, although it can be as comfortable as quiet as your favorite room at home. To be a Best Car Buy, a vehicle must have leading power, smoothness and efficiency. The Atkinson-cycle 3.8-liter V-6 that powers the Palisade delivers on all three. With dual continuously variable valve timing, the direct-injected gasoline engine produces an estimated 291 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm and an estimated 262 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5,000 rpm. If you’re asking, that’s more standard horsepower than any other SUV in its competitive set and a segment high-water mark for torque. Backing the innovative engine, the eight-speed automatic transmission with multi-plate torque converter technology can be teamed with either front-wheel-drive or Hyundai’s exclusive HTRAC four-wheel-drive.
With its very accommodating interior, good acceleration, varied safety features and robust towing capacity, the Hyundai Palisade simply surpasses both the new entrants to the segment this year and the large field of high-quality competitors that largely carry over their offerings this year.
A brand’s flagship should have a presence and demeanor that mark it as “not just another vehicle,” and the Palisade succeeds in that quest. The new Palisade has everything it needs to carve out its own buyer base from the vast number of consumers who crave midsize SUVs.
We believe many families will choose the Palisade as their next all-around vehicle and be happy they did.
At DT we are proud and happy to honor the Hyundai Palisade as the Driving Today Best Car Buy of the Year 2020.