2018 LA Auto Show: Hyundai Crowns the Palisade Its New Flagship

November 28, 2018 by Rick Stella, @RickStella

Hyundai Motor Corp. introduced a new flagship to its vehicle lineup Wednesday, unveiling the premium three-row Palisade SUV at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.

As more car buyers opt for SUVs, crossovers and trucks, Hyundai’s 2020 Palisade – available in the summer of 2019 – intends to bridge the gap between being a daily family driver and an all-road, weekend adventure vehicle.

“The new 2020 Hyundai Palisade clearly evokes design imagery worthy of Hyundai’s flagship SUV, with new levels of all-road, all-weather capability, technology, safety, roominess and efficiency, all packaged in cutting-edge design,” said Mike O’Brien, vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning, Hyundai Motor America.

With seating for up to eight passengers, the Palisade is geared toward transporting large families (or loads of gear). Its One-Touch second-row-seat tech grants quick access to the back row of seats while the power third row allows for the flexibility of folding down for equipment storage or reclining for comfort.

Hyundai’s Palisade can seat up to eight passengers. (Photo: Hyundai)

Hyundai gave the Palisade an Atkinson-cycle 3.8-liter V6, direct-inject engine that produces 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The SUV has an eight-speed automatic transmission and multiplate torque converter that comes in either a two- or HTRAC all-wheel drive configuration.

Behind its second row of seating, the Palisade offers owners 45.8 cubic feet of cargo space, along with 18 cubic feet behind the third row. Hyundai also designed it to have 40.7 inches of headroom in the front of the vehicle and 44.1 inches of legroom.

The vehicle comes with standard 245/60R18 tires or optional 245/50R20 tires, each of which can sit on available 20-inch wheels.

Weather or Not

For anyone looking to take the Palisade into rough weather, the all-wheel drive variant offers the most capability. With its HTRAC all-wheel drive system, it has an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control to both axles. Four variable modes (Normal, Sport, Smart and the newer Snow) offer a different level of control depending on weather.

When switched into Snow mode, the Palisade’s HTRAC all-wheel drive system optimizes its traction specifically for driving on snow and adjusts the front and rear torque distribution. It also changes the shifting patterns, as well as the slip control of both the left and right wheels.

When set to Sport mode, the system gives drivers more torque distribution and improves straight-line acceleration and the SUV’s medium- and high-speed cornering control. It also offers an assist with hill starts and gives the Palisade a sportier and more dynamic feel.

A Deep Safety Suite

“What’s most impressive about the vehicle is that it was a bottom-up effort to think about what would give the customer an easy-to-use and more functional vehicle for their everyday lives,” O’Brien told Trucks.com. “Where we focused a lot of that effort was on design, technology and safety.”

Like many similar midsize SUVs on the market, the Palisade comes standard with safety features such as Forward-Collision Avoidance Assist, Pedestrian Detection, Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist, Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go and Lane Following Assist.

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Other safety suite features include High Beam Assist that dims the vehicle’s high beams when it recognizes oncoming cars and Safe Exist Assist that detects approaching vehicles when passengers are exiting. Each safety feature is standard.

The Palisade also offers seven airbags including a full-length side curtain airbag that covers back to the third row of seating.

Stay Connected

Each Palisade equipped with Blue Link technology comes with three years of Blue Link services, which include voice guidance, remote, safety and diagnostic services. This also includes the automaker’s Remote Start feature, Remote Door Lock/Unlock, Car Finder, Stolen Vehicle Recovery and Enhanced Roadside Assistance.

“This new Hyundai SUV is the ultimate family vehicle for practical, comfortable daily use and memory-making road trips whenever the appeal of the open road should beckon,” said O’Brien.

It features a 10-inch navigation display, along with seven USB outlets, second-row ventilated seats and wireless charging compatibility – for use with recent Apple iPhones and compatible Android smartphones.

Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration are available, along with Hyundai’s own upgraded navigation system. A Qi wireless charging pad also charges phones without the need for a charge cable.

The SUV’s heads-up display comes in the form of a virtual projection cast onto the windshield, allowing the driver to access all relevant information without taking eyes off the road. This includes current speed, navigation prompts, cruise control status, speed limits, Lane Following Assist, Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist and data from the Palisade’s audio system.

With Driver Talk, the Palisade allows for communication between the driver and the second or third row of seats via an intercom system. By setting the audio system into conversation mode, drivers can either talk to passengers in the back seats or choose to have audio only play in the front of the vehicle (to avoid waking anyone sleeping in the back).


Hyundai says the Palisade will come in colors such as Beckets Black, White Cream, Lagoon Silver, Steel Graphite, Sierra Burgundy, Moonlight Cloud and Forest Rain.

Hyundai has not yet shared pricing information.

Read Next: 2018 LA Auto Show: Honda Debuts Off-Road-Ready Passport

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