What is it?
Hyundai’s most luxurious model has become even more luxurious. Two years after going on-sale in Australia, the up-to-eight seat SUV has been given a makeover and other upgrades to focus on its strengths.
When it arrived Hyundai offered three specifications – the entry-level model simply known as Palisade, followed by the mid-level Elite and range-topping Highlander. The latter has proven, by far, the most popular, with the Highlander accounting for more than 70 per cent of all sales to date.
So, for this updated model, Hyundai Australia has ditched the entry-level model and is now just focused on the Elite and Highlander. That means a higher starting price, but the company is confident buyers won’t mind.
Some of the most notable changes to the car itself is the redesigned front end, which features a new grille with integrated LED headlights, a new full-wide skid plate and new 20-inch alloy wheels.
There’s also more technology that we’ll detail later, but overall Hyundai has focused on making several small changes that have resulted in some significant improvements.
Does it have any racing pedigree?
It’s hard to draw a link between the luxurious Palisade and any of the brand’s World Rally or TCR programs. In fact, perhaps the closest connection is the Palisade would make a great team or driver transporter, keeping the crew comfortable between visits to the special stage or racetrack.
What’s under the bonnet?
This is one area the Hyundai engineers decided to leave untouched, with the same engines carrying over from before. That means the choice of a 3.8-litre V6 petrol or 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel engine, both paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission.
As before, the diesel is the pick of the pair, it makes a respectable 147kW of power and 440Nm of torque and uses a claimed 7.3-litres per 100km of fuel. That compares to the V6 petrol engine which makes 217kW and 355Nm but uses 10.7L/100km, which is a significant fuel economy disadvantage.
Especially when you factor in the performance of the pair. The petrol is a strong engine, but the diesel offers more torque which makes it easier for it to pull along such a big SUV.
The other advantage of the diesel is that it comes with all-wheel drive and a multi-terrain control system for any light off-roading you may want to do. The V6 engine is only paired with a front-wheel drive powertrain which means it can slip into wheelspin and torque-steer at times.
How does it handle?
The Palisade isn’t about dynamic handling, instead the focus is on allowing for a comfortable ride. But Hyundai has tried to add some excitement while also improving the ride for occupants with retuned suspension that includes its third-generation Selective Damping Control technology.
It means the updated Palisade offers better body control on the open road so it feels sharper and more direct when you tip it into a corner. However, with the 20-inch wheels, the ride can get busy and fussy over bumpy surfaces.
Overall though, it’s a quiet and refined large SUV that has no trouble transporting you and your family or friends in comfort.
Where would you most like to drive it?
The Palisade is the ideal road trip car, capable of taking up to eight occupants and swallowing their luggage. Given the big wheels it’s best to stick to smooth roads, but if you do the Palisade – particularly with the diesel engine – has no trouble soaking up long distances with ease.
What’s the interior like?
Once again Hyundai’s focus on the inside of the cabin was improving the luxurious feel.
One of the biggest changes is one you won’t see – improved sound insulation. There’s more noise-reducing material under the wheel arches, bumpers and speaker cavities, as well as thicker rear door glass. It adds up to a quieter, more refined ride that adds to the premium feeling.
There’s also plenty of technology you can see, including dual 12.3-inch digital screens for the instrument cluster and infotainment and a new system called ‘Bluelink’ we’ll detail in a moment.
In terms of comfort, there’s quilted leather trim on the seats (more premium Nappa leather for the Highlander) and in the second row there’s new plane-style seats with winged headrests that allow your passengers to relax and even doze off.
The Palisade remains available in either a seven- or eight-seater layout, with the smaller option getting individual second-row seats with their own armrests.
How much does the 2022 Hyundai Palisade cost?
With the loss of the entry-level model, the Palisade range now begins at $65,900 for the petrol-powered Elite, with the diesel Elite starting at $69,900. The Highlander models start at $75,900 for the petrol and $79,900 for the diesel.
One great value addition for this updated Palisade is the introduction of Hyundai’s Bluelink service. Bluelink is a connected car service that provides both a back-to-base connection as well as a smartphone app that can control a wide variety of functions on the car.
There’s an ‘SOS’ button which allows you to dial into an Australian-based call centre for assistance if you break down or have an accident. If it’s a more serious crash that requires the airbags to deploy, the call centre will connect to the car and try to make contact with an occupant and call emergency services if required.
Via the app you can lock and unlock the car, open the windows to let hot air out if necessary, check its location, start the car and a range of other tasks.
It’s a very clever system that will be gradually rolled out across much of the Hyundai range in the coming years. The owner gets a five-year subscription to the services included in the car, so it adds significant value to the equation because few rivals can claim a similar system.
Would I buy one?
It’s not the stand-out in its segment of the market in terms of off-road or towing capability, and there are other options with sharper driving dynamics. But if you’re after a luxurious, comfortable and spacious full-size SUV without spending more than $100k, then you should definitely have the Palisade on your short-list.
2022 Hyundai Palisade diesel price and specifications
|From $69,990 plus on-road costs
|2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel
|147kW at 3800rpm
|440Nm at 1750-2750rpm
|Eight-speed automatic, all-wheel drive