By Otsile Kadiege
Are you in the market for a premium 7-seater SUV that’s equipped with modern creature comforts and head-turning looks without breaking the bank? Well, Hyundai’s large, bold-looking Palisade might be what you’re looking for. We recently spent time with the Korean automaker’s flagship SUV to see if it’s worth considering.
Bold exterior design
The new Palisade, affectionately known as ‘Palesa’, boasts a bold exterior design thanks to its front-end featuring a distinctive radiator grille flanked by split LED headlights and tear drop-like daytime running lights (DRLs). Its side profile highlights includes large 20-inch alloy wheels and an Escalade-esque.
An interior built for long-distance travelling
Inside, our test SUV was the 7-seater model equipped with very comfortable captain’s chairs on the second-row seats, which are also heated and cooled. Customers who would like to seat more passengers can opt for the 8-seater variant at no extra cost. There are acres of rear legroom and accessing the third-row seats, which is fairly roomy, didn’t break a sweat. Passengers won’t have to fight over USB ports as there are plenty of those.
The Palisade also features a dual-sunroof, a configurable semi-digital cluster, wireless charging, an 8-inch touch-screen infotainment with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as a few other gizmos. The infotainment is intuitive however, slight drawbacks are the 8-inch touch-screen fitted on an unnecessarily large panel with a chrome trimming that reflects on the windscreen during daytime driving.
Powering the Palisade range is a 2.2l turbo-diesel engine making 142 kW / 440 Nm and it’s paired to an 8-speed automatic transmission. Top speed is capped at 190 km/h. Apart from burning a hole in my wallet (based on distances we covered and not fuel efficiency, easily averaging less than 7,5l/100km), the Palisade’s 2.2-litre turbo-diesel engine is a gem. It’s quick off the line thanks to its AWD system and we were impressed by how it manages to assist in hiding the car’s sheer size, as it almost handles like a sedan.
The premium 7-seater misses out on a lot of advanced driver assistance systems like lane keep assist and adaptive cruise control. Another drawback is the overly bright headlights that dazzle oncoming traffic.
The Hyundai Palisade is a perfect, no-frills SUV to take the family on a long trip to the Cape and I have no doubt it will manage to achieve that effortlessly. Would I recommend purchasing the Palisade? Absolutely! However, the new Chery Tiggo 8 Pro, which costs almost half the price and offers more features, might be a potential thorn in Hyundai’s flesh. The Hyundai Palisade is priced at R1,009,900 for both the 2.2 Elite 7-seater and 8-seater 8AT AWD.
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