2024 Hyundai Palisade Review: Still superb, but the competition is closing in

2024 Hyundai Palisade Review: Still superb, but the competition is closing in

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Pros: Premium interior; more passenger and cargo space than many rivals; great tech; comfy to drive

Cons: Styling isn't our favorite after 2023 refresh; no hybrid or PHEV option

The 2024 Hyundai Palisade is still riding high, but its three-row SUV brethren are closing in on what we’ve largely considered be the juggernaut of the segment outside of its twin, the Kia Telluride. Hyundai isn’t making any missteps with the Palisade, though – it’s still a stellar combination of utility, attractive interior design, easy-to-use tech and value. However, its lone powertrain option is starting to play second fiddle to newer rivals, the Mazda CX-90 and Toyota Grand Highlander, that offer powerful hybrid options. The naturally aspirated V6 still gets the job done smoothly and can tow 5,000 pounds in the Palisade, but it’s hard to not peer over the fence at the quicker and more efficient hybridized variants of the freshly introduced competition (though we certainly acknowledge those high-powered hybrids come at a higher cost).


But let’s not forget why we love the Palisade so much – we happened to fall hard enough that one of our editors actually bought one. A 2021 model spent an essentially flawless year in our long-term fleet garnering lots of love and miles. And the refresh from 2023 took a great SUV and made it even stronger with updated tech. The Calligraphy trim continues to set luxury standards for non-luxury three-row SUVs, and while the price continues a steady upward climb, it’s still a great value. All that said, fresh faces for the Honda Pilot, soon-to-launch Chevrolet Traverse and more are cause for this segment flag-bearer to be on the lookout. The Palisade remains a top-recommended three-row SUV; its superiority over others is just on much less solid footing than ever before in 2024.

Interior & Technology   |   Passenger & Cargo Space   |   Performance & Fuel Economy

What it's like to drive   |   Pricing & Trim Levels   |   Crash Ratings & Safety Features

What's new for 2024?

Hyundai refreshed the Palisade for 2023 with a number of big changes – you can read about those here. However, for 2024, it's adding a Calligraphy Night Edition to the lineup that is effectively a version of the ritzy range-topping model with dark trim instead of brightwork. The base model now includes tri-zone climate control as standard, the XRT gains rear window sunshades, and the Limited gets ambient lighting.

What are the Palisade’s interior and in-car technology like?

The Palisade boasts a uniquely elegant cabin highlighted by a wide infotainment panel, distinctive trim types and a center console that rises to meet the dash, leaving extra storage underneath. It's both attractive and functional, and it can provide quite the "wow" moment. The Palisade's quality is also shockingly good, inching awfully close to genuine luxury territory (The Calligraphy is the best example of this near-luxury experience).

Every Palisade comes standard with a 12.3-inch touchscreen with navigation that's easy to use and to see. You can devote the entire screen to one function, split it between two (such as the navigation map and audio system information), or leave it on the home screen that shows various functions. It's similar to what you see in various luxury brands, and it's just as well-executed, if even a bit better, in the Palisade.

Hyundai's big family hauler comes standard with a multitude of standard infotainment features including Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, satellite radio and five USB ports (one USB-A and four USB-C ports). An extra pair of USB-C ports is added to upper trim levels, and wireless phone charging is standard on all but the base model. A Harman/Kardon surround sound audio system is standard on the upper trims levels. Shared with the Telluride is a rear seat mute function that easily disables the rear speakers (for sleeping kids, or those who don't want to listen to your lame old music) as well as the Driver Talk in-car intercom system that transmits the driver's voice to those sitting in the back.

How big is the Palisade?

The Palisade is one of the larger three-row crossovers. Few are as long and wide, while third-row leg- and headroom are among the most generous in the segment. Even a tall adult can fit back there quite comfortably. Better still, the large rear quarter windows and the wide, upright vehicle sides mean that whoever sits back there won't feel too claustrophobic. Access to the third row benefits from one-press power release buttons, as well as unique grab handles integrated into the C pillars, but the resulting gap between that pillar and slide-forward seat is merely average. The second row offers a standard 60/40-split bench seat that results in an eight-person overall capacity, or captain's chairs that reduce capacity to seven. Space and comfort are excellent with either, but that's to be expected in this segment.

Cargo capacity is also better than most, at 18 cubic feet behind the raised third row, which is enough to fit four sizable suitcases. Only the Palisade's boxier Telluride sibling as well as the Toyota Grand Highlander, Honda Pilot and Volkswagen Atlas have swallowed more. There is 45.8 cubic feet when the third row is lowered, and 86.4 when both rows are lowered – both are pretty average for the segment, which is just fine. The second row features a standard power-folding release, while a power-operated third row is optional on the SEL and standard on the Limited.

Finally, storage for small items is a standout Palisade feature. The front center console has a sizable under-armrest bin, and there's another bin forward of that one covered by a sliding cover that houses the wireless smartphone charging pad (if so equipped) and nifty cupholders that disappear to free up extra space when not in use. Then, there's an expansive space under the console big enough for a purse, plus decently sized door bins and lots of back seat cupholders.

What are the Palisade’s fuel economy and performance specs?

Every Palisade comes with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that produces 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. Front- or all-wheel drive are available, and an eight-speed automatic is standard. The towing capacity is 5,000 pounds on every Palisade. A class III hitch and an auto-leveling rear suspension are available.

Fuel economy for 2024 checks in at 19 mpg city, 26 mpg highway and 22 mpg combined. It falls to 19/24/21 with AWD. During our one-year long-term test of an all-wheel-drive Palisade Calligraphy, we averaged 21.6 mpg over 16,000 miles. We also bested the EPA highway rating with multiple tanks of 25 mpg during road trips.

What's the Palisade like to drive?

Much like the Kia Telluride that shares its mechanical underpinnings, the Hyundai Palisade offers a well-rounded driving experience free from bad habits but also bereft of anything particularly memorable. Effectively, it reaches the bar set by the vast majority of buyers in this segment. The V6 engine produces plenty of power, but ultimately produces acceleration on par with most other vehicles in the segment. The steering is precise and gains a little extra effort when in Sport mode, but it also doesn't keep you particularly engaged in the driving experience. The suspension capably controls body motions and the stock tires do a good job of gripping pavement (or even loose gravel). Those looking for more of a car-like driving experience should check out the Mazda CX-90.

The Palisade's available all-wheel-drive system has a function that locks the front/rear power distribution at 50/50 for added traction while off-roading. We found it capable enough driving on a lengthy gravel road with plenty of tight turns. However, its 7.9 inches of ground clearance is unremarkable (even in the vaguely rugged-looking XRT), and unlike several competitors, the Palisade doesn't offer any sort of off-road driving modes. But its AWD system should provide some peace of mind in slick or snowy conditions. A  tow mode introduced will hold gears longer and reduce the frequency of shifts.

What other Hyundai Palisade reviews can I read?

2023 Hyundai Palisade First Drive Review: A favorite gets better

Our first drive of the refreshed 2023 Palisade where we tell you everything you need to know about what's new and better in the updated model.