The highly competitive SUV and crossover segment in the South African car market has received an impressive new addition with the launch of the Hyundai Palisade, the Korean brand’s new local flagship model.
The formidable Palisade – with an overall length just short of 5 meters – takes its place in the local Hyundai SUV line-up next to its slightly smaller sibling, the Santa Fe, as well as the Tucson, Creta and the compact Venue. The range is also complemented by the recently upgraded Kona crossover.
Hyundai’s Palisade flagship SUV brings exceptional comfort, space, technology and safety in a large SUV. The Palisade offers seating for up to eight and a commodious cargo space with convenient features like One-Touch second-row seats for ease of use.
As Hyundai’s flagship SUV, the Palisade offers a host of technology features ideal for family road trips, including an 8-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto functions; wireless cell phone charging; multiple simultaneous Bluetooth connections; seven USB outlets; ventilated front and second-row seats in the 7-seater derivative; heated front and second-row seats in both derivatives, shift-by-wire and innovative roof-based diffuser vents. Hyundai’s SmartSense safety technology also comes standard.
“The Hyundai Palisade boasts the design and luxury features worthy of Hyundai’s new flagship SUV, with high levels of all-road, all-weather capability, advanced safety technology, roominess and efficiency,” says Stanley Anderson, sales and operations director at Hyundai Automotive South Africa. “This Hyundai SUV is the ultimate family vehicle for practical, comfortable daily use and memory-making cross-country road trips.”
“The Hyundai Palisade’s exterior and interior design clearly reflect its unique flagship identity with a premium, distinctive and bold road presence,” said SangYup Lee, head of Hyundai’s Design Centre, at the international unveiling of the Palisade. “As the lead for Palisade design, it was a pleasure to work with our global design teams throughout its development and ultimately present this phenomenal product.”
The Palisade’s styling conveys dignity with style in an understated theme that demonstrates clear differentiation worthy of a flagship SUV. From the front, a dominant, bold and wide cascading grille represents a premium SUV. Separated composite headlamps and a vertically connected forward lighting signature create a strong and distinctive front demeanor, with LED headlights, LED daytime running lights and LED turn-signal mirrors.
A powerful, extended hood profile creates an impressive road presence, while bold C-pillars and a panoramic glass side graphic convey generous third-row spaciousness. Full volume over-fenders and body sides offer muscular detailing. The rear view emphasizes a wide and stable stance via graceful detailing and a vertical LED rear taillamp design. Panoramic rear glass coupled with a cutaway roof provides a generous sense of spaciousness to rear passengers. The big 20-inch alloy wheels further fill out the Palisade’s flagship presence.
The Palisade’s design features have aerodynamic benefits as well, with a low 0.33 coefficient of drag (Cd). This is achieved with specific design cues that include a fast A-pillar angle, a rear spoiler side garnish, an optimized front cooling area with an extended internal air guide, aero underside panels, and rear wheel aero deflectors.
The Palisade is available in five exterior colours: White Cream, Shimmering Silver, Graphite Grey, Moonlight Blue and Abyss Black Pearl.
The interior design of the Palisade combines a sense of relaxation and comfort, creating a serene environment with seven- or eight-passenger seating for family adventures. The One-Touch second row seat allows one-touch movement of the seat forward and out of the way for easy access in and out of the third-row seats. Second-row captain’s chairs are available in the 7-seater derivative with ventilated seating surfaces. In the 8-seater, front and second-row seats can be heated, with ventilation for the front only.
Every Palisade seating row offers USB outlets for all passengers, for a total of seven available USB outlets. Even more, a wide-angle conversation mirror allows the driver to clearly see passengers in the rear.
The audio and navigation display is an 8-inch touchscreen, coupled with a 7-inch TFT LCD instrument cluster for the driver. Two Bluetooth devices can be connected simultaneously to the infotainment system, with one for a mobile phone connection and the other for audio streaming.
Centre console innovations such as shift-by-wire transmission controls free up valuable space for the features drivers use most. The shift-by-wire system also includes automatic park logic that shifts the vehicle into park when the engine is off and the driver opens the door. The Palisade’s centre console bridge design also frees up convenient storage space underneath with driver and passenger access.
The interior features seven available USB outlets, including front-seatback-based USB outlets for the second-row occupants and mini-pockets for digital devices of all kinds.
The Palisade also features an industry-first, innovative new roof vent diffuser design that can provide a focused, partially diffused or fully diffused stream of air to rear passengers. This new diffuser vent design provides quieter rear air conditioning airflow, draft-free operation, more uniform distribution of air and the capability for a focused stream of air whenever desired.
The Palisade offers abundant technology, including navigation display on the infotainment system’s screen with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. To eliminate the need for a charging cord, there’s a wireless charging pad for compatible Android devices and Apple iPhones. When it comes to audio technology, the premium sound system is well-suited to the Palisade’s upscale interior.
The Palisade also offers a Rear Seat Quiet Mode system that allows the driver’s row to listen to their selected audio without that same audio being transmitted to the second- and third-row audio speakers, so that potentially sleeping passengers will not be disturbed.
The Palisade design seeks a very high perception of openness and exceptional visibility with a large, fixed-glass rear sunroof opening, wide rear seating rows and a generous, reconfigurable rear cargo area.
A R2.2 CRDi engine, linked to an 8-speed automatic transmission, can be found under the wide bonnet of the Palisade. This highly efficient 4-cylinder turbodiesel engine meets Euro 6 emission standards and delivers 142 kW maximum power at 3 800 r/min. and 440 Nm maximum torque from 1 750 to 2 750 r/min. An average combined fuel consumption of 8,2 litres per 100 km in urban and extra-urban or highway driving was recorded.
The 2,2-litre turbodiesel delivers its power to the wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission with a multi-plate torque converter and offers HTRAC four-wheel-drive configurations. Gears can also be selected manually with paddle shift controls behind the steering wheel.
Special efforts were made to reduce Noise, Vibration and Harshness levels in the Palisade, with generous under-hood insulation, special sound-deadening carpets and powertrain tuning that delivers a smooth, linear response.
Suspension geometry and tuning
Front and rear suspension width was maximized on the Palisade for enhanced roll stiffness and stability. Tires are a generous 245/50 R20 size for stability, style and a very smooth ride. The front steering knuckles and rear carriers are made of aluminum, while front lower arms have been optimized and lightened via a new engineering design, resulting in reduced unsprung weight and improved responsiveness.
The Palisade achieves exceptional body torsional rigidity through a variety of methods, including a multiple ring-shaped structure and hot-stamped door-ring parts that provide greater strength and rigidity. In addition, its torsional rigidity, when equipped with a sunroof, is nearly identical to versions without a sunroof.
HTRAC All-Wheel-Drive system with multiple modes
The Palisade is equipped with Hyundai’s HTRAC All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) system which adds rugged capabilities so the Palisade can drive over rough terrain or along city streets with equal ease.
The HTRAC AWD system was developed as a multi-terrain mode system, providing an electronic, variable torque split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. The driver selectable HTRAC Smart, Eco, Comfort and Sport modes help provide confident control in all weather conditions. The Sport setting gives a more agile feel by sending more available torque to the rear wheels, for a sporty dynamic feel when desired. This system has a wide range of torque distribution variability and has been tuned to conditions such as straight-line acceleration, medium- or high-speed cornering, and hill starts.
Through its Terrain selector, the Palisade’s advanced HTRAC AWD system also offers Sand, Mud and Snow modes, with special traction tuning for each road condition, optimizing available traction and driver control. Each selected Terrain mode adjusts front and rear torque distribution, left and right wheel slip control, engine torque and shift patterns according to available traction levels. In addition, Palisade’s AWD HTRAC system includes an AWD locking-differential function for challenging traction situations.
The Palisade offers several standard advanced safety technologies, including Blind Spot Detection, Rear Cross-Traffic Alert, Safe Exit Assist, and Rear Occupant Alert.
Hyundai’s Rear Cross-Traffic Alert enhances driver awareness to the rear of the Palisade. Using the Blind Spot Detection system’s radar sensors when backing up, the system warns the driver if vehicles approach from the rear side.
Rear Occupant Alert (ROA) monitors the rear seats using an ultrasonic sensor that helps to detect the movements of children and pets. The system first reminds drivers to check the rear seats when exiting the vehicle with a message on the center instrument cluster display. If the system detects movement in the rear seats after the driver leaves the vehicle and locks the doors, it will honk the horn and flash the car’s lights. The system is designed to prevent children and pets from being forgotten in the car, but it also helps in case children accidentally lock themselves in.
The Palisade also features a Safe Exit Assist system which uses radar to detect cars approaching from the rear and cautions passengers that are about to exit the vehicle. If a passenger attempts to open the door when a car is approaching from behind, a visual and acoustic warning on the center cluster will alert the driver. In addition, if the driver attempts to deactivate the Electronic Child Safety Lock feature, Safe Exit Assist will override the driver and ensure the rear doors remain locked until the approaching vehicle has passed. Once the road is clear, the driver can then deactivate the Electronic Child Safety Lock and successfully unlock the rear passenger doors.
In addition, the Palisade has six standard airbags: dual front, dual side, and roll-over sensing side-curtain airbags. The Palisade uses a full-length large side curtain airbag that includes third-row seating coverage for enhanced rear occupant protection in the event of a collision. Tire pressure monitoring with individual position display, two Isofix anchors in the second seat row and one in the third seat row, and a rearview camera are also standard on the Palisade.
The Palisade has a very rigid structure, with strategic use of ultra-high-tension steel plates in key suspension and crash areas to provide increased tensile strength. Robust underbody and side structures are designed to increase energy absorption and cabin intrusion in a severe collision, especially in the small overlap test. Further, its underbody uses multiple load paths to better disperse potential crash energy in the event of a collision.
The Palisade has received a Top Safety Pick+ rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety in America, and a 5-star safety rating from the American National Highway Traffic Safety Association.
The Palisade is available in two derivatives with different seating options:
• Palisade R2.2 7-seater Elite (auto) R 999 900
• Palisade R2.2 8-seater Elite (auto) R 999 900
Included in the package is a 7-year / 200 000 km manufacturer’s warranty; a 7-year / 105 000 km service plan; and roadside assistance for 7 years or a distance of 150 000 km.