DRIVING ME CRAZY: 2020 Hyundai Palisade Automotive Review

John and Laurie Wiles Automotive, History, National, People, Pinehurst, NC, Westchester County, NY 1 Comment

Driving Me Crazy automotive review Columnists Laurie and John Wiles.

Quite honestly, since we started getting Hyundai’s any number of years ago, the overall improvement in styling and quality has gone up exponentially every year. The 2020 Palisade is another good example of that. Built to replace the Hyundai Santa Fe XL (the big crossover at the time), the Palisade is, in my opinion, a home run. I even like the name. First there is a whole new look to the vehicle. It is big, and it let’s you know it’s big from the large front grill with the Hyundai emblem, to the lights that start just above the bumper and seem to wrap around all the way past the beginning of the hood, to the wrap around glass at the back of the vehicle that says “See, there’s even more of me”. For me anyway, there is a tiny touch of Cadillac styling here, as if someone took a Cadillac XT5 or XT6 and said, “What could we do different and better?” Yes, I know those are bold words, but remember this is just from me, a guy who looks at a lot of cars and sees similarities on occasion.

2020 Hyundai Palisade

From the side, you see the big four doors and the extended rear that will allow you to carry more people, or with that third-row seat down, carry lots of cargo. First and foremost, it really does accommodate six grown people comfortably. Getting into the third row is easy as well. The first and second rows are captains chairs offering individual comfort, and by releasing the captains chair and sliding it forward, there is ample room for anyone to enter the vehicle and move to the third row of seating, which are big enough for a grown man and able to accommodate his body and allow him some leg room as well. I know. I got it, and at 71 that isn’t always easy. Somebody really did some thinking here.

I am going to suggest you visit here – https://www.hyundaiusa.com/palisade/index.aspx if you are interested in the Palisade. Hyundai does a good job of showing and explaining the features that I enjoyed on this vehicle.

The Palisade comes in three models, the SE, starting at $31.5K; the SEL starting at $33.5K; and the Limited, starting at $44.7K. We had the Limited and for that kind of money, I believe you get a tremendous amount of car.

Let’s talk power plant a minute. This isn’t necessarily a knock on the engine because the 3.8L GDI V6 engine has 291 horsepower and plenty of torque, with a towing capacity of 5,000 lbs., or so Hyundai says. This is, granted, a big six. This is also a big vehicle, and maybe technology is ‘all that and a slice of cake’, but it just seems to me that with a bunch of people and lots of gear, and, Heaven forbid, a boat behind, you are going to be under gunned. I would prefer, personally, again, to sacrifice a couple of miles per gallon to go with either a small, souped up V8, or a larger standard V8.  Long distance driving would help with gas mileage and for around town, you want the power to get you going in traffic when carrying a load. For two to four people on an evening’s dining out, the power plant in place is more than enough. It has good response when you step down on it, and the eight-speed transmission is smooth and quiet.

Speaking of quiet, Laurie and I loved the quietness of the car. We were able to talk easily and most of the outside noise was dampened.  The ride was beautiful as well. With that big wheel base, comfort was almost a given, and Hyundai had enough appointments in this vehicle to make it very close to a real luxury vehicle too. The seats had quilted nappa leather, a very smooth way of tanning the leather. Hyundai also had some simple yet pleasant changes to the interior that we enjoyed, like the Under Console Floor Storage, which is handy and a good use of space, again in my opinion.

2020 Hyundai Palisade interior.

Our Palisade had a Dual Sun Roof, one that opened completely to let the sun in but keep the weather out, and also opened up completely to let the sun and wind and elements beam down on the driver and passengers if desired. We had a Hands-Free Lift Gate, a nice touch, plus All Wheel Drive, a comforting feature depending on terrain and weather. Little features like a wireless device charger for your phone, several USB ports for hooking up your lap top or phone, and a Heads-Up Display while driving, all make the Palisade an enjoyable vehicle in which to ride and travel.

One new feature I found very interesting on the Palisade was the digital instrument display directly in front of the steering wheel. There is also a 10.25” High Definition Touch Screen just to the right of the driver, handy and practical. The new feature on the Palisade was a part of the digital instrument display.  The two round areas, right and left, in front of the driver, are also attached to cameras which are activated if a car comes into the Blind Spot Monitor area. The camera actually turns on and shows the whole area next to the car in real time. It does catch your attention and you do become fully aware of what’s going on immediately. Safety. I like it.  Also, when you use your turn signals, the cameras are activated, either right or left, to show you what is near the car on the turning side. I think this would help if you have a tight turn into say a driveway and there is a bush you need to miss. More knowledge in driving is a good thing, and if it keeps you from scraping or denting your Palisade, then it’s good stuff.

2020 Hyundai Palisade dashboard.


Hyundai has always been a leader is safety and technology and the Palisade is no different. Out fully loaded limited addition, besides all the comfort bells and whistles, had all the safety bells and whistles as well. Featured under the heading “Smart Sense”, Hyundai says “From cameras to ultrasonic sensors to radars, our sophisticated network acts as extra sets of eyes when you drive or park.

Included in that ‘sophisticated network’ are:

  • Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go, which detects the speed of the vehicle in front of you and slows you own as needed, even to a complete stop if required
  • Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection, which is a standard feature that warns you when approaching a stopped vehicle or pedestrian and brakes, if necessary, to avoid impact.
  • Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist which gives you greater awareness of traffic around your vehicle by providing audible and visual alerts if a vehicle is detected in the driver’s blind spot.  (See the use of the display panel mentioned above)
  • Lane Keeping Assist which warns you with audio and visual cues if your vehicle drifts out of its driving lane without signaling. It will gently move you back toward the center of the lane as well.
  • High Beam Assist which detects oncoming vehicles and also when there are no vehicles coming, so it automatically toggles between high and low beam for best visual status.
  • Driver Attention Warning which detects if the driver is fatigues or inattentive and give an audible tone or visual alert. (Wow, a car that knows if you are not paying attention.)
  • Highway Driving Assist which is your ‘co-pilot’, so that when you are in Cruise Control, it keeps you centered in your lane, monitors your speed, and adjusts it according to the GPS and highway data. (One step closer to self-driving, I say)
  • Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist is one of my favorites. It monitors what is coming right or left as you back out of a hard to see area and warns and even stops you, if necessary, to keep you from backing in front of an oncoming car. Very important in downtown parking these days.
  • Rear Occupant Alert is a handy feature for all of you who forget your kid is in the car, because when you turn off the engine you get a visual warning to check the back seat. “Oh, I forgot the baby!”
  • Ultrasonic Rear Occupant Alert is yet Hyundai’s further attempt to improve parenting and do ownership, as not only will you get a Rear Occupant Alert when you park, overhead ultrasonic sensors monitor the backseat area to minimize the risk of a child or pet accidentally being left in side after the vehicle is parked and locked. These sensors detect movement and your horn will honk, lights flash, and your smartphone will receive and alert.  ‘Incompetent parents and dog owners beware!’
  • Lane Following Assist helps detect land markers on the road with a front view camera on the front windshield and assists the driver’s steering to help keep the vehicle centered.  Think about it – side monitoring to keep you in the lane, front monitoring to keep you in the lane, stopping on its own,  – we are small steps closer to the cars driving us.

Overall, I give a big thumbs up to the Hyundai Palisade. Even at $44K plus for a full loaded vehicle, I think it is a tremendous value. Lots and lots of safety, comfort, luxury, bells and whistles to make driving a pleasure in a big car like this one.  Check it out. You won’t regret it.


Hyundai of Pinehurst – Southern Pines Hyundai Dealer is your North Carolina Hyundai dealer. They invite you to 10732 US Hwy 15-501, Southern Pines, NC 28387 location for a wonderful sales experience while being treated as a guest in their automotive home. Sales and Service at 877-894-2568.

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At Central Avenue Hyundai, 111 South Central Avenue, Hartsdale, NY 10530, you’ll find all of the latest Hyundai vehicles that you want to drive, backed by America’s Best Warranty and the Hyundai Assurance Program. If you are in New York City, then it is worth visiting Central Avenue Hyundai. Sales: 914-368-7981; Service 914-831-1500; Parts 914-328-2227; and Finance 914-220-0360.

At Central Avenue Hyundai, customer satisfaction is their highest priority and they are proud to offer one of the largest selections of brand new Hyundai models in Southern Westchester and New York City. Whether you’re looking for a fuel-efficient sedan to take on your daily commute or a family-friendly SUV, there is sure to be a great vehicle option waiting for you! They serve the following areas: White Plains, Scarsdale, Hartsdale, Yonkers, Mt. Vernon, New Rochelle, Eastchester, Irvington, Ardsley, Bronxville, Dobbs Ferry, Elmsford, West Harrison, Purchase, New York City, and beyond!




John and Laurie WilesDRIVING ME CRAZY: 2020 Hyundai Palisade Automotive Review

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