Hyundai's 2020 Palisade three-row SUV retails for $32,595 for the base model.

Hyundai's 2020 Palisade three-row SUV retails for $32,595 for the base model.

Photo by Kelly Bracken.

The 2020 Palisade fills a needed gap for Hyundai and gives the Korean automaker a true three-row midsize SUV to compete in the category. It replaces the Sante Fe XL that offered a third row that was better suited for young children.

With this vehicle, Hyundai has delivered a lower-cost alternative to several competitors, acceptable fuel economy, and enough interior refinement and technology to make it a good choice for fleet buyers who seek it out.

As with other Hyundai vehicles, the Palisade's exterior styling is reminiscent of other vehicles. Walking up to the rear, you may mistake it for a Cadillac. A quick glance at the front end may make you think of a GMC Terrain. But when you get closer, you realize it has a look all its own.

V-6 Power and 8-Speed Transmission

The 3.8-liter V-6 that powers the 2020 Palisade makes 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque gives acceptable propulsion for a vehicle that comes in at 5,732 pounds of curb weight. It's a heavier drive, but the vehicle glides around city corners with a pleasant ease.

It's V-6 delivers power through an eight-speed transmission to a front-wheel drivetrain. We tested the all-wheel Limited — adding AWD costs $1,700. Hyundai is offering its Palisade in SE, SEL, and Limited. The models carry a retail price of $32,595 for the SE, $34,545 for the SEL, and $45,745 for the Limited. Hyundai packages its trim grades we specific equipment so the main option would be the AWD.

Drivers will notice a selector knob that includes snow mode and AWD lock. The rear suspension has an auto leveling feature that helps the vehicle maintain ride height and ground clearance while towing up to 5,000 pounds.

The Palisade's fuel economy is adequate for the vehicle category. It gets 19 mpg in the city, 24 mpg on the highway, and 21 mpg in combined cycles.

Near-Luxury Interior

The midsize SUV's interior appointments and technology make it a near-luxury offering.

The midsize SUV's interior appointments and technology make it a near-luxury offering.

Photo by Kelly Bracken.

You won't feel spartan while driving the Palisade. It's interior is spacious and the cargo area is easily accessible. Rear seats can be folded to expand it from 18 cubic feet to 86.4 cubic feet, an impressive spread, which would be well used by sales fleet drivers with more payload needs.

The infotainment system, which displays on an 8-inch touchscreen, is intuitive to use and includes standard features we now expect, including Apply CarPlay, Android Auto, and Bluetooth connectivity on SE and SEL trims.

For those of us who may knock a curb while making a u-turn, the Palisade Limited offers an impressive video feature. The 12.3-inch digital instrument panel displays a video feed in the odometer or tachometer that shows the roadway right around the side of the vehicle when the driver activates the turn signal. If you signal left, the video feed replaces the odometer. Signal right, and it will replace the tachometer.

2020 Hyundai Palisade Specs

  • Engine: 3.8L V-6 (291 hp, 262 lb.-ft.)
  • Transmission: 8-speed automatic
  • Cargo Space: 18 cu.-ft., 86.4 cu.-ft. with rear seats folded
  • Fuel Economy: 19 mpg city, 24 mpg highway
About the author
Paul Clinton

Paul Clinton

Former Senior Web Editor

Paul Clinton covered an array of fleet and automotive topics for Automotive Fleet, Government Fleet, Mobile Electronics, Police Magazine, and other Bobit Business Media publications.

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