Skip to main content
The Hyundai Palisade Is Flying Off Dealer Lots, and Here's Why

The Hyundai Palisade Is Flying Off Dealer Lots, and Here's Why

Midsize three-row SUV sells almost twice as fast as segment average

  • Through the first four months of 2021, the average Hyundai Palisade spent just 25 days at the dealership before selling
  • The average three-row midsize SUV sits for 48 days before finding a buyer
  • The Palisade is winning because it's a great product — the Edmunds experts currently rank it No. 2 in this very competitive segment

Hyundai has been searching for a three-row winner for a long time.

Sales of the Veracruz floundered until it was discontinued in 2012. Hyundai fared better with the Santa Fe through 2018 (briefly renamed Santa Fe XL for 2019), but it didn't break any new ground.

That has changed with the Hyundai Palisade, which enters its second year of production for 2021. New data shows that Hyundai's fresh family hauler is resonating with buyers in a big way.

"This is arguably Hyundai's most important vehicle," said Ivan Drury, senior manager of insights at Edmunds.

Compared to rivals, the Palisade is flying off dealer lots. The average Palisade sold in just 25 days through the first four months of 2021, while other three-row SUVs averaged 48 days. Among direct competitors, only the Kia Telluride moved faster.

Buyers also shouldn't count on incentives. While other three-row SUVs have averaged a 4.3% discount so far in 2021, the Palisade is averaging a discount of just 0.4%.

Notably, the Palisade's most expensive trim, the Calligraphy, accounts for a hefty 23% of all 2021 Palisade sales. The average transaction price of the Palisade Calligraphy is just shy of $50,000.

What's driving Palisade sales?

For Jan Afrasiabi, a billing specialist in Fayetteville, Georgia, the Palisade was a surprise fit.

Afrasiabi wanted to trade in her leased Hyundai Santa Fe for something bigger. She didn't know Hyundai had a vehicle that large, and assumed she would buy a Toyota Highlander. But when she arrived to trade the Santa Fe, she saw the Palisade. It looked just right.

"It had similar room inside, but wasn't big and clunky on the outside," Afrasiabi said. "Plus, the price was right."

Palisade sales are drawing business away from competing brands at a higher rate than other Hyundais, according to Drury. But it is also playing a crucial role in keeping current customers, like Afrasiabi, within the family.

Afrasiabi bought a Palisade SE, the entry-level model. Still, she's impressed by the level of comfort and the array of tech features inside — particularly, as the mother of a young child, its rear-occupant alert system, which notifies the driver if the second row is still occupied upon leaving the vehicle.

Customers are beginning to feel a kinship with one another too, Afrasiabi said.

"Now I wave to other Palisades when I see them. And they wave back!"

Edmunds ranks Palisade no. 2 behind Telluride

Judging by its performance in Edmunds' rigorous vehicle testing, the Palisade deserves its newfound popularity. We rank it second among three-row midsize SUVs as of this writing, behind only the Telluride.

The Palisade's overall rating of 8.2 out of 10 included a score of 8.5 in four key categories for a midsize SUV: Comfort, Interior, Storage and Value. We were also impressed when we put the Palisade through our dynamic evaluation at the track, noting that the standard V6 engine has "a smooth surge all the way to [redline]" and "sounds good, too," while the brake pedal "has a nice mix of responsiveness and travel and gives nothing but confidence."

Edmunds says

The sales data surrounding recent Hyundai Palisade purchases shows that it's resonating with today's buyers. In the process, Hyundai is drawing customers away from rivals such as Honda and Toyota without having to attach incentives to the deal. We think the Palisade is a winner for buyers, and that's proving true for Hyundai so far too.