2021 Hyundai Palisade

MSRP range: $32,675 - $47,900
Edmunds suggests you pay$35,089

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2021 Hyundai Palisade Review

  • Plenty of space for adults in all three rows
  • Lots of standard and optional high-tech features
  • Comfortable seating and ride quality
  • Handling isn't as crisp as with some rival SUVs
  • New range-topping Calligraphy trim level
  • Restructured option packages
  • Part of the first Palisade generation introduced for 2020

The Hyundai Palisade is a midsize three-row SUV that serves as the brand's biggest and most expensive SUV. Compared to the model it replaced, the Santa Fe XL, the Palisade is roomier, more comfortable and more refined. Typical Hyundai strengths also abound, as the Palisade is packed with features and backed by a comprehensive warranty.

Take one step inside the cabin and you'll find this Hyundai is one of the most luxuriously trimmed vehicles in the class. In fact, a new range-topping Calligraphy trim debuts for 2021, adding exotic luxury features such as quilted-leather door inserts and a suede-like headliner. Overall, the Palisade is one of our top picks in the three-row SUV class. But is it the right model for you? Read more about the Palisade in our in-depth Expert Review below.

EdmundsEdmunds' Expert RatingThe Edmunds Vehicle Testing Team evaluates a fresh batch of vehicles every week, pairing objective assessments at our test track with real-world driving on city streets, freeways and winding roads. The data we gather results in our Expert Ratings. They’re based on 30-plus scores that cover every aspect of the automotive experience.
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The Hyundai Palisade might be new to the three-row crossover SUV segment, but it's already one of our top picks. Packed with value, comfort and capability, the Palisade has everything shoppers are looking for. Only the lackluster handling and mediocre fuel economy could be considered demerits, but they are minor ones given this well-rounded SUV.
What the Palisade lacks in all-out performance it more than makes up for with a competent and well-rounded skill set. Accelerating from a standstill to 60 mph takes 7.6 seconds, which is an average time for a three-row SUV. High-speed passing can be done with confidence. In our emergency braking tests, the Palisade demonstrated strong and predictable braking. In more routine driving, the brake pedal is easy to control for smooth stops.

Handling and steering are less of a strong point, but the big Hyundai rarely feels sloppy or out of sorts as you drive around turns. Thanks in part to a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic, the Palisade is a stress-free companion for both city and highway driving.
Three-row SUVs aren't always hauling around six or seven people, so there's something to be said for having a little peace when it's just you. The Palisade delivers with minimal amounts of road and wind noise and a quiet yet effective climate control system.

The front seats offer a nice mix of support for cornering and comfort for driving long distances. Just about everybody should like them. The optional second-row captain's chairs are just as good and feel better than some front seats in other vehicles. Even the third row is decent and has a nicely contoured seat cushion.
The Hyundai Palisade blurs the lines between near-luxury and luxury thanks to a well-appointed and comfortable interior for all its passengers. Though a few of the controls on the center stack are a bit of a reach, everything is laid out well and simple to understand. The driving position offers a commanding view out the front and sides, and the somewhat limited rear visibility can be offset with the optional surround-view camera system.

Rear passengers will also like the Palisade. The rear doors open wide, and you can easily slide the optional second-row captain's chairs up and out of the way by pushing a button. Once done, there's a clear path to the third-row seat.
The Palisade is equipped with several collision avoidance and mitigation systems as well as adaptive cruise control that operates down to a stop. Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard, and numerous USB ports are spread across all three rows (although only one can be used for phone connectivity). The wide infotainment screen looks sharp, and it comes with navigation that offers several useful features.

Our Limited test vehicle also had the head-up display and rear-seat intercom features; both are useful. Sound quality from the upgraded 10-speaker sound system is decent but not outstanding. Another mild disappointment is the optional turn-signal camera display in the gauge cluster. It's gimmicky and can be distracting to use.
Trunk space is generous, with 18 cubic feet behind the third row and 87 cubes with both rows folded down. Beyond that, the hatch opening is wide and accommodating. There's also a useful underfloor compartment. The Palisade can tow up to 5,000 pounds when properly equipped, which is an average amount for the class.

Small-item storage is almost too much of a good thing: a fairly giant center bin with a retractable cover, a second bin on the floor between the front passenger seats, and a traditional center console. Cupholders are retractable but allow for smaller bottles to rattle about. Even the bulkiest car seats fit easily, and the seat anchors are easy to find.
The EPA estimates an all-wheel-drive Palisade will get 21 mpg in combined city/highway driving. We were able to match that with our test vehicle on our 115-mile evaluation route. Some rival SUVs offer better fuel economy. But you can run the V6 on regular gas, unlike some rival SUVs that require premium unleaded to return their rated power and fuel economy numbers.
The Palisade, and its corporate sibling, the Kia Telluride, might be the best value in the class. Everything is top-notch, from the driving experience to the interior quality to the standard and optional features. Even the base model seems to give you a bit extra, and in the top trims you get a near-luxury experience. Overall, we are very impressed with the quality and feel of the Palisade. You also get Hyundai's excellent 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and five-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance.
The Palisade really blurs the lines between a luxury and non-luxury vehicle. Value and quality are everywhere. This Hyundai has a breadth of talents and is sure to find itself near the top of this competitive class for a few years to come.

Which Palisade does Edmunds recommend?

The SEL is undoubtedly the sweet spot in the Palisade lineup. It doesn't cost much more than the SE and comes with a dizzying number of quality-of-life upgrades. There are also a pair of option packages that allow you to get a few more goodies without jumping all the way to the Limited.
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Hyundai Palisade models

The 2021 Hyundai Palisade is a three-row midsize SUV sold in four trims: SE, SEL, Limited and Calligraphy. All models are powered by a 3.8-liter V6 (291 horsepower, 262 lb-ft of torque) that is paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard, and all-wheel drive is an option on all trims.

A second-row bench seat with seating for eight is standard on the SE and optional for the SEL. The SEL, Limited and Calligraphy come with second-row captain's chairs that reduce capacity to seven.

The base SE model starts you off with:

  • 18-inch alloy wheels
  • LED headlights
  • Heated mirrors
  • Height-adjustable driver's seat
  • Power-folding second-row seats
  • 8-inch touchscreen
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
  • Five USB ports (three up front and two in the second row)
  • Rear Seat Quiet Mode (silences the speakers in the second and third rows)

The Palisade is also equipped with a healthy list of driving aids, including:

  • Forward collision mitigation (warns you of an impending collision and applies the brakes in certain scenarios)
  • Lane keeping assist (steers the Palisade back into its lane if it begins to drift over the lane marker)
  • Rear parking sensors (alerts you to obstacles that may not be visible behind the vehicle when parking)
  • Adaptive cruise control (maintains a driver-set distance between the Hyundai and the car in front)

Stepping up to the SEL adds:

  • Sunroof
  • Keyless entry and ignition
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Auto-dimming rearview mirror
  • Dual-zone automatic climate control
  • Power-adjustable driver's seat with two-way lumbar
  • Heated front seats
  • Second-row captain's chairs
  • Blind-spot monitor (alerts you if a vehicle in the next lane over is in your blind spot)
  • Rear cross-traffic alert (warns you if a vehicle behind you is about to cross your vehicle's path while in reverse)

A second-row bench seat in lieu of captain's chairs is a no-cost option. Also available are two features packages that bridge the gap between the SEL and the Limited.

  • Convenience package
    • 20-inch wheels
    • Self-leveling rear suspension
    • Sound-reducing front side glass
    • Hands-free liftgate
    • Rear sunshades
    • Wireless charging pad
    • Two USB ports in the third row
    • 115-volt household-style outlet
    • Front parking sensors
  • Premium package
    • Convenience package
    • Heated steering wheel
    • Driver-seat memory settings
    • Power-adjustable passenger seat
    • Heated second-row seats
    • Power-folding third-row seats
    • Leather upholstery
    • 10.25-inch touchscreen
    • Navigation system
    • Cabin intercom system

The Limited comes with all of the above features, plus:

  • Dual-pane sunroof
  • Automatic wipers
  • Digital instrument panel
  • Configurable ambient lighting
  • Head-up display (displays important information in your sight line onto the windshield)
  • Thigh extension and four-way lumbar adjustment for driver's seat
  • Ventilated front and rear seats
  • Upgraded leather upholstery
  • 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system
  • 360-degree camera system (gives you a top-down view of the Palisade and its surroundings for tight parking situations)
  • Blind-spot camera (displays an image of the vehicle's blind spot in the instrument panel when the turn signal is activated

The new Calligraphy trim further adds:

  • Unique grille, wheel designs, and front and rear fascias
  • Faux suede headliner
  • Quilted-leather door inserts
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Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2021 Hyundai Palisade.

Average user rating: 4.4 stars
55 total reviews
5 star reviews: 75%
4 star reviews: 9%
3 star reviews: 5%
2 star reviews: 5%
1 star reviews: 6%

Trending topics in reviews

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Most helpful consumer reviews

5/5 stars, So Far So Good
Dave Fletcher.,
SEL 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A)
Bear in mind at the time I am writing this review I have only put a little over 1,000 miles on my SEL premium package but at this point, at 73 years old, I can say this is the most comfortable vehicle I have ever owned. I came to that conclusion after not being tired or sore after a 300+ mile road trip. Some of my previous vehicles have been Mercedes E class, Genesis 3.8, Infiniti M & Q plus a BMW 328. The interior is very spacious which is important to my wife and I since we are both 6+ footers. Some have complained of wind noise at speed but we have not detected any and find the cabin very quite. On our road trip we got a respectable 27 mpg. All the reviews I have read put the Palisade right at the top and for good reason. I highly recommend.
5/5 stars, Family Car everyone in the Family will Love
Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A)
Highly recommend buying this car. I’ve been car shopping for awhile now and this car was the best option at the best value. The exterior with its grill and wheels gives it a nice look on the road. The interior is luxurious and practical. I was blown away by all the features like heads up display, multiple camera angles, cooling/heating seats and my all time favorite passenger talk. The kids love the large moon roof and all the usb outlets. Most importantly even the kids in the third row are comfortable. This was a step up from our Toyota Sienna and we don’t regret buying this car at all. If you need a car that will seat all your kids comfortably and drive everyone in style at a reasonable price then this is the one for you.
5/5 stars, Love My Palisade Calligraphy
New Happy Hyundai Owner,
Calligraphy 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A)
I purchased a 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy last August. I have driven it almost 2,500 miles and so far, so good. It is extremely quite and has a great ride. I was very interested in the safety features of a 3rd row SUV and the amenities. After looking at Honda, Toyota, Subaru, and Hyundai, I chose the Palidade. It has the most up-to-date features of all the others and has a superior rating in comparison. I have been super pleased with my purchase. The tank size is a bit small at 18.8 gallons. Filled, it has a range of just under 400 miles in mixed driving. Average mileage has been around 20.3 mpg which isn't great but isn't bad either for this size of vehicle. Also, power has been great for all my needs. 3rd row seating has good room. I have had adults ride in the 3rd row several times and no complaints.
5/5 stars, Bought it yesterday, so just figuring it all out..
J. Thompson,
SEL 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A)
My wife and I traded our 2018 Honda Odyssey for the 2021 Palisade SEL AWD. She had really wanted a Telluride, but since they are like finding a two-headed unicorn, she settled for trying out a Palisade. She had wanted the Moss Green Telluride so we found a "Rainforest" with black interior SEL two hours away from us. We called the dealer and they held it for us to come see it. She was immediately impressed with seeing it in person and thought it feels more like a Lexus than a Hyundai. I agree. This vehicle rides VERY well and looks amazing. Since they wouldn't deal with me on the Palisade (paid sticker like everyone else), I was able to get them up on my very clean trade-in. Pros for the Palisade so far: Ride quality Build quality Features for the money at the SEL price ($41K in my case) Seat comfort Safety features Cons so far: No memory seats for drivers (my wife and I vary greatly so that will be missed from the Odyssey) No Sirius XM radio built in the SEL (REALLY, Hyundai???) so we have to use the app/CarPlay/Android Auto. Headlights at night are not strong (as I later saw noted at the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety iihs.org site) on the left side for some reason. We have bright white LEDs, but it had a dark spot driving at night) My overall grade after two days: A-

2021 Hyundai Palisade videos

DAN EDMUNDS: Midsize three row SUVs provide lots of utility at a reasonable price-- usually between $30,000 and $50,000, if you don't go nuts with options. They're perfect for a growing family and a stylish alternative to the minivan, which doesn't offer all wheel drive in most cases. You can expect lots of advanced safety features, along with capable acceleration. JONATHAN ELFALAN: The KIA Telluride is our number one ranked midsize three row SUV, recently beating out our previous favorite, the Honda Pilot. KURT NIEBUHR: Now we have the new Hyundai Palisade and the all new Ford Explorer. We wanted to include a Honda Pilot in this comparison test, but Honda declined. JONATHAN ELFALAN: We put these SUVs through our rigorous and standardized testing and evaluation process to find out which of these three you'd have at the top of your shopping list. DAN EDMUNDS: But before we get started, remember to visit edmonds.com next time you're ready to research a new car, truck, or SUV. And for more videos like this one, click Subscribe. JONATHAN ELFALAN: One of the most important aspects of any midsize three row SUV worth it's sheet metal is interior space. And we've crawled through all three of these cabins pretty extensively. What did you guys think? KURT NIEBUHR: I thought, when we're talking about the front rows on these things, any size driver is going to be able to sit in them. There's plenty of leg room, headroom, shoulder room. That's not the issue. It's when you get into the second row. That's when things-- DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah there are definitely some differences back there. All of them have slide and recline middle row seats. It's interesting that the Ford comes standard in most cases with captain's chairs and a bench is optional, whereas on the Hyundai KIA, it's the other way around. But with a seat all the way back-- I'm 6' 2, so I notice it more-- there's just kind of like a little less leg room in the Explorer. I felt like my knees are a little closer to the front seat back. And I can sit behind myself, technically, if I set the driver's seat to my liking. But in the other two, I just have lots of room and the seats have better cushioning, too. JONATHAN ELFALAN: It's probably a good time to mention car seats. So I tried installing car seats in all three of the cars. As far as the seat anchors, I found that the Ford had anchors that are slightly more visible, which made it easier to find and click in, whereas with the Telluride and the Palisade, the anchors were a bit more recessed. But when it came to installing the seat base, all three were relatively easy. But having a larger, rear facing car seat, I found that there were significantly more space in the Telluride and Palisade than there was in the Explorer, where I could barely fit a hand in between the driver's seat and the car seat when it suggested for myself. I'm about 5' 9, so it wasn't an issue. But I think drivers that are 6 foot and taller might have an issue with that. KURT NIEBUHR: Speaking of size issues, these are three row SUVs, but that extra row is not really meant for someone like you. But it was still kind of eye opening to get in the back of these. I'm about 6 feet tall, so I'm kind of at the limit as to what you can reasonably expect a vehicle this size to accommodate. But here we also saw two of the vehicles have enough room for people like me. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Third row seats are usually meant for children. But I feel like the Telluride and the Palisade did an exceptionally good job in making it actually pretty comfortable for adults. Now, in terms of access to the third row-- again, the Telluride and Palisade have similar ways of getting back there. There's a release button you press. And they actually have two-- there's one on the shoulder, and one on the bottom, which makes it easier for kids to access. And when you push that button, the seat slides forward and you can just climb in. DAN EDMUNDS: One thing I noticed about the Ford is if somebody wanted to get in the third row, but it was folded down flat, that you couldn't do it from the door. You'd have to go around to the hatch, open the hatch, and use the buttons there to power the third row up and then go around and get in. JONATHAN ELFALAN: With the KIA having manual fold seats, and the Palisade having power fold seats, it didn't matter. You could put the third row seat up from either the rear passenger door or the trunk. KURT NIEBUHR: Now, once we actually sat in those back m it was also more comfortable, I felt, in the Hyundai and the KIA. There was just that much more room, not only for our bodies, but it was a better place to sit. The Hyundai and the KIA-- both had a cup holder, they had USB power jacks back there. And the Ford, on the left hand side, had an armrest. But your side-- JONATHAN ELFALAN: That's right. It was really strange, Ford having some sort of asymmetrical arrangement. I went to go put my arm on the armrest and found it sitting in a bin instead, which was very uncomfortable. KURT NIEBUHR: Speaking of bins, that kind of leads us back up to the front row. And each of these vehicles has a different way of handling small items storage. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, the last car I was in was the Explorer and I really liked the way they've used the space there. It's got a rotary shifter. I think all three of these handle the shifter differently and the Ford is in a nice rotary knob. It's really easy to figure out. But what it means is doesn't take up much space. So there's room for a nice big bin in front of it that you can close, and that's where the USB port is. There's a couple of cup holders alongside the shifter and a little slot where you can stand up your phone, so you can still use the cup holders you don't have to put your phone in a cup holder, which is nice. Yeah and there's a little place where you can lean a phone up against a wireless charging pad right behind that. And then there's the center console, which isn't too huge. But since you've got the one in the front, that's not bad. And then the door pockets are big and the glove box is big. And even the rear seat has big door pockets. The center console in the Ford Explorer is non-existent, it's more of a tray on the floor. They say that so you can hop into the back row between the captain's chairs. OK, but it is just a tray on the floor. But still, it's a pretty good setup. JONATHAN ELFALAN: I found that the Palisade also made good use of that storage space up front. It also has a shift by wire, gear selector up front. So you don't have this mechanical mechanism taking up a lot of space. DAN EDMUNDS: Push buttons, though. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Push buttons-- yeah I know. I mean we can argue that point. I think some people might like it, some people not. But I think the fact is, it saves space up front. KURT NIEBUHR: As big as that space is, I think within a month or two, that's going to turn into like a junk drawer in somebody's house. I think you're going to throw hair clips in there, like cell phone cable, sunglasses, car keys are going to get lost because it's got a little charging pad slot that actually disappears underneath the shifter. And I didn't run into a time when I couldn't find my car keys. And they'd actually slid inside there. And I had to go fishing around for it. But I think normal life is just going to pile a bunch of stuff inside that bin. Yeah, the KIA does have a more old school shifter. I kind of like that better. It has less space, less actual volume. But I think the KIA uses it better. I think you've got cup holders that hold cups well. You've got a place to put your phone. You've got not as much space, but I think it just utilizes the space and it has better. And if you open up the center console bin, you can put a roll of paper towels in there vertically. I don't know why you would ever want to do that, but-- JONATHAN ELFALAN: You know you can. KURT NIEBUHR: Yes. JONATHAN ELFALAN: It's just kind of cool. KURT NIEBUHR: Exactly. JONATHAN ELFALAN: I know it doesn't have quite as much space as the other two, but I didn't find myself wanting for extra space. So even though I didn't have as much space, like you said, I think it makes good use of the space it does have. And I also think it looks kind of the nicest. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, sure. KURT NIEBUHR: I think as long as you're still sitting in the front seats of these vehicles, we can talk about climate control because each of these SUVs handles it in their own way. The KIA has got three vents across the center, tons of airflow. I was always comfortable. The Hyundai Palisade has two. And the Explorer also has two. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, but the Explorer is a little different because they've got that screen in the middle and the vents are off to the side. And so that it doesn't really have the airflow down the middle of the car. It's like right on your hand. So I didn't really like that so much. But the other thing that was almost a little more annoying was I just never could quite be comfortable without always fussing with the temperature. It's not really very good at just picking a temperature and setting it and forgetting. JONATHAN ELFALAN: One thing that I did like about the Explorer was how effective the seat ventilation and heat were. I mean, noticeably better than both the KIA and the Hyundai. I think that's maybe enough to compensate for its lack of climate control. DAN EDMUNDS: But this is a great way to talk about an SUVs interior. But they're about carrying cargo and doing some work. So we should talk about utility. All three of these, when you have the rear seats folded down and the middle is in use, they all have about the same amount of space. But things start to get different when you put up the third row to put people in it. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Yeah we actually tried loading all three of these with carry on luggage. And what we found is that we could fit five regulation size carry on luggages in the back of both the Telluride and the Palisade and just hit the hatch button and have the hatch close all by itself. DAN EDMUNDS: Five is good. You could go pick somebody up from the airport and have the kids along. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Right. When it came to the Explorer, and we did the same sort of method with having an automated hatch close on its own, we can only fit three. Now we were able to fit four kind of laying down and squishing it a little bit. But depends on how much you care about your luggage. If you're cool with that, then four will fit in the back of the Explorer. KURT NIEBUHR: All three of these also have their own way of folding that third row. The Hyundai Palisade and the Ford Explorer, they're power, the KIA they're manual. I actually prefer a manual folding seat. It's quick and easy. I'm tall enough, and my arms are long enough where I can just reach in and grab the strap and then the seat folds flat. But something to keep in mind is that if the weather isn't that great outside, if you don't live in sunny Southern California, to reach in and grab that handle to raise the seats, you're going to lean over a muddy bumper or a wet bumper, or a bumper covered in snow and your clothes are going to get ruined. DAN EDMUNDS: Right, and if you're not very tall, you might have a little bit more trouble reaching in and pulling the strap up. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, I agree. JONATHAN ELFALAN: I also liked the speed and ease of which those KIA seats folded. But I will have to say, I was holding my baby girl and trying to put the seat down, and you actually need to use two hands to both raise and lower that seat. So when you grab the strap, you need to pull it back and hold it in place when you release it. DAN EDMUNDS: You just dropped your child. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Exactly. Having the power release, other than the convenience of it, still serves some use in real world situations. DAN EDMUNDS: The other thing is getting into the hatch of all these vehicles. They all have a cool, hands free way to open the hatch. But they're not quite the same. JONATHAN ELFALAN: With the Ford, you have to do this kicking motion. And I think you tried it a few times. How did you find that? DAN EDMUNDS: Well, you have to stand on one foot and swipe your other foot underneath it. And there's a certain spot it wants you to be at. If you don't get it right, you look kind of silly. But getting to your point earlier about ice and snow, if this was winter and it was icy, standing there on one foot trying to get the door to behave, I don't know-- JONATHAN ELFALAN: While holding shopping bags or your child trying to do that it's kind of awkward. Whereas with the KIA and the Hyundai, they have this smart tailgate where you just have to stand in back of the tailgate, it beeps to let you know that something's happening. And then the tailgate just opens, which I think is a brilliant solution. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, when I first walked up and tried that on the Hyundai Palisade, I swiped my foot and the hatch opened. And I only later found out that no, it can sense where the key is and then it beeps, and then it opens. You can just walk up like you guys both said, you can walk up with your arms full and just wait. You might look a little weird and people might look at you and think that you've lost your keys. But you just wait and that's it. JONATHAN ELFALAN: But it's also not a perfect solution because there are times where I was standing in my driveway talking to my neighbor and I'm behind the Telluride and all of a sudden it starts beeping. And you're just like, oh wait, I don't want it to open. DAN EDMUNDS: I guess if you stood back there and then started talking, got interrupted by a dog walker coming by-- JONATHAN ELFALAN: Yeah, but it's also nice to know that you can turn that feature off if you don't like it. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah. JONATHAN ELFALAN: So other than hauling things inside, SUVs are generally more capable at towing things than other types of vehicles. But since I don't have any real experience in this, maybe our resident tow expert can shed some light. DAN EDMUNDS: Sure, and you know there's some big differences here because the Ford, in its two wheel drive form, is rear drive. It was front drive in the last generation but they changed back to rear drive. The Hyundai and KIA are both front drive machines at heart. So really, that's an advantage for Ford because you want your tongue weight to be pressing down on the drive wheels. And you get that with a Ford. And that's part of the reason why I can tell a little bit more. It's maximum tow rating is about 5,600 pounds. And they have four engines and even the hybrid can tow 5,000. The thing about the Ford that is also good is that the hitch is right there where you can see it, the connector for the four and seven pin wiring is right there. Seven pin wiring means it'll support electric trailer brakes. You have to add your own trailer brake controller, but that's a plug and play operation using a pigtail that comes in the glove box. So kudos to Ford for that. But the Hyundai and KIA, they're no slouch either. They can tow 5,000 pounds. And what's good about them is you can get load leveling rear shocks with those. In the case of the Telluride, it comes when you get the hitch. In the case of the Palisade, it's something that comes when you get the 20 inch wheels. So it works even if you're not towing if you got three rows of people in there. And 5,000 pounds is a nice solid number. And the one thing that the Ford has over both of them is that it's got a tow haul mode. And that changes the shift points and just makes it a nice drive when you're towing a trailer. KURT NIEBUHR: So that rear drive platform has more benefits than just being able to do power slides in an SUV. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, I think so. But that's a good one. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Speaking of power slides, let's talk about performance. DAN EDMUNDS: Finally. KURT NIEBUHR: So that Ford is [BLEEP] fast. All right. That Ford is really fast. And we actually had two of the available four engines come in. We had platinum with a three leader twin turbo V6. And we had a limited with a 2.3 liter turbo charge four cylinder. And they were both quicker than the KIA and Hyundai. DAN EDMUNDS: The four cylinder, the 2.3 liter four, got to 60 miles an hour in seven seconds. And the V6, the 3 liter V6, did in 5.8 seconds. So as you say, that's fairly fast. KURT NIEBUHR: Just what you want out of three row SUV. JONATHAN ELFALAN: I don't think anything else in this segment even comes close to that three liter. I mean, they've put their stamp on that. And that's not the only thing that Ford does well. It actually handles, quite surprisingly well. I think you said it at the track where this is more like a tall wagon than a midsize three row SUV. But that said, the Hyundai and KIA aren't slouches in a straight line. I think 7 and 1/2 seconds to 60. Considering these things are primarily people movers, I think we could call those both adequate. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh, sure. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Now, in terms of handling, I felt like the Telluride and Palisade also weren't bad. They're not going to feel like a vehicle that you can go out and you'd want to attack a back road in. But at the same time, they handled themselves pretty well. DAN EDMUNDS: The Ford Explorer would be a little bit more enjoyable to drive. It's just really nice on a winding road. Steering loads up nice in corners. And it just has nice balance and composure. JONATHAN ELFALAN: So performance is kind of a fun thing to talk about, but it's not all about performance, especially with these types of vehicles. So driveability-- I think with the Ford and its new 10 speed automatic transmission, I found that it wasn't quite as smooth as I would have wanted it to be if I was driving this thing every day. Like the performance, it's got it. It's got it. But it seems like it's tuned a little too aggressively, would you say? DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, it feels really eager. You really feel the boost, not so much the eco. And it really wants to go. And that shows in our mpg results. The Hyundai and the KIA are both rated at 21 miles per gallon combined. And the 2.3 liter Ford is rated at 23. And so it should be two better based on similar driving. But what we saw is that everything got 21 miles per gallon. JONATHAN ELFALAN: With the Ford, the way that it's tuned, you want to almost dig into that boost, which is going to cost you mpgs. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, that eagerness in the Ford, where it's always on and it feels like it's always ready, also was kind of found in the ride too. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Yeah you bring up a good point with comfort. So with the Ford, I found that it had good primary ride but not good secondary ride. And what I mean by that is that it was able to handle the big stuff really well. But some of the finer undulations in the road really came through and it made the ride feel a little busy, following every little detail of the road surface, which I didn't feel in the Telluride or the Palisade. Now, those suspensions are by no means perfect. But I felt like they absorbed a lot more of that secondary jitteryness better. DAN EDMUNDS: I think they were a little more consistent across a wider range of road surfaces. JONATHAN ELFALAN: All of these SUVs can be had with all wheel drive. And all of our test cars came with all wheel drive. These systems aren't necessarily geared for any hardcore off-road. It's more inclement weather. But that said, we did spend a little bit of time with these things off road. And by we, I mean Dan. So Dan, what do you think? DAN EDMUNDS: Inclement weather is the main reason for having all wheel drive, here. But they can do a little bit more than that. We had a little off road course, we could take them on. The Hyundai and KIA both have a four wheel drive lock button, which doesn't necessarily lock the center differential, but it makes sure that the front and rear axle have equal amounts of torque. It's not waiting for slip to engage an axle, it's just making it be engaged all the time. The Ford has something similar, but it's kind of buried into a setting that they call trail. And then there's another one for sand and deep snow. So you have a couple of different settings there. They all have about the same level of articulation. None of them really hiked the wheel any further off the ground than any of the others. But ultimately, if we all took all three of these out someplace, it's not like one of them was going to be holding up the other two. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Pretty equally capable. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, but it's going to be you know dirt roads, not the Rubicon trail. JONATHAN ELFALAN: OK, moving on to technology. All these SUVs were equipped with some pretty advanced driving aids, like adaptive cruise control. They had lane keep assists. They had blind spot monitoring. And all worked fairly well, I think pretty even in that field. But I think what grabs people's attention even more today is the infotainment systems and smartphone integration. What do you guys think about those? KURT NIEBUHR: Unsurprisingly, the Hyundai and KIA systems were basically the exact same. Has its own Font. Yeah, shocker. But also, both of them were the same size. As 10.25 inches for both, It's the traditional landscape layout. DAN EDMUNDS: Widescreen landscape, really nice. KURT NIEBUHR: Yeah, but Ford had a better idea. DAN EDMUNDS: The one that everybody talks about is the 10.1 inch portrait oriented screen that's right in the middle. It looks like an iPad sitting there. And we like the portrait oriented screen at around 1500, but this one is quite a bit narrower. And so when you run Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, the screen is kind of small, the useful part. The bottom half doesn't really have anything going on, either. So I like the lower level eight inch screen, which is landscape oriented. And you get a little tray underneath it, which I like. I mean I can actually put my phone right in there. JONATHAN ELFALAN: Now, what is that thing about having CarPlay plugged in and using the native nav. DAN EDMUNDS: As soon as you plug-in your phone, it wants you to use the navigation system through Apple CarPlay, and the native nav winks out. And it's like, no, I need to be in both environments at once. The Ford isn't really very happy doing that, whereas the Hyundai and KIA are just fine. JONATHAN ELFALAN: But I will say this-- the benefit of that larger vertical screen on the board is that if you're using the native navigation system, and you like to run in the direction of travel, you do have a long runway to see what's coming up. DAN EDMUNDS: Oh, yeah. JONATHAN ELFALAN: You can see a lot of streets. DAN EDMUNDS: You know, the one thing we haven't talked about yet is probably the most important thing, is price. So how much do these things cost? KURT NIEBUHR: Well, that's a tough question to answer. All of these things have a pretty broad price range. And I think it depends on what you want as far as options go. You can buy all three of these vehicles in a base two wheel drive configuration. That Palisade starts at 32,645, the Telluride at 32,785, and the Explorer XLT starts at 37,870. Now, there is a more basic Explorer than the XLT but that's probably just for fleet sales. But if you can find one of those, that's going to start at 33,860. All the ones we drove are highly optioned all wheel drive versions. The Palisade limited stickered at 47,605, the Telluride SX at 46,860 and they Explore Platinum at, get this, 61,330. Now 61k is pretty steep, and most people probably won't pay that much for an Explorer. So we brought in a limited with a four cylinder engine to see if that would help its case. No, that stickered at 53,120. JONATHAN ELFALAN: I mean, that just goes to show you where the Telluride and the Palisade are at. Like, I don't think you could get those things above 50 if you threw everything at it. Yet, they had the same number of features as the Ford, and, in some ways, felt better built. Like, I think the interior quality of both those cabins were really nice, the materials that they use, everything felt solidly screwed together. So KIA and Hyundai are providing a real value at this price point. And I think they've set a new benchmark for this class in that sense. So with the Ford, I mean, that's a hefty price tag. So what are we getting? DAN EDMUNDS: Where the money is in the Ford, I think, is in the rear drive layout. They've got some really cool forged aluminum control arms underneath there. There's the 10 speed automatic four engines with turbocharger. So there's a lot of money in the engineering. But it's not the kind of thing that you're going to see each and every day. It does lead to sharper handling and a couple of other things. But as far as just commuting to the store or whatever, you're not going to necessarily see it. So it's kind of like a case of, you don't quite get what you pay for. KURT NIEBUHR: So we talked about a lot of stuff. We tallied up all the scores. And one of these vehicles comes out in first place. But that means one of these vehicles comes out in last place. JONATHAN ELFALAN: This is the best Explorer that Ford has ever built. And I think it could be an attractive option if you're going to be doing a lot of towing. And if you live up in the mountains, you could be driving a lot of mountain roads. But fact of the matter is, the benchmark has been moved. And the KIA and Hyundai are really, really good SUVs. KURT NIEBUHR: Both of those vehicles don't really have any flaws. They do everything that they're supposed to do-- they're smooth or quiet, they're comfortable, they carry people. Also, in a lot of comfort, they can still tow. My preference, though, would lean toward the KIA. I think it has a richer interior. And I think it fits in with the brand. I know that styling is very subjective and it always will be. But the KIA is instantly recognizable as a KIA. And I think the Palisade doesn't seem to fit in with other Hyundais. DAN EDMUNDS: Yeah, I'm totally with you there. I like to Telluride because it's got its own personality. People stop me at gas stations and they wondered what it was. One of them thought it was Land Rover. And I don't see that exactly, but I do see that it looks really unique. JONATHAN ELFALAN: So it sounds like we decided. Explorer, Palisade, Telluride. The Telluride remains our top pick in this segment against some pretty formidable competition. It received an impressive score of 8.4 out of 10 overall, which is to say we really like this thing. But let us know what you think down in the comments. Be sure to hit subscribe if you want to see more great content just like this and see you next time.

Hyundai Palisade vs. Kia Telluride vs. Ford Explorer -- 2020 Midsize SUV Comparison Test

NOTE: This video is about the 2020 Hyundai Palisade, but since the 2021 Hyundai Palisade is part of the same generation, our earlier analysis still applies.

Features & Specs

MPG & Fuel
19 City / 26 Hwy / 22 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.8 gal. capacity
8 seats
Type: front wheel drive
Transmission: 8-speed shiftable automatic
V6 cylinder
Horsepower: 291 hp @ 6000 rpm
Torque: 262 lb-ft @ 5200 rpm
Basic Warranty
5 yr./ 60000 mi.
Length: 196.1 in. / Height: 68.9 in.
Overall Width with Mirrors: N/A
Overall Width without Mirrors: 77.8 in.
Curb Weight: 4127 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 18.0 cu.ft.

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Our experts’ favorite Palisade safety features:

Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist
Alerts the driver about an imminent collision and can automatically apply the brakes if necessary.
Safe Exit Assist
Temporarily prevents you from opening your door if sensors detect a car approaching from the rear.
Surround View Monitor
Shows a top-down view of your SUV when you park, making it easier to avoid curbs and line up in the parking space.

NHTSA Overall Rating 5 out of 5 stars

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.

Frontal Barrier Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Side Crash RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Side Barrier RatingRating
Overall5 / 5
Driver5 / 5
Passenger5 / 5
Combined Side Barrier & Pole RatingsRating
Front Seat5 / 5
Back Seat5 / 5
Rollover4 / 5
Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
Risk Of Rollover15.9%

IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact Test
Roof Strength Test
Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test

Hyundai Palisade vs. the competition

2021 Hyundai Palisade

2021 Hyundai Palisade

2021 Kia Telluride

2021 Kia Telluride

Hyundai Palisade vs. Kia Telluride

The Palisade and the Kia Telluride are corporate cousins, sharing the same platform, powertrain and general trim structure. The Telluride is the less expensive of the two, but these SUVs really do feel quite similar from behind the wheel. Besides the price, the difference primarily comes down to exterior and interior styling.

Compare Hyundai Palisade & Kia Telluride features 

Hyundai Palisade vs. Honda Pilot

Before the debuts of the Palisade and the Telluride last year, the Honda Pilot was our favorite midsize three-row SUV. Highlights include a supremely comfortable ride, a refined interior and surprisingly nimble handling. If neither of the Hyundai/Kia twins interests you, the Pilot is definitely the way to go.

Compare Hyundai Palisade & Honda Pilot features 

Hyundai Palisade vs. Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class

The Palisade's interior is so upscale and the ride so refined, you might wonder if it's worth paying extra for the Mercedes-Benz GLE. The GLE is our favorite midsize luxury SUV for its well-executed tech features and futuristic cabin. As you might expect, the GLE's price dwarfs that of a similarly configured Palisade.

Compare Hyundai Palisade & Mercedes-Benz GLE-Class features 

2021 Hyundai Palisade First Impressions

What is the Palisade?

The Hyundai Palisade is a midsize three-row SUV that last year replaced the Santa Fe XL as Hyundai's most spacious crossover. As with other Hyundais, the Palisade offers a lot for the money. It has far more room than its predecessor, with an accommodating third row and a large cargo area. The materials quality is also top-notch, which you wouldn't expect from one of the more affordable options in the segment. Adding to the value statement is the Palisade's trim lineup. Even the least expensive model is chock-full of useful features, while the top Limited version adds luxurious touches such as ventilated second-row seats.

The Palisade's faults, such as they are, are only in a few areas where it matches — rather than exceeds — class standards. The 3.8-liter V6 delivers good but unexceptional fuel economy and acceleration numbers. Though handling is a distant consideration for most in-market shoppers, the Hyundai Palisade doesn't feel as buttoned-down as a Honda Pilot or a Mazda CX-9. Value-oriented shoppers might also eye the mechanically similar Kia Telluride, which costs slightly less and has more distinctive styling.

EdmundsEdmunds says

The Hyundai Palisade's competitive price tag, luxurious interior and vast set of features make for a nearly unbeatable combo.


Is the Hyundai Palisade a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2021 Palisade both on the road and at the track, giving it a 8.2 out of 10. You probably care about Hyundai Palisade fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Palisade gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg to 22 mpg, depending on the configuration. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Palisade has 18.0 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Hyundai Palisade. Learn more

What's new in the 2021 Hyundai Palisade?

According to Edmunds’ car experts, here’s what’s new for the 2021 Hyundai Palisade:

  • New range-topping Calligraphy trim level
  • Restructured option packages
  • Part of the first Palisade generation introduced for 2020
Learn more

Is the Hyundai Palisade reliable?

To determine whether the Hyundai Palisade is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Palisade. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Palisade's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2021 Hyundai Palisade a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2021 Hyundai Palisade is a good car. Edmunds' expert testing team reviewed the 2021 Palisade and gave it a 8.2 out of 10. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2021 Palisade is a good car for you. Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2021 Hyundai Palisade?

The least-expensive 2021 Hyundai Palisade is the 2021 Hyundai Palisade SE 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $32,675.

Other versions include:

  • Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $46,975
  • SEL 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $35,325
  • SEL 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $37,025
  • Limited 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $45,275
  • Calligraphy 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $47,900
  • SE 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $32,675
  • SE 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $34,375
  • Calligraphy 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A) which starts at $46,200
Learn more

What are the different models of Hyundai Palisade?

If you're interested in the Hyundai Palisade, the next question is, which Palisade model is right for you? Palisade variants include Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A), SEL 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A), SEL 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A), and Limited 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A). For a full list of Palisade models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2021 Hyundai Palisade

2021 Hyundai Palisade Overview

The 2021 Hyundai Palisade is offered in the following submodels: Palisade SUV. Available styles include Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A), SEL 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A), SEL 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A), Limited 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A), Calligraphy 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A), SE 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A), SE 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A), and Calligraphy 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A). Hyundai Palisade models are available with a 3.8 L-liter gas engine, with output up to 291 hp, depending on engine type. The 2021 Hyundai Palisade comes with all wheel drive, and front wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 8-speed shiftable automatic. The 2021 Hyundai Palisade comes with a 5 yr./ 60000 mi. basic warranty, a 5 yr./ unlimited mi. roadside warranty, and a 10 yr./ 100000 mi. powertrain warranty.

What do people think of the 2021 Hyundai Palisade?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2021 Hyundai Palisade and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2021 Palisade 4.4 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2021 Palisade.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2021 Hyundai Palisade and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2021 Palisade featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New 2021 Hyundai Palisade?

2021 Hyundai Palisade SE 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 3 2021 Hyundai Palisade SE 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Hyundai Palisade SEL 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 6 2021 Hyundai Palisade SEL 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Hyundai Palisade Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 3 2021 Hyundai Palisade Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A)

Available Inventory:

We are showing 9 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A) vehicle(s) available in the in the Ashburn area.

Which 2021 Hyundai Palisades are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2021 Hyundai Palisade for sale near. There are currently 38 new 2021 Palisades listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $36,070 and mileage as low as 0 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a car from our massive database to find cheap vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the 2021 Hyundai Palisade. Then select Edmunds special offers, perks, deals, and incentives to contact the dealer of your choice and save up to $2,311 on a used or CPO 2021 Palisade available from a dealership near you.

Can't find a new 2021 Hyundai Palisades you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Hyundai for sale - 3 great deals out of 14 listings starting at $14,112.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

What is the MPG of a 2021 Hyundai Palisade?

2021 Hyundai Palisade Limited 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A), 8-speed shiftable automatic, regular unleaded
21 compined MPG,
19 city MPG/24 highway MPG

2021 Hyundai Palisade SEL 4dr SUV (3.8L 6cyl 8A), 8-speed shiftable automatic, regular unleaded
22 compined MPG,
19 city MPG/26 highway MPG

2021 Hyundai Palisade SEL 4dr SUV AWD (3.8L 6cyl 8A), 8-speed shiftable automatic, regular unleaded
21 compined MPG,
19 city MPG/24 highway MPG

EPA Est. MPG21
Transmission8-speed shiftable automatic
Drive Trainall wheel drive
Displacement3.8 L
Passenger VolumeN/A
Wheelbase114.2 in.
Length196.1 in.
Height68.9 in.
Curb Weight4387 lbs.

Should I lease or buy a 2021 Hyundai Palisade?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Hyundai lease specials