Although the 2022 Palisade shares a platform with the Kia Telluride, the Hyundai’s distinct styling cleverly carves out its own niche. That allows it to appeal to a different subset of the SUV-buying public while offering much of what we like about the Telluride, including a smooth-running powertrain, spacious cabin, and composed on-road demeanor. The Palisade takes a more upscale approach, with its top trims offering almost Genesis-like levels of comfort and refinement, which helped it earn an Editors’ Choice award. Along the way, its cheaper value-minded trims still offer a generous set of convenience and infotainment features made to suit the modern family. Its long warranty coverage and standard driver-assistance tech are yet two more reasons to have the Palisade at the top of your shopping list.
What’s New for 2022?
For its next trick, Hyundai will turn its already luxurious Palisade SUV into an even more upscale three-rower with the addition of the top-spec Calligraphy trim for 2022. The Calligraphy model adds unique exterior lighting elements, boldly-designed 20-inch wheels, a distinct grille finish, and standard all-wheel drive. Inside, buyers of the enhanced model will notice a faux-suede headliner, quilted-leather upholstery on the doors and seats, and a perforated leather wrap on the steering wheel. What isn’t included is the executive-level second row seats with the dual-screen entertainment system that’s part of the Calligraphy package in Hyundai’s home market of Korea. Elsewhere in the lineup, the larger 10.3-inch infotainment display, in-dash navigation, SiriusXM satellite radio, the in-car intercom, and a semi-autonomous driving mode have all been rolled into the mid-range SEL’s Premium package. All models now come with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, LED headlights, and HD radio.
Engine, Transmission, and Performance
The Palisade is powered by a 3.8-liter V-6. Coupled to an eight-speed automatic transmission, the engine’s 291 horsepower is adequate for this application. The Palisade’s transmission can be manually shifted with steering-wheel-mounted paddles. The gearbox shifts smoothly on its own, but there’s some busy shuffling of the ratios when climbing hills. Front-wheel drive is standard, while all-wheel drive is optional on SE, SEL, and Limited trim levels; it’s standard on the range-topping Calligraphy. All Palisades come standard with a robust transmission cooler, trailer pre-wiring and sway control, and can tow up to 5000 pounds when equipped with the dealer-installed trailer hitch. We tested an all-wheel-drive SEL and it delivered adequate—if unexceptional—test results at our test track. In our testing, the Palisade went from zero to 60 mph in 6.9 seconds and the Palisade needed 182 feet to stop from 70 mph. It proved to be slightly quicker than the Telluride but slower than the Chevy Traverse.
Fuel Economy and Real-World MPG
According to the EPA, the front-wheel-drive Palisade achieves a rating of 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. When equipped with all-wheel drive, the Palisade gets 19 city and 24 mpg highway. In our 200-mile highway test route, our all-wheel-drive SEL model managed just 23 of its claimed 24 mpg rating.
Interior, Comfort, and Cargo
There’s room for up to eight passengers in the SE and SEL trims, seven in the Limited and Calligraphy, and there’s plenty of space in all three rows for their occupants. The second row features a one-touch button to move the seat forward for easy access to the third row. Noise from the road is suppressed; however, a large amount of wind noise penetrates the doors. With the second- and third-row seats folded, power operation is optional on the SEL and standard on Limited. Cargo volume behind the front seats is 86 cubic feet, which fit 33 carry-on suitcases in our testing. With the second row in the upright position and the third row folded, there is 46 cubic feet. With the third-row in use, the volume shrinks to a modest 18 cubes. Underneath the load floor, there is plenty of room to store muddy or wet items. The cubbies in the doors are tight, but there is reasonable storage within and below the floating-bridge center console.
Infotainment and Connectivity
An 8.0-inch touchscreen infotainment display with Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, and Bluetooth connectivity is standard on SE and SEL trims. A responsive and intuitive 10.3-inch display rendered with sharp resolution—optional on the SEL and standard with the Limited and Calligraphy—offers navigation and SiriusXM satellite radio. Both systems also can be operated by physical knobs and buttons. Up to seven USB ports can be optioned as well as the ability to connect two Bluetooth devices simultaneously. When equipped with Hyundai’s Blue Link app service, the Palisade can be locked and unlocked as well as started remotely through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
Safety and Driver-Assistance Features
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has given the Palisade a five-star safety rating and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has named it a Top Safety Pick+. On top of the standard safety equipment, nearly every advanced safety system can be added as the trim levels progress. Key safety features include:
- Standard automated emergency braking with pedestrian detection
- Standard lane-departure warning with lane-keeping assist
- Standard adaptive cruise control