Cars for large families are few and far between, but Hyundai’s Palisade SUV is one of the most accomplished and versatile in the business.
Here are five things you need to know about the Hyundai Palisade.
You get something for nothing
It’s rare to be given something for nothing but if you buy a Palisade, Hyundai will chuck in an extra seat for free, bringing the total to eight. But before you buy, check out the smaller and cheaper Santa Fe. It doesn’t have the eighth seat or the cavernous interior but it will do for most average-sized families. The all-wheel-drive Palisade Highlander diesel is a hefty $87,600 drive-away, $15,000 more than the Santa Fe Highlander.
The diesel is the smart buy
The V6 petrol version is the cheapest model in the Palisade range, at roughly $72,000 for the front-drive Elite. The diesel version costs $4500 more but also adds all-wheel-drive, which delivers better traction on slippery surfaces. The diesel is the choice for anyone looking to tow. Not only will it perform better on a wet boat ramp, the extra 85Nm of torque delivered low in the rev range means it will lug a load more effortlessly and economically. Its touring range is closer 1000km, while the petrol model’s is less than 700km. The 3.8-litre petrol engine has more power – 217kW to the diesel’s 147kW – but the front wheels sometimes struggle for grip if you’re enthusiastic with the throttle, especially in the wet.
Choosing petrol means pain at the pump
The Palisade’s petrol engine uses roughly a third more fuel than the diesel, so it costs a lot more to run. The official average consumption figure for the petrol is 10.7L/100km, while the diesel uses just 7.3L/100km. The price gap between diesel and petrol has narrowed in recent months from 35c a litre to just 20c, which tilts the scales back in favour of diesel. At $1.80 a litre for petrol and $2 a litre for diesel, it’ll cost you $128 to fill a petrol Palisade and $142 to fill the diesel. That works out to roughly $14.60 per 100km for the diesel and $18.80 for the petrol. The difference is even more stark around town, where the petrol model uses a claimed 15L/100km, compared with 9.2L/100km for the diesel. In heavy bumper to bumper traffic we saw as much as 18L/100km for the petrol version.
There’s plenty of tech for the money
If you can afford the price tag, the Palisade delivers a classy mix of quality cabin finishes and cutting edge technology. Luxury items include heated and ventilated front seats wrapped in rich Nappa leather, a heated steering wheel, double sunroof, automatic tailgate and aircon vents for all three rows. There’s a large centre screen, a digital instrument panel and a heads-up display of vital information on the windscreen. Add to that lots of USB ports, Apple CarPlay/Android Auto and an excellent 12-speaker sound system. All the latest driver assistance technology is standard, but the audible speed limit warnings will drive you nuts. Venture one km/h over the limit and it’ll beep at you, which wouldn’t be as much of an issue if it guessed the speed correctly. On a couple of occasions it told us the limit was 70km/h when it was 110km/h.
It’s a pretty good to drive for its size
As a comfy highway cruiser, the Palisade takes a lot of beating. Both engines deliver effortless performance and impressive refinement, while the eight-speed auto shifts seamlessly to keep the power on tap. It’s no slouch when the road gets twisty either. There’s no disguising its bulk on sharper turns, but it changes direction confidently and the steering gives good feedback. Bumps are expertly dispatched at speed, although the big 20-inch alloy wheels and low profile tyres can thud over corrugations and potholes around town.
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