Business As Usual For Hyundai
Even after spinning Genesis off as a unique luxury division, Hyundai has continued to march their own brand more and more in that direction. 2020’s Palisade was not only their most luxurious suv yet, but also their biggest. And if we’ve learned nothing else this century, it’s that Hyundai doesn’t stand pat for long. So, for 2023 the Palisade gets a host of updates that make it more appealing than ever!
While it didn’t exactly come out of nowhere, it’s doubtful many people thought that the Hyundai Palisade would become as popular as it has in just 3 short years. And with popularity comes higher expectations of customers, but also an increased effort on the side of the manufacturer to deliver even more. That’s where this 2023 Hyundai Palisade comes in; not only highlighting numerous exterior updates, but changes in technology for both convenience and driving assistance.
It's hard to miss that cascading grille; it’s bigger, yes, but also with more sophisticated, upscale styling. Both the headlamps and daytime running lights have been redesigned to blend into surroundings a little more than before; and there are new wheel designs throughout the lineup; these 20-inch multi-spoke alloys specific to top Calligraphy trim. Additional features such as auto-dimming side mirrors have also been added.
When it comes to the interior, most of what you interact with has also been updated. There’s a new dash that appears leaner and more linear, with slimmer control panels that are also more digital than before; as well as a larger housing for the 12-inch infotainment display. It still blends into the gauge cluster as before, but now does so more smoothly. There’s a new steering wheel with updated controls, nicer materials throughout the cabin, and wireless phone charging increases from 5 to 15-watts.
Lots of updates in the 7 or 8 passenger seating areas too. Front seats get new covers made of finer materials. Our tester’s second-row captain’s chairs get adjustable armrests, and 3rd row seats can now be heated.
Front seats are still not as plush feeling as some but are definitely all-around comfortable for long trips. Second-row room is generous, there’s quick and easy access to the standard third row, and dual sunroofs allow in lots of natural light. And we love the wealth of small item storage places front to back. Cargo space remains a very plentiful 18.0 cubic-ft. behind the 3rd row, 45.8 behind the 2nd, and a max of 86.4 behind the front seats.
Powertrain is unchanged; that means a 3.8-liter V6 and 8-speed automatic transmission delivering 291-horsepower and 262 lb-ft. of torque, but we felt a trip to Mason Dixon Dragway was still in order.
Traction was good off the line, leaving with just a slight chirp of the tires, and delivering steady power almost immediately. Still, this is a big vehicle, so taking a full 7.0-seconds to hit 60 is not out of line by any means. The 8-speed automatic worked smoothly, ripping through 1st and 2nd gears quickly, while taking its time with 3rd and 4th; helping the Palisade complete the ¼-mile in 15.3-seconds at 92 miles-per-hour.
It felt good in our handling course too, with moderately weighted steering feel and only minor amounts of understeer. Body roll was moderate, but it was easy to keep a smooth consistent pace through the cones, with very little stability control intervention, and no drama to speak of. A new tow mode has been added to bring drive mode options to 7, allowing the transmission to hold onto gears a little longer, but max towing capability remains at 5,000-lbs. It’s integrated into Hyundai’s active HTRAC all-wheel-drive system which is available in all trims and uses selective braking not only to enhance traction in slippery situations but provide handling benefits by helping the vehicle rotate through turns. Brakes were quite good as well despite a very soft pedal; only moderate nosedive, with straight and smooth stops of just 108-feet from 60.
Safety and driver assistance technology also get upgraded, along with added Remote Smart Parking Assist and enhanced Highway Driving Assist. And finally, Hyundai follows the trend of off-road inspired utilities with a new toughened up XRT trim.
Pricing starts at just $36,545, with top Calligraphy coming in at only $50,495. All-wheel-drive is a $1,900 option with all trims.
So, a lot of little and some not so little things have changed about the 2023 Hyundai Palisade 3-row SUV. But, the most important thing of all hasn't changed. That is, the Palisade continues to deliver an amazing amount of luxury, practicality, and comfort at a quite attainable price. Sounds like business as usual for Hyundai.
Engine: 3.8L V6
Torque: 262 lb-ft
0-60 mph: 7.0 seconds
1/4 Mile: 15.3 seconds at 92 mph
60-0 Braking: 108 feet (avg)
EPA: 19 City / 25 Highway / 21 Combined
MW Fuel Economy: 24.9 mpg