Cheap is rarely a bad word, especially when it is used to describe a great value. So when I say that the 2020 Hyundai Palisade is cheap, I mean that to the extreme. It is the bargain of a century! Driving the vehicle on a four-hour road trip to attend a conference, I often lost myself in this sub-$50,000 luxury suv. In fact, I would argue that the Palisade is better than most $80,000+ full-size SUVs on the market.
Let’s face it, true luxury vehicles are not about fancy technologies or 0-to-60mph times. They are about isolating you from the rest of the world. And, the Palisade does just that. Its supple ride mitigates bumps akin to what you would expect from a Mercedes SUV and its noise insulation properties make it supremely quite. I had a group of people in the vehicle curiously ask: “who makes this?” Without the big H on the front, its exterior styling cues would make you think German versus Korean.
The interior on the Limited trim Palisade is beautifully designed, with quilted leather on the doors and seats. It is a large and wide vehicle, so all seven of your passengers can stretch their legs and arms. All controls are still ergonomically in arms reach for both front passengers, and the infotainment system is very easy to use. Hyundai has made great use of the large touch screen display by allowing you to break it up into three customizable sections. My preference was maps, audio, and the local weather. And with the exception of a few plastic trim pieces, you will get lost into thinking that you are driving a luxury brand versus an economy brand. I am a little surprised that Hyundai didn’t brand the Palisade a Genesis – the manufacturer’s luxury brand – because it is that good.
Despite the Palisades massive size, it is a comparatively easy vehicle to drive. It steers nicely and offers great visibility via the windows and mirrors. But just in case you still need additional guidance, it is available with a full 360-degree camera. Additionally, whenever you turn on your blinker, a blind spot camera appears on the main instrument cluster. I ended up using these cameras more for parallel parking – so I didn’t scratch the rims on the curb – than I did for checking my blind spots.
I am typically not a fan of big SUVs, but the 2020 Hyundai Palisade is a winner. The fully-loaded trim offers the luxuries, styling, and ride quality of a premium full-size SUV for the price of a Chevy Tahoe. It is a win, win in my book.