Written by Marco Carvajal
2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy
The Hyundai Palisade is one the most attractive and practical 3-row mid-size luxury SUVs you can find in the US market. Not only it looks great and has very good driving dynamics, but it also has a great low price starting around 35K for the base trim model, making it a very smart purchase.
I am test-driving the top-of-the-line 2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy trim model which is priced at around $49K, a good price for so many features and everything you get standard included on this top model. The Palisade can be compared with top-quality SUVs manufactured by much more expensive brands, but the Palisade has a retail price of less than 35% of such brands, which means paying less and getting more.
The Calligraphy trim model has everything and more than you can expect on a top-of-the-line luxury SUV, with its own exclusive grille design and a Calligraphy exclusive bumper, premium side door garnish, trendy ambient lighting, premium Nappa leather seating surfaces, exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels, and a class-exclusive safety feature, Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA).
The new 2023 Calligraphy is the best luxury trim Palisade you can purchase with all the top-tier features you can wish for.
The Palisade is not just one more SUV in the Hyundai Lineup. The Palisade looks like if you import a luxury SUV like a Range Rover or BMW X7 into Hyundai’s family.
Hyundai’s Palisade has been one of the best additions to the lineup. The Palisade brings Hyundai to a higher level of luxury and car power. This SUV has everything a demanding driver may wish for, from a 291 Horsepower engine with different driving modes for snow and more to a very luxurious and beautiful exterior and interior design that will make you wish to keep driving the Palisade.
The name Palisade compares this SUV with a line of high cliffs, and with the strength of a fortress. This name relates to the bold exterior and the sense of safety and security for all the family on board.
The Bolt and elegant exterior design of the palisade is enhanced with full volume over-fenders and body sides with muscular detailing. According to Hyundai, the Palisade is an expression of rugged utility with premium detailing, using a unique & distinctive “Crocodile Eye” light signature look. The Palisade’s design has been inspired to reflect the atmosphere of the modern serenity of yachting, with relaxing comfort and family adventure.
The Palisade has a bold exterior and a sense of luxury, safety, and safety for all the family on board. It attracts car buyers in higher income brackets.
The Palisade has a wonderful design and interior architecture, providing more luxury and premium style than the Hyundai Santa Fe and Hyundai Tucson. For my personal taste, the Palisade is the best SUV you can buy in the Hyundai lineup. When driving a Palisade the pilot can feel the power and precise driving experience of this SUV.
The bolt and elegant look of the palisade is enhanced with full volume over-fenders and body sides with muscular detailing. According to Hyundai, the Palisade is an expression of rugged utility with premium detailing, using a unique & distinctive “Crocodile Eye” light signature look that can impress the most demanding and stylish drivers.
The 2023 Palisade is Hyundai’s Flagship SUV.
The interior of the Palisade is very comfortable. The Palisade’s interior is bold and beautiful. I love the second-row captain chairs that have a space in the middle for easy walk-ins between the second and third rows. With most three-row SUVs you have to bend one of the seats in the second row in order to access the third row, but with the space between the two seats in the second row, you have a similar seat distribution as in a minivan.
For those who love premium audio quality, Harman Kardon premium audio is available.
With the Palisade’s design, Hyundai’s inspiration wants to reflect the atmosphere of the modern serenity of yachting, with relaxing comfort and family adventure. Besides great distribution and a lot of practical spaces, the Palisade has very comfortable large seats and the interior feels premium and expensive. It has good materials and a high-quality feel.
The Palisade is not huge but it is large enough and the interior is very spacious. Passengers onboard the Palisade can enjoy intelligent storage, such as cubicles and shelves, a blessing for long trips. Behind the third row, there are 18 cubic feet for the load which rises to almost 47 cubic feet with the third row folded flat.
Hyundai accomplished what most drivers are looking for, to have a lot of interior space without having to drive a huge car. The front seats are among the best in the segment and the passengers in the rear seats have plenty of legroom and three rows of seats that can accommodate adults in almost any position, something unusual on a three-row SUV.
The Palisade front seats are very spacious, the driver and front passenger have enough space to stretch legs, arms, bring accessories, purses or bags on board without feeling too tight. The second row and the third row both have very comfortable space too.
The distance between the second and third rows is larger than in most 3-rows. There is enough space for adults to seat in the 3rd row. Also, the trunk has a very good size compared to most 3-rows.
Driving the Palisade
This is the third time I test drive the Palisade. This time I am driving this elegant SUV in Florida where the Palisade goes very well with the tranquility of driving near the ocean and water channels in Florida. You feel safe and the interior is very spacious from the first to the third road. So many features let me enjoy the ride and the interior. The passengers onboard love riding inside the Palisade, great audio, great multimedia, very comfortable seats, and very good space for everyone. Getting in and out of the Palisade is easy and practical.
One of my previous test drives of the Palisade was very different as it included the difficult off-roads in Asheville, North Carolina, where I was able to navigate the Palisade through great off-road obstacles, having the Palisade respond great on all road conditions. The Hyundai Palisade proved its off-road skills on a set of terrain that included ditch crossings, log crossings, steep hill climbs, and hard rocky descents, on several deep mud conditions in Asheville, NC.
HTRAC With New Tow Mode Capability
The 2023 Palisade offers Hyundai’s HTRAC, All-Wheel-Drive (AWD) system for more power on all the wheels, which adds also Tow Mode. The new “Tow Mode” adjusts the towing powertrain profile, holding lower gears longer and reducing the frequency of shifting response.
The HTRAC AWD system was developed as a multi-mode system, providing an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch, with active torque control between the front and rear axles. The driver-selectable HTRAC Normal, Sport, and Smart modes help provide confident control in all weather conditions.
This AWD system has a wider range of torque distribution variability than many competitive systems and has been tuned to conditions such as straight-line acceleration, medium- or high-speed cornering, and hill starts where more power is needed on every wheel.
2023 Palisade Trim Models
Selecting the right Palisade is easy, all models come with standard FWD front-wheel drive standard, but you can upgrade them to AWD All-wheel drive.
The Palisade lineup originally only had three available trims, but now in 2023, the family keeps expanding offering more models like the luxurious Calligraphy trim model I am test-driving.
- 2023 Hyundai Palisade SE $35,550
- 2023 Hyundai Palisade SEL $38,200
- 2023 Hyundai Palisade XRT $40,850
- 2023 Hyundai Palisade Limited $47,100
- 2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy $49,500
If we compare the five different trims available, from the base SE to the new top-of-line Calligraphy, all models can be very good and convenient according to your needs and budget.
The most economic trim model SE is priced at only $35K, which is a very good price for such a nice three-row luxury SUV. It has a 3.8L V6 GDI Engine, 8-Speed Automatic SHIFTRONIC, 8-passenger seating with 2nd-row bench seat, 12.3-inch touchscreen display with navigation, proximity Key with push button start, WiFi Hotspot, and more. it will be difficult to find such a luxury midsize SUV for this price.
The top-of-the-line 2023 Palisade Calligraphy is priced starting at $49K, you can get everything you dream of in a new SUV and probably more. The top-of-the-line 2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy that I am test driving has a 3.8L V6 GDI Engine, 8-Speed Automatic SHIFTRONIC, 7-passenger seating with 2nd-row captain’s chairs, 12.3-inch touchscreen display with navigation standard, Proximity Key with push button start, WiFi Hotspot, Premium Nappa leather seating surfaces, Exclusive 20-inch alloy wheels, Ergo-motion driver’s seat, Remote Smart Parking Assist (RSPA), ambient lighting, and much more.
Continuing with the generous list of features that Hyundai included on the Palisade Calligraphy you can find Quilted leather door panels, Premium rear LED accent lighting, a Leather-wrapped two-tone steering wheel, Full-display rear view mirror, Calligraphy exclusive front bumper and grill, Parking Collision-Avoidance Assist – Reverse (PCA-R), Premium side door garnish, Puddle lamps, Ergo-motion driver’s seat, Microfiber headliner, LED Daytime Running Lights (DRL), Bi-LED headlights, Satin chrome exterior door handles, Multi-device connection, Bluelink Connected Car System, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration for your phone, Dual automatic temperature control, Heated front seats, 8-way power driver seat,
Options include the smart and powerful HTRAC All Wheel Drive and Surround View Monitor (SVM).
Hyundai is making sure that when you buy a Palisade top-of-line Calligraphy you will get more than you wish standard at no additional cost.
Fuel Economy, No Palisade Electrified Version Yet
The Palisade is not the most economic car when we talk about fuel economy, but it has a decent fuel consumption considering that it has a large V6 Gasoline engine. The FWD version has can range from 22 Miles per Gallon Combined, 19 MPG in the City, and 27 MPG on the Highway. The AWD version has 21 MPG Combined, then 19 MPG in the City, and finally 25 MPG on the Highway. I assume that as electrification keeps moving very fast in all car automakers including Hyundai, soon we will see a Palisade hybrid or electric soon.
Hyundai already has electrified versions of the Tucson, Santa Fe, Ioniq 5, and we can expect to see the Palisade on the new electrified vehicles list soon.
The Palisade is sold standard with front-wheel drive, but you can go for All-Wheel Drive for an additional $2,000. The Palisade is powered by a 3.8-liter V6 engine with 291 horsepower and 262 foot-pounds of torque coupled to an 8-speed automatic transmission. The V6 engine is strong and robust, with a fairly sporty acceleration, as well as its handling and steering.
This SUV is smart, Hyundai’s smart HTRAC all-wheel-drive system tracks vehicle speed and road conditions to control braking between the left and right wheels. It balances power between the front and rear wheels to ensure safety while delivering superior cornering and driving dynamics on multiple road surfaces. Traditional 4-wheel drive systems were made for off-road conditions and generally not very fuel-efficient. Hyundai’s HTRAC is designed to combine the capabilities of a 4WD system with the performance and full efficiency of front-wheel drive.
While the AWD system is always engaged, drivers have the option of selecting different driving modes, like Snow mode, Smart mode, lock AWD, and ECO mode.
The Palisade has enough power to tow up to 5,000 pounds, and it can be ordered with a Class III hitch and an automatic rear suspension.
The MacPherson rear multi-link suspension system is robust. The 8-speed automatic transmission resolves smoothly, offering a refined feeling. The rear shocks have been pushed more vertically for a longer ride and better ride quality, along with a body that is more rigid.
The Palisade is a family SUV that produces great performance. Driving the Palisade you can feel how efficient is the car and how it offers a superior and well-receptive driving experience.
Palisade Compared to Other SUVs
The Palisade has some similar elements to its family relative the new Kia Telluride, but both SUVs look very different, with their own design and functions. Some of the main competitors are the Volkswagen Atlas, Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Subaru Ascent, Mazda CX-9, Subaru Ascent, Nissan Pathfinder, and the Dodge Durango
The Palisade is a great buy with a very low initial price of around $35K. Less expensive than all key competitors and it offers a great warranty of 5 years or 60,000 miles.
The Palisade is equipped with all the right tools to be successful and win over the competition. The Palisade has some similar elements to its relative the new Kia Telluride, but both SUVs look completely different, with their own design and functions.
The Three Rows Hyundai Palisade Top Trim Calligraphy is More Luxury and Premium than Most SUVs.