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2021 Hyundai Palisade Review

Stephen Rivers

We’ve looked at all the latest 3-row SUVs and it’s hard to recommend any of them but the 2021 Hyundai Palisade when it comes to value for the money.

What’s New for the 2021 Hyundai Palisade

In 2021, the Palisade gets a new trim level, Calligraphy which adds more luxury features over the limited trim level. All such equipped vehicles get special wheels, a special grille, standard All-Wheel-Drive, and special interior lighting. Other features become standard on all models like Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Last year this was the most luxurious vehicle in its class but this year it’s officially better than some vehicles that are supposed to punch above the spritely little Hyundai.

2021 Hyundai Palisade - hyundainews.com

2021 Hyundai Palisade – hyundainews.com |  Shop 2021 Hyundai Palisade on Carsforsale.com

Body Style

Starting Price

MSRP $33,700

Drivetrain

Drivetrain

FWD or AWD

Drivetrain

Fuel Economy

19 City / 26 Hwy (MPG)

Number of Seats

Seating

Seats 7-8

The Breakdown

Bold brash styling sets itself apart

Excellent equipment

Exceptional overall layout and features inside

Wonderfully comfortable seating

Limited trim pricing could be better

Climate control screen is a bit old-fashioned

Fog lights would be a nice option

A more powerful powertrain or a hybrid

2021 Hyundai Palisade Specs

Trims & Pricing

SE - $33,700
SEL - $36,350
Limited - $46,300
Calligraphy - $47,225

2021 Hyundai Palisade Powertrain

2021 Hyundai Palisade V6 - hyundainews.com
2021 Hyundai Palisade V6 - hyundainews.com

All 2021 Hyundai Palisade models will get the same 291 horsepower V6 and 8-speed automatic transmission. Power can be routed to the front wheels alone or to all four wheels. Considering the overall weight and general heft of the SUV, it’s quite potent and pushes the car to 60mph in just 6.9 seconds. That’s pretty fast and beats out competitors like the Toyota Highlander (7.1) and the Land Rover Discovery Sport (7.4). Strangely, its cousin the Kia Telluride feels a bit slower down low in the power band despite having the same overall drivetrain.

The transmission is smooth and adds to the luxurious feel inside this 3-row SUV. Overall driving impressions are a bit more pedestrian as the Palisade lacks the deftness of more expensive luxury vehicles. Rough and cracked pavement can be a bit jarring for rear-seat passengers, but the farther forward you’re sitting the less you notice it. In truth, we’re picking nits a bit because nowhere in this vehicle is the ride uncomfortable, it’s just not $70,000 comfortable, and that can easily be forgiven considering all it offers for roughly half that.

2021 Hyundai Palisade Fuel Economy & MPG

2021 Hyundai Palisade - hyundainews.com
2021 Hyundai Palisade - hyundainews.com

With any large vehicle, compromised efficiency can be a concern, but the 2021 Hyundai Palisade leverages the 8-speed transmission to provide reasonable mileage ratings of 19 city and 26 highway with a combined rating of 22mpg.

When optioning the Palisade with All-Wheel-Drive mileage suffers a bit and drops to an overall rating of 21 mpg with 19 in the city and 24 on the highway. That’s not much of a penalty for the added benefit of better footing in poor road conditions. Auto start/stop at lights is incredibly smooth and helps add just that much more economic value to the SUV.

Interior, Comfort, & Cargo Space

The story of the interior in the 2021 Hyundai Palisade is that it gives you a little more that its Kia brother the Telluride doesn’t, and at the same time it has to take some away to provide it. First of all, there’s a small but marked uptick in overall quality and comfort compared to the Telluride. The seats in the Calligraphy edition are especially cushy and comfortable. The single button press required to enter the third row should be an industry standard.

The dash and general interior design are more advanced and modern than most would imagine from Hyundai. While this could put some buyers off, we think that it makes the Palisade blend into the segment more completely. Rear seating is surprisingly roomy and this is where it has to give up something to its Kia brother. It achieves over 31 inches of legroom in the power reclining 3rd row, but it loses cargo space to provide that. Of course, once the seats are folded it’s still an outstanding hauler.

Entertainment & Technology

2021 Hyundai Palisade - hyundainews.com
2021 Hyundai Palisade - hyundainews.com

When your base model comes with a responsive and bright 8.1-inch touchscreen, you’re starting off on the right foot. Add to it that all other 2021 Hyundai Palisades can be optioned or will come standard with a 10.25-inch touchscreen with integrated navigation. Perhaps the most impressive part of this system is just how easy it is to use. The interface is logical and straightforward and menus are where you’d expect them to be. Wireless USB ports are all over the place and the SEL can be optioned with a household outlet as well for plugging in things like a toaster or a hairdryer if you wanted to do that.

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2021 Hyundai Palisade - hyundainews.com
2021 Hyundai Palisade - hyundainews.com

An optional Harmon & Kardon premium audio sound system provides the luxury touch for your ears that you’d expect from a much more expensive vehicle. Drive modes are a nice premium touch that most drivers won’t use, but they’ll appreciate knowing that they’re there. When it comes to doing a lot with what seems like very little, the Palisade uses its cameras to provide a crystal clear 360-degree view that previously was only found on much more expensive vehicles. It also uses its wing mirror cameras to do something we think every vehicle should. It’s a killer safety feature we dig into next.

Safety Features

One of the greatest safety features we’ve ever seen is the automatic blind spot camera that pops up live video of the lane beside you in the gauge cluster every time you go to change lanes. It’s super simple and it should be standard on everything. Adaptive cruise is standard on every trim level as is lane keep assist, forward collision mitigation, and rear parking sensors. The Palisade has been named a top safety pick by the IIHS and earned a 5-star safety rating from the NHTSA.

2021 Hyundai Palisade Trims & Pricing

2021 Hyundai Palisade SE - carsforsale.com
2021 Hyundai Palisade SE - carsforsale.com

SE – $33,700

If luxury features and technology are big on your list, even the Telluride doesn’t offer as much as the Palisade. Standard on the SE trim level you’ll find an 8.1-inch touchscreen, front-wheel-drive, heated front seats, and LED headlights. In addition, though you’ll get “Rear Seat Quiet Mode” that silences all speakers but the front ones, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, as well as heated mirrors.

2021 Hyundai Palisade SEL - carsforsale.com
2021 Hyundai Palisade SEL - carsforsale.com

SEL – $36,350

Last year the SEL was the middle tier and so in 2021 almost anything can be optioned onto it including the 10.3-inch touchscreen and all-wheel-drive. Standard features include dual-zone automatic climate control, heated front seats, captain’s chairs in the second row, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel.

2021 Hyundai Palisade Limited - carsforsale.com
2021 Hyundai Palisade Limited - carsforsale.com

Limited – $46,300

This year one of the biggest features of the Limited trim is how easy the exterior styling makes it easy to differentiate from the others. It also gets dual sunroofs, a 360-degree camera, ventilated seats in the front two rows, leather, and automatic wipers. The third row gets power controls as well. It’s an outstanding package, but the next step up is an even better value.

2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy - hyundaiusa.com
2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy - hyundaiusa.com

Calligraphy – $47,225

The Caligraphy takes everything we’ve talked about so far and adds to it a totally unique exterior package, quilted leather, a faux-sued headliner, and all-wheel-drive comes standard. It’s a very small price bump to ensure that you have the top-of-the-line 2021 Hyundai Palisade that looks and feels much more expensive than it is. We feel confident that in future years this will be the one that holds its value far better than the lower trims.

Warranties

No other company (aside from partner Kia) can keep up with the awesome warranty that the Palisade comes with. The vehicle has a limited 5 year, 60,000-mile warranty and an unmatched 10-year 100,000-mile drivetrain warranty. While other companies will offer complimentary service for a time, the value of this warranty makes any such service contract minuscule.

What we think

2021 Hyundai Palisade - hyundainews.com

2021 Hyundai Palisade – hyundainews.com |  Shop 2021 Hyundai Palisade on Carsforsale.com

Considering how much even the most optioned 2021 Hyundai Palisade costs, it’s hard to argue that there’s much else on the market that can do all that it does. It’s such a lovely balance of an SUV for the money. It can haul people in comfort which is the most important thing, but it can also be sporty, tow stuff, and help to keep you and your passengers safer. The safety tech alone makes this SUV an innovative vehicle that will be loved for decades to come, but the additional features like the luxurious interior and exceptional exterior styling will help it maintain its value for ages.

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Stephen Rivers
Stephen Rivers

Stephen is a car enthusiast who loves all things built with passion. In his free time, he’s usually at a hockey rink, walking his dogs, or on a road bike. His automotive tastes lean towards cars that oftentimes seem to take a pound of flesh for the ethereal pleasure they provide: things like the Lamborghini Diablo, TVR Cerbera, and a C4 Corvette turned into a street-legal go-kart. He drives his Bugeye Subaru WRX in Autocross, Rallycross, and track day competitions throughout the year and daily drives a twin-turbo BMW 535i.

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