Expert Reviews

2024 Hyundai Palisade Review

AutoTrader SCORE
This score is awarded by our team of expert reviewers after extensive testing of the car
  • Safety

Practicality and user-friendliness are vital factors that can make or break a family hauler.

They’re not the flashy qualities that get headlines – it’s why people brag about horsepower instead of cup holders – but they definitely deserve more love. And if practicality and user-friendliness were considered sexy, the 2024 Hyundai Palisade would basically be a Ferrari.

Practicality: 10/10

OK, that’s a stretch, but while Ferraris are universally considered to be among the sexiest cars in the world, living with them day to day can be a pain. Family haulers need to be practical first and foremost. As appliances that need to be there for your family during hockey and gymnastics practice, journeys to the cottage, or road trips to see the in-laws, they need to provide frictionless functionality. And that’s where the Palisade excels.

The trunk holds 509 L of cargo behind the third row, 1,297 L with it folded flat, and an enormous 2,447 L with both sets of back seats stowed. It was enough to move an entire bookshelf taller than an average human with room to spare. There’s even a clever underfloor storage compartment in the trunk that holds the Palisade’s cargo cover when not in use, mitigating the risk of you forgetting it in the garage. The only feature missing is a button in the trunk to close the hatch and lock all the doors.

All rows can be folded using buttons in the trunk, and the second row can also be folded using levers on the sides of the optional captain’s chairs ($500). The third row has fully automated up and down actuation, but the second row only folds automatically – it has to be replaced manually.

The second row slides forward and back to allow for more room for cargo or third-row passengers, and occupants in the third row have easy access to buttons that slide and tumble the second row out of the way so they can enter or exit with ease. It’s probably easy enough for a kid to do on their own.

The interior has plenty of cubbies for small-item storage in all rows, deep door pockets, and too many cupholders to count. The cupholders in the front can be retracted when not in use to open up space to hold more stuff. The retractable lid ensures your stuff is hidden from nosey passersby. The centre console storage is also huge. The second row has pockets to hold phones, and every passenger gets their own fast-charging USB port.

User-Friendliness: 9.5/10

The Palisade’s interface remains one of the most user-friendly and intuitive around. With a lot of other vehicles abandoning physical buttons for screens or touch panel controls, it’s refreshing to see the Palisade’s physical buttons and knobs. Helpful, clearly labelled, and intuitively placed shortcuts for navigation, media, audio, maps, and physical buttons for climate controls are easy to locate and use without taking your eyes off the road.

A customizable shortcut button allows users to assign it to their preferred functions. I use it to easily access Android Auto or Apple CarPlay, both of which need a wired connection. I wish the smartphone mirroring was better integrated so you could see navigation instructions in the instrument cluster, but the shortcut helps. The physical shortcuts wisely limit how much time a driver wastes flipping through menus in the touchscreen, plus the screen is responsive and quick, and the menus are all logically organized, so it never takes too long to find what you’re looking for.

Styling: 8/10

Compared to its closely related Kia Telluride corporate cousin, the Palisade looks like it was inspired by an alligator with its squinty headlights and big nose. Even so, the Palisade’s look is completely inoffensive and slides by without ruffling any feathers. The Urban trim’s black grille, logo, and wheels look sharp, but I wish it carried over to the SUV’s rear, where chrome badges are still used.

Power: 9/10

The Palisade’s 3.8L V6 outputs 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque, which is enough to get the SUV to highway or passing speeds confidently. All-wheel drive (AWD) is standard, and power is routed through an eight-speed automatic transmission. Drive modes help tailor the Palisade’s powertrain, AWD, and responsiveness for different driving styles or terrains.

Driving Feel: 9/10

Even when loaded with stuff, the Palisade is responsive and sure-footed, passing slower traffic with ease. It never feels like it’s running out of steam, and I never found myself wishing it was quicker. Besides a few rough shifts, the powertrain elements work together smoothly. During a slippery autumn week, the AWD system sorted itself out quickly and found traction with barely any wheelspin.

This big SUV is easy to park thanks to its surround-view cameras, and in general the Palisade doesn’t feel like a huge vehicle to drive. Light steering and excellent outward visibility make it easy to park and manoeuvre in tight spaces.

Features: 9/10

The Urban trim tested here is well-equipped with nearly every feature Hyundai has to offer, except for a head-up display and wireless charging pad, which are saved for the top trim. Some standard feature highlights include the ability to connect two devices via Bluetooth, heated and ventilated front seats, driver’s seat memory, heated second-row seats, dual-zone climate control, a heated steering wheel, adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go capability, four 12-volt outlets, a sunroof, surround-view monitor, hands-free proximity tailgate, and more.

Safety: 9/10

The Palisade also comes stacked with an excellent suite of safety features including blind-spot cameras that activate when you use the turn signals, forward collision avoidance with car, pedestrian, and cyclist detection, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, high-beam assist, lane-keeping and following assist, driver attention warning, rear occupant alert with ultrasonic sensors, safe exit assist, and more.

Comfort: 9/10

The Palisade comes standard with a second-row bench seat to enable room for eight, but captain’s chairs are optional. These captain’s seats are heated and the top trim adds ventilation. Second-row passengers also get sunshades, plenty of space, and tons of amenities.

The third row is roomy enough for kids, but should only be used for shorter trips for bigger kids or adults.

Fuel Economy: 7/10

The Hyundai Palisade’s fuel economy is officially rated at 12.2 L/100 km in the city, 9.7 on the highway, and 11.1 combined. After about 700 km of mixed driving that skewed more towards highway travel, the Palisade averaged 11.0 L/100 km. I wish the Palisade was available as a hybrid to improve its efficiency, especially since Toyota has both the Highlander and Grand Highlander hybrids to choose from, both of which burn significantly less gas.

Value: 9/10

The Palisade now only comes in two trims – the Urban and the Ultimate Calligraphy. The Urban is well-equipped and starts at $54,699 plus the $1,975 destination fee, while the Ultimate Calligraphy is $58,299 and adds more features and luxurious trims and materials.

The Verdict

The 2024 Hyundai Palisade’s practicality and family-friendliness are its standout features. This three-row has everything a busy family or small business owner needs, and provides comfort and frictionless usability in a way few other vehicles outside of a minivan can. During my week with the Palisade, I moved a bunch of large furniture and not once did a roadblock present itself. Everything just worked, and this seamless functionality makes the Palisade sexier than a Ferrari could ever be.

Engine Displacement 3.8L
Engine Cylinders V6
Peak Horsepower 291 hp @ 6,000 rpm
Peak Torque 262 lb-ft @ 5,200 rpm
Fuel Economy 12.2 / 9.7 / 11.1 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb
Cargo Space 509 / 1,297 / 2,447 L behind 3rd/2nd/1st row
Model Tested 2024 Hyundai Palisade Urban
Base Price $54,699
A/C Tax $100
Destination Fee $1,975
Price as Tested $57,274
Optional Equipment
$500 – Second-row captain’s chairs, $500