The Hyundai Palisade is already one of the best three row crossovers you can buy and now for 2021 Hyundai has made it even better with the introduction of the Palisade Calligraphy. The Calligraphy is the Palisade’s new top trim level, which amps up the luxury features, which makes the Palisade look and feel just as luxurious as some more expensive luxury SUVs.
On the outside the Calligraphy trim level gets unique 20-inch wheels, while the front gets a new grille and at the rear there’s unique LED lighting. The exterior additions are small, but they do enhance the look of the Palisade.
Inside the interior gets some bigger upgrades, with quilted leather on the seats and door panels and the headliner and roof panels that are covered in microfiber suede. Even the steering wheel gets unique perforated leather. The interior upgrades push the Palisade into the luxury segment, where it would be easy for most of your friends to think they are riding in a Lexus or even the sister-brand Genesis, if it wasn’t for the Hyundai logo on the steering wheel.
The interior not only looks great, but it also feels great. There’s lots of space and the front bucket seats and second-row seats are comfortable with all four being heated and ventilated. Most three row crossovers have issues with space in the third row, but the Palisade does have a pretty good amount of space back there for adults. The third row also power folds down with the push of a button when you need extra cargo space.
On the tech front, the Palisade Calligraphy is packed with tech features. You’ll find seven USB ports throughout the cabin and there’s a wireless charging pad as well. In front of the driver, there’s a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and a head-up display, while the center gets a 10.2-inch display. The touchscreen infotainment system is easy to use with graphics that look better than you’ll find in the Toyota Highlander or Honda Pilot. Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are also standard.
All Palisade models are powered by the same engine, a 3.8-liter V6 with 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, that’s mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Calligraphy can come with front- or all-wheel drive. The V6 has a good amount of power for your everyday needs. The engine is smooth and gets the Palisade moving down the road without too much drama, but it’s not exactly sporty. Since the V6 is a naturally aspirated engine, it doesn’t have a lot of low end torque, like a turbocharged engine. Once the revs get going the engine does come to life though.
The Palisade Calligraphy is rated at 19 mpg city, 24 mpg highway and 21 mpg combined.
On the road, the Palisade’s interior is quiet and serene. The suspension does a good job of keeping the Palisade planted to the road without too much body roll. The only downside is the steering which is a bit too light.
The 2021 Hyundai Palisade starts at $33,860 for the base SE trim level, while Calligraphy trim level starts at $47,385 for the FWD version and $49,085 for the AWD version.
At the end of the day, Hyundai keeps pushing itself further into luxury car territory. Hyundai’s are known for offering a great value for budget conscious buyers and now the brand is after luxury buyers as well with great additions, like the Palisade Calligraphy.