The 2023 Hyundai Palisade enhances its family-friendly role by introducing more standard technology and improved seating comfort. As Hyundai’s largest vehicle, the 2023 Palisade receives its first significant update since its successful debut in the three-row SUV segment in 2020. Positioned against competitors such as the Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer, and various other three-row family vehicles, including minivans, the Palisade continues to assert its dominance.
The refreshed Palisade showcases a new look both inside and out, aligning with the brand’s design language first seen on the smaller Hyundai Tucson. Enhanced standard features encompass the latest technological advancements, and an eight-seat option complements available heated third-row seats, highlighting the Palisade’s versatility as either a family-oriented workhorse or a luxury-leaning bargain. Introducing a new XRT trim, alongside the existing SE, SEL, Limited, and Calligraphy trims, the XRT model boasts dark trim elements, fake skid plates, black roof rails, black 20-inch alloy wheels, a power sunroof, and black synthetic leather interiors.
In terms of design, the 2023 Hyundai Palisade takes on a blockier aesthetic compared to its predecessor. The mid-cycle update discards some of the previous reptilian lines in favor of a chunky, blocky front end. The new grille, with plating reminiscent of “Tron,” and narrow headlights give the Palisade a distinct and bold appearance. While most versions opt for blacked-out trim, the top-tier Calligraphy model stands out with low-sheen silver accents. The new XRT version adds a rugged touch with special 20-inch wheels and faux skid plates.
On the road, the Palisade excels as a comfortable mile-eater. Its relaxed demeanor and comfortable ride make it an ideal choice for extended journeys. All-wheel drive is available for an additional $1,900 on all versions, and a center differential lock button enhances power distribution for slippery terrain. Although not a true off-roader, the Palisade handles well for activities like Boy Scout camping, rather than intense off-trail Pacific Northwest Trail adventures.
Powered by a 291-hp 3.8-liter V-6 engine paired with an 8-speed automatic gearbox, the Palisade delivers satisfactory performance. While lacking the turbo punch of some rivals, the engine’s refined snarl and decent mid-range punch contribute to a pleasant driving experience. Paddle shifts for rapid passing and various drive modes for customized traction and powertrain settings add to the Palisade’s appeal.
One of the Palisade’s strengths lies in its excellent ride quality, thanks in part to its long wheelbase of 114.2 inches. The soft suspension tuning, even with 20-inch wheels on most versions, absorbs big jolts smoothly. With a load-leveling rear suspension, the Palisade can tow a 5,000-pound trailer.
However, the Palisade’s Achilles heel is its fuel economy, though not excessive for its class. The 2023 Hyundai Palisade maintains its 19 mpg city, 27 highway, 22 combined rating (with front-wheel drive), and all-wheel-drive versions see a slight decrease to 19/25/21 mpg. In comparison, the Toyota Highlander Hybrid offers a more fuel-efficient alternative with 35 to 36 mpg combined.
Safety remains a strong suit for the 2023 Hyundai Palisade, building upon the previous year’s top safety scores. Achieving a five-star rating from the NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick+ award from the IIHS, the Palisade comes equipped with automatic emergency braking, rear parking sensors, blind-spot monitors, and active lane control. Advanced safety features such as front parking sensors and an enhanced automatic emergency braking system are available on higher-end versions, along with optional features like a head-up display and a surround-view camera system.
The interior features a wide, elegant dash with a new 12.3-inch touchscreen on all versions. The cabin layout includes well-arranged buttons and storage bins, with Calligraphy versions boasting luxurious perforated nappa leather hides. Lesser models feature hard-wearing synthetic leather, and SEL and higher versions offer synthetic leather on the dash for an added touch of sophistication.
The 2023 Hyundai Palisade maximizes space and comfort, making it an exceptionally comfortable SUV. With seating for seven or eight passengers, impressive front seats, a well-designed second row, ample cargo space, and a quality feel, the Palisade offers a high-end luxury SUV experience. The second row is available with either a three-piece bench or twin captain’s chairs with armrests, both offering adjustable movement for over 40 inches of legroom. Access to the third row is made easy, especially with power-sliding seats on top versions. While the third row is suitable for medium-size adults, it is best suited for teens or children. Cargo space ranges from about 18 cubic feet behind row three to nearly 46 cubic feet when folded, expanding to a maximum of 86.4 cubic feet.
Despite offering few options, the 2023 Palisade stands out for its feature set, providing good standard equipment, a remarkable infotainment system with an upgraded screen, and an outstanding warranty. The base Palisade SE, priced at $36,545 (or $1,900 more with all-wheel drive), includes cloth seats for eight passengers, a 12.3-inch touchscreen with wired Apple CarPlay and Android Auto compatibility, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, and more. The SEL, starting at $3,000 more, adds synthetic leather seats, a power-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, automatic climate control, and a garage door opener. The top-tier Calligraphy version, priced just over $50,000 (or $1,900 more with all-wheel drive), offers premium features such as nappa leather, upgraded interior trim, a rearview camera mirror, and convenient key fob-controlled movement for parking situations.
Hyundai’s ascent in the large CUV class is evident in the 2023 Palisade, which has quickly become a frontrunner in its category. With a pleasingly bold aesthetic, spacious interiors comparable to minivans, and top-notch technology combined with an attractive value proposition, the Palisade stands out as a formidable choice. For those seeking a versatile SUV that excels in various aspects and provides ample space for everyone, the 2023 Hyundai Palisade is a compelling option worthy of consideration.