The name Palisade is defined as a type of fence with pointed stakes for protection and defense. So, perhaps with the introduction of the 2020 Palisade, Hyundai is projecting their 3-row, luxury-minded SUV as their best line of defense against the endless barrage of big crossovers these days, and a family’s best protection from the outside world! Or, maybe, they just thought the name sounded cool! 

Though it does truly look like they want to protect you, by making just about every safety system standard; including Forward and Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance.  

Up close and personal, the Palisade is not as big as it appeared when it first debuted on the auto show stand. It is tall for sure, but length is actually just shy of the rival Honda Pilot. And, the 114.2-inch wheelbase is the same as the Nissan Pathfinder.  

For better or worse, looks are what can often make or break a vehicle sale. Needless to say Hyundai is not sneaking around. The Palisade wears a huge face that demands respect. The Palisade is of course kin to Kia’s Telluride. However, while the Kia is assembled in Georgia, the Palisade is imported from South Korea.   

They share the same 3.8-liter V6 engine, and outputting an identical 291-horsepower. The transmission is an 8-speed automatic that sends power to the front wheels, or to all four if Hyundai’s HTRAC all-wheel-drive system is added. While HTRAC can certainly handle some light off-roading situations with ease, it also comes with a rear-biased Sport mode to improve on-road handling.  

Seating for eight is standard, though 2nd row Captain’s Chairs come with Limited trim. Middle row room is enormous, and comfort level high. One-Touch folding of the 2nd row allows for easy entry into the 3rd; where you’ll find adequate space for adults for shorter trips.

There’s more cargo space than a Chevrolet Tahoe behind the 3rd row, 18.0 cubic-ft. With the middle row down, there’s 45.8 cubic-ft.; maxing out at 86.4 with all seats folded. 

Being a Hyundai flagship model, and one aimed at families, means a tech quotient as high as for comfort. Well, if your definition of high-tech is a 10-inch touchscreen for navigation and the like, wireless phone charging, and seven USB ports; then you will be happy.  

Our first drives were around the state of Idaho where we found the Palisade to be quite maneuverable and easy to handle. Similar to the Telluride, it drives much smaller than it is, aided by great visibility all around. It also responds appropriately quick and powerful out of turns. There is a good amount of feel from the light steering, to help you find your way through curves smoothly and safely.  

For our complete road test of the 2020 Hyundai Palisade, be sure to catch MotorWeek episode #3849 that begins airing August 9, 2019. For a listing of the public television stations that broadcast MotorWeek, go to and click the “About The Show” tab at the top. MotorWeek is also seen Tuesday evenings and throughout the week on the MotorTrend cable network. 

So, what else is Hyundai trying so hard to protect with this 2020 Hyundai Palisade? Perhaps it’s their secret formula for delivering an amazing amount of luxury, practicality, and comfort in a highly desirable package that remains quite attainable. That’s certainly something worth defending and the Palisade easily lives up to its name.