2023 Hyundai Palisade
Business As Usual For Hyundai
Even after spinning Genesis off as a unique luxury division, Hyundai has continued to march their own brand more and more in that direction. 2020’s Palisade was not only their most luxurious suv yet, but also their biggest. And if we’ve learned nothing else this century, it’s that Hyundai doesn’t stand pat for long. So, for 2023 the Palisade gets a host of updates that make it more appealing than ever!
While it didn’t exactly come out of nowhere, it’s doubtful many people thought that the Hyundai Palisade would become as popular as it has in just 3 short years. And with popularity comes higher expectations of customers, but also an increased effort on the side of the manufacturer to deliver even more. That’s where this 2023 Hyundai Palisade comes in; not only highlighting numerous exterior updates, but changes in technology for both convenience and driving assistance.
It’s hard to miss that cascading grille; it’s bigger, yes, but also with more sophisticated, upscale styling. Both the headlamps and daytime running lights have been redesigned to blend into surroundings a little more than before; and there are new wheel designs throughout the lineup; these 20-inch multi-spoke alloys specific to top Calligraphy trim. Additional features such as auto-dimming side mirrors have also been added.
When it comes to the interior, most of what you interact with has also been updated. There’s a new dash that appears leaner and more linear, with slimmer control panels that are also more digital than before; as well as a larger housing for the 12-inch infotainment display. It still blends into the gauge cluster as before, but now does so more smoothly. There’s a new steering wheel with updated controls, nicer materials throughout the cabin, and wireless phone charging increases from 5 to 15-watts.
Lots of updates in the 7 or 8 passenger seating areas too. Front seats get new covers made of finer materials. Our tester’s second-row captain’s chairs get adjustable armrests, and 3rd row seats can now be heated.
Front seats are still not as plush feeling as some but are definitely all-around comfortable for long trips. Second-row room is generous, there’s quick and easy access to the standard third row, and dual sunroofs allow in lots of natural light. And we love the wealth of small item storage places front to back. Cargo space remains a very plentiful 18.0 cubic-ft. behind the 3rd row, 45.8 behind the 2nd, and a max of 86.4 behind the front seats.
Powertrain is unchanged; that means a 3.8-liter V6 and 8-speed automatic transmission delivering 291-horsepower and 262 lb-ft. of torque, but we felt a trip to Mason Dixon Dragway was still in order.
Traction was good off the line, leaving with just a slight chirp of the tires, and delivering steady power almost immediately. Still, this is a big vehicle, so taking a full 7.0-seconds to hit 60 is not out of line by any means. The 8-speed automatic worked smoothly, ripping through 1st and 2nd gears quickly, while taking its time with 3rd and 4th; helping the Palisade complete the ¼-mile in 15.3-seconds at 92 miles-per-hour.
It felt good in our handling course too, with moderately weighted steering feel and only minor amounts of understeer. Body roll was moderate, but it was easy to keep a smooth consistent pace through the cones, with very little stability control intervention, and no drama to speak of. A new tow mode has been added to bring drive mode options to 7, allowing the transmission to hold onto gears a little longer, but max towing capability remains at 5,000-lbs. It’s integrated into Hyundai’s active HTRAC all-wheel-drive system which is available in all trims and uses selective braking not only to enhance traction in slippery situations but provide handling benefits by helping the vehicle rotate through turns. Brakes were quite good as well despite a very soft pedal; only moderate nosedive, with straight and smooth stops of just 108-feet from 60.
Safety and driver assistance technology also get upgraded, along with added Remote Smart Parking Assist and enhanced Highway Driving Assist. And finally, Hyundai follows the trend of off-road inspired utilities with a new toughened up XRT trim.
Pricing starts at just $36,545, with top Calligraphy coming in at only $50,495. All-wheel-drive is a $1,900 option with all trims.
So, a lot of little and some not so little things have changed about the 2023 Hyundai Palisade 3-row SUV. But, the most important thing of all hasn’t changed. That is, the Palisade continues to deliver an amazing amount of luxury, practicality, and comfort at a quite attainable price. Sounds like business as usual for Hyundai.
- Engine: 3.8L V6
- Horsepower: 291
- Torque: 262 lb-ft
- 0-60 mph: 7.0 seconds
- 1/4 Mile: 15.3 seconds at 92 mph
- 60-0 Braking: 108 feet (avg)
- EPA: 19 City / 25 Highway / 21 Combined
- MW Fuel Economy: 24.9 mpg
2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid
Crossed Up Corolla Gets More Efficient
Toyota offers a hybrid powertrain in just about everything they make, so it did seem odd that last year, when they debuted an all-new SUV version of their long-time best-selling Corolla, a hybrid was nowhere to be found. Well, it didn’t take long for Toyota to correct that situation, delivering this Corolla Cross Hybrid for 2023.
With prices for everything seemingly going up daily, we can all use a little more cost efficiency in our lives. That’s a mission that Toyota has been undertaking for some time now and continues to do it with this 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid.
The Alabama-built Corolla Cross arrived just last year as Toyota’s attempt to bring their best-selling nameplate into the SUV era, and give them an additional entry into the most popular automotive segment going right now, small crossovers.
There are some RAV4 styling cues here, but the Corolla Cross is mostly its own deal, and the Hybrid is more than just a fuel efficient option, it has added performance too. So, it’s offered only in Toyota’s S line of trims S, SE, and XSE, where the standard Corolla Cross is available in base L, LE, and XLE.
There are some differences outside, most notably unique front and rear fasicas; the front with a much more aggressive look, with larger grille and blacked-out trim.
Black trim and logos in back too, along with a redesigned bumper; plus, you can optionally go 2-tone by adding black paint to the roof.
Great packaging has it feeling roomier inside than most small 5-seat utes, straddling the line between subcompact and compact. And seats are way more comfortable than your typical urban-minded utility.
In fact, the entire interior feels quite upscale, and the layout will be very familiar to those stepping up from an actual Corolla.
Those who put off buying a Corolla Cross until now will be rewarded with upgraded infotainment, as all Hybrid’s will come with Toyota’s latest 8-inch touchscreen multimedia system standard.
The Hybrid’s small battery is located under the rear seat, so there’s minimal loss of rom, with a good 21.5 cubic-ft. of cargo space available; expanding to 61.8 with rear seatbacks folded.
Getting to the heart of the matter, the Corolla Cross Hybrid’s fuel-sipping ways are courtesy of the 5th generation of Toyota’s Hybrid System which outputs a combined 196-horsepower through its trio of electric motors and naturally-aspirated 2.0-liter 4-cylinder gasoline engine. One of those motors operating strictly the rear axle for standard all-wheel-drive.
At our test track, there was a nice little chirp of the tires off the line, but that’s where the excitement ended.
So while a 7.5-second trip to 60 may not raise your blood pressure, it’s a full 3-seconds quicker than the standard Corolla Cross we tested last year. We’ll take that!
CVT automatic means engine revs and engine noise both hang relatively high throughout the whole ¼-mile, which took us 15.6-seconds to complete, finishing at a reasonable 90 miles-per-hour.
The Hybrid also gets a “sport-tuned” suspension, and indeed it felt light and nimble through our cone course, very neutral too, with no noticeable understeer or oversteer. Steering was light but still provided good feedback. With some grippier tires, this would certainly give the best handlers in the segment a run for their money.
But the real reward comes in Government Fuel Economy Ratings which are 45-City, 38-Highway, and 42-Combined. We averaged a great 43.3 miles-per-gallon of Regular; that’s a 40% increase over the 30.9 miles-per-gallon we averaged in the standard Corolla Cross last year.
But, that does come at a cost, though it’s difficult to make direct comparisons with separate trim families, but pricing starts at $29,320 for the Hybrid, about 3-grand over a base all-wheel-drive non-hybrid. Top XSE comes in at $32,400.
As influential as Toyota is in spreading the hybrid doctrine, it was indeed odd that the Corolla Cross arrived last year without a hybrid option. Smartly, it didn’t take them long to right that wrong, as it was always part of the plan, and the Corolla Cross has benefitted from it greatly. The 2023 Toyota Corolla Cross Hybrid is not just more efficient, it’s more capable, and a much better small utility all around.
- Engine: 2.0-liter 4-cylinder
- Horsepower: 196
- 0-60 mph: 7.5-seconds
- MW Fuel Economy: 43.3 MPG (Regular)
- Transmission: e-CVT
- Torque: 139 lb-ft
- 1/4 Mile: 15.6-seconds at 90 mph
- EPA: 45-City, 38-Highway, and 42-Combined