2020 Hyundai Palisade

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2020 Hyundai Palisade
2020 Hyundai Palisade

Key specs

Base trim shown


The good:

  • Lots of interior storage spaces
  • Luxury-grade interior for non-luxury price
  • Easy-to-use technology
  • Standard adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist
  • Front seat comfort
  • Ride quality

The bad:

  • Third-row space
  • Large multimedia screen’s limited availability
  • No power-folding mirrors
  • Android Auto doesn’t take up the whole screen (larger screen)
  • Steering feedback
  • Push-button transmission

3 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2020 Hyundai Palisade trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • New for 2020
  • Front- or all-wheel drive
  • 3.8-liter V-6 engine
  • Closely related to the Kia Telluride
  • Seats seven or eight
  • Available 10.25-inch multimedia touchscreen

2020 Hyundai Palisade review: Our expert's take

By Brian Wong

The verdict: The 2020 Hyundai Palisade is a truly special vehicle that brings a formidable mix of value, interior quality and technology — all of which propelled it to a win in our latest three-row SUV Challenge.

Against the competition: The Palisade’s competitors have a new benchmark to chase; the Hyundai’s refinement and ride quality stand out from the pack.

With new SUVs flying at us from all directions these days, it’s easy to become numb to the next one. But every so often, something comes around that feels fresh and brings a jolt of life to the monotony. The latest lightning bolt is the all-new 2020 Hyundai Palisade.

Related: We Have a Winner: Why the 2020 Hyundai Palisade Is the Best 3-Row SUV

Hyundai already makes a three-row SUV, the Santa Fe XL, but that one has snugger dimensions and feels more like a converted two-row SUV than a true three-row (though we are big fans of the two-row Santa Fe). The Palisade slides in above the Santa Fe in Hyundai’s lineup and is better equipped to take on larger competition, which it met in our 3-Row SUV Challenge.

Against both new and established vehicles, including the Honda Pilot, Volkswagen Atlas and its close analog the Kia Telluride, the Palisade took home a win. Its only close competition came from the Telluride, which makes sense given the two vehicles share the same powertrain and platform, though each has a unique look and feel. The Palisade also has a few unique features that gave it a small edge over its rival.

For the SUV comparison, we tested a Palisade in its top Limited trim level that came with all the bells and whistles. The Palisade is offered in three trim levels: SE, SEL and Limited. Our Limited was a prime example of just how far Hyundai has come, with a first-rate interior and technology and ride quality to match.

How It Drives

There’s only one engine: a 291-horsepower, 3.8-liter V-6 that’s mated to a standard eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive is standard on all Palisade trim levels, and all-wheel drive is available as a $1,700 option. (It was equipped on the Limited model I tested.)

The powertrain is not the most engaging, but it’s responsive enough to stay out of the way. The transmission is a bit eager on upshifts to preserve fuel economy, but it steps down into the proper gear to accelerate with a bit of gentle prodding. However, where the Palisade’s driving experience excels is ride quality, which (again) approaches — if not matches — luxury levels of refinement. Broken pavement, road seams and rough roads pass below you imperceptibly, and the cabin is almost eerily quiet. Its isolation is just about good enough that the Palisade could pass for the SUV that Genesis, Hyundai’s fledgling luxury brand, is missing.

Fuel-economy estimates are 19/26/22 mpg city/highway/combined for FWD models and 19/24/21 mpg for models with AWD. In our fuel-economy testing of seven three-row SUVs, the AWD Palisade returned 23.9 mpg in a mix of city and highway driving — close to its highway rating and second only to the Kia Telluride.

Luxury Grade

The Palisade’s interior is shocking — in a good way. The Limited trim doesn’t only do a good luxury impersonation, there are parts that are straight-up luxury grade, like diamond-quilted stitching on the seats and doors that feel ripped straight off a Mercedes-Benz.

This extends to the seats themselves, which at least in the first two rows are very comfortable. Limited models are only offered with captain’s chairs, which are also standard on the SEL, though that version can have a bench seat that bumps seating capacity from seven to eight. The front seats are comfortable, perfect for a full day behind the wheel, while the captain’s chairs feature the same diamond stitch pattern and great visibility out the large side windows.

If the Palisade interior has a weakness, it’s the third row. Materials quality drops off a bit, but the bigger issue is a lack of room; the Palisade is mid-pack in the class. Adult passengers can fit, but it won’t be the most comfortable ride, especially for those on the taller side, because of a lack of expansive headroom. Other, larger competitors, such as the Atlas and Chevrolet Traverse, have friendlier third-row dimensions. The upside of the Palisade’s third row is that it’s power-folding in the Limited and has two USB ports for charging, so it isn’t without its charms.

Cargo room is measured at 18.0 cubic feet behind the third row, 45.8 cubic feet behind the second row and 86.4 cubic feet with both rows folded. That’s supplemented by an underfloor storage space behind the third row that’s a good place to store valuables and other items you don’t want to leave in the cargo area. The Palisade ranked second out of seven in our three-row-SUV comparison’s cargo test, which considered space and cargo features in assigning an overall score.

Tech You Can Use

The Palisade comes with a lot of technology baked in. Limited models have a large 10.25-inch touchscreen in the center dashboard and a 12.3-inch digital display in the instrument panel. It comes with all the requisite connectivity features, such as standard Apple CarPlay, Android Auto and Bluetooth. But what I appreciate most about the Hyundai’s multimedia system is its ease of use: It has the right blend of physical controls below the screen as well as volume and tuning knobs. As for what’s on the screen itself, the system has shallow construction, meaning what I was looking for was never more than a button press or two away.

That philosophy extends to the Palisade’s safety technology. Limited models come standard with a camera-based blind spot monitor. The system uses a pair of cameras, one on each side mirror, to provide a live view of the blind spot on either side of the Palisade when a turn signal is activated. It’s similar to Honda’s LaneWatch system, but with one key difference: The Palisade uses the digital instrument panel instead of the center screen, and it displays a live view on the side of the screen where your eye would naturally fall. It’s the most intuitive application of this technology I’ve seen.

The Palisade is also equipped with a system called Highway Drive Assist (standard on the Limited, optional on the SEL), a fancy name for a system that combines adaptive cruise control and lane keep assist with lane-centering technology, all of which work all the way down to a stop. It isn’t a hands-free system — you’ll still need to keep a hand on the wheel to keep it on — but it does work remarkably well whether you’re stuck in traffic or cruising down the highway. Stops and starts are smooth, and the Palisade stays in the middle of its lane without the ping-ponging effect we’ve noticed in other systems. Like the rest of the Palisade’s technology, it simply works, with little to no fuss involved.

hyundai-palisade-2020-03-angle--dynamic--exterior--front--rural--white.jpg 2020 Hyundai Palisade | Cars.com photo by Christian Lantry

Value Leader

We don’t often get to say this about top trim levels, but even the Palisade Limited feels like a bargain. It starts at $45,795 (all prices include destination charges) and there isn’t much you can add to it apart from all-wheel drive. For that price, you get a really long list of features in addition to luxurious trappings, impressive technology and overall attention to detail that combine to make the Palisade feel more expensive than it actually is.

“Expensive” is where several of the Palisade’s competitors sit. In our comparison, both the Ford Explorer and Chevrolet Traverse stickered nearly $7,000 more than the Palisade’s as-tested $47,605, and those vehicles don’t come close to the Palisade’s refinement. In fact, if you sat in all three, you’d guess the Palisade was by far the most expensive. As the results of our Challenge stated, “If our Palisade had cost $10,000 more, it might still have come out on top.” The fact that it costs less is a giant feather in the SUV’s cap.

The 2020 Palisade isn’t perfect, but it’s pretty darn close. It’s a worthy Challenge winner and a game changer among three-row SUVs.

Cars.com’s Editorial department is your source for automotive news and reviews. In line with Cars.com’s long-standing ethics policy, editors and reviewers don’t accept gifts or free trips from automakers. The Editorial department is independent of Cars.com’s advertising, sales and sponsored content departments.

Photo of Brian Wong
Former L.A. Bureau Chief Brian Wong is a California native with a soft spot for convertibles and free parking. Email Brian Wong

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.8
  • Interior design 4.8
  • Performance 4.5
  • Value for the money 4.5
  • Exterior styling 4.7
  • Reliability 4.6

Most recent consumer reviews


Three years and counting, no issues.

Love our SEL. Perfect for long road trips with the family, and we've had a few of those. Gear shifter takes a trip or two to get used to, but otherwise, everything else is intuitive. Couldn't be happier with our family mobile.


Don't buy a Palisade!

Bought a 2020 Limited with 25k miles. I would very strongly recommend to anyone to NEVER buy a 2020 Palisade. I had SO many problems and it was constantly in the shop. Every time it rained, the engine stuttered, the entire vehicle shook and the check engine light blinked and then stayed on. It would do this until I got it home and it dried out, then the next day it was fine. It went to the dealership 3x with this problem... they could never find anything wrong (insert eye roll). The entire car would shake. The dealer replaced one of the 6 coils but that didn't fix the problem. It's terribly annoying to have a 50k vehicle that can't be driven in the rain! The dealer kept it for a week and drove it several times but couldn't get a read on the computer so they didn't do anything to fix it. The back hatch pumps needed to be replaced and I couldn't access the back because it only opened with the electric pumps. It took 6 weeks to get the parts and another 2 weeks to get an appointment to get it fixed. The ride gradually got worse and I heard noise of suspension in the rear, but when I took it in, they said it was all fine. At 45k miles, the wheels started to loose the silver coating. Painted wheels on their top line Palisade (insert eye roll here). It looked nice with all the bells and whistles, but it was very evident that this vehicle would not last over the years.


Perfect for us

I bought my 2020 Palisade limited all wheel drive brand new and LOVE IT. I had a 2017 Santa Fe and hated to get rid of it but so glad I did. The Palisade handles and rides great and the interior room is awesome. Even though it is mainly just me and hubby, we love the size!

See all 221 consumer reviews


New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Hyundai
New car program benefits
60 months/60,000 miles
84 months/unlimited distance
120 months/100,000 miles
36 months/36,000 miles
Roadside assistance
60 months/unlimited distance
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
Less than 80,000 miles; less than 7 years old (currently MY18- MY24)
Basic warranty terms
Remainder of the 5-Year/60,000-Mile New Vehicle Limited Warranty. From original in-service date and zero (0) miles.
10-Yr/100K-Mile Powertrain Limited Warranty. From original in-service date and zero (0) miles.
Dealer certification required
173-point inspection
Roadside assistance
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

Compare the competitors

See all 2020 Hyundai Palisade articles