2023 Hyundai Palisade XRT AWD

The Hyundai Palisade and its cousin the Kia Telluride have been some of the most sought-after vehicles in the U.S. since they were introduced in 2019. Now both models get a mid-cycle refresh that makes them even better.

Base Price: $42,150
As Tested: $44,060
Horsepower: 291
Mileage: 19 mpg city/25 mpg highway/21 mpg combined

The Hyundai Palisade is one of the nicest three-row crossovers and comes at a competitive price. The Palisade has a comfortable, smooth ride, the upscale cabin is loaded with features and tech, and there’s plenty of room for passengers and cargo. The only drawback is it’s not as fuel efficient as some rivals.

For the 2023 model year, the XRT trim joins the line-up.  The Palisade gets refreshed exterior styling including a more aggressive grille. The interior gets updated infotainment and safety features including a new instrument panel.

The 2023 Palisade comes in five trims: SE, SEL, XRT, Limited and Calligraphy. Starting prices range from $34,950 to $50,800. Front-wheel drive is standard and all-wheel drive is available on all trims for $1,900.

There’s room for seven or eight passengers, depending on whether the second row has bench seating or captain’s chairs.

There’s one powertrain: a 3.8-liter V6 that makes 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque, paired with an eight-speed automatic. While the powertrain won’t exactly get your blood pumping, the Palisade excels at providing a smooth and comfortable ride, which is what you want in a family hauler. Acceleration is decent from a spot and there’s enough oomph for merging and passing at freeway speeds. Steering is responsive but there’s some body lean when cornering. The eight-speed shifts promptly and smoothly. The Palisade handles like a smaller vehicle – I often forgot I was behind the wheel of a three-row crossover until it was time to squeeze into a small parking spot. Visibility is good all the way around.

The Palisade has eight inches of ground clearance so it’s ok for light outdoor adventures such as camping and ski trips.

When properly equipped, the Palisade can tow up to 5,000 pounds.

Fuel efficiency is ok for a three-row crossover, but some rivals do better. EPA ratings for my tester are 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway with a combined rating of 21. I got 21 during my week with a mix of city and highway driving. Front-wheel drive models do slightly better at 19 mpg city/27 mpg highway/22 combined.

The cabin is upscale with a modern design and nice materials. Seats in the first and second rows are supportive and comfortable with room for adults. Even a couple average size adults can get into the third row, although they probably won’t want to sit there on longer trips.

Standard features include proximity keyless entry, remote start, push-button start, rearview camera, cloth upholstery, infotainment system with 12.3-inch touchscreen, satellite radio, HD Radio, Bluetooth, voice recognition, Android Auto, Apple CarPlay, five USB ports, navigation, Wi-Fi hot spot, and automatic high-beam headlights.

Available features include a surround-view camera system, head-up display, dual-zone automatic climate control, synthetic leather upholstery, real leather upholstery, power-adjustable front seats, heated and ventilated front seats, massaging driver’s seat, heated and ventilated second-row seats, heated third-row seats, 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 12-speaker Harman Kardon audio system, additional USB ports, wireless device charging, in-car intercom, a 115-volt household-style power outlet, sunroof, dual-panel sunroof, and interior ambient LED lighting.

Standard driver assistance technologies include forward collision warning, forward automatic emergency braking, navigation-based adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, lane-centering assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, rear seat reminder, driver attention monitoring, and vehicle exit warning.

Available driver assistance technologies include reverse collision warning, reverse automatic emergency braking, front parking sensors, and park assist.

The infotainment system is user-friendly and looks great. Menus are logically arranged and the standard 12.3-inch touchscreen has crisp graphics and snappy response times. Redundant physical controls make it easy to adjust common functions such as volume and tuning.

Cargo space is good for the class. There are 18 feet with all three rows of seating in place, 45.8 cubes with the third row folded, and 86.4 cubes with both rows folded. A hands-free power liftgate is available. There are also handy areas to stash smaller items in the cabin including a large center console.

The good:

Decent handling

Smooth ride

Upscale, comfortable and roomy cabin

Lots of standard and available tech and features

Standard Android Auto and Apple CarPlay

The not-so-good:

Fuel economy is just ok for the class

Pricing info:

My tester starts at $42,150. Hyper White paint is $400. Carpeted floor mats are $215. Inland freight and handling fee is $1,295 bringing the grand total to $44,060.

Bottom line:

Refined and well-equipped, the 2023 Hyundai Palisade stands out in the competitive midsize SUV category. It has sure-footed handling, an attractive and comfortable cabin, lots of standard and available features and tech, and handsome looks. However, its fuel economy is just ok for the segment. Still, the 2023 Hyundai Palisade is sure worth consideration for anyone wanting a three-row crossover.

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