Vince Bond Jr
Times have changed for Hyundai. In the old days, when cars dominated Hyundai’s lineup and were still a leading force in the industry, the automaker would have touted the near-luxury Azera sedan as its flagship vehicle, says Mike O’Brien, vice president of product, corporate and digital planning for Hyundai Motor America.
Utility vehicles have commandeered the market and Hyundai has a new, big-bodied standard bearer: the 2020 Palisade.
The Palisade is the latest addition in Hyundai’s ongoing effort to rework its car-heavy lineup with a batch of new, redesigned or freshened light trucks. The automaker launched the Kona, its first “cute ute,” this year, and has introduced a redesigned Santa Fe and freshened Tucson. A diesel-powered Santa Fe and a Kona electric are also on the way.
Hyundai’s biggest utility to date, the Palisade is longer, wider and taller than the outgoing Santa Fe XL. And Hyundai has a clear hit list that includes the Toyota Highlander, Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, Volkswagen Atlas and Mazda CX-9.
The Palisade, which rides on a new chassis, goes on sale next summer and will be produced in Ulsan, Korea. It’s powered by an Atkinson-cycle 3.8-liter V-6 direct-injected engine that produces an estimated 291 hp at 6,000 rpm.
Hyundai said the Palisade’s exterior was styled to stand out and exude security to appeal to “parents with growing families and active lifestyles.”
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