2020 Hyundai Palisade Limited H-Trac AWD Test Drive

“2020 Hyundai Palisade Limited H-TRAC AWD”
Hyundai Launches a Winning Full-size Flagship SUV


Coeur d’ Alene, ID – In keeping with an ever growing industry trend, Hyundai Motor America just launched their five-door, three-row full size flagship SUV – the 2020 Hyundai Palisade, joining an already diverse lineup of six other SUVs. It is available in either a FWD configuration or with Hyundai’s H-TRAC AWD system for off road capability. The new luxurious SUV accommodates seven or eight occupants in total comfort with plenty of room for their lifestyle gear. The Palisade comes in three levels of trim; a base SE; a well-equipped SEL model; and the top-of-the-line, Limited model.



The focus and mission statement of the Hyundai Palisade is to provide a more affordable, more upscale full size, luxurious premium SUV than the competition. It features advanced driver assistance systems, state-of-the-art technology as well as comfort and convenience features galore. There’s ample power too, provided by the 3.8-liter V-6 engine that mates to an eight-speed automatic transmission. More on that shortly.



According to Chris Chapman, Senior Chief Designer, Hyundai Design North America, the 2020 Hyundai Palisade is an expression of rugged utility through interlocking structure and volumes, and the premium architecture is embodied through a confident stance and the upright structure maximizing space”



The exterior image displays a rugged, yet elegant and dynamic sleekness, with distinct differences form other members of the Hyundai SUV family. Its daylight opening graphic, upright sideglass and backlight reflect its three-row spaciousness and passenger luxury. Key design points include: the long, broad hood and wide, sculpted signature grille; bold stacked headlamps; tall windshield and clean side profile along with the “A” pillar, grille bezel and rocker garnish are all presented as structural elements that communicate a sense of strength and peace of mind. elongated nameplates on the hood and liftgate’s leading edge; inverted “L” taillamps and a sculpted rear skid plate with integrated twin right side exhaust tips reference off-road ability and power.

The premium cabin is well-appointed and is loaded with comfort, convenience, utility and versatility enhancing technology. The cabin is also spacious providing generous hip, shoulder, leg and headroom, in all three rows and features an all new advanced TFT digital instrument cluster.






Propulsion for the new Hyundai Palisade is a front, longitudinally mounted 3.8-liter Atkinson cycle, DOHC, 24-valve GDI V-6 engine with dual CVVT that delivers 291 horsepower at 6,000 rpm, while developing 262 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,200 rpm. Motive force is geared to the driving wheels through an eight-speed shift by wire system automatic transmission with four operational modes:, Eco, Comfort, Sport and Smart, each using different settings for powertrain, drivetrain, and steering effort mapping to provide the desired driving experience. There are also steering-wheel mounted paddle shifters


Hyundai’s H-Trac AWD system allows adjusting to specific terrain conditions by selecting Snow” or “AWD Lock”. The all-wheel drive system helps provide enhanced driving performance by actively distributing torque between front and rear wheels depending on road conditions and driver input. Standard towing is rated up to 5,000 pounds with the optional $2,000 towing package.


My test 2020 Hyundai was in Limited trim model and included H-TRAC AWD .. The exterior wore a finish coat of Lagoon Silver metallic; while the interior was done in Black on Black with satin finish faux wood trim accents. The base sticker read $46,400., with optional fare along with inland freight and handling charges, elevated the final total to $47,605. Pretty amazing all things considered with its extensively loaded feature content list.


Comfort is elevated by available heated and ventilated first- and second-row seats, Ceiling-mounted second-row climate control, HVAC diffusing ceiling vents for a wider spread of airflow, reclining third-row seats, leather-wrapped, tilt and telescoping steering wheel with available heating


Connectivity and infotainment are impressive as well, with features such as: an available 10.25-inch color touchscreen with rear view monitor and parking guidance; an available 630-watt, 10-speaker Harman/Kardon audio system (AM/FM/SiriusXM8) with Quantum Logic Surround Sound and Clari-Fi; Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; available wireless smartphone charging; available six total USB charging ports – two in each row – (five ports are standard); available multi-Bluetooth wireless connectivity allows two phones to connect simultaneously for audio streaming.


Staying safe is paramount with: seven airbags (dual front advanced air bags, dual front seat-mounted side air bags, side curtain air bags and driver’s side knee air bag); Antilock braking; Vehicle stability management; Electronic stability control; Hill-start assist control; Smart Cruise Control with Stop & Go; Blind Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist Rear; Rear Cross-Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist; Lane Following Assist; Safe Exit Assist; Highway Driving Assist; Head Up Display, Driver Talk; Quiet Mode; Downhill Brake Control and Rear Occupant Alert with ultrasonic sensors and Tire pressure monitoring system.




To test the mettle of the all-new 2020 Hyundai Palisade national automotive journalists were given the opportunity to experience driving it in a variety of conditions including rain on the open road and over twisty, challenging roads as well as over non paved and rutted surfaces. The ride is not only balanced and stable, but quiet as well.


Steering is spot on and positively responsive, providing a sporty quality to the handling characteristics, which are confidence inspiring.

The Active AWD system during normal driving, distributes power according to the drive mode selected. “Eco” and “Comfort” modes can deliver up to 20 to 35 percent of the power to the rear wheels, respectively. “Sport”, “Smart” and “Snow” modes can deliver up to 50 percent of the power to the rear wheels. “AWD Lock” mode delivers power evenly to all four wheels.



The 2020 Hyundai Palisade Limited V-6 H-Trac AWD displays an enticing attractive appearance in a bold and boxy but very functional form. It provides the ultimate in comfort in its class with its new auto-leveling rear suspension, and it’s surprisingly affordable. It is sure to be a top pick in the mid-size SUV category. Base pricing will run from $31,550 to $44,700.

SPECIFICATIONS: 2019 Hyundai Palisade Limited H-TRAC AWD

Base Price: $46,400.
Price as Tested: $47,605.

Engine Type and Size: 3.8-liter Lambda II, DOHC, 24-valve Atkinson Cycle GDI, D-CVVT V-6

Horsepower (bhp): 291 @ 6,000 rpm
Torque (ft./ lbs.): 262 @ 5,200 rpm

Transmission: Eight-speed with SHIFTRONIC manual shift mode and shift-by-wire.

Drive Train: Longitudinally mounted front engine / FWD or H-Trac 4WD.

Suspension: Front – MacPherson strut with coil springs and stabilizer bar.
Rear – Multi-link Independent, separated spring and shocks with stabilizer bar.

Brakes: Power-assisted four-wheel discs (vented front) with electronic force distribution.

Tires: Bridgestone Dueler H/P 245/50 R20 mounted on seven-“V”-spoke alloy wheels.

Wheelbase: 114.2 inches
Length Overall: 196.1 inches
Width: 77.8 inches
Height: 68.9 inches
Overhang – Front/Rear: 37.2/44.7 inches
Min Ground Clearance: 7.9 inches
Max tow cap: 5,000 lbs w/tow packege
Curb Weight: 7Pass/8/Pass (lbs.) 4,231-4,387 / 4,127- 4,284
Turning Circle: 38.7 ft.
Fuel Capacity: 18.8 gallons
EPA Mileage Estimates: 19 mpg city / 26 mpg highway FWD / 19/24 mpg AWD
Drag Coefficient: 0.33
0 – 60 mph: Not tested

Arv Voss is a Northern California based freelance motoring Journalist and member and past officer of several noted Automotive Journalist organizations who contributes regularly to a number of national and international media outlets. He reviews not only cars, trucks and SUVs, but motorcycles and unusual wheeled vehicles as well.

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