The sister model of the still to be officially launched Kia Telluride, the Palisade takes its name from the Southern California neighbourhood of Pacific Palisades, and rides on a model specific platform that sees it measuring 4 891mm in overall length, with a wheelbase of 2 900mm, height of 1 750mm and width of 1 976mm.
Perched as standard on 18-inch alloy wheels with 20-inch rollers optional, the Palisade takes styling inspiration from the Kona and Santa Fe, with Hyundai touting as being both “premium, distinctive and bold”. Dominated by the two-tier headlight arrangement, oversized Cascading grille, long bonnet and a side-profile seemingly taken from the original Cadillac SRX, the Palisade also debuts an industry first roof-vent diffuser that is claimed to regulate air and flow by the air-conditioning system at a quieter and more efficient rate.
Slotting-in above the seven-seat Santa Fe known as the XL in North America, the production version of the HDC-2 Grandmaster concept offers seating for eight and has been developed specifically for families. To this end, and depending on the trim level, the Palisade can be had with an electrically folding second and third row, no less than seven USB ports, up to a 16 cupholders and a wireless smartphone charger.
Cheekily claimed to be larger than the Toyota Highlander and offering more boot space than it, the Nissan Pathfinder and Honda Pilot in addition to having more first and second row legroom than the latter pair as well as the Ford Explorer, the Palisade’s interior, as indeed indicated by spy shots leaked earlier this week, draws heavily from the automaker’s upscale Genesis division with pride of place going to a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, as well as a 12.3-inch TFT digital instrument cluster. A premium Infinity Surround Sound System is optional.
Trimmed in materials such as Nappa leather with wood inserts available, the Palisade’s family focused ethos stretches to its extensive range of safety and driver assistance systems on offer, which, under Hyundai’s SmartSense banner, includes High Beam Assist, Driver Attention Warning, Adaptive Cruise Control, Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist, Blind Spot Detection and Collision-Avoidance Assist, Lane Following Assist and Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection. Optional are Rear Occupant Alert and Safe Exit Assist that both debuted on the Santa Fe.
Up front, and contraire to long-believed speculation, the Palisade will come powered by a version of the 3.8-litre V6 petrol engine used in the Genesis G80, outputting 217kW/355Nm. Paired to a new shift-by-wire eight-speed automatic gearbox utilising a push-button arrangement, the Palisade comes as standard with front-wheel drive, while the optional HTRAC all-wheel drive system features three modes; Normal, Sport and Smart as well as a new Snow setting and a locking centre differential.
Going on sale in the North American summer (June-August) next year, Hyundai will make the Palisade available in seven colours; White Cream, Lagoon Silver, Beckets Black, Steel Graphite, Moonlight Cloud, Forest Rain and Sierra Burgundy with pricing to be announced later.
As indicated previously however, the Palisade will remain forbidden fruit for South Africa as it will be produced only in left-hand drive.