If you haven’t heard much about the Hyundai Palisade, you get a pass.
It’s still sort of the new kid in town. 2020 was is first model year, and Palisades have definitely proven their popularity—dealers have trouble keeping them in stock! Now, the Palisade is back and better than before for 2021.
We drive a 2019 Hyundai Santa Fe and got one of the last Santa Fes with third row seating, which is a super-important feature for me. Our family of four doesn’t use the third row often but when we need it, we really need it.
Our dealership suggested we move up to a Palisade. At that time, the Palisade was already on our radar, and we were wanting to test drive one. But because dealers were struggling to keep them in stock, our only option was to buy one sight-unseen, which we weren’t comfortable with.
Driving the 2021 Hyundai Palisade is kind of making me wish we had! We’re still happy with our Santa Fe, but after a week with the 2021 Hyundai Palisade, I’ve decided bigger is better. At least for me!
A full-size SUV
Driving the Palisade was very similar to driving the Santa Fe. You’re sitting higher off the ground (which I like), and the seats are a little more roomy than you’ll find in a mid-sized crossover. The way you feel sitting in the driver’s seat is pretty similar, if slightly more cushy—not too big or tall.
The back is uber-roomy when the third row is folded down, so if you need lots of storage space, you’ll have it. You can set up the third row with a push of a button. No tugging or pulling necessary.
There’s a respectable amount of room when the third row is up. Not enough room for a large family grocery haul, but enough to place a few grocery bags or backpacks.
I have three kids but only two at home. I feel like families with three or four kids could comfortably call the Palisade their everyday ride. The Palisade does seat seven* but families with four or more kids may want to graduate to something bigger. It depends on your lifestyle, kid ages, and what other vehicles a family has.
*There is an option for an eight-seater on the SE & SEL trims. You can substitute bench seating for the second row captain’s chairs and make room for another passenger.
A third row you can actually sit in
We have a family of four, so a mid-size crossover is usually roomy enough. We like having the option of a third row in case we need to transport other people. Our kids are school-aged, so the third row is a great option when we’re bringing one of the kids’ friends along. Or two or three.
The 2021 Hyundai Palisade has a third row that most adults can be comfortable in. No matter your reason for getting a vehicle with a third row, whoever will ride back there will not be cramped.
A family mover with style
This car gets it done and I feel (and look!) good while doing it. The Palisade has most of the conveniences of a minivan (although diehard minivan lovers will miss the sliding doors), but it doesn’t scream “suburban mom.” I mean… I am a suburban mom, and I’m not exactly trying to keep that a secret, but it’s fun to drive something that’s a a little sleeker and more polished.
What else do you need to know about the 2021 Hyundai Palisade?
- Cost: The starting MSRP is $32,525, which is the base price for the SE model. There are three additional trim levels: SEL, Limited, and Calligraphy. Pictured here is the Calligraphy loaded up with all the bells and whistles. The price for what you see here is $49,070.
- Fuel Economy: The Palisade gets an average of 21 MPG: 19 city, and 25 highway.
- Safety: Safety features include forward and blind spot collision avoidance assists, pedestrian detection, lane-keep assist, automatic high beams, warnings when drivers lost focus, and more.
- Technology: It’s 2021, and car buyers expect a connected car. The Palisade doesn’t lack in this area. The console is very smooth and tech-forward, accommodating Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, which is pretty much standard nowadays but still one of my favorite features. Wireless charging is an available feature, but my favorite addition is the in-car intercom, which allows you to speak to the passengers in the second and third rows using the car’s audio system. For anyone who has ever screeched “What are you DOING back there?” from the driver’s seat, this sweet feature saves your vocal cords.
Who should drive this car—besides families?
Any seven-passenger SUV is going to be geared toward families, but there are other car-buyers out there that might want the space the Hyundai Palisade offers and be drawn to the price tag. Let’s face it: a fully loaded SUV for under $50K is a pretty strong incentive.
If your lifestyle or business needs a roomy SUV with flexible configuration that won’t put a strain on your budget, definitely give the Palisade a test drive. It’s a great option if you carpool or ride share.
I’m a Hyundai loyalist—we’ve been very happy with our cars—and we found the luxury look and feel of the Palisade to be a pleasant surprise.