Why I Bought a Hyundai Palisade 3-Row SUV

After a search that felt like a Goldilocks and the 3 Cars fairy tale, the Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy –full size 3rd row, hands free entry, massaging seats –  was the one I had to have.

The Day My Romance With My Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy.
The day my romance started with my Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy. Photo: Jana Askeland

The 2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Checked All My Not-so-Random Boxes

Let me start by saying I’m a two-time Toyota Highlander mom. I loved each one of those vehicles. But as a 40-year-old mother of elementary school boys, I needed a bigger vehicle. One with a “real” third row. A third row that could fit an adult if needed. So, my search started on 3-row vehicles under $55,000.

The things I had to have: heated seats, power-folding third row, hands-free entry for the cargo, and a wireless charging pad. Random, I know. But these were my hot buttons, and now that some time has passed, they may not be as random as I initially thought. My list of requirements was directly connected to the comfort, convenience, and niceties I wanted for myself and my family. 

Related: Why the Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Has Us Smitten 

The Hyundai Palisade And The Kia Telluride Side By Side.

The Palisade was a popular choice at school dropoff this year. Photo: Jana Askeland

Let the Games Begin!

I dreaded car shopping. It takes up so much time, so I started by narrowing my list at home through research before I drove to any dealerships. Right away, I looked at the new Toyota Highlander since the Grand Highlander wasn’t due to come out for several months, and I had the bug. I wanted a new car sooner rather than later. I ruled this out due to the third row not having ample legroom.

I then looked at the GMC Yukon; it was TOO big and out of my price range for the Denali trim that I would need to get the amenities that I wanted.

I then drove to the Honda dealership to test drive the Pilot and LOVED it. The handling was so smooth, and I loved the flexibility of the second-row removable seat/console. You can store it if you don’t need it, turning the bench into a Captain’s chair configuration. But I didn’t love the screen/tech on the dash.

The ‘pro’ with the Pilot is that I COULD get most of what I wanted for at or under my desired MSRP. But is enough to sway me?

The last trip I made for car shopping was to compare the Kia Telluride to the Hyundai Palisade. I was lucky enough to find a location that had these two dealerships next to each other, which enabled me to pull these fraternal twins side-by-side and throw open the doors to compare each one against the other.

Related: Yes or No: Test Drives with the Car Salesperson Present?

The View Of The Front Row In The Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy. Look At All The Gorgeous Details. Jana

The view of the front row in the Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy. Look at all the gorgeous details. Photo: Jana Askeland

The Palisade Takes a Quick Lead

Right away, I liked the screen and dash aesthetics on the Hyundai Palisade. I loved the exterior styling on the Telluride. There aren’t many differences between the two. I think the Palisade is the only one (or was at the time) that offered massaging driver seats. Massaging seats is a feature I didn’t know I needed, but now I had to have it. The other thing that Palisade offered over the Telluride was the “passthrough,” a hidey-hole between the driver and passenger seat. It’s a great place to store your purse. The last thing that edged Palisade ahead of Telluride (for me) was the new bold front grille design. I loved the larger, more substantial grille and the sportiness it gave to the design.

Related: The 2023 Hyundai Palisade and Why We Love It

Look At Her. Isn'T She Beautiful? Photo: Jana Askeland

The Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy has a beautiful exterior color: Moonlight Cloud, which is dark blue metallic. Photo: Jana Askeland

We Have a Winner!

The 2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy just FEELS right for my family at this time. And now that I chose the car, I needed to choose a color. The dealership only had white available in the highest trim (the Calligraphy), and I wanted any color BUT white.

So, I ordered exactly what I wanted, a dark blue metallic called Moonlight Cloud with a beige interior. It took about 60 days to get here, but it was worth the wait. I should mention I got all of the features I want in the color and trim I want for $53,000 MSRP – $2000 under budget.

The Hyundai Palisade Is So Roomy. Why I Bought Jana

The Hyundai Palisade is so roomy. Photo: Jana Askeland

Seven Thousand Miles Later

I’ve been driving the Palli Calli for 9 months (thanks to a girl on TikTok for this cute abbreviation!). I love almost everything about it, but I have two things I would change:

  • Apple Carplay is not wireless
  • Bluetooth echoes on most calls

I’ve recently discovered a workaround for the Carplay and will be ordering an adaptor to see if this is a good solution to my wired woes. For the Bluetooth struggle, I’m going to ask my local dealer if there’s a way to improve the experience.

360 Camera Makes Parking Easy In My Hyundai Pallisade Calligraphy! Jana Askeland_

The 360-degree camera makes parking easy in my Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy. Photo: Jana Askeland

My Favorite Things

The features I use ALL OF THE TIME are:

  • The heated and ventilated and massaging seats. I love the posture assistance and the lumbar support. A must for any trip over 30 minutes! The boys love the heated and ventilated seats in the second row, and the heat and air can be felt on their back as well as the seat bottom. So even my youngest, who is in a booster, feels like he gets to experience that amenity.
  • The Hyundai BlueLink app is the feature I didn’t know I needed when car shopping. It allows me to do all kinds of things. It reminds me when the doors are unlocked and asks me if I want to lock them. (I also enabled notifications on my Apple watch, which is super helpful if I’m on the run.) You can set remote start for the seasons – turn on the heat, heated seats, and heated steering wheel in the winter. You can also check diagnostics on the vehicle to see tire pressure, etc.
  • I don’t often haul a ton of stuff, but when I do, and the rear window is blocked, I find the digital rearview camera to be super useful.

The car drives great, and I love to put it in Sport mode when I’m trying to merge onto a highway or pass someone another car. You really feel the boost of power. For everyday driving, I leave it in Comfort or Smart drive modes for better fuel economy.

The Hyundai Palisade Is A Breeze With Car Seats. Why I Bought Jana

The Hyundai Palisade is a great car for my family. Photo: Jana Askeland

The Palli Calli is Good for Families!

I highly recommend the Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy for moms who want all the fancy tech and safety features you’d get in a luxury vehicle at a lower price point. It’s fun to drive and good on gas (I average 22 MPG for my around-town driving.) For the 2024 model, you will get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto.

If you decide to buy a Palli Calli, let me know how you like it!

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Jana Askeland is a Carolina girl who grew up around cars. Her dad was in the car business, and... More about Jana Askeland