Hyundai will be bringing a new flagship model to Australian shores in the near future, with the Palisade large SUV confirmed for local sale.
Sitting above the Santa Fe, the Palisade will rival the likes of the Mazda CX-9, and Toyota Kluger for size, and offers genuine eight-person hauling ability just like the Toyota LandCruiser Prado.
The Palisade was previously only build in left-hand-drive, but after successfully lobbying head office, Hyundai Australia has now secured right-hand-drive production.
“We are looking at Palisade very closely,” Bill Thomas, Hyundai Australia’s public relations general manager, told Wheels. “That is an ideal range topper for us. We can get a hold of that car, and we will get it as soon as we can.
“It is a size bigger than the Santa Fe, it is an eight-seater. It is a big chunky vehicle.
“The interior quality and materials, fit and finish is really top notch. We are very interested in the Palisade.”
Revealed at the LA Auto Show in 2018, the Palisade measures in at 4980mm long, 1976mm wide and 1750mm high, making it slightly shorter and narrower than the CX-9, but longer and wider than the Kluger.
Despite being larger than the biggest car Hyundai offer, the Santa Fe, Thomas is confident the Palisade would suit local tastes.
“[The size] wouldn’t be a deterrent for Australian customers, not at all,” he explained.
“It’s a little bit bigger than a CX-9 maybe. The Santa Fe isn’t quite as big as the CX-9; it’s a bit smaller, so the Palisade is definitely a size up [from that].
“We have got the range to move into that area.”
The Palisades is likely to be offered with both a 220kW/355Nm 3.6-litre petrol V6 which propels the car to 100km/h in 8.2 seconds, and a 147kW/440Nm 2.2-litre diesel four-cylinder turbocharged unit, which can crack triple digits on the speedo in 10.0 seconds. Both are mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission, though the petrol delivers power to the front treads only, and the diesel transfers energy to all four wheels.
Capable of carrying eight passengers, the Palisade would be a logical rival for buyers who want the load carrying capability of the Toyota LandCruiser Prado, without the off-road concessions.
If you don’t want to carry as many people as possible, the Palisade can also be optioned with reclining captain’s chairs in the second and third rows, making it a six-seater.
Inside the cabin is a 10-inch touchscreen infotainment unit, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, three-zone climate control, head-up display, a whopping 16 cup holders, as well as seven USB ports and a wireless charge pad, and a ‘sleep mode’ that can mute the back speakers for snoozing passengers.
Hyundai claims the Palisade has 590 litres of cargo space with the third row still in place. This balloons to 1297 litres with the third row folded down.
Palisade is built atop a stretched version of the monocoque chassis that sits underneath the Santa Fe.
According to Hyundai, the majority of Santa Fe models sold is the higher spec Highlander, priced at $60,500. This gives the company confidence that Australians would be willing to step up into a bigger, more luxurious, and pricier product.