Hyundai unveiled the all-new Palisade three-row midsized SUV at the 2018 LA Auto Show, touting its eight-seat capability, a host of interior technology for families of all sizes, and bold styling. Hyundai says the Palisade rides on an all-new SUV chassis that's larger than the current Santa Fe XL.

The Korean manufacturer says the 2020 Hyundai Palisade will go on sale in the U.S. this summer. Here's what we know so far:  

2020 Hyundai Palisade front

2020 Hyundai Palisade

What it competes with: Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Kia Sorento, Nissan Pathfinder, Subaru Ascent, Toyota Highlander
What it looks like: A slightly larger, bolder version of the Santa Fe XL, with a big grille and tall hood.
Powertrain: 291-hp, 3.8-liter V6 engine; 8-speed automatic transmission; front- or all-wheel drive
Price: Not announced
On-sale date: Summer 2019

Outside

Hyundai says the goal of the Palisade’s design was to give it a bold road presence and convey the look of a premium flagship SUV. To that end, the grille is large and wide, and the hood is quite long. Flared fenders give the SUV some muscularity, and vertical LED taillights lend some upmarket flair. It is 3 inches longer than the three-row Santa Fe XL and almost a direct match for the Honda Pilot. 

2020 Hyundai Palisade interior

Inside the Cabin

The 2020 Palisade has room for up to eight passengers. The third row offers power folding, unfolding, and reclining seats. A seven-seat configuration uses second-row captain’s chairs that are available with ventilated seating surfaces. Fancy-looking quilted Nappa leather seating is available.

Infotainment comes courtesy of a 10.3-inch touch-screen display. In the past, we found Hyundai’s systems to be some of the most user-friendly available. A full-color head-up display is available, projecting helpful information about speed, cruise control status, navigation, speed limits, and audio data onto the windshield in front of the driver. We’ll reserve judgment about Hyundai’s new push-button gear selector setup until we’ve used it ourselves, though we’ve typically found that buttons, in place of a lever, are unintuitive to use.

The Palisade is offered with an intercom system that allows the driver to communicate with the second- or third-row passengers via the audio system—a helpful trick most associated with minivans. It also has a Rear Sleep Mode that lets the driver listen to music without any sound going to the second- and third-row speakers.

USB ports are in all three rows, with a total of seven available. A large opening under the center console adds storage space, and there are 16 cup holders to ensure that everyone can stay hydrated.  

2020 Hyundai Palisade third-row seat

What Drives It

The Palisade has a 291-hp, 3.8-liter V6 paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission. Front-wheel drive comes standard, with all-wheel drive available. The AWD system has three driver-selectable modes: Normal, Sport, and Smart. Hyundai says the Sport setting sends more power to the rear wheels to give the Palisade a more dynamic driving feel. There is also a Snow function to help optimize traction in adverse road conditions, adjusting the engine’s power and transmission shift patterns in an effort to aid traction.  

Safety and Driver-Assist Systems

Many advanced safety systems will come standard on the Palisade, including forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind spot warning, and rear cross traffic warning with automatic braking. It also has Hyundai’s Safe Exit Assist, which uses radar to detect cars approaching from the rear, keeping the doors from being opened until the car has passed.

Other standard driver-assistance features include adaptive cruise control with stop-and-go traffic capability, and automatic high beams. A rear occupant alert system, designed to prevent children or pets from being inadvertently left in the car, is optional.  

CR’s Take

The slightly smaller Santa Fe XL was a strong performer, and we are impressed with the redesigned Santa Fe. From what we’re seeing, the Palisade looks like a strong contender in the midsized three-row SUV class. Notably, the large, easier-to-access third-row seat adds to its versatility. We’ll know much more about this all-new SUV when we buy one for our test fleet.  

2020 Hyundai Palisade rear