Hyundai’s range-topping SUV experience doesn’t come particularly cheap, though, with a considerable price difference between the entry-level Palisade Elite and the range-topping Palisade Highlander.
Let’s take a closer look at what the Palisade Highlander brings to the table and see if it’s a worthy upgrade, or if you’re better off saving your money and opting for the base model.
Starting Price: $75,900
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Hyundai Palisade - HIGHLANDER (7 SEAT) Specifications
|Variant||HIGHLANDER (7 SEAT)|
|Fuel type||UNLEADED PETROL|
|Transmission||8 SP AUTOMATIC|
|Engine configuration||VARIABLE DOUBLE OVERHEAD CAM / 24 valves|
|Engine RPM||6000 / 5200|
|Fuel tank size||71.0|
|Fuel usage specs||10.7 / 0|
|ANCAP security rating||5|
For more details and other variants, check Hyundai Palisade car page.
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How Much Does It Cost?
Hyundai’s updated Palisade range kicks off from $65,900 for the entry-level Elite FWD V6 variant, while the Elite AWD Diesel is priced at $69,000.
Stepping up to the Palisade Highlander FWD V6 brings the price to $75,900, while the range-topping Palisade Highlander AWD Diesel is priced at $79,900.
Keep in mind that these prices are subject to change, and do not include on-road costs.
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What Features Does the Hyundai Palisade Highlander Have?
Over the generous range of features you’ll find in the Palisade Elite range, the Highlander picks up a number of special features.
This includes a surround-view monitor with 3D view, a pair of sunroofs, a Highlander styling package, 10-inch head-up display, quilted Nappa leather upholstery, heated and ventilated first and second row seats, suede headliner, remote parking assistant, reverse parking collision avoidance and an upgraded leather-wrapped and heated steering wheel.
The Highlander sits above the Palisade Elite, which receives 20-inch alloys, LED headlights, leather upholstery with heated front seats, three-zone climate control, adaptive cruise control, a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, 12.3-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto, wireless charging and a 12-speaker Infinity sound system.
Adaptive cruise control
Dual panoramic sunroofs
Quilted Nappa leather upholstery
Heated & ventilated first and second-row seats
10-inch head-up display
3D surround view monitor
12.3-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay & Android Auto
12.3-inch digital instrument cluster
12-speaker Infinity sound system
Hyundai Palisade Colours
The Hyundai Palisade Highlander is available with Creamy White as a no-cost colour finish, while Shimmering Silver, Abyss Black, Sierra Burgundy, Graphite Grey, Olivine Grey, Gaia Brown, Moonlight Blue and Robust Emerald are available as optional colours for the Palisade Highlander.
Is it Comfortable to Drive?
The Palisade casts a rather big and imposing silhouette on the road, however, Hyundai has done a great job in making its largest SUV remain user-friendly and supremely comfortable on Australia’s rough surfaces.
Power comes supplied by your choice of a 3.8-litre V6 petrol producing 217kW of power and 355Nm of torque and a 2.2-litre turbo-diesel unit producing 147kW of power and 440Nm of torque.
Both engines are great on a mix of town and country driving, and while the V6 petrol offers a hefty power premium, the diesel unit makes up for this with a healthy torque bonus that is particularly well-suited for towing up to 2200kg.
Keep in mind that the V6 petrol is offered only with a front-wheel drive, while the diesel is paired with an all-wheel drive system, so if four-paw traction is a key concern, you’ll have to reach further into your pockets and opt for the diesel.
Power from both engines is put to the ground via Hyundai’s eight-speed automatic transmission which feels intuitive as you pick up speed around town and offers impressively smooth shifts.
Around town, the Palisade remains approachable for a large SUV package, picking up a lightweight steering rack that makes it easy to manoeuvre, and a heap of safety technology to help you squeeze in and out of a tight spot.
The suspension package makes the Palisade feel like a magic carpet around town that makes for a wonderful daily driver and urban commuter, while the hardware is up for the task of Australian B-roads.
While the suspension can’t hide the Palisade’s hefty weight, it does an impressive job at minimising body roll and ironing out the majority of bumps on the road that make it a wonderfully comfortable SUV package on a mix of Australian roads.
All up, the driving experience is fantastically smooth and user-friendly for drivers of all levels and makes the Palisade particularly well-suited for town and country driving here in Australia.
Is it Practical and Spacious?
The Palisade is Hyundai’s largest-ever SUV package, and as a result, it’s a strong performer when it comes to space and comfort for up to eight people in your family.
The driver and front passenger are treated to acres of space in the plush cabin, with a sizable centre console housing a heap of storage space beside the transmission buttons, drive modes and climate settings.
The layout is less complicated than you’ll find in the Santa Fe, for example, and adds to the sophistication of the front cabin which gains a heap of luxurious textiles in an interesting design that looks simple and clean while housing a generous amount of storage options.
The Palisade is available in both a seven- and eight-seat configuration, with the seven-seat layout gaining a pair of captain’s chairs in the second row for easy access into the third row.
In the eight-seat layout, the second row receives a bench seat that can recline, slide and fold for easier access into the third row, which is more suited to the small legs of younger children, but remains immensely practical.
The second and third rows pick up their own set of climate vents, USB ports and a sunroof that adds to the sense of space in the rear, as well as three ISOFIX and top tether mounts in the second row, and another two in the third row.
The Palisade’s boot measures in at a very impressive 311L with all the seats standing, and is able to expand to 704L with the third row folded, which is great for accommodating large and bulky cargo and sports items.
All up, the Palisade’s cabin feels curated specifically for families, and offers a huge amount of space, comfort and practical touches that make it an almighty offering for large families.
Is it Safe?
The Hyundai Palisade has been awarded ANCAP’s maximum five-star safety rating, scoring 84% for adult protection, 88% for child protection, 62% for its vulnerable road user protection and 83% for safety assist.
As standard, the Palisade comes fitted with autonomous emergency braking, blind-spot monitoring, multi-collision braking, lane-keep assistance, rear cross-traffic alerts, adaptive cruise control, junction-turning assistance and curtain airbags throughout the cabin.
Atop this list, the Palisade Highlander receives a rear parking collision avoidance system, a three-dimensional surround-view monitor, a digital rear-view mirror, back up light guide and a remote smart parking assist feature.
Is it Fuel Efficient?
Fuel efficiency for the Palisade range varies dramatically between the V6 petrol and the turbo-diesel variants, with the petrol Palisade returning thirsty fuel economy figures of 10.7L per 100km on a combined cycle.
Opting for the diesel Palisade variant drops fuel economy figures to a much more respectable 7.3L/100km, making it by far the best engine option for fuel-conscious SUV buyers.
Our Verdict: Is the Hyundai Palisade Highlander Worth it?
The Hyundai Palisade is a wonderfully spacious and practical SUV for large families, while the Highlander justifies its price premium with a significant amount of added equipment for the money.
The good news for buyers is that the entry-level Palisade Elite is already well-equipped with comfort, safety and entertainment features, so there’s no real need to upgrade higher into the lineup if you’re on a budget.
As a complete package, though, the range-topping Highlander treats its occupants to a truly premium SUV experience and will leave very few buyers feeling short-changed for upgrading, making it well deserving of a spot on your large SUV shortlist.
Five Specs You Need to Know
Five-year/unlimited KM warranty
12-month/15,000km service intervals (capped at $399 for petrol & $489 for diesel)
Five-star ANCAP safety rating
V6 petrol offered as front-wheel drive only; AWD reserved for turbo-diesel
Fuel economy of 10.7L/100km for petrol drop to 7.3L/100km in diesel variant
Supremely comfortable ride quality
Extremely family-friendly space and practicality
Smooth eight-speed transmission
Premium features and design in range-topping Highlander
No AWD for V6 petrol
Thirsty 3.8-litre V6 petrol (10.7L per 100km)
No hybrid offering, for now
OnlineAuto Rating: 9/10
Hyundai Palisade Competition
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|Land Rover Discovery|