The Santa Fe XL has a new big brother.
Unveiled at the 2018 LA Auto Show, Hyundai's new flagship crossover takes aim at the likes of the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, Nissan Pathfinder, and Toyota Highlander in an increasingly competitive market segment. And from what we can see so far, it looks like it has the chops to earn Hyundai a substantial slice of that pie, with room for up to eight inside.
The Palisade is bigger in every dimension than the Santa Fe XL, and by several metrics offers more room inside than its targeted competition. But it's clear that Hyundai has emphasized more than just interior space with its new top-of-the-line crossover.
The vehicle comes with all the latest tech inside, including a 10.25-inch infotainment screen, a 12.3-inch instrument display, a head-up display for the driver, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, available wireless phone charger, a high-tech audio system, and a trick air-conditioning diffuser for the rear seats. It even has an in-cabin communication system to facilitate conversation.
Add to that as many as seven on-board USB outlets and 16 cupholders and the Palisade promises to offer a comfortable ride for the whole family. And it comes standard with a full suite of driver-assistance and safety systems as standard, which Hyundai expects will help earn it a five-star NHTSA and IIHS Top Safety Pick + ratings.
Motivation will come exclusively from a 3.8-liter naturally aspirated V6 engine mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. The setup will send as much as 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque to two or four driven wheels, offering more muscle and cogs than the aforementioned competition.
Despite its rather generous exterior proportions, Hyundai's worked hard to get the drag coefficient down to just 0.33 – which isn't quite as slippery as, say, the 0.24 boasted by same automaker's Ioniq electrified vehicle, but it's pretty darn impressive for a large SUV. To get there, Hyundai employed wind-cheating tricks like aero deflectors in front of the wheels and underbody air channels, all of which ought to help it ride quieter and return better fuel economy than its size would suggest. We'll have to wait to see EPA figures though, which is sure to follow in due course, along with performance, pricing, and availability information.