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The Hyundai Palisade has at last been confirmed for Australia, with the eight-seat Toyota Kluger and Mazda CX-9 rival set to touch down locally in the fourth quarter of 2020.
That's earlier than expected, too. When Hyundai Australia first put its hand up for the Palisade, it was thought they would have to wait for an all-new or facelifted model in order to unlock right-hand-drive production.
But is seems Hyundai HQ sees a sizeable market in Australia, because the brand's international heavyweights have instead approved right-hand-drive production of the current-gen car, which means we get the jumbo America-style SUV sooner than expected.
We also get the full Palisade drivetrain line-up, with Hyundai Australia to launch both the petrol 3.8-litre V6, good for 217kW and 355Nm, as well as a 2.2-litre diesel that fires out 147kW and 440Nm. Both are paired with a torque converter automatic, with the petrol cars 2WD and the diesel vehicles 4WD.
But the big news regarding the Palisade is its size, being not just the biggest SUV ever produced by Hyundai, but one of the biggest on offer in Australia, period. At almost five metres long, it's 21cm longer than a Santa Fe (as well as 8.5cm wider and 7cm taller), which means there’s more room inside for passengers.
Arriving standard with eight seats (seven is optional), the second and third row both recline - allowing you to prioritise space in either row. The rear row gets four cupholders, two USB ports, ceiling-mounted air vents and an ISOFIX attachment point and child seat top tether.
The middle row also gets two ISOFIX anchors, two top-tether points and a smattering of cupholders and USB ports. In fact, there are 16 of the former and seven of the latter scattered throughout the cabin.
Rear seat in place, you'll find some 311 litres of luggage space (2.5 times more than in the Santa Fe), with that number swelling to 704 litres with the third row folded flat.
The Palisade is also swimming with technology and safety kit, including a 10.25-inch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, a 7.0-inch display in the driver’s binnacle, and two pieces of clever new tech from Hyundai. Quiet Mode allows you to cut the speakers to the second and third row if your passengers are sleeping, and Driver Talk uses the phone's microphone to project your voice into the third row via the speakers, so no more looking over you shoulder to yell at the kids.
On the safety front, expect six airbags - including curtain bags that extend the the third row - AEB with pedestrian detection, active blind spot monitoring, lane keep assist with lane following assist, rear occupant alert, rear cross-traffic alert with AEB, safe exit assist, which will prevent you opening the door into traffic, smart cruise with stop and go, and a 360-degree camera.
"Our range-topping SUV offers the perfect blend of smart technology and luxury features befitting our flagship product," says Hyundai's Product Planning Manager, Jonathan Lam.
"The Palisade is unique in being able to offer a seven or eight seat configuration. What sets it apart, though, is its family focused tech features."
There’s no word on pricing yet, but expect a three-tier line-up that could be in dealerships as early as October.