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Hyundai Palisade 2020: giant Toyota Kluger rival could get Australian launch

Hyundai Australia is pushing hard for the new eight-seat Palisade SUV to launch locally, lobbying the brand's international HQ to engineer a right-hand-drive version of the Toyota Kluger rival.

The large SUV would enter a new space for Hyundai, where it would do battle with genuine seven-seat rivals like the Kluger, the Mazda CX-9 and Nissan Pathfinder. There's just one problem; revealed at the Los Angeles Motor Show late last year, the Palisade is currently only offered in left-hand drive.

But that's something Hyundai in Australia is working to change, lobbying the brand's intentional executives to introduce a right-hand drive version of the current-generation vehicle.

"Right-hand drive is not ruled out for this generation," says Hyundai Australia spokesperson, Guido Schenken. "We are pushing the agenda with head office to see what is possible.

"It would give us a direct-rival in the larger seven-seat class, something we’ve never had before, and we think the Palisade would prove popular with bigger Australian families."

At 4981mm long, 1976mm wide and 1750mm tall, the Palisade is considerably longer, wider and taller than the brand's Santa Fe. There's a choice between seven or eight seats, and plenty of practicality perks, too, like 510 litres of luggage space with all the seats in place, and a whopping 1297 litres with just the third row folded flat.

The Palisade is available with seven or eight seats. The Palisade is available with seven or eight seats.

Described as the brand's "flagship SUV", the Palisade also gets a 10.0-inch multimedia screen, a 12.3-inch digital screen that replaces the dial in the driver's binnacle, wireless charging, ventilated seats in the first and second row, seven USB connection points and, wait for it, 16 cupholders.

Inside the cabin is a 10.0-inch multimedia screen. Inside the cabin is a 10.0-inch multimedia screen.

In the States, the Palisade will be offered with a 3.8-litre petrol V6 good for 218kW and 355Nm. It is understood Hyundai in Australia would look to launch the Palisade with that petrol power plant, and the 2.2-litre diesel from the Santa Fe.

Hyundai Australia's desire for the Palisade stretches to the company's highest levels, with the brand's chief executive, JW Lee, telling CarsGuide last year that he wants to see a larger SUV in the local line-up.

“I have always wanted to include a bigger SUV in Australia,” he said at the time. "This bigger-size SUV market has quite strong demand, I think, in Australia. And not only in here, but also in some other markets, too."

Could the Hyundai Palisade rattle its large seven-seat rivals in Australia? Tell us in the comments below.