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Lookout Land Cruiser! Hyundai Palisade already luring customers from Toyota's iconic off-roader - before proper Korean LC300 rival arrives

Can Hyundai topple Toyota?

Hyundai must have high hopes for its reportedly incoming Toyota LandCruiser 300 Series rival, with the brand already counting "anecdotal evidence" from its dealership network that its new Palisade SUV is luring customers from Toyota's off-road family, despite the former being far more focused on on-road comfort than hardcore adventuring.

While the brand is unable to offer up conversion specifics, CarsGuide understands Hyundai's vast dealership network is offering up anecdotal evidence of Toyota LandCruiser shoppers making the switch to the Palisade.

It might seem a bit different, the Palisade and the LC200, but the brand understands the Palisade is filling the gap for those who want a big and premium-feeling SUV for round-Oz adventures, but perhaps don't want to cross a deserts and climb mountains.

Perhaps more important, though, is that it shows a willingness for Toyota shoppers to at least cross-shop Hyundai when it comes to more adventurous roadtrips - and given the brand is understood to be cooking up its own LandCruiser 300 Series rival, that's sure to be welcome news.

In its second full month on sale, the Palisade managed some 240 sales across Australia, a number which - if it managers to sustain that result over the remaining months of 2021 - would put it on track to be a circa-3000 sales vehicles this year.

Toyota, on the other hand, is reporting some of its best LandCruiser sales ever, tallying up 1230 Prado sales, and another 1499 200 Series sales, in January alone.

While the Palisade operates in a difference bracket in terms of capability, Hyundai is also reportedly cooking up a proper rival to the iconic LandCruiser.

While the brand is yet to confirm the vehicle, Hyundai's Head of Global Product Management, Lorenz Glaab, says the brand is officially monitoring the off-road SUV space.

"I mean, from a brand perspective, obviously that is thinkable," he said.

"Now whether it makes sense and what region and what concepts remain to be seen. But nothing can be excluded We monitor, and there is some dynamism in that segment... we are very much aware of that.

"We monitor very closely, and if we believe there is an opportunity for us, we can move pretty fast."

If such an SUV was to arrive - and it would certainly make sense, given we know Hyundai is working on a ladder-frame ute that would spawn the underpinning for it - it will go up against the LandCruiser 300 Series, which is expected to debut next year.

It will ride on a new ladder-frame TNGA platform, and will be fitted with a trio of engines, but the first to arrive in Australia should be a new 3.3-litre six-cylinder diesel.

Hyundai also has a punchy straight-six-cylinder turbo-diesel engine at its disposal, currently used in the Genesis GV80, and capable of 205kW of power and 588Nm of torque.

“With this engine we can have so many applications. As you know, we make commercial vehicles and so on, so this engine will be out there for quite some time. You don’t need to worry about that engine,” said Group R&D Chief Albert Biermann.