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Hyundai Palisade 2022 review: Highlander 7-seat

The Palisade looks great and feels even better. (image: Dean McCartney)

I was going away on a road trip, and the car that came to mind for a long journey where I would need to take the kids' gear, our gear plus food and everything else we’d need for five days? The Hyundai Palisade.

There are a few prerequisites I’m after while driving a road trip and the main ones are safety and space. It really helps narrow your priorities when you think about what you’d be happy with to be on the road for hours at a time. 

I test drove the Hyundai Palisade seven-seat Highlander, which is top-of-the-range and costs from $77,261 drive-away. It also comes in an eight-seat version. This one competes with cars like the Kia Sorento, Mazda CX-9, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Toyota Kluger

Here’s how the Palisade performed over seven days, and on my family road trip. 

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How does it look?

Big and brash, the Palisade makes an entrance with a large grille on the front and square-ish shape due to the size of the car and the large interior space.

It’s hard to get creative with the exterior when the interior is as wide as this, hence the square shape, but the chrome detailing helps. 

Big and brash, the Palisade makes an entrance. (image: Dean McCartney) Big and brash, the Palisade makes an entrance. (image: Dean McCartney)

The inside is plush, this is the top model so you have all the extras: Nappa leather appointed seats that are heated and cooled, a leather wrapped steering wheel and a dual sunroof with tilt function. 

The centre console looks great, with colour themed panelling and a slick, modern design that works with curves and thin lines and feels ultra modern and luxe. It feels good sitting in the Palisade on the road. 

How spacious is it?

One of the Palisade’s strengths is the amount of interior space, because it is roomy. There’s a lot of space up front, with ample leg and headroom, and plenty of room in between the driver and front passenger. 

The second row is really where it’s at though, with two captain’s seats instead of a long bench (this is in the seven-seat version).

One of the Palisade’s strengths is the amount of interior space. (image: Dean McCartney) One of the Palisade’s strengths is the amount of interior space. (image: Dean McCartney)

They have armrests and it’s a much more comfortable and civilised way to travel in the second row. My kids absolutely loved it. They’re aged eight and 10 and if you’re travelling with tall adults or teenagers, they’ll appreciate it also.

There’s just something about having your own space that makes things feel more luxurious and makes the whole car feel more airy. 

The third row is a bench seat, and that’s a non-negotiable in both the seven- and eight-seat versions. There’s enough space in there to fit kids or adults and you’re able to move the second row forward to give more leg space to the back if that’s what you’re after.

  • The second row is really where it’s at, with two captain’s seats instead of a long bench. (image: Dean McCartney) The second row is really where it’s at, with two captain’s seats instead of a long bench. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • The third row is a bench seat, and that’s a non-negotiable in both the seven- and eight-seat versions. (image: Dean McCartney) The third row is a bench seat, and that’s a non-negotiable in both the seven- and eight-seat versions. (image: Dean McCartney)

We weren’t actually using the third row at all, and rather had all that glorious space to comfortably fit our bags, food, and things we collected along the way. 

The boot is a good 704L when the third row is not in use. With the third row in use that goes down to 311L which is enough to fit a suitcase on the side, or school bags or grocery bags. 

  • With the third row in use the boot size is 311L. (image: Dean McCartney) With the third row in use the boot size is 311L. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • That's enough to fit a suitcase on the side, or school bags or grocery bags. (image: Dean McCartney) That's enough to fit a suitcase on the side, or school bags or grocery bags. (image: Dean McCartney)
  • The boot is a good 704L when the third row is not in use. (image: Dean McCartney) The boot is a good 704L when the third row is not in use. (image: Dean McCartney)

How easy is it to use every day?

There are lots of power operated functions in the top model Highlander version of the Palisade, with power operated front seats, a button on the side of the second row to drop it for easy access to the back row, and the power tailgate works just by standing behind the car for three seconds if you’ve got the key on you. 

There are seven USB ports throughout the car which is a great feature when going away for a road trip. If everyone can plug in, everyone is happy! 

It has tri-zone climate control with second row passengers in control of their own air destiny and third row passengers with directional air vents. You can also lower the sound in the back rows (if kids are sleeping). 

There are tri-zone climate control with second row passengers in control of their own air destiny. (image: Dean McCartney) There are tri-zone climate control with second row passengers in control of their own air destiny. (image: Dean McCartney)

For storage there are 14 cupholders! Four in the front, six in the centre row, and four in the third row.

In the front there’s a large centre storage bin and a large shelf below the centre console which is handy. There’s a spot for keys and a phone in the front, a wireless charging pad and bottle holders in the front doors. 

Second row passengers get those six cupholders, bottle holders in the doors, while third row passengers get four cupholders and a small storage spot as well. 

There’s a large reverse parking camera and a 360-degree view. (image: Dean McCartney) There’s a large reverse parking camera and a 360-degree view. (image: Dean McCartney)

How does it drive?

The Palisade is smooth to drive, especially on the open road. It’s quite speedy with little effort required to get to the 110km/h speed limit.

It doesn’t shake at high speeds and feels stable while driving. The handling is good, and while it is slightly bouncy over humps and around corners, it feels nice to drive. 

It’s got a 3.8L, six-cylinder petrol engine which is enough to power up hills and cruise along highways (it also comes in diesel), and there is no hybrid or electric variant. 

The Palisade is smooth to drive, especially on the open road. (image: Dean McCartney) The Palisade is smooth to drive, especially on the open road. (image: Dean McCartney)

Parking the Palisade can be a challenge because of the size, but the light steering makes it easy work.

There’s a large reverse parking camera and a 360-degree view. You will stick out of smaller parking spots so be wary of opening the boot if you’re parked close to a wall. 

While it is slightly bouncy over humps and around corners, it feels nice to drive. (image: Dean McCartney) While it is slightly bouncy over humps and around corners, it feels nice to drive. (image: Dean McCartney)

How safe is it?

The Palisade Highlander comes with 'Hyundai Smart Sense' and includes 'Blind Spot Collision Avoidance Assist', AEB, lane keep assist, 'Rear Cross Traffic Collision Avoidance Assist', lane keeping assist and 'Smart Cruise Control.' 

It has airbags for driver and front passenger and side curtain airbags that go down to the third row. There are ISOFIX points in the second and third rows (four in total) and four top tether points also for kids car seats.

The Palisade has not yet been ANCAP rated

What’s the tech like?

There’s a large 10.25-inch multimedia screen which has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto for instant connectivity to your phone’s main apps.

There’s also Bluetooth connectivity for two phones so both can be connected at once and you can choose which phone to stream from. 

There’s a large 10.25-inch multimedia screen which has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (image: Dean McCartney) There’s a large 10.25-inch multimedia screen which has Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. (image: Dean McCartney)

There’s a digital dash in front of the steering wheel and that’s where you’ll see blind-spot monitoring if you put a blinker on. There is a 12-speaker Infinity stereo system with great sound. 

How much is it to own?

The Hyundai Palisade Highlander seven-seat petrol costs from $77,261 drive-away.

The official combined fuel consumption figure is 10.7L/100km which is quite high, it’s a large engine and it needs a lot of fuel to run.

There is a diesel version which will take less fuel but ideally Hyundai would be looking at a hybrid or electric version. I averaged 11.1L/100km and that was doing a lot of highway driving. 

It’s covered by Hyundai’s five-year/unlimited kilometre warranty. Servicing is recommended every 12 months/15,000km and the pricing is capped


The Wrap

The Hyundai Palisade Highlander in the seven-seat version is a great family car. There is so much interior and boot space, while still feeling premium and stylish inside. There’s lots of functionality and every detail has been well thought out. It drives beautifully and was a really fab car to take away on a long road trip. 

I gave it a family rating of 8.2 and the kids gave it the same, they love any kind of holiday car! 

Likes

Interior design
Smooth driving
So much space

Dislikes

Lots of fuel required
No hybrid/electric variant
Large to park

Scores

Nedahl:

4.1

The Kids:

4.1

$71,000

Based on new car retail price

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