Car review: Hyundai Palisade – Hyundai hits the mark with SUV for the growing family

Hyundai really did deliver to the brief when looking to provide an SUV capable of transporting a bucket load of passengers.

I couldn’t be sure if it was a compliment to the Hyundai Palisade or an insult when someone quipped, Is that your Yank Tank out there?

But given the Korean car maker’s biggest and most expensive SUV model to date was made for the US and Middle East markets, even if it is not a compliment, it is on the money.

The Hyundai Palisade is designed to appeal to families who need a large SUV but don’t want a heavy-duty off-roader or the price tag that goes with it.

With the range starting at $60,000, for the petrol V6 front-wheel-drive versions, the Palisade certainly hits the brief… with the only other eight-seaters in the segment versions of the Toyota LandCruiser and Nissan Patrol a significantly higher costs.

The diesel versions with all-wheel-drive, as tested, start from $64,000 plus on roads.

There’s plenty of safety technology, and other kit across the range but when shooting for the top in this dubbed Yank Tank designed to impress without being designed for rugged off road performance and heavy tow capacity, the flagship Palisade Highlander delivers dual sunroofs, heated, cooled and power operated front seats, a power operated tailgate and nappa leather.

Tyre pressure monitors and a digital speed display are standard and the top of the range Highlander gains a digital dash that displays images from the blind zone cameras.

The base model is fitted with 18-inch wheels and tyres and the flagship gains 20-inch rubber. In a show of sensibility, there’s a full size spare tyre under the rear of both models.

Hyundai really did deliver to the brief when looking to provide an SUV capable of transporting a bucket load of passengers – and the seat spacing in the third row suggests passengers of the child variety – by putting in no less than seven USB ports, four 12V sockets and up to 16 cup holders

I’m not sure that the 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo diesel, which produces 147kW and 440Nm of torque truly qualifies as a Yank Tank, particularly with its 7.3L/100km fuel efficiency which made for more relaxed family motoring.

And while I think the Palisade not particularly Yank Tank looking, it is all in the eye of the beholder after all.

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