Axalta

Hyundai recently launched an all-new seven- or eight-seater SUV into the crossover segment. The Palisade is a full-house of bells and whistles along with a million-rand price tag. This is a first step into this price range for the Hyundai brand, and upon seeing and driving the vehicle, it certainly has a lot to offer. 

The Palisade is quite formidable in size as it’s just shy of five metres in length. The design is easy on the eye with lots of chrome finishes to give it an ultra-modern feel. The wide grille has taken its design cues from the rest of the fleet giving more unity across the range in looks.

As you might expect, lots of luxury and great features are encompassed in the package. Unique for its niche, the Palisade offers a double sunroof and heated seats throughout. A clever touch is the elevated air vents in the rear of vehicle, keeping all occupants cool and able to adjust ventilation to suit their every need. 

The Palisade is seriously practical with easy-to-fold seats, creating tons of different configurations and storage options. Along with a myriad of safety features that include, among others, blind-spot detection and safe exit assist. It also boasts an 8-inch touch-screen display. This is offered with seven USB charging points and a wireless charging spot for your phone.

You do have to wonder if we are in fact now beginning to drive mobile charging points for devices? This is just what the market demands nowadays along with a host of ADAS equipment in tow plus a fabulous sound system to boot. 

Under the bonnet is a R2.2 CRDi motor coupled to an eight-speed automatic gearbox. This four-cylinder turbodiesel is very fuel economical for such a large car – 8.2 litres per 100 km delivering 142kW at 3 800 rpm. The simple push button gear selection takes a little getting used to, but it forms part of the light and airy interior and high-tech feel that Hyundai are striving for in this sector of the marketplace. 

The Palisade offers HTRAC all-wheel-drive (AWD) system with a terrain selector system. The driver selectable HTRAC Smart, Eco, Comfort and Sports mode create evermore driver modes to suit your particular driving style. There is a unique traction system fitted – selected by an easy-to-use dial – that can be used on-the-fly, making sand, mud and snow progress entirely hassle-free.

Behind the wheel the car is effortless to drive and very quiet, thanks to the large amount of sound deadening that has been introduced into the body cavity. There is always enough power to feel safe in your decision to overtake or avoid something in a hurry. Gearchanges are easy and there is never any hunting from the accomplished powertrain, offering a “I could drive all day and not get tired” effortless kind of journey.  

Hot stamping has been used to make sure there is extra rigidity in the body and that less deformation occurs to the body in the event of an accident. Great news for drivers, not so much for repairers – as this may lead to more of a replace and not repair option – for body shops. 

The Palisade is available in two derivatives with alternative seating options: the Palisade R2.2 7-seater Elite (auto) and the Palisade R2.2 8-seater Elite (auto). Both options are priced at R999 900. (Included in the package is a 7-year/200 000 km manufacturer’s warranty; plus a 7-year/105 000 km service plan; including roadside assistance for seven years or a distance of 150 000 km).