If you were like me and thought that Hyundai’s newest and largest SUV, the Palisade, was nice – wait until you take a look at the 2021 Palisade.
As you may already know, the Palisade is a three-row, seven passenger (eight with the second-row bench seat) mid-size SUV that makes for an excellent family hauler. Like most Hyundai’s, the Palisade, which is the brand’s flagship SUV, is loaded with value, with a starting price of $32,525. Packed with tons of standard features and with plenty of high-tech options offered, the comfortable and luxurious Palisade is hard to beat.
And for the 2021 it gets better with the addition of the Calligraphy trim level.
Sitting above last year’s range-topping Limited trim level, the Calligraphy adds more exterior bling to the Palisade, while inside, occupants are greeted to an even higher level of luxury. If you were unsure if the Palisade competed with the likes of Audi, Lexus, BMW and Mercedes-Benz, the Palisade Calligraphy should remove any doubt.
On the outside, the Calligraphy adds unique 20-inch alloy wheels and an exclusive triangle-pattern grille as well as different front and rear fascias. The Palisade continues to be an attractive and bold SUV, but with the new trim level, it’s even more so.
Step inside the Calligraphy and the already nice Palisade cabin is enhanced with quilted-leather door panels, a suede headliner and a perforated leather steering wheel. All this blends nicely with the Nappa leather upholstery carried over from the Limited trim level.
Under the hood there are no changes, as the familiar 3.8-liter V-6 with 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque continues on. Unlike other trims, though, the Calligraphy comes standard with all-wheel drive.
As I entered the 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy, I was reminded just how nice the Palisade is. Driver and front passenger seats are form fitting and offer a wide range of adjustability. Passengers in the second-row captain’s chairs can manually slide fore and aft and recline, giving them a fair amount of head and legroom. Third row passengers can also recline, but they get the bonus of having power adjustments. I suppose that’s the reward third-row passengers get over second row passengers. Every seat has access to their own USB port (there are seven total) and second row passengers get window shades. There are two sunroofs – one for the driver and front passenger and another for the second and third row passengers.
Storage space, especially in the center console, is plentiful – thanks to the lack of a gear shifter. Hyundai went with push buttons to switch from Park to Drive/Reverse/Neutral – and the result pays out with lots of space for phones, glasses, coffee mugs, etc.
When it comes to gadgets, this Palisade is full of them. A heads-up display (HUD) projects the speed on the windshield. Blind spot indicators, located in the side view mirrors, also appear in the HUD. On top of that, there is a live video feed of both blind spots in the digital gauge cluster that are activated when you use the turn signals. Turn on the left signal and the middle of the speedometer display changes to a video camera showing your left blind spot; likewise turn on the right signal and the middle of the tachometer changes to show you your right blind spot. There is also a 360-degree camera that lets you view around the car with the touch of a button.
As for utility, the Palisade is quite generous when it comes to cargo space. There is 87 cubic feet of space available with both the second- and third-row seats folded down. With the second row in use, cargo space drops to 46 cubic feet; put the third-row seats up and you still can handle 18 cubic feet of cargo. Towing capacity is listed at 5,000 pounds.
Spending time with the Palisade should be a nice affair. In my initial drive, the V6 was very quiet and had no trouble moving the large SUV around. Put it in Sport mode and the Palisade gets a little more athletic, but it’s hardly a sport SUV.
But if interior room, luxury and technology tops your wants in a mid-size SUV, the Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy needs to be on your list of luxury SUVs to check out. While $49,070, which happens to be the price tag of the test vehicle carries, is a lot of money, I have to say that for that money, buyers will get a heck of a lot of vehicle.
— Christopher A. Randazzo
By The Numbers:
2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy
Base Price: $47,750.00
Price as Tested: $49,070.00
Layout: front-engine / all-wheel drive
Engine: 3.8 liter V6
Transmission: 8 – speed automatic
Horsepower: 291 hp
Torque: 262 ft-lbs
EPA Fuel Economy: 19 mpg city / 24 mpg highway
[Visit me at www.carsbycar.blogspot.com or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org]