Today we look at the 2021 Hyundai Palisade, a 3-row SUV that has been one of the hottest sellers on the market since it debuted in 2019. This is the Calligraphy Edition, which is new for 2021 and is the top-of-the-line model, replacing the Limited as the top trim level.
The exterior is attractive with a large grill with triangles all over it, which is unique to Calligraphy. It has upper running lights and the LED headlights sit low. A rear spoiler and dual exhaust finish out the exterior appearance.
All Palisade models come with a 3.8-liter V6 and an 8-speed automatic that puts out 291-horses, and 262-pound feet of torque. My tester, and all Calligraphy models, are all-wheel drive.
It is important to note that everything I show you on this vehicle is standard equipment, there are no extra charge options except for a small charge of $180 for the floor mats.
Open the door to the Palisade and you’ll see beautiful quilted Nappa leather seats and gorgeous door panels with elegant Harmon Kardon speaker covers.
When you hit the start button, bright colorful gauges come to life that you can configure from the steering wheel.
One of the coolest features I have ever seen is when you turn on the left blinker, the speedometer turns into a left-side blind spot camera, the right blinker will activate a right-side camera that replaces the tachometer. There is also a terrific head-up display that has speed limit sign recognition.
There is a nifty console with a sliding cover, two really cool cup holders, a USB, and a cell phone charger. Another compartment is leather covered and serves as your armrest.
Higher up, you’ll find transmission buttons, the heated and cooled seats, the heated steering wheel, the auto hold button, and you can turn off the start/stop system.
This is also where you change the drive modes from snow, to eco, to comfort, to sport, and finally smart. Smart mode will change between Eco, Comfort, and Sport depending on the way you are driving it. The dash layout completely changes with each drive mode.
At the highest point on the dash is a 10.25” touchscreen that runs everything, including navigation, audio, Bluetooth, Apple Carplay and Android Auto. A swipe to the left gives you more apps including all the settings, a Sounds of Nature app to calm you down, Quiet Mode that turns the sound down for rear passengers, and finally Passenger Talk, which uses a front microphone so you can talk to the rear seat passengers, and they can’t talk back!
The Palisade is extremely comfortable for the second and third-row passengers. The second-row captain chairs are heated and cooled, and they slide forward and back, and they also recline.
The third-row seat reclines, is quite comfortable, and access is easy thanks to a button on the second-row seats that slide them out of the way.
As you go to the rear cargo area, Hyundai says it has the fastest rear liftgate in the industry going up or down in five seconds. There is really good cargo area behind the 3rd row seat, which is power and folds flat. You can flip the second row down with buttons, also in the rear cargo area.
Standard features include dual power moon roofs, parking sensors, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, forward collision avoidance, blind spot monitoring, lane keeping assist, remote start, a great rearview camera, and rear side window shades.
One note about the remote start: With every other vehicle I’ve been in, when you activate the remote start, when you get in, you have to push the vehicle start button. Hyundai thought of everything. When you get in the vehicle and sit, everything comes on. No need to hit the start button.
Finally, there is a brilliant ultrasonic rear occupant sensor that is an amazing safety feature. Once you lock the vehicle, it will remind you on the dash to check for occupants or pets. If there is any movement in the rear area after the doors are locked, the horn will blow, the lights will flash, and you’ll get a text immediately.
Ride and Drive
The Palisade rides and drives as well as it looks, it is very quiet inside, and it will tow 5000 pounds. Acceleration is fantastic in Sport Mode, and you even get a little exhaust rumble. Fuel economy is rated at 19 City and 24 on the highway and it’s doing every bit of that..
What You’ll Pay
The best thing about the Palisade Calligraphy is the price. Total MSRP is $49,070 and based on the competition today, this may be the best value out there, and it comes with a 10-year/100,000 mile warranty and three years of free maintenance.
Kudos to Hyundai, they took a great SUV, priced it right, and with the Calligraphy Edition, they achieved amazing luxury at a bargain price.
2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Review
- What I liked most: Interior luxury, amazing value!
- What I would change: Couldn’t find anything I didn’t like.
- MSRP: Base price $47,750, as equipped $49,070.
- Fuel Economy: Rated at 19 in town/24 highway/21 overall.
- Odometer reading when tested: 1800 miles.
- Weight: 4,387 curb weight pounds. 5,871 GVWR per the door label.
- Spare Tire: Compact temporary spare.
- Length-Width-Height: 196.1” long/77.8” wide/68.9” high.
- Fuel Tank Capacity: 18.8 gallons with the filler on the driver’s side.
- Towing Capacity: 5,000 pounds.
- 2021 Palisade Calligraphy in a few words: Great drive and ride, fantastic warranty, free maintenance, arguably the best SUV buy in America.
- Final Assembly Location: Ulsan, Korea.
- Manufacturers website: www.HyundaiUSA.com
- Warranty: 5-year/60,000 bumper-to-bumper and 10-year/100,000 mile power train warranty with roadside assistance, and 3-years/36,000 miles of complimentary maintenance.
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