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2020 Hyundai Palisade SUV is Brand’s New Flagship

Meet the Palisade, Hyundai’s new flagship SUV, which just made its public debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show.

With three rows of seats, an upscale interior and all the electronic gadgets today’s drivers expect, this utility vehicle should have everything it needs to compete with the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander, Ford Explorer and other popular midsize crossovers. Accordingly, it should have no issues taking the soon-to-be-retired Santa Fe XL’s place in the South Korean automaker’s lineup.

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With seating for up to eight people and an overall length of about 196 inches, the Palisade lands in the heart of today’s utility-vehicle segment. Still, this is somewhat new ground for Hyundai. “For us it’s the largest SUV we’ve ever brought to market,” noted Mike O’Brien, vice president of product, corporate and digital planning at Hyundai Motor America.

Named after the breathtaking and affluent Southern California neighborhood of Pacific Palisades, this crossover promises to break new ground for the brand, starting with its bold exterior design. A clear differentiation from the rest of Hyundai’s SUV lineup, this new nameplate should command attention in a crowded segment.

Inside, the Palisade’s cabin looks modern and is constructed of high-quality materials, with plastics and leathers that wouldn’t look out of place in a luxury car. Keeping passengers safe and motorists from getting too stressed is Hyundai SmartSense, the automaker’s suite of advanced driver aids. Standard in every version of this SUV, it includes features like forward collision avoidance with pedestrian detection, lane-keeping assist, automatic high beams, a driver attention monitor, adaptive cruise control and more.

SEE ALSO: Complete 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show Coverage

The Palisade will be powered by the latest version of Hyundai’s Lambda V6 engine family, a 3.8-liter unit that runs on the fuel-saving Atkinson cycle. Debuting in this vehicle, it delivers 291 horsepower at 6,000 rpm and 262 pound-feet of torque at a heady 5,200 revs per minute. Balancing fuel efficiency and output, it features direct fuel injection, specially coated piston rings, beehive valve springs, an electrically operated thermostat, rapid-response camshaft phasers, a 13-to-1 compression ratio and plenty of other high-tech goodies.

An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard in the Palisade, aiding performance and economy. It also helps this vehicle to tow up to 5,000 pounds, an impressive figure. An optional Class III receiver hitch with a two-inch drawbar doesn’t hurt capability, either.

Ensuring it has plenty of grip is an advanced all-wheel-drive system. With an electronic coupling between the front and rear axles, it can intelligently distribute torque to the wheels with the most traction. Up to 50 percent of available torque can be sent to the rear axle, depending on driving conditions. Torque vectoring via braking is also included, for improved handling.

This all-wheel-drive system also offers several different modes including Comfort, for everyday driving; Smart, the most economical setting; and Sport, providing enhanced performance and acceleration. A separate Snow mode improves traction in slippery conditions, partly by starting the vehicle in second gear.

Ensuring Hyundai keeps leading in the industry in vehicle safety, the Palisade is projected to earn a five-star crash rating from NHTSA and a Top Safety Pick+ score from our friends at IIHS.

No pricing information is available right now, but the new Hyundai Palisade is set to go on sale in the summer of 2019.

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