New SUV flagship to duke it out with the CX-9 and Kluger in the States, but LHD only rules it out for Oz.

The all-new Hyundai Palisade has made its official debut at the Los Angeles motor show, ahead of its North American launch in the summer of 2019.

Serving as the Korean brand's new SUV flagship, the Palisade will sit above the Santa Fe in Hyundai's line-up and go up against the likes of the Mazda CX-9 and the Toyota Highlander (Kluger) in the States.

Measuring 196.1in (4981mm) long, 77.8in (1976mm) wide and 68.9in (1750mm) tall, the Palisade is longer and wider than the top-selling Toyota, while its 114.2in (2900mm) wheelbase is a match for the larger-than-class-average Nissan Pathfinder.

Compared to its smaller sibling, the Palisade offers seating for up to eight people, and gets a design aimed at giving it a standalone character instead of a 'Santa Fe XL' vibe.

There's a very American look about it, with plenty of straight lines and and bold elements such as the contrasting grille surround and stacked headlight design.

In side profile, the big Hyundai has a very Cadillac-esque silhouette, while the big glasshouse between the C- and D-pillars should give plenty of outward vision for the rear passengers, and a point of difference from the Santa Fe.

Filling the arches of the vehicle you see here are 20-inch 'oversized' alloy wheels (18-inch units are standard), while the vertical LED tail-light design is another distinguishing feature from the smaller Santa Fe.

Hyundai claims a 0.33 coefficient of drag for the Palisade, thanks to its raked A-pillar angle, "rear spoiler side garnish", an extended internal air guide for the 'optimised' front cooling area, aero underbody panels, and aero deflectors on the rear wheels.

Inside, the Palisade asserts its flagship status in Hyundai's range with its unique and upmarket dashboard layout, along with available technologies and trims.

First-row occupants are treated to a new cockpit design that blends aspects of models like the Kona Electric and Santa Fe, while debuting a new 10.25-inch infotainment system and the option of a 12.3-inch fully-digital instrument cluster.

Nappa leather is available on high-grade models, while woodgrain trim adorns the wraparound dashboard and door inserts.

There's also a shift-by-wire system that frees up the centre console by switching out the traditional gearshift for a wand-style control.

The second and third rows of seating offer one-touch folding functionality and electric operation respectively, with space for up to eight – though you can have a seven-seat layout with second-row captain's chairs like you see here.

Hyundai says the Palisade offers up to seven USB outlets, second-row seat ventilation with the captain's chair option ticked, and roof-mounted ventilation for all three rows.

Plenty of driver assistance technologies are included as standard, too, with Hyundai's SmartSense suite featuring autonomous emergency braking with pedestrian detection, blind-spot assist, high-beam assist, adaptive cruise control with stop&go, rear cross-traffic avoidance, lane-following assist and driver attention monitoring all included across the range.

Speaking of blind-spot assist, the Palisade supplements the visual warnings in the mirrors with a side-mounted camera system (like Honda's Lane Watch) that projects a live video feed of the vehicle's side in the instrument cluster whenever the indicators are activated (below).

Other available features include a head-up display, an intercom system so the driver can separately communicate with second- and third-row occupants, and a dual-pane sunroof with a fixed rear glass section.

There's also 16 cup holders throughout the cabin, while the luggage area (above) measures 45.8cu-ft (1297L) behind the second row and 18.0cu-ft (509.7L) with the third row in use – that's likely using the American system that measures up to the roof, not the windowline.

Power in the Palisade comes from a hybrid-style Atkinson-cycle 3.8-litre direct-injection V6 naturally-aspirated petrol engine, which produces an 'estimated' 291hp (217kW) at 6000rpm and 262lb-ft (355Nm) at 5000rpm.

Drive is sent to either the front or all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic as standard. The HTRAC all-wheel drive version offers selectable drive modes including a 'Snow Mode' which adjusts the front and rear torque distribution, left and right wheel slip control, engine torque and shift patterns according to available traction levels.

There's also a differential-locking function for "challenging traction situations".

Hyundai Motor America will commence sales of the Palisade during the northern hemisphere's summer (June-August) in 2019.

Australia

The Palisade is left-hand-drive only for the time being, ruling it out for the Australian market.

For the North American market, the Palisade will be imported from the company's Ulsan facility in South Korea, which is also Australia's source of various models like the Santa Fe, i30 (except N) and most versions of the Tucson.

Hyundai Australia did, however, indicate it has expressed strong interest in the new model last month.

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