Hyundai Palisade 2021 highlander (8 seat)
Owner Review

2021 Hyundai Palisade Highlander review

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As a family of six with a new born, we travel to the snow over six times a year, and we also head up the coast a couple of times a year. In order to haul ski gear (we have a ski pod up top), two baby seats and four adult-sized people, we needed a bigger car. Enter the Hyundai Palisade.

Regarding the styling, it’s a little American, but in a good way. With the beige colour, the interior has a really nice feel to it, offering an airy and welcoming cabin - instead of a black, grey, sombre place. It just makes you feel relaxed. The cooled seats make it comfortable too.

The sound system is fantastic. I previously owned a Lexus GS430 with 13 speakers, and this one compares favourably.

There is nothing notable that I dislike about the car. It’s not a cheap car, but there is nothing else on the market that doesn’t cost an extra $50k-$70k, like the Mercedes-Benz GLS or BMW X7. Otherwise you are in an aging Landcruiser, with the top spec being $130,000.

As a shortcoming, it really should have the latest Hyundai/Kia centre airbag tech. I know that would be commercially impossible until a full refresh, but it would be nice. Things that they could have added are the international model’s new digital dash and ambient lighting. This is all stuff that can be found on the $63k KIA Sorento GT.

On the safety front I really like that there are full air bags all the way to the back. The lane-keep assist really works, which is excellent. The engine performance is enough for this type of car.

There are some quirks, such as when I reverse out of my slightly-sloped driveway the car freaks out and emergency brakes due to it thinking that there are cars are coming the other way. It just stops. You also can’t engage Drive from Reverse without pressing in the brake completely. It initially shocked me at first in an instance where I wanted to quickly get out of the way of oncoming traffic, but luckily I worked it out in time.

Reliability has been 10 out of 10 thus far.

The Palisade completely swallows humans and all their gear.

There are some improvements that I feel could be made for future models. The price, while great, is still missing small stuff of little practical value but can carry that extra "wow", such as the new digital dash and ambient lighting. Also, if they could please put the Genesis 3.0-litre diesel in soon, if not a hybrid option, it would be appreciated.

I have recommended the Palisade to a friend who also has a six-person family. In this segment there is only the Mercedes-Benz GLS, BMW X7, or Landcruiser if you want all-wheel drive. If these are not suitable then I would recommend the Palisade or the KIA Carnival.

On the topic of ride and handling, it's a pity this car didn’t get a specific Australian tune from Hyundai - I believe we have the Russian tune. It is composed and taut, but could do with some more absorbency.

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