Hyundai considering Palisade for India: What to expect from the Toyota Fortuner rival

After the success of 2020 Creta and the launch of 2020 Verna, Hyundai is considering bringing its flagship SUV, the Palisade, in the Indian market. Hyundai Palisade is the biggest Hyundai yet—its bigger than the XL version of Santa Fe, that the carmaker sells in the USA.

Hyundai Palisade 1

Currently, Hyundai Palisade available in the left-hand drive configuration only. A right-hand drive version is reported to be in the works, aimed at the Australian market. And that makes it a candidate for the Indian market too.

Hyundai Palisade is a very different beast compared with the two popular SUVs on the market right now: the Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavor. Both are body-on-chassis SUVs with solid off-road cred. Palisade, on the other hand, is a plush ‘soft roader’ that comes loaded with features.

So, what should you expect from Palisade?

Posh looks that might be polarizing

Palisade follows the latest design language of Hyundai with split headlamps, huge cascading grille and fluidic lines. At the front, there is a huge cascading grille that is surrounded by chrome for an upmarket feel along with LED Daytime Running Lamps and vertically stacked projector LED headlights. You also get a front and rear skid plate for ruggedness. In the foreign markets, you get 20-inch alloy wheels but for our road conditions, we expect that Hyundai will offer an 18 or 19-inch so that tires have more sidewall for a comfortable ride.

Hyundai Palisade 3

At the rear, there are L-shaped LED tail lamps and Palisade spelt out across the width of the SUV. There is also a chrome slat and dual exhaust tips in the lower half of the bumper.

The fit and finish is top-notch but Palisade lacks the butch ‘squarish’ looks that Indian buyers seem to prefer.

A very Mercedes Benz-like Interior

Hyundai Palisade 4

Hyundai Palisade is being touted by reviewers in the US as “Luxury Bargain” and with good reason. It uses very high-quality materials inside and offers almost every conceivable feature. The dual-screen infotainment system, that offers a range of connected car features, seems straight out of the latest Mercedes Benz.

Hyundai Palisade measures 4,980mm in length, 1,975mm in width and 1,750mm in height. Palisade is one big SUV and that means that all three rows of seats are pretty usable. And even with the third row up, there is decent luggage space.

Hyundai Palisade 2

While the exterior may or may not be to everyone’s liking, the interiors are at least two notches higher than what you find in Toyota Fortuner or Ford Endeavor today.

Stacked with features

Hyundai is known for its well-equipped feature list and the Palisade will continue the tradition. The SUV will come with dual sunroofs, sunshades, blind view monitoring system, 9 airbags, a powered tailgate and much more. There will be a 10.25-inch touchscreen infotainment system that will come with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. There will be either a Harman Kardon or a Bose sound system. Hyundai will also feature their BlueLink connected car technology which will help with remote tracking, remote start/stop, vehicle telematics and pre-cooling the cabin. The driver will get a 12.3-inch fully digital LCD instrument cluster instead of traditional gauges. Palisade could be the first SUV in its category to offer air suspension unless Hyundai cuts it out to save costs.

It’s a diesel

In the US, Hyundai Palisade is powered by 3.8 litre petrol engine which is unlikely to make it to India. Palisade is expected to come with a 2.2-litre turbocharged diesel engine that powers Kia Carnival. It produces a max power output of 200bhp and a peak torque output of 441Nm of torque. The engine will be mated to an 8-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. The SUV may be offered with both two-wheel-drive (2WD) and four-wheel-drive (4WD) options.

Off-road Cred

Palisade is, at best a soft roader, with monocoque construction. It might, therefore, offer better ride quality than its rivals but is unlikely to match their off-road capability.

Hyundai Palisade—what it might cost

We expect Palisade to be priced at a premium of at least Rs. 3-5 lakh over Ford Endeavour and Toyota Fortuner. There will be enough kit and premium-ness to justify the higher price tag.

Overall, Palisade is a very compelling proposition for anyone bar those looking for hard-core offroader. It’s sibling Kia Telluride—with which it shares the platform, engine and most of the features—has taken the world by storm, literally, making it to Top 3 in the 2020 WCOTY [World Car of the Year]. A genuinely luxurious SUV under Rs. 40 lakh would be great addition to the choices available on the market.