Update: ‘Current platform may not be designed for electrification’ sub-section of ‘No Hyundai Palisade Hybrid for now’ and ‘Palisade’s rivals offer hybrid options’ section updated.
With Hyundai introducing three electrified powertrains in the Tucson and two electrified powertrains in the Santa Fe, many expect that the Palisade will receive an electrified powertrain as well. However, a company official has confirmed that the Hyundai Palisade Hybrid will not be launched in the current generation, which is expected to stay on the market until mid-decade.
No Hyundai Palisade Hybrid for now
Not much demand
Currently, Hyundai officials do not anticipate a Palisade Hybrid. On November 17, 2022, CarBuzz asked Olabisi Boyle, the vice president of product planning and mobility strategy for Hyundai Motor North America, if there’s a potential for a Palisade Hybrid. To that, Boyle indicated the company hasn’t seen much demand yet, saying it will make a Palisade Hybrid if it finds that customers want such a model.
First-gen model not a candidate for a hybrid version
On July 27, 2022, Hyundai announced the 2023 Palisade in Australia with 3.8L GDi gasoline and 2.2L CRDi diesel engines. Guido Schenken had said that “electrification is not (planned) for Palisade in this generation,” Chasing Cars reported on August 4, 2022. Schenken is the South Korean automaker’s Public Relations Senior Manager in Australia.
Current platform may not be designed for electrification
The Hyundai Palisade sits on the same platform as the Kia Telluride, which is a gas-only model worldwide. We aren’t sure if this platform supports electrification in the current specification. It is worth noting that the concept version of the Telluride that Kia showcased at NAIAS 2016 had a hybrid powertrain that combined a 270 hp 3.5L GDI V6 engine and a 130 hp electric motor and was capable of delivering a fuel economy of 30 MPG (highway). However, the Telluride concept was based on a stretched version of the then-Sorento.
Schenken’s statement indicates that if Hyundai introduced an electrified powertrain for the Palisade, it wouldn’t be before the model entered its second generation. Spy pictures floating online in the South Korea (view on Auto Post Korea) suggest Hyundai has started testing the next-gen Palisade using the current body, and that ‘LX3’ is the internal codename. The company may put the first test mules with the production body on the roads by June 2023, as per a post dated January 1, 2023, on Autospy, which also states a 2.5-liter hybrid system for the redesigned model.
Currently, Hyundai employs a 3.8-liter naturally aspirated direct-injection V6 engine in the Palisade. This powerplant develops 291 hp at 6,000 rpm and 262 lb.-ft. of torque at 5,200 rpm. An 8-speed automatic transmission is standard and an AWD system is available optionally.
The gas-powered Palisade isn’t exciting to drive but it gets the job done. It’s powerful enough, easily maneuverable, and despite the big dimensions, handles decently well around the corners. Plus, it offers a comfortable ride while not being extra soft that’d make it seem floaty. The only downside is the poor fuel efficiency, with EPA estimating the plush family hauler is capable of delivering just 22 MPG (FWD)/21 MPG (AWD).
Palisade’s rivals offer hybrid options
The first-gen Palisade is selling in decent numbers in the U.S. (28,736 in 2019, 82,661 in 2020, 86,539 in 2021, and 82,688 in 2022). However, it’s nowhere near the segment’s potential if you consider where rivals are.
In 2022, Jeep sold 223,345 units of the Grand Cherokee, which now also comes with a PHEV. Toyota wasn’t far behind, selling 222,805 units of its contender, the Highlander, in which electrification plays a big role. Ford’s Explorer was also way ahead of the South Korean model, ranking third in its segment by registering 207,673 units in sales.
The Palisade’s report card suggests that it has plenty of areas to improve. Plus, Hyundai just showed its commitment to the model with a significant facelift for MY2023. The mid-size three-row SUV that customers love for its superior comfort for children and adults alike and a host of convenience and connectivity features has become even more appealing. Low fuel economy continues being the only main con of the Kia Telluride’s mechanical sibling.
Ioniq 7: A fully-electrified alternative to the Palisade
Hyundai will likely pitch the Ioniq 7 pure-electric SUV to customers waiting for an electrified Palisade. Expected to begin at around USD 50,000, the Ioniq 7 will be nearly USD 15,000 more expensive. Still, the premium pricing could be justified with more space, comfort, and convenience, better maneuverability, digital features, and higher performance. Plus, while Hyundai imports the Palisade from South Korea, it should manufacture the Ioniq 7 locally from 2025 to keep it affordable and plan market-specific variants and adaptations.
Customers who currently demand a Hyundai Palisade Hybrid can consider the Toyota Highlander Hybrid (USD 40,620 onwards) or the Ford Explorer Hybrid (USD 47,070).
Featured Image Source: Hyundai