Update: ‘Design & Features’ and ‘U.S. release date’ sections updated.
With Hyundai offering 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. A Hyundai Palisade Hybrid is in the pipeline, but it will not be launched in the first generation.
Design & Features
According to an exclusive report ET News published on May 29, 2023, the next-gen Hyundai Palisade range will include a Hyundai Palisade Hybrid. Spy pictures circulating online in South Korea (view on Auto Post Korea) show that Hyundai has started testing the next-gen Palisade with the current body, and that ‘LX3’ is the project’s internal codename.
We expect that like the fifth-gen Santa Fe, the second-gen Palisade will be a radically designed model. However, only time will tell whether customers will be shocked by or be in wow of the new look. Olabisi Boyle, vice president, product planning and mobility strategy, Hyundai Motor North America, told CarBuzz at the 2023 LA Auto Show that the company wants to take the things customers like about the Palisade “to the next level” in the second generation. She hinted that the next-gen Palisade’s changes would be just as significant as the fifth-gen Santa Fe, although not necessarily similar.
The Hyundai Palisade Hybrid is expected to support over-the-air (OTA) updates for its components. Vital parts like the suspension, brakes, and airbags, not just the infotainment system and other electronics, should be updatable over the air. Semi-autonomous driving capability with Hyundai Driving Pilot 3 is also expected to be a feature highlight.
The Palisade’s report card suggests that it has plenty of areas to improve. Plus, Hyundai just showcased its commitment to the model with a significant facelift for MY2023. The three-row mid-size 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.
The Hyundai Santa Fe has grown moving into its fifth generation and is closer to the size of the Palisade. It’s imperative that the next-gen Hyundai Palisade up-sizes to continue offering more space and value.
Based on spy pictures, it is evident that the next-gen Palisade will be larger than the current SUV. The pictures reveal a longer wheelbase, which indicates that there will be more passenger space. For reference, the first-gen Palisade has a 114.2 in. wheelbase. The outgoing model measures 196.7 in. in length, 77.8 in. in width, and 68.9 in. in height.
Two electrified options
The ET News report says Hyundai plans to offer two types of Palisade hybrid versions along with a conventional gasoline engine in the second generation, “reflecting the high market demand for HEV models.” The report does not offer many details but says that one electrified powertrain would be based on a 2.5-liter gas engine. Autospy had also stated the same type of hybrid system for the Palisade Hybrid, in its report filed in early 2023. More recent information from S.Korean portals lead us to believe that the 2.5L HEV system would be turbocharged.
Currently, Hyundai employs a 3.8-liter naturally aspirated direct-injection V6 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 automatic transmission’s paddle shifters could be more responsive, and that’s an improvement we expect in the next generation.
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 chief drawback of the Palisade continues to be its low fuel economy with EPA estimating the plush family hauler is capable of delivering just 22 MPG (FWD)/21 MPG (AWD). This can be addressed with the electrified powertrain.
U.S. release date
Both the next-gen Hyundai Palisade and the Hyundai Palisade Hybrid will arrive in South Korea in early 2025, as per the ET News report. Hyundai plans to begin prototype development and testing of the next-gen Hyundai Palisade, presumably including the Palisade Hybrid, in the second half of 2024 and commence series production in January 2025.
Boyle told CarBuzz at the 2023 LA Auto Show that we’ll get more surprises like the fifth-gen Santa Fe over the next 18 months. That’s in line with the above developments from South Korea, suggesting a potential H1 2025 launch for the next-gen Palisade and the potential first-ever Palisade Hybrid.
The ET News report suggests that Hyundai will start exports of the next-generation Palisade in April 2025 and subsequently introduce it in North America in June 2025. Note that Hyundai has not confirmed details about or availability of the Palisade Hybrid, and the contents of this report are general expectations based on the S.Korean media reports. We’ll continue to keep an eye on developments and report back when there is further info.
No Hybrid model for the current generation Palisade
Considering the timeline of the second-gen Palisade’s debut, which is about one and a half years away, it is unlikely that Hyundai will add electrified variants to the current-gen lineup. Had the company intended to include a Palisade hybrid to the present generation model, it would have been more feasible at the time of the mid-cycle refresh in 2022.
Hyundai officials have also been citing the lack of demand for a Palisade hybrid. On November 17, 2022, CarBuzz asked Boyle if there was 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.
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. Customers who currently demand a Hyundai Palisade Hybrid can consider the Toyota Highlander Hybrid (USD 40,720 onwards).
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.
While the Hyundai Palisade is desirable because of its bold design, great comfort and convenience, and high-end technologies that make it an excellent value for money, the unavailability of a fuel-sipping hybrid system is keeping it from becoming the perfect three-row mid-size SUV. The only main drawback is about to be fixed in 2025, and we think that’ll make it the top recommended model in the segment.
Featured Image Source: Hyundai