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Now there is another direct competitor for the Ascent. Hyundai introduces the Palisade - to replace the discontinued 3-row Santa Fe. Some observers have surmised this vehicle was supposed to be introduced with a Genesis label, but there is no confirmation of that. It could explain the use of higher quality materials than normally found on a Hyundai.

 

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Hyundai took a while getting these on the road!
While my opinion is completely my own and I’ve heard a lot of people saying they like the looks of Palisade’s sister Telliride, I think Hyundai did a better job on the outside. However, I also thought it looked like a typical Hyundai design job of mashing features of other cars together to come up with theirs. To me the Palisade looks like a combo of a new Traverse and an Escalade so from now on I’m calling it a Traverscalade. I’m not saying that’s a bad thing! I did only see one driving from a little distance, about 50 yards, so I didn’t get a great look, especially of the back. First impression!
 

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I agree, this one looks more derivative than the telluride. But, I'll have to see this one in person. I didn't think the telluride looked that good until I saw one in person, and I was very impressed (although I do think the front end is a little bit wonky but I do like the rest of it).

I don't know if it's just me, but the higher-end vehicles from Kia and Hyundai seem to look a lot better in person than they do in photos.
 

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I’ve seen the cAr and I have to say it looked like a high class interior with all the same new tech. What’s truly unbelievable is that the dealership tacked on a $10k premium includes top of Msrp. Who would ever pay a premium just for a brand new Hyundai suv? Certainly not me.
 

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Lower ground clearance and horribly inferior AWD that can't tackle the simplest of "off road" terrain.


The sister Telluride is equally incapable, since it's the same drive train.

I've said repeatedly that the Subie system handles putting power wherever it's needed better, which is why the Palisades used in the beach commercial (see below) got stuck in stuff any recent year Subie in the same class would laugh at.

But, see for yourself. Watch the Subie handle ANY wheel in the air, and watch the Hyundai/Kia platform fail, eliciting explanations about why it did so poorly.



Sadly, he didn't test the Palisade where he tested the Ascent, or decided to not show those tests. Then again, it barely made it where it was.

Always on, all four wheel, not severely front biased AWD translates into safer bad weather driving as well.

The Palisade has a gorgeous electronics package that I love. But, for easy and safe all weather handling with no button guessing, and for off roading, the Ascent trounces the Kia/Hyundai with ease.

The Ascent doesn't care if two opposing wheels are off the ground, either.

And handles faaaar harsher terrain, lifting wheels all sorts of places.

Climbs up and down solid rock shelves...

Easily tackles soft sand beaches, wet or dry, with no effort.
2490

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aIIJW3-FSro

Hyundai/Kia AWD system didn't manage it (being sooo heavily front wheel biased in every mode, including lock mode, means it WILL dig itself in soft wet sand that the Ascent will NOT):
2489



⇨I AM NOT SAYING THAT THE HYUNDAI/KIA DYNAMAX SYSTEM IS BAD⇦

It’s probably one of the best front wheel biased system.

I am saying that the Subaru system is a LOT better⇦
 

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Nobody’s talking about the Palisade in here lately, or as I like to call it the Traverscalade!
Anyway I’ve been seeing more and more of them on the road. I still think it looks better that the butt-ugly Telluride.
Back to the real reason I decided to write this... one was behind me early yesterday morning. When they changed lanes i noticed it had oem led turn signals in front. Those are a nice touch that not many manufacturers include!
 

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Easily remedied! Love my Ascent front LED turn signals. Looks very aggressive.
I did all 4 of my turn signals in led as well and they’re so much sexier! When manufacturers put regular turn signal bulbs in with led headlights or taillights, to me it takes a lot away. It’s like they just quit halfway thru designing them.
My ascent’s taillights fall into that category since I had regular headlights until I upgraded them to led as well. I just thought I’d point out the little detail Hyundai actually paid attention to.
 

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Kia/Hyundai have been building some very nice vehicles for most of the last decade and I am glad they are finally getting some notoriety for it. I do however think leaving the aged powertrain in place was a big misstep on the Pallisade and telluride.
 

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I was going to do a writeup on the palisade a while back when I took my Ascent in for a control module replacement ( the Subie and Hyundai dealers are side by side, I didn't even have to cross the street), But the dealer installed the module they ordered for me into a different Ascent, and by the time I rescheduled the appointment the hyundai dealership had no palisade limiteds left. I just went back in for an oil change and transmission issue, and went next door to test drive a limited pali. Since a few people had asked me to do so a few months back and I also had a more recent request, I'll present my thoughts now that I had a chance to test drive the car by myself for a while.

Please feel free to respond or PM with any questions you may have.

I apologise if this is a little disjointed, it was hard for me to edit things on my phone as the text screen is only about 1" high when I'm writing on my phone.

Looks are a personal choice so I will try not to comment on that too much until the end.

There is no doubt the interior of the Pal limited feels much more luxurious than the ascent touring.. The touch points have a slightly more solid yet soft feel, the knobs don't have that plasticy feeling of the Ascent (They have a slightly more well damped feel to them like the controls of an old AR receiver from the 60's). There is less hard black plastic in the areas you see/ touch the most. I found the seats to be a little bit softer and with more adjustments- I wouldn't say they were more comfortable than my touring, although I do find the ascent seats too hard after about 90 minutes.... I wasn't in the Pali that long, so I can't say for sure. There appears to be more 2nd and 3rd row legroom, and slightly more headroom in the 2nd and 3rd row in the pali but I can't confirm w #s. And power fold/recline for both the 2nd and 3rd row is a nice touch ( Plus vented 2nd row seats- my loaded gls didn't even have that). Overall cubby storage doesn't appear to be quite as good although the centre console in the front is bigger and more usable in the Pali. The cargo area didn't seem as tall as in the Ascent but visually I couldn't discern it was much different, as you easily could looking in the back of a cx-9 or Acadia.
Much like in the ascent, a lot of the controls you use most are readily accessible. The infotainment system is positioned higher and is easier to see while you're driving in the Pali, although that makes for a longer reach when you need to use it for something. And there is a large row of identical buttons in the front stack that could be confusing if you're not used to that layout in the pali. And while I think the Pali is well done, I think the Subaru is ergonomically a little better laid out with access to controls, however, the visual appeal is a matter of personal preference. I'd prefer a traditional shifter in the Palisade.

I do find the graphics in the infotainment system to be crisper in the palisade. And a pet peeve of mine, the HK audio in the touring ascent, really pales compared to the system in the pali ltd. I'm not a huge fan of digital instrument panels, but the one in the pali is nicely done and changes with the Drive mode. Vented seats are whisper quiet in the Pali front row, this has been a constant issue with my Ascent.
Outward visibility is not as good-not nearly as compromised as a cx 9, but just not as good as the Ascent or the Telluride, and even with the dual sunroof panes open and a beige interior, the palisade is darker inside.....Like sitting in a Camaro vs a Mustang, it seems like you sit a little bit lower into the pali versus the ascent. And no, the headrests didn't smell like garlic in the '21 Palisade :)

On the road the palisade is quieter, and absorbs bumps a bit better. The feel is a little more isolated overall but certainly not like your grandparents Buick. I couldn't tell without looking if the engine was running or not, or if the start stop was functioning because it was seamless and smooth. It is not lacking for power at all ( like an Atlas V6 lags at the bottom end) but it definitely doesn't have the grunt off the line as the Ascent. When you are above about 15 mph my derrier could sense no real discernible difference in the acceleration, and in general professional road test numbers bear that out as well. I thought the kickdowns in the transmission were quicker than in the Ascent's cvt. It was an exceptionally windy day and I took the ascent on the exact same test drive after I was done with the palisade and the Subie definitely was pushed around a bit more although that's not a direct comparison, as conditions could have changed somewhat. The Subaru drove a little smaller for sure, but the Palisade seemed to have tighter steering and tracked better. The throttle & steering didn't feel over boosted in the pali like they do in my '19 ascent, but it seems, based off forum comments, and feedback from my Subaru sales person, they've tightened things up a little bit since. It also seemed quieter at idle, with no vibration, and quieter under full acceleration, and in normal driving. I didn't get on it too much around corners but I would say they both handled equally competently, Ascent with a little bit more road feel and noise, and would be upset a little more with a mid corner bump. But neither one was clumsy or uncomfortable. Personally I like how the palisade drives a little better, it doesn't compromise much road feel at all for a somewhat more composed overall ride/drive experience. That being said, I think the Subaru is easier to drive overall and drives a little smaller than its size. The Acc and lane keep/centering worked fine in my limited experience.

The palisade does feel a little larger than the Ascent. It's a couple inches wider and you could feel the width in the front cabin, although I think that is somewhat compensated for by the larger windshield and side glass giving the Ascent an airy front greenhouse. They are almost identical in length but the pali looks bigger to me. I like the looks of both cars, I think the Pali looks nicer in certain shades, Although the front is a bit overdone. I prefer the anonymity of my gray Ascent, and I think it's still a handsome SUV, if not the best looking one out there.

As far as reliability goes I can't say. Fuel economy varies so much, I won't comment on that either. I don't doubt the subie has a better all wheel drive system, And if you need it, you need it.

I actually think if this car had a different badge on the hood it would sell even better and they could probably charge even more.

Also I didn't feel I got treated any differently at any of the Hyundai dealerships now, as I did it at the Subaru dealerships a few years ago. I think they have to treat you a little differently when you're coming in for a 40 to $50000 car, and they finally realized that.

I don't think there's a bad choice between either car. I think I'm at the point where I would like a little more luxury, so I would lean towards the palisade, but that doesn't mean the Subaru doesn't have pretty much everything I want or need otherwise.

As mentioned I'll be more than happy to respond to any questions, public or otherwise.

I tried to be as fair as I could towards both cars. You all know I've had numerous issues with my ascent over the past 2 years, this last dealer visit being my 15th or 16th visit in 25 months. That is why I am considering the Palisade, it represents a lot of what my gls450 had at half price. And while I won't divulge in public or private the dealerships I've talked to ( They're actually not in my immediate area but as I'm retired I can get there fairly easily), I have an offer for a loaded Pali below invoice, and an offer on my ascent in the "excellent" category which makes this hard to pass up. Plus I found out my dealership somehow cancelled my 7/100 gold warranty (Which they offered to reinstate at my originally negotiated price), So I have to repurchase that.... So I'm not sure what I am going to do.

Anyway let me know if you have any questions.
 

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I was going to do a writeup on the palisade a while back when I took my Ascent in for a control module replacement ( the Subie and Hyundai dealers are side by side, I didn't even have to cross the street), But the dealer installed the module they ordered for me into a different Ascent, and by the time I rescheduled the appointment the hyundai dealership had no palisade limiteds left. I just went back in for an oil change and transmission issue, and went next door to test drive a limited pali. Since a few people had asked me to do so a few months back and I also had a more recent request, I'll present my thoughts now that I had a chance to test drive the car by myself for a while.

Please feel free to respond or PM with any questions you may have.

I apologise if this is a little disjointed, it was hard for me to edit things on my phone as the text screen is only about 1" high when I'm writing on my phone.

Looks are a personal choice so I will try not to comment on that too much until the end.

There is no doubt the interior of the Pal limited feels much more luxurious than the ascent touring.. The touch points have a slightly more solid yet soft feel, the knobs don't have that plasticy feeling of the Ascent (They have a slightly more well damped feel to them like the controls of an old AR receiver from the 60's). There is less hard black plastic in the areas you see/ touch the most. I found the seats to be a little bit softer and with more adjustments- I wouldn't say they were more comfortable than my touring, although I do find the ascent seats too hard after about 90 minutes.... I wasn't in the Pali that long, so I can't say for sure. There appears to be more 2nd and 3rd row legroom, and slightly more headroom in the 2nd and 3rd row in the pali but I can't confirm w #s. And power fold/recline for both the 2nd and 3rd row is a nice touch ( Plus vented 2nd row seats- my loaded gls didn't even have that). Overall cubby storage doesn't appear to be quite as good although the centre console in the front is bigger and more usable in the Pali. The cargo area didn't seem as tall as in the Ascent but visually I couldn't discern it was much different, as you easily could looking in the back of a cx-9 or Acadia.
Much like in the ascent, a lot of the controls you use most are readily accessible. The infotainment system is positioned higher and is easier to see while you're driving in the Pali, although that makes for a longer reach when you need to use it for something. And there is a large row of identical buttons in the front stack that could be confusing if you're not used to that layout in the pali. And while I think the Pali is well done, I think the Subaru is ergonomically a little better laid out with access to controls, however, the visual appeal is a matter of personal preference. I'd prefer a traditional shifter in the Palisade.

I do find the graphics in the infotainment system to be crisper in the palisade. And a pet peeve of mine, the HK audio in the touring ascent, really pales compared to the system in the pali ltd. I'm not a huge fan of digital instrument panels, but the one in the pali is nicely done and changes with the Drive mode. Vented seats are whisper quiet in the Pali front row, this has been a constant issue with my Ascent.
Outward visibility is not as good-not nearly as compromised as a cx 9, but just not as good as the Ascent or the Telluride, and even with the dual sunroof panes open and a beige interior, the palisade is darker inside.....Like sitting in a Camaro vs a Mustang, it seems like you sit a little bit lower into the pali versus the ascent. And no, the headrests didn't smell like garlic in the '21 Palisade :)

On the road the palisade is quieter, and absorbs bumps a bit better. The feel is a little more isolated overall but certainly not like your grandparents Buick. I couldn't tell without looking if the engine was running or not, or if the start stop was functioning because it was seamless and smooth. It is not lacking for power at all ( like an Atlas V6 lags at the bottom end) but it definitely doesn't have the grunt off the line as the Ascent. When you are above about 15 mph my derrier could sense no real discernible difference in the acceleration, and in general professional road test numbers bear that out as well. I thought the kickdowns in the transmission were quicker than in the Ascent's cvt. It was an exceptionally windy day and I took the ascent on the exact same test drive after I was done with the palisade and the Subie definitely was pushed around a bit more although that's not a direct comparison, as conditions could have changed somewhat. The Subaru drove a little smaller for sure, but the Palisade seemed to have tighter steering and tracked better. The throttle & steering didn't feel over boosted in the pali like they do in my '19 ascent, but it seems, based off forum comments, and feedback from my Subaru sales person, they've tightened things up a little bit since. It also seemed quieter at idle, with no vibration, and quieter under full acceleration, and in normal driving. I didn't get on it too much around corners but I would say they both handled equally competently, Ascent with a little bit more road feel and noise, and would be upset a little more with a mid corner bump. But neither one was clumsy or uncomfortable. Personally I like how the palisade drives a little better, it doesn't compromise much road feel at all for a somewhat more composed overall ride/drive experience. That being said, I think the Subaru is easier to drive overall and drives a little smaller than its size. The Acc and lane keep/centering worked fine in my limited experience.

The palisade does feel a little larger than the Ascent. It's a couple inches wider and you could feel the width in the front cabin, although I think that is somewhat compensated for by the larger windshield and side glass giving the Ascent an airy front greenhouse. They are almost identical in length but the pali looks bigger to me. I like the looks of both cars, I think the Pali looks nicer in certain shades, Although the front is a bit overdone. I prefer the anonymity of my gray Ascent, and I think it's still a handsome SUV, if not the best looking one out there.

As far as reliability goes I can't say. Fuel economy varies so much, I won't comment on that either. I don't doubt the subie has a better all wheel drive system, And if you need it, you need it.

I actually think if this car had a different badge on the hood it would sell even better and they could probably charge even more.

Also I didn't feel I got treated any differently at any of the Hyundai dealerships now, as I did it at the Subaru dealerships a few years ago. I think they have to treat you a little differently when you're coming in for a 40 to $50000 car, and they finally realized that.

I don't think there's a bad choice between either car. I think I'm at the point where I would like a little more luxury, so I would lean towards the palisade, but that doesn't mean the Subaru doesn't have pretty much everything I want or need otherwise.

As mentioned I'll be more than happy to respond to any questions, public or otherwise.

I tried to be as fair as I could towards both cars. You all know I've had numerous issues with my ascent over the past 2 years, this last dealer visit being my 15th or 16th visit in 25 months. That is why I am considering the Palisade, it represents a lot of what my gls450 had at half price. And while I won't divulge in public or private the dealerships I've talked to ( They're actually not in my immediate area but as I'm retired I can get there fairly easily), I have an offer for a loaded Pali below invoice, and an offer on my ascent in the "excellent" category which makes this hard to pass up. Plus I found out my dealership somehow cancelled my 7/100 gold warranty (Which they offered to reinstate at my originally negotiated price), So I have to repurchase that.... So I'm not sure what I am going to do.

Anyway let me know if you have any questions.
When my wife and I purchased it 2021 Ascent a month ago, the Palisade and Telluride were considerations. Our last Subaru was a2015 Outback that, in hindsight, we should have kept rather than sell it a year ago. The 2017 Volvo XC90 we got just wasn't doing it for us and we decided to trade it for a new vehicle. The Ascent was the gravy favorite due to our great previous experience with our three Subarus and the other three between our two sons.

In the area where I live, Northeast TN, the Palisade and the Telluride are going for MSRP out more and most in inventory are not AWD. That pretty much made the Ascent the only option and an option I had no issue with. Hyundai and Kia quality is very good so I want concerned in that respect. It other vehicle is a 2015 Kia K900 which is phenomenal, a real steak in the used market. In the 2 1/2 years we've had our, it's been exceptionally reliable.

We have zero buyer's remorse with the Ascent, we're very happy with it as I'm sure we would have been with the Palisade or Telluride.
 

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Great writeup @Percy Garris , thanks for taking the time to share your experience with the Palisade.
 

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I test drove a '17 cpo k900, and only because the kia dealer that was selling it couldn't service it other than an oil change (because of the V8 engine, and the local Hyundai/Genesis dealers wouldn't work on it either- so the nearest Kia dealer that could work on it was 90 mi away) we passed.

I don't think any of those choices are bad at all. I do think the HK twins are probably the leader of the pack in overall value, but I would probably put the Ascent as 3rd in the segment.

If I didn't happen to have a 'Friday afternoon before a long holiday weekend build,' With all the quality issues I've had, I don't think the audio system and some of the looseness in the handling would bother me so much, and I wouldn't be considering any other options.

But my delta for a new limited Palisade, with trading my '19 touring with ~20k miles on it, which I own outright, is less than $8K, so I'm sure you can understand why it's such a temptation. Offer stands for another week, So unfortunately I have 5 more days to mull it over. And they're offering 0% financing on that $8K, and 3 years of complimentary maintenance. Decisions, decisions..
 

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I test drove a '17 cpo k900, and only because the kia dealer that was selling it couldn't service it other than an oil change (because of the V8 engine, and the local Hyundai/Genesis dealers wouldn't work on it either- so the nearest Kia dealer that could work on it was 90 mi away) we passed.

I don't think any of those choices are bad at all. I do think the HK twins are probably the leader of the pack in overall value, but I would probably put the Ascent as 3rd in the segment.

If I didn't happen to have a 'Friday afternoon before a long holiday weekend build,' With all the quality issues I've had, I don't think the audio system and some of the looseness in the handling would bother me so much, and I wouldn't be considering any other options.

But my delta for a new limited Palisade, with trading my '19 touring with ~20k miles on it, which I own outright, is less than $8K, so I'm sure you can understand why it's such a temptation. Offer stands for another week, So unfortunately I have 5 more days to mull it over. And they're offering 0% financing on that $8K, and 3 years of complimentary maintenance. Decisions, decisions..
Kia dealers have to be a "Certified K900 Dealer" to do any repairs under warranty on the K900. The nearest one to me is a 90 minute drive. I got the car with 34K and it still has another 26K under warranty. But nothing has find wing and I'm over 50K now. Kid recently announced that the K900 and Cadenza will no longer be sold in the US.
 

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Kia dealers have to be a "Certified K900 Dealer" to do any repairs under warranty on the K900. The nearest one to me is a 90 minute drive. I got the car with 34K and it still has another 26K under warranty. But nothing has find wing and I'm over 50K now. Kid recently announced that the K900 and Cadenza will no longer be sold in the US.
I was actually disappointed ( I like both the cadenza and 900) to read that the other day,
but sedans seem to be a dying breed. In another year or 2, we want to buy a full size luxury sedan. We'll probably look at the Genesis G90, as the redesigned '19-20 k900 is a rare bird indeed, as we want AWD for driving in New England and MN so older K's are out..
 
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