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Deep Dive on the Hyundai Palisade

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A true indication of how times are changing in the auto industry can be seen in what has happened at Hyundai Motor America, which has just launched an important product in its portfolio, in fact an all-new vehicle that HMA people refer to as the “flagship” for the brand. As recently as model year 2016 the flagship for Hyundai was the Equus, an imposing and stately full-size sedan, a rear-drive model that was propelled by a powerful (i.e., 429-hp) 5.0-liter V8. Indeed, not that long ago full-size sedans were what were naturally considered to be the brand leader for almost any company.

But now Hyundai has launched something different: Its three-row Palisade midsize SUV. It is a big, bold statement for the brand, and the type of vehicle that is being increasingly demanded by consumers. While Hyundai is no stranger to three-row SUVs—it has had the Santa Fe XL—this is a vehicle that has a considerably different approach and presence than that vehicle, and so it has become the flagship.

To get a comprehensive view of the Palisade, on this special edition of “Autoline After Hours” John McElroy, the “Autoline” crew and I traveled to Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where Hyundai was launching the vehicle.


(Image: Hyundai Motor America)

This gave us the opportunity to talk with key people within the organization to get comprehensive insights to the Palisade.

Chris Chapman, senior chief designer, of Hyundai Design North America, gives us a walk-around, pointing out the ways the design of the Palisade is executed.

We talk with Brian Smith, chief operating officer of HMA, who not only talks about how the Palisade slots into the Hyundai lineup—which is providing comprehensive bandwidth in the utility area—but also talks about the company’s approach to the market overall. Know that while the Palisade is the flagship and the Equus is no longer in the showroom, Hyundai remains committed to sedans.

And we talk with Mike O’Brien, HMA vice president of Product, Corporate and Digital Planning, who provides an actual inside look at the vehicle (i.e., we talk with O’Brien while we’re inside the Palisade).

To round things out, we get the views of a couple of our journalistic colleagues, Nik Miles of OurAutoExpert.com and Roman Mica of TFLCar.com.

And you can see it all here.

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