HYUNDAI has confirmed that the Palisade large SUV will launch in Australia by the end of this year.
To be positioned above the smaller Santa Fe that also resides in this segment – and which is in line for a substantial facelift at about the same time – the Palisade will be offered in both seven- and eight-seat configurations, making it a unique proposition against similarly American-influenced large SUVs such as the Toyota Kluger, Nissan Pathfinder and Mazda CX-9.
Speaking to GoAuto at the LX2-series Palisade announcement in Sydney this week, Hyundai Motor Company Australia (HMCA) chief operating officer John Kett revealed that getting the Palisade over the line for Australia was no mean feat, as we will be the only right-hand-drive market in the world offering any significant volume potential for the series.
“It’s a real credit to the local team here to convince an organisation to convert a car that was not going to be right-hand drive,” he said.
“The fact that we’ve been able to have the corporation to develop right-hand drive for a largely small market as ours is a strong indication of faith in our portfolio and the marketplace.”
Pricing details are still to be revealed, but expect a 10 to 15 per cent jump over the Santa Fe, meaning the base model will most likely start from about $50,000 plus on-road costs, stretching to around $75,000 for the top-line version.
Two engines have been confirmed for Australia, including a variation of the 217kW/355Nm 3.8-litre petrol V6 similar to that offered in the original Genesis luxury sedan, driving the front wheels via an eight-speed torque-converter automatic transmission.
The other is Hyundai’s venerable 2.2-litre four-cylinder turbo-diesel, which in the Santa Fe produces 147kW of power and 440Nm of torque and similarly combines with an eight-speed automatic.
As with the Santa Fe’s recently revealed 3.5-litre V6 model, right-hand-drive under-bonnet packaging issues concerning the power steering, engine manifold and AWD systems mean that only the diesel will offer all-wheel drive.
Dimensionally, the Palisade sits firmly between the best-selling Kluger and CX-9.
Measuring in at 4980mm long, 1750mm high and 1975mm wide (in Canadian-market specification), the newcomer also eclipses the Santa Fe for length, width and height by 210mm, 45mm and 85mm respectively, and sits on a wheelbase that is 135mm longer.
Both hail from the same Ulsan plant in South Korea.
The Palisade’s maximum braked towing capacity will be 2300kg, up 300kg compared to Santa Fe.
More information will be revealed closer to the Palisade’s fourth-quarter debut, although we do know that high-grade features – depending on the variant – include a 10.25-inch touchscreen, Driver Talk Mode that provides a speaker system between first- and third-row occupants, Quiet Mode that allows the rearmost speakers to be turned off for sleeping passengers, Nappa leather upholstery, suede headlining, and seat heating and ventilation for the first and second rows.