New for 2020, the eight-passenger Palisade replaces the Santa Fe XL, and is Hyundai’s biggest and boldest entry since the long-gone Veracruz model. Compared to the Santa Fe XL, the Palisade is longer, wider and wheelbase-ier, and is similar in size to competitors such as the Chevrolet Traverse, Ford Explorer, Toyota Highlander and others with three rows of seats. To (somewhat) match the Palisade’s aggressive exterior, there’s a robust 3.8-liter V-6 with 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. The engine and stout chassis help give the Palisade a 5,000-pound towing capacity. A Hyundai-designed eight-speed automatic is the sole transmission. The available all-wheel drive system has Normal, Sport (sends more torque to the rear wheels), Snow (varies torque between the left and right wheels for increased traction) and Smart (eco) settings. As well, the AWD’s locking differential helps traction in slippery conditions. Among a lengthy options list is an intercom system that lets those in back communicate with the front row, and Rear Occupant Alert that detects movement inside the Palisade after it has been locked from the outside, which causes the horn to honk and an alert to be sent to the driver’s smart phone.

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