By on November 12, 2018

A couple of weeks out from the LA Auto Show at which it is scheduled to debut, a Russian car enthusiast site has published a picture of what certainly appears to be the 2020 Hyundai Palisade.

Cribbing a few styling cues from other recent Hyundai crossovers, including a grille vaguely shaped like a pointy mushroom bookended by low-slung headlight peepers, the ride shown here looks all set to appear in a school drop-off queue near you.

Your humble author applauds the Korean automaker for scuttling away from the confusing nomenclature it flung at the Santa Fe in recent years, a mishmash of Sport and XL suffixes fit only to befuddle shoppers.

“We’re looking for a three-row crossover. Is that a Santa Fe?”

“No, that is the two-row, which was called the Santa Fe Sport but is now called the Santa Fe.”

“Yes. A Santa Fe is what we want to see, then.”

“No, our three-row is called the XL.”

“I didn’t think you guys made the Excel anymore.”


Here’s what we do know: the three-row Palisade will be available as an eight-seater, presumably with a 2/3/3 configuration. However, if Hyundai sees fit to bring back the bench seat, this human will be quite excited (they won’t, of course). A transverse V6 is a safe bet, resting in the same architecture that underpins the Kia Telluride.

While some outlets are pushing the Palisade/Telluride as machines to compete with the Tahoe, it is tough to see them as true competitors. The GM units are famously body-on-frame, powered by growly V8 engines, all of which is quite unlike the new Korean fraternal twins. It is possible they may share a great deal with the Tahoe in terms of exterior dimensions, however.

Image: Hyundai

The Palisade takes some of its styling cues – in a toned down form, natch – from the HDC-2 Grandmaster concept shown earlier this year. Grandmaster, by the way, is a most excellent name for a vehicle, ranking up there with Interceptor and Power Hawk.

Hyundai’s last sojourn into the three-row biz with a machine not carrying some version of the Santa Fe name was the Veracruz, a rig that disappeared from the American landscape in 2012. First-year sales were its high water mark, as 12,589 Veracruzeseses found takers. Sales dwindled each year to just under 9,000 in 2012. Conversely, 2012 was the model’s best year in Canada, albeit with fewer than 2,000 units sold.

Expect an official copy of the Palisade to appear at the LA Auto Show, held at the end of this month. Unless, of course, Hyundai PR decides to toss their hands up in the air and release press photos in the wake of this leak.

[Images:, Hyundai]

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38 Comments on “Hyundai Palisade Leaked … in Russia...”

  • avatar
    Kyree S. Williams

    Ooh, now that’s unfortunate-looking. I applaud their effort and the overall masculine shape, but there are far too many details competing for attention. The Kia Telluride looks better.

  • avatar

    I know the perfect spot to launch this thing. Stage the press cars in the park just below the George Washington Bridge on the New Jersey side, which faces the actual Palisades left behind from the glaciers that came down towards the Atlantic and formed the Hudson River.

    Then, the cavalcade can drive up the Palisades Parkway to the toniest parts of Bergen County and enter select school pick-up zones. And, there’s always NYC to have fun in.

    Hyundai, you’re welcome!

  • avatar

    It’s certainly not yeppuda (Korean for pretty).

    • 0 avatar

      Great design language. Hyundai has found it’s groove and it’s good.

      All you haters can drive an Aztec.

      • 0 avatar

        Agreed! The Palisade will do very well. I actually think it creates a new class of unibody SUV’s similar in size to a Tahoe or Expedition, but lighter and better handling. I believe this will get the turbo 3.3 v6 which should give it brisk performance. Most importantly, this will probably be the one of Hyundai’s most profitable vehicles. They really need to focus on SUV’s in America and follow the Japanese example. In particular, Equs needs to follow the exaple set by Lexus, Acura, and Infiniti.

        I remember a quote from Honda’s CEO saying Hyunai is Awsome. They were, but haven’t been the last couple years. The Palisade shows they’re on the right track again. Great job Hyundai!

    • 0 avatar

      It’s OK (aside for those atrocious wheel arches), but like the rendering that was done better.

      As for the Tahoe, H/K should be making a decision about whether to go ahead and develop a new BoF platform to underpin a family of proper pickups and SUVs.

      But there’s no guarantee that they’ll see the light of day in the US market and instead be destined for Australia, SE and S Asia, S America, Africa and the Middle East.

  • avatar

    Is this what happens when a Traverse and Cherokee have a baby together?

    That’s also funny if Hyundai thinks this is a Tahoe competitor.

    • 0 avatar

      I sure hope not. This is to challenge Explorer, Highlander, Traverse and Pilot. I seriously doubt you’d find any mention of the Tahoe in Hyundai press materials, during the intro in L.A., or in the first drive event. If there is, they’ll probably be laughed off stage, and rightfully so.

      But, to be fair, none of us should really form an opinion until DeadBrain comes to tell us how wonderful it is compared to any Ford or GM product.

    • 0 avatar

      Not really (more for marketing purposes to make it seem more “rugged”).

  • avatar

    Great looking car.

    I feel a lot of large SUVs are looking really girly (

    I thought the best looking one on the market was the armada, and this has a similar look.

    I think the Mazda, Dodge, and Infinity SUVs are really feminine looking.

    The tahoe and similar look more masculine, but almost too much so (as in rough around the edges/slightly outdated)

    I think this looks just right! A girl can drive it, a boy can drive it…

    Thats a big deal for some people like my wife… she’s deathly afraid of driving what people call a “mom car” and she’s gotten a lot of those comments on her durango.

  • avatar

    Needs two more sheet metal folds around the wheel arches to complete the look.

  • avatar

    Overall it looks decent, but the wheel arches are indeed quite busy.

  • avatar

    Squinty headlights are squinty.

  • avatar

    Looks very GM-ish

  • avatar

    I applaud to something new in grill design. the wheel arches look stupid. I don’t like rear part. I wish that pillar was tilting in another direction and chrome wasn’t rounding behind second window. It should go length of the roof instead.

  • avatar

    The towering, faux-truck hood line combined with a transverse axle location just doesn’t work.

  • avatar

    The upper greenhouse brightwork combined with the dark-tint side glass and the unfortunate overall shape makes this thing look like a hearse, at least in the top picture.

  • avatar

    grotesque NPC garbage.

  • avatar

    This will sell great in the United States.

  • avatar

    XL, lol love it

  • avatar

    Look it’s an Infiniti QX80!

  • avatar

    Grill looks like thermonuclear mushroom. I am sure it will be popular in Russia.

  • avatar

    This is brilliant. People need the carlike function of a Traverse but want the tough truck styling of a Tahoe. So give them a Traverse that looks like a Tahoe. GM can’t do it for fear of offending the folks who buy those high-margin BOF SUVs to signal that they’re butch and/or loaded. But someone else can, and now the Koreans are. Genius.

  • avatar

    How do people see any truck like styling in this? It looks no better than an Acadia, which is to say it’s as car like as an actual contemporary midsize car. Must be the same genuises that thought the 1st gen Terrain looked truck like.

    An Infiniti and an Acadia had a baby, they produced the expected wannabe SUV.

    • 0 avatar

      Through your eyes, what are examples of attactively styled SUV’s?

      • 0 avatar

        Modern or in the past?

        In the past the Suburban has always been a favorite, alongside the Bronco, Scout trucks, Travelall

        Modern? What do I have to choose from, obviously the Land Cruiser, Suburban is okay though the car like styling we see on it now ages it almost immediately, I like both the pre nose swap and post nose swap current gen 4Runner, Jeeps a Jeep, otherwise I have very little to choose from for modern SUVs. I can fantasize about a PowerWagon 3/4 ton SUV that FCA should have started making yesterday but we have little choice in true SUVs.

  • avatar

    That proves that vinyl roofs will make a comeback

  • avatar
    R Henry

    It appears Armada has a competitor for “worst looking SUV.”

  • avatar

    Thank you, Hyundai, for making another vehicle that no automotive enthusiast (especially me) will ever be tempted to buy. This is just another of many examples of tippy, thirsty, expensive faux offroaders, which have inexplicably have become ubiquitous.

    Any vehicle named the Grandmaster should be powered by a five-cylinder, high-revving engine named, of course, the Furious Five.

  • avatar

    AS other have said, it is going to make a great hearse. I like it, even if I agree that it is ugly. The front grille with the Hyundai symbol has to go.

  • avatar

    OMG !! It looks like a hearse.

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