Prepare for Palisade: Hyundai Reveals a Not-so-surprising Name for Its Big Boy

Steph Willems
by Steph Willems
prepare for palisade hyundai reveals a not so surprising name for its big boy

It was generally believed that Hyundai didn’t just wake up one morning and run off to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office to secure rights to the Palisade model name for no good reason. The trademark filing came up last April, leading observers to rightfully believe that this large, imposing moniker was set aside for use on a large, imposing vehicle — such as the replacement for the current Santa Fe XL, which Hyundai assured us would appear with a standalone name. No more of this “Santa Fe/Santa Fe Sport” crap.

Sure enough, Palisade it is, but the Korean automaker, long known for value-packed automobiles, didn’t throw a dart at a map of the continental U.S. and land on a small town in Colorado. No, no — Hyundai’s all about the coastal life now. Gwyneth Paltrow and Elon Musk are coming over for tennis.

After seeing the brand’s success in naming utility vehicles after places in the American Southwest, we naturally assumed the Palisade name referred to the small town in Mesa County, Colorado, nestled beneath grand cliffs on the banks of the river which gives the state its name. God, you can just feel the manliness pulsing through your veins, the tumbleweeds lolling dustily through the fields, propelled by surging winds flowing over the continental divide. It’s enough to make you want to pitch a tent… and build a campfire.

Well, we were a little off. Hyundai’s trying something a bit different with this name, revealing Thursday that the upcoming three-row crossover bears a moniker that “might naturally be associated by many with the Pacific Palisades, an affluent and beautiful neighborhood in Southern California.”

You’ve changed since you left the neighborhood, Hyundai.

While I suppose you can’t get more southwest than SoCal, it’s still a departure. Trading pack mules for Prada and pumps, Hyundai claims the vehicle will go on sale next summer as a 2020 model, tempting nervous parents with its “strong inherent imagery of safety and security.” Big and bold, this thing’s supposed to be. Past spy photos of the bundled-up model prancing through the snow revealed a burly, fairly square-rigged vehicle that hopefully won’t disappoint with its facial features (looking at you, Kia Telluride). We should note that the Telluride debuted in mighty tony environs, too — New York’s Fashion Week. Huh.

Earlier this year, a concept vehicle unveiled in South Korea — the HDC-2 Grandmaster — pretty much spelled out the production model’s design direction.

Our first real glimpse will come at the L.A. Auto Show on November 28th, where Hyundai plans to wow shrimp-seeking crowds with its new eight-passenger flagship. The aura of well-bred refinement (or at least “new money but knows how to handle it”) positively oozes from Hyundai’s media release, which shows us nothing of the vehicle except the Palisade name splashed across the liftgate, plus some awesome coastal properties with nary a vehicle to be seen. Nevertheless, expect this absolutely critical vehicle to “offer dignity with style in an understated theme that demonstrates clear differentiation worthy of a flagship SUV.”

You’d think the Cullinan had reason to worry.

[Images: Hyundai, Brian Williams/Spiedbilde]

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  • Tombalas Tombalas on Nov 08, 2018

    In case you guys are not familiar with New Jersey, the Palisades are the cliffs on the NJ side of the Hudson River. Palisades Park, the town in eastern Bergen County - next to Fort Lee - is by now a majority Korean town. That whole section of Bergen County is an enormous Korean enclave, with US headquarters for LG and Samsung in close proximity.

  • Nels0300 Nels0300 on Nov 08, 2018

    Pacific palisades > Hudson/ NJ palisades. Closer to Korea too, and SoCal is extra double Asian car. If Chevy can use Malibu, Hyundai can use Palisade. Kinda surprised the name hasn’t been used already.

    • Lie2me Lie2me on Nov 09, 2018

      It also sounds a lot like "Escalade" which conjures up an imagine of a large, decadent SUV

  • Denis Jeep have other cars?!?
  • Darren Mertz In 2000, after reading the glowing reviews from c/d in 1998, I decided that was the car for me (yep, it took me 2 years to make up my mind). I found a 1999 with 24k on the clock at a local Volvo dealership. I think the salesman was more impressed with it than I was. It was everything I had hoped for. Comfortable, stylish, roomy, refined, efficient, flexible, ... I can't think of more superlatives right now but there are likely more. I had that car until just last year at this time. A red light runner t-boned me and my partner who was in the passenger seat. The cops estimate the other driver hit us at about 50 mph - on a city street. My partner wasn't visibly injured (when the seat air bag went off it shoved him out of the way of the intruding car) but his hip was rather tweaked. My car, though, was gone. I cried like a baby when they towed it away. I ruminated for months trying to decide how to replace it. Luckily, we had my 1998 SAAB 9000 as a spare car to use. I decided early on that there would be no new car considered. I loathe touch screens. I'm also not a fan of climate control. Months went by. I decided to keep looking for another B5 Passat. As the author wrote, the B5.5 just looked 'over done'. October this past year I found my Cinderella slipper - an early 2001. Same silver color. Same black leather interior. Same 1.8T engine. Same 5 speed manual transmission. I was happier than a pig in sh!t. But a little sad also. I had replaced my baby. But life goes on. I drive it every day to work which takes me over some rather twisty freeway ramps. I love the light snarel as I charge up some steep hills on my way home. So, I'm a dyed-in-the-wool Passat guy.
  • Paul Mezhir As awful as the styling was on these cars, they were beautifully assembled and extremely well finished for the day. The doors closed solidly, the ride was extremely quiet and the absence of squeaks and rattles was commendable. As for styling? Everything's beautiful in it's own way.....except for the VI's proportions were just odd: the passenger compartment and wheelbase seemed to be way too short, especially compared to the VI sedan. Even the short-lived Town Coupe had much better proportions. None of the fox-body Lincolns could compare to the beautiful proportions of the Mark was the epitome of long, low, sleek and elegant. The proportions were just about perfect from every angle.
  • ToolGuy Silhouetting yourself on a ridge like that is an excellent way to get yourself shot ( Skylining)."Don't you know there's a special military operation on?"
  • ToolGuy When Farley says “like the Millennium Falcon” he means "fully updatable" and "constantly improving" -- it's right there in the Car and Driver article (and makes perfect sense).