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The 2023 Hyundai Palisade is a hotly anticipated midsize three-row SUV for the new model year. The first version of this SUV was pretty impressive, and we expect this new model to deliver the same. Unfortunately, there are always a few things you can point to that might turn you away from a vehicle like the Hyundai Palisade and toward something else.

1. The 2023 Hyundai Palisade continues to offer only one engine

A blue 2023 Hyundai Palisade midsize SUV is driving on the road.
The 2023 Hyundai Palisade | Hyundai

In a world where we can practically create our own menu (stand in line at Starbucks and listen to the variety of orders, you’ll understand), why would an SUV only have one powertrain? Sure, the Hyundai 3.8-liter V6 is a good engine, and the 8-speed automatic transmission does the job. But shouldn’t there be more options for power?

2. That single engine in this Hyundai SUV translates to a lack of efficiency

If you put the Palisade up against full-size three-row SUVs, it’s a fuel sipper, but in its own class, not so much. The powertrain of the Hyundai Palisade returns 19 city/26 hwy mpg in FWD models and 19 city/24 hwy mpg in AWD. This SUV could use a hybrid powertrain to provide much better fuel economy numbers.

3. You’ll hear a lot of wind noise at highway speeds in the 2023 Hyundai Palisade

2023 Hyundai Palisade SUV driving on a dirt road
2023 Hyundai Palisade SUV Front View | Hyundai

Some vehicles find ways to be quiet at any speed, but not this Hyundai SUV. When you get up to highway speeds, you’ll hear the wind in the cabin. If you expect this family-sized SUV to be right for your road trips, you’ll want it to be much quieter. You can drown out the sounds with music, but you’re only adding more noise to the mix.

4. The Palisade is a boring SUV to drive

Yes, this is a three-row SUV made for a family of seven or eight. We don’t expect it to carve the corners like a sports car, but it could give us a little more fun during the drive. The engine takes a while to get up to speed, and turning is predictable but not quick and decisive. You can rely on the Palisade to go where you want, but does it have to be so boring?

5. The Hyundai Palisade is said to have controversial styling

Front View 2023 Hyundai Palisade
Front View 2023 Hyundai Palisade | Hyundai

The look of this 2023 SUV might not be everyone’s cup of tea. Some might not appreciate the massive front grille others may think Hyundai is stealing from Cadillac with the vertical lights. The styling isn’t polarizing, but it does bring some negative points to the conversation. This could be a reason for some consumers to turn toward an SUV with more traditional styling elements.

6. The off-rad XRT trim might not be all it’s cracked up to be

White 2023 Hyundai Palisade XRT Playing in the Dirt
2023 Hyundai Palisade XRT | Hyundai

When we think of an off-road-focused version of a vehicle, we expect to enjoy impressive ground clearance and have a vehicle that can handle medium to difficult trails. The Hyundai Palisade XRT does come with standard AWD, larger wheels, and a body lift, but it’s not a significant change in off-road capability compared to other trims. You can take this SUV on light to medium trails but forget climbing up a hill face or rolling over boulders; that’s just not in the cards.

Bonus: Why are Hyundai engines failing?

A manufacturer defect that stops oil from flowing through the engine block led to a massive recall of Hyundai and Kia vehicles. This recall impacted nearly 485,000 vehicles creating a risk of an engine fire. Since then, Hyundai developed a product improvement campaign to install software to alert drivers of the potential for engine failures.

Should you buy the 2023 Hyundai Palisade?

2023 Hyundai Palisade Front Quarter
2023 Hyundai Palisade Front Quarter | Hyundai

If you want an SUV that’s limited in what it brings to the market, the Hyundai Palisade is the SUV for you. On the other hand, if you’re looking for more powertrain options, better off-road capabilities, greater efficiency, and a quieter ride, the Toyota Highlander, Jeep Grand Cherokee L, and Buick Enclave all offer more of what you desire.

Next, check out why so many consumers want three-row SUVs, or watch this Hyundai Palisade video below:


2023 Toyota Highlander XSE: Is This a Sporty Three-Row SUV?