Can the Hyundai Palisade Be As Luxurious As the Volvo XC90?

The Volvo XC90 and the Hyundai Palisade are both midsize SUVs, but of course, they compete in different realms. Still, you could say that these models stand out in their respective classes for some of the same reasons. Both the XC90 and Palisade have a unique sense of style and have a focus on safety. But you might be wondering: can the Palisade be as luxurious as the XC90?

What the 2021 Volvo XC90 does well

2020 Volvo XC90
2020 Volvo XC90 | Volvo

Critical reviews on the XC90 are generally mixed. However, respected critics can agree that the XC90 is refined and elegant. Some reviewers even favor the XC90 as a cheaper but still luxurious alternative to the Range Rover

2020 Volvo XC90 interior front
2020 Volvo XC90 interior front | Volvo

Like the outgoing version, the 2021 XC90 comes standard with a turbocharged 250-hp, 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine. Models with this engine are T5 models. The base four-cylinder is OK, but it’s underwhelming in many situations. 

Car and Driver explicitly recommends going with the T6 model for the liveliest XC90 experience .T6 variants will have a twin-charged four-cylinder that generates 316-hp. If you’re interested in a luxury hybrid, the XC90 offers that too. No matter the engine, all XC90s have an eight-speed automatic. 

2020 Volvo XC90 6-seat layout
Volvo XC90 6-seat layout | Volvo

The inside of the XC90 is absolutely gorgeous. It comes with faux leather upholstery and upscale finishings. Depending on the configuration, this Volvo seats up to six or seven. The biggest news for 2021 is that the XC90 comes with more in-car tech. Newly standard gadgets include high-pressure headlight washers, front parking sensors, and wireless charging. 

What the 2021 Hyundai Palisade does well

An image of a 2021 Hyundai Palisade on the road.
2021 Hyundai Palisade | Hyundai

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Hyundai’s Palisade is arguably the most stylish midsize SUV available. The Palisade was a brand-new model for 2020 and is mostly unchanged for 2021. All Palisade models feature a 291-hp, 3.8-liter V6, and an automatic. 

The Palisade gets points for its smooth and quick acceleration. Critics have raved about the Palisade’s standard paddle shifters and drive modes too. The Palisade’s interior is also worth gushing over.

An image of a Hyundai Palisade on the road.
Hyundai Palisade front row with quilted leather | Hyundai

With the Palisade, you get seven or eight seats, depending on the trim level. Each one of its three rows is spacious, and it provides ample cargo room. Furthermore, the Palisade offers many advanced safety features that aren’t common for non-luxury SUVs. Standard safety features include forward automatic emergency braking, driver attention monitoring, and rear parking sensors. This Hyundai is also available with a Blind View Monitor function, which displays active blind spots.

Comparing the XC90 and Palisade’s amenities 

A white 2020 XC90 is seen in a new Huawei Global Flagship Store
The 2020 Volvo XC90 | Wang Gang/VCG via Getty Images

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Since it’s a true luxury model, the XC90 comes with more frills than the Palisade does. Even so, the two have similar amenities. Both come with modern infotainment apps, including Apple CarPlay and Android Auto; both have state-of-the-art safety equipment.  

The XC90 signals wealth, but the Palisade can be just as upscale. You can replace the Palisade’s cloth interior with genuine leather and add amenities like heated and cooled seats. The Palisade also offers wireless charging and a premium stereo, similar to the XC90. 

a Hyundai Palisade parked in a scenic grassy area
Hyundai Palisade | Hyundai

For the most luxurious experience the Palisade offers, you’ll want the Calligraphy trim, which has distinct exterior finishings and a quilted leather interior. What’s even better is that you can get a top-tier Palisade for less than a base XC90. The 2021 Palisade Calligraphy model begins at $47,750; the standard XC90 starts at $49,00. That said, the Palisade is the way to go for better predicted reliability and luxury at a value.