Is the 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Truly Worth the Extra Cash?

The 2021 Hyundai Palisade and its close cousin, the Kia Telluride, have made a sizable impression in the three-row SUV market. Aside from offering tons of space and excellent tech features, the Palisade is set not to break the bank. However, Hyundai decided to give the model an ultra-luxurious trim level called the Calligraphy for a premium. A recent test by RoadShow looks at the range-topping model and if it’s worth the extra cash.

What is a Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy?

One of the most appealing things about the 2021 Hyundai Palisade is its value proposition. For a $32,525 base price, you get a three-row SUV with a powerful standard engine and great tech features. However, as SUV buyers want more luxury features, Hyundai developed the top Calligraphy trim. With a starting price of $47,750, the Palisade Calligraphy is the most expensive trim level. For this, you get a 291-hp 3.8-liter V6 engine, all-wheel-drive, and an eight-speed automatic transmission.

The Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy also includes larger 20-inch wheels, unique front, and rear bumpers, as well as silver-finished trim. However, the biggest change can be found in the interior, where this luxury trim offers quilted leather seats and door panels. You also get a perforated leather-wrapped steering wheel.

The result here is that the Palisade offers similar options to those you’d typically find in a high-end luxury SUV. However, to truly be a luxury SUV, these components have to yield a positive driving experience.

Is the Calligraphy a proper luxury SUV?

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

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According to RoadShow’s recent review of the Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy, the SUV is off to a great start. All of the exterior changes help differentiate the top trim level from its more affordable siblings. Additionally, the quality of the quilted leather is reportedly top-notch, says RoadShow.

According to RoadShow, The Hyundai Palisade’s powertrain is also a major highlight since it offers plenty of power without generating much noise. The result here is that the quiet engine adds to the overall luxury feel the Calligraphy aims to portray. The midsized SUV is also reportedly quite smooth on the road, offering excellent handling without added stiffness. The only downside was reportedly the overall lack of feel and disconnect from the road, says RoadShow.

In terms of tech, RoadShow noted that the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster is a massive highlight, as well as the 10.2-inch infotainment screen. These include a 360-degree camera and a heads-up display, amongst other features. RoadShow also reports that you get seven USB ports and a wireless charging pad for your phone. As a result, RoadShow claims the Palisade Calligraphy could easily be confused for an Audi or Lexus product.

Should you pay up for the range-topping Palisade?

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

If you compare the Hyundai Palisade to its lower trim levels, the price bump can be hard to swallow. It is also worth pointing out that some tech features such as the digital instrument cluster and infotainment screen are available in lower-trim models. However, the quilted leather, aesthetic upgrades, and standard tech offer great value.

While a $47,750 SUV isn’t exactly cheap if looked at compared to other luxury SUVs, the price is relatively low. If you want a three-row SUV from Audi, you’ll have to pay up $54,950 for a base Q7. If you look at Mercedes-Benz, a base GLE starts at $55,700. In the end, the Palisade Calligraphy offers excellent features that are absolutely worth the extra cash.