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American’s sure do love their vehicles, especially their SUVs. With so many options within a particular category, it’s difficult for any midsize SUV to break ranks and be crowned the leader of the pack. However, the 2021 Hyundai Palisade has done just that, albeit in a way some might not have initially expected.

The Palisade is a relatively new entry in the midsize SUV segment, but it has quickly earned the respect of industry experts. This three-row SUV is jam-packed with cutting-edge technologies and premium features. Meanwhile, it delivers middle-of-the-road performance that won’t blow your socks off. That’s why it’s somewhat surprising that the 2021 Hyundai Palisade won an award that’s typically given to vehicles that are more thrilling to drive.

The Lone Star State loves the 2021 Hyundai Palisade

A black 2021 Hyundai Palisade parked on display
The 2021 Hyundai Palisade on display | Photo via Hyundai

Down in the southern region of the country, all-American pride is at its apex. Patriotism and love for all things red, white, and blue are common denominators amongst southerners, especially in Texas. That’s why it’s equal parts surprising and impressive that the Korean-made 2021 Hyundai Palisade has won over the hearts of Texans.

The Texas Auto Writers Association (TAWA) hailed the Palisade as the Mid-Size SUV of Texas at its annual Texas Truck Rodeo. The 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy was one of 39 vehicles that TAWA members evaluated on an off-road course. These models were judged on performance, value, personal appeal, and more.

If the Hyundai Palisade won such a prestigious award over American-made vehicles in the heart of the country, it must be a pretty great vehicle, right? Let’s take a more in-depth look at what makes the 2021 Hyundai Palisade so great and if it truly is deserving of the No.1 slot in its class.

The 2021 Hyundai Palisade goes big, Texas-style

When analyzing the other winners of the 2020 Texas Truck Rodeo, you might notice a common theme. Performance-heavy models like the Ram 1500 TRX and Dodge Durango Hellcat took the top spot in nearly every segment.

However, Texans know substance when they see it, and the 2021 Hyundai Palisade offers just that. Few vehicles offer an overall package that can compete with Hyundai’s midsize SUV. 

The Palisade Calligraphy rivals luxury SUVs with its amount of premium features. So, it’s no wonder why this trim got so much love from the TAWA.

According to Hyundai’s press release about the event, the TAWA journalists lauded the Palisade’s “stunning looks, top-flight technology, and comfortable confidence.” The evaluators also praised the amount of value the Palisade Calligraphy delivered for its price range.

The Calligraphy trim level, a new addition to the lineup for the 2021 model year, has a starting MSRP of $47,750. It comes standard with an all-wheel-drive system, exclusive 20-inch wheels, a more stylish grille, puddle lights, and quilted leather interior door panels.

Meanwhile, a 291-hp 3.8-liter V6 engine and eight-speed automatic transmission power all Palisade models. However, the most impressive aspect of the SUV is its wealth of driver-assistance technologies. Crucial safety systems like automatic emergency braking and driver drowsiness monitoring come standard on every trim level. Plus, shoppers can add innovative features like safe exit assist and highway drive assist systems.

Is this three-row SUV right for your family?

The 2021 Hyundai Palisade has few weaknesses, and drivers should certainly consider it when shopping for their next family vehicle. Its upscale interior and all-around excellence put it up there with the best. Its closest rival is the Kia Telluride, which is also an industry favorite.

Texans know a thing or two about SUVs. So when it comes down to it, the TAWA naming the Palisade the Mid-Size SUV of Texas might just be enough to convince drivers to choose Hyundai over the competition.


The Hyper-Luxurious 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy Is Here