Crossover & Midsize

Why the Hyundai Palisade Is a Better Buy Than the Ford Explorer

When you’ve got two similar cars to choose from, it can be hard to decide which one is best for your needs. How will you determine the right vehicle for you? Some decide based on available features; others look to safety ratings for their determination. Many will read reviews from places like JD Power, Kelley Blue Book, and U.S. News. Others will look to Consumer Reports. But few will use the data they’ve uncovered to actually compare the two models they are looking at. Below, you’ll see the Hyundai Palisade compared to the Ford Explorer and learn why the Palisade is the better buy.

A bit about the Hyundai Palisade

If the all-new Hyundai Palisade is at the top of your wish list, you’ll be happy to know that the 2020 model has a lot to offer. With seating for seven or eight people, a towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, and an EPA-estimated 19 mpg city and 25 mpg highway, it’s already getting noticed.

The awards are coming in, too. U.S. News rates it as No. 1 in SUVs with three rows and No. 2 in midsize SUVs. It got a perfect score in safety, and it was a Top Safety Pick for the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety. That all may sound great to a potential buyer, but is it enough to beat out its rival, the tried and true Ford Explorer?

What makes the Ford Explorer a good buy?

When compared to the Hyundai Palisade, the Ford Explorer can hold its own. However, that doesn’t mean it’s better. The Explorer is newly redesigned for 2020, which typically means it will do well, but U.S. News ranked it lower than the Palisade.

The Ford Explorer ranked No. 17 in both third-row SUVs and midsize SUVs. The price starts at $37,000 and can go as high as $58,000. That’s a pretty steep price for an SUV that only seats six. The redesigned Explorer does have improved handling with the new rear-wheel-drive option, and it can tow up to 5,600 pounds.

The reliability rating of three out of five from J.D. Power is just average, and its warranty only goes up to five years or 60,000 miles at most. It has a lot of standard features, a huge cargo hold area, and some great upgrades, but the Palisade can match each. But perhaps two areas the Explorer does better in is fuel economy – it gets 21/28 mpg city/highway – and towing capacity.

Why the Hyundai Palisade is an even better buy

Not only does the Hyundai Palisade match what the Explorer can offer, it does better when it comes to cabin design and user-friendly technology. J.D. Power rated it a 3.5 out of 5 for reliability, giving it another edge. The warranty is also better, going up to 10 years or 100,000 miles.

The Palisade has more legroom in both the front and back and is a cushier ride, which is surprising, considering that it’s a smaller vehicle exterior-wise. To give an example of how the standard features are better, consider that the Palisade comes standard with a CD player while the Explorer doesn’t.

The Palisade feels – and looks – more like a luxury competitor than the Explorer, which is a notable step down. Take the heated and cooled second-row seats of the Palisade, for example, compared to the plastic bulkiness of the interior of the Explorer. Many reviewers agree that you have to pay for every upgrade on the Explorer, where the Palisade gives it for free in spades. You just can’t cut costs or lack innovation and still win this battle. 

With its pricing, available features, warranty, and passenger capacity and comfort all being better when you choose the Hyundai Palisade, it only makes sense for it to be your next SUV. After all, why pay more for a lesser vehicle? It’s time to try something new and exciting.