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The 2020 Hyundai Palisade initially drew plenty of comparisons to its little brother the Hyundai Santa Fe. But since then, the Palisade has made a name of its own, even comparing favorably against 2020’s Car of the Year, the Kia Telluride. So what makes the Palisade so great? Hyundai has gone above and beyond to make this one of the safest vehicles on the road.

The Hyundai Palisade comes with the following standard safety features: adaptive cruise control, lane-keep assist, and forward-collision assistance. Hyundai also offers higher trims of the Palisade that include more safety features, but the standard options are more than enough. published a full breakdown of the 2020 Palisade’s safety features, which include blind-spot warning in addition to the lane-keep assist, blind view monitor, surround-view monitor, lane following assist, and a thorough head-up display (although they admit it can suffer from glare issues).

The ultimate safety feature

Though the 2020 Hyundai Palisade comes with plenty of options to avoid a crash in the first place, it’s worth taking a look at its safety rating when accidents do happen. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety provided their take on how well the Palisade performs in an accident scenario.

Every “crashworthiness” score came back as “Good”, the highest-ranking. With this information in mind, it’s no surprise that IIHS rated the 2020 Palisade a 2020 Top Safety Pick.

The Palisade’s MSRP is over $30,000, significantly more than the Santa Fe. But the safety features alone seem to be worth the price jump. Additionally, the higher Palisade trims have even pushed the envelope on affordable luxury.

Whether the Palisade Calligraphy will be available in North American next year or not, Hyundai clearly seems willing to try new things with their breakout hit.

Potential downsides of the 2020 Hyundai Palisade?

With the safety features covered and the Palisade seeming like a good buy for the price, is there anything potential buyers should worry about? It seems like the major obstacle to enjoying the 2020 Palisade so far is the user experience.

It’s comfortable to drive and handles well, and the performance of the engine is solid. But cars are becoming more like computers every day. If the vehicle doesn’t feel like it’s easy to use, sales are going to suffer.

According to reviews, buttons in black and gray tend to blend into each other and the locks are difficult to see. Along with the aforementioned glare issues, it’s clear that every aspect of the Palisade isn’t ready for prime time.

How Hyundai went above and beyond

People checking out a new Hyundai Palisade at an auto show
The 2020 Hyundai Palisade SUV after it was unveiled at an auto show | ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images

Honda Pilot vs. Hyundai Palisade

But it’s still a vehicle that’s turned heads. Hyundai saw the potential in a bigger version of the Santa Fe and went all-out to deliver on the Palisade. The 2020 Palisade comes with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. It’s a vehicle that’s truly looking to compete with some of the higher-end cars in its class and Hyundai has given it the tools to succeed. With all the bells and whistles, it’s easy to look past the numerous safety features.

But everything on the Palisade is built from the ground up to protect the driver and passengers. Features like lane-keep assist and blind view monitor demonstrate that Hyundai is doing everything they can to make the Palisade safe. And in the worst possible scenario, the highly-touted crashworthiness is a reasonable fallback.

The Palisade wasn’t built to crash, but it was built to crash safely. If safety features are big on your list of must-haves, it might be worth checking out the latest offering from Hyundai.