Both Hyundai and Kia debuted revised versions of their flagship SUVs at this month’s New York Auto Show, updating them for the 2023 model year. They still have the same engines and powertrains, but the styling is tweaked and they come with new technology to assist their drivers.
The three-row Palisade is the largest Hyundai at the dealership, seating up to eight and starting at $43,555 for a 2022 model. Some of the technology additions will only be available on higher priced models, however. The most expensive Palisade is currently the “Ultimate Calligraphy” edition, which starts at $57,055. Pricing for the revised models is not yet announced, but it will probably be slightly higher across the lineup.
All new models will have what Hyundai calls a “bolder” front grille, which means it’s even larger and more square than before, the automotive equivalent of a head butt. There are no claims for improved fuel consumption from the 3.8-litre, V6 engine or eight-speed automatic transmission, which suggests it will be no better than the current 12.3 litres per 100 kilometres in the city and 9.6 on the highway.
The 2023 Palisade will feature new headlamps and vertical daytime running lights. They’ve changed their positions from the previous model, so the tall DRLs are now on the outside and the main lights are closer to the grille, which makes the entire vehicle appear wider. The 20-inch wheels have a new multi-spoke design too, so there’ll be no mistaking the updated vehicle.
The Palisade is still in its first generation and most of the changes are inside, or not apparent until they’re needed. The most obvious is the larger, 12-inch infotainment screen with 720p resolution that’s fitted to all but the most basic trim level, and more effective USB-C ports replacing the previous USB-A ports, for faster charging. Wireless phone charging is also boosted to 15 watts from five. In the back, side-impact airbags are now standard for rear passengers.
A new electronic driving mode is provided for more efficient towing, and will hold the lower gears for longer – the all-wheel-drive Palisade is rated for 2,268 kilograms (5,000 pounds). A digital rear-view mirror provides a clearer view behind the vehicle and a more comfortable “ergo-motion” driver’s seat is available.
There will also be a new “Urban” trim level, similar to the trims offered by the smaller Santa Fe and Tucson SUVs, with dark wheels and a dark front grille. It’s intended to be more rugged in appearance.
Last year, the Hyundai outsold its Kia sibling in Canada by almost half as many units again – 6,739 Palisades compared to 4,720 Tellurides – and Kia is hoping to close that gap with the refreshed version of its own flagship SUV. Both vehicles share a platform and powertrains, but the Telluride also has revised styling and new features for 2023.
The Kia’s front is not as “bold” as the Hyundai, with a shallower, split-grille style but still with new, vertical headlights. The Telluride will have a larger, 12.3-inch infotainment screen in the centre of the dash, and the digital rear-view mirror is an option.
There will be two new trim levels, the X-Line and X-Pro, which are intended to be more capable off-road – they’ll look more rugged and will have an extra 10-millimetres of ground clearance as well as a revised traction control system. The X-Line replaces the current Nightfall Edition, while the X-Pro will have smaller, chunkier tires and its tow capacity is boosted by 10 per cent to 2,495 kilograms (5,500 pounds).
Both the Hyundai and the Kia will benefit from several new driver’s assistance features, joining an already long list of technology. “Intelligent speed assist” recognizes speed signs beside the road and can be set to limit the vehicle’s speed accordingly (including within a reasonable range above or below the posted limit). “Forward collision avoidance” detects oncoming vehicles while turning left at an intersection, and will brake the vehicle if necessary.
The new Palisade is built in Korea and will be available in Canada this summer. The new Telluride is built in West Point, Georgia and will be available in Canada later this year.
The writer was a guest of Hyundai. Content was not subject to approval.