Three years after its bold arrival, the three-row Hyundai Palisade is pivoting in styling direction.
The kid hauler, billed as the more upscale choice from its Kia-branded Telluride stablemate, revealed cosmetic changes that ditch the aspiring Posh Spice aesthetic in favor of a sportier guise.
The freshened 2023 Palisade also gets upgraded interior tech, more amenities and expanded safety offerings, carrying forward its value proposition of a high-end interior typically found in pricier vehicles.
The exterior changes are not subtle. The crossover’s new chiseled look is accentuated by an extended hood profile and a wider, squared-off front grille flanked by two vertical LED headlights with sharper lines. Skid plate decor is more pronounced front and rear. The rear, featuring vertical LED taillights, has lost much of the curvature of its former jelly bean shape.
Hyundai says some of these changes have aerodynamic benefits — for example, the deeper lean of the A-pillar and optimized front cooling area with an extended internal air guide.
A new XRT model aligns the Palisade closer with the Tucson and Santa Fe lineup, offering buyers even more aggressive finishes such as dark finish 20-inch wheels, a dark grille, black roof rail and black leatherette seating upholstery. It also comes with a power sunroof.
The 2023 Palisade shares the Telluride’s 3.8-liter V-6. Models equipped with all-wheel drive get a new Tow function alongside the Normal, Sport and Smart modes.
The interior is stuffed with plush upgrades for passenger comfort, including new third-row seat heating and second-row seating that has vents and outward-expanding headrests. The seven USB-A ports that were spread over the three rows are now replaced with USB-C’s for faster charging. New Wi-Fi capability is optional.
Robust Emerald joins the exterior color palette, and interior seating is still available in cloth, leatherette, leather and nappa leather.
The cockpit is reconfigured with an available digital rearview mirror, larger 12-inch navigation screen (up from the optional 10.25-inch) and slimmer horizontal air vents. The instrument panel is redesigned and offers customizable ambient lighting.
The Palisade also gets the newest version of Hyundai Digital Key, giving users smartphone control over the lock, unlock and start functions. Hyundai’s Bluelink also adds more digital interaction with certain systems, including climate control, seat positioning, navigation and maintenance.
The freshened Palisade also offers more standard driver-assistance safety tech. New to the list of features is Remote Start Parking Assist, Forward Collision Avoidance Assist and Highway Driving Assist, combining adaptive cruise control with lane-centering. The crossover also gets nine standard airbags.
The Palisade debuted for the 2020 model year and replaced the Santa Fe XL in Hyundai’s lineup. Amid slow industry first-quarter sales, deliveries of the Palisade were nearly flat compared with the same period last year, topping 21,000 sales.
Hyundai did not disclose pricing for the updated Palisade, but cost of entry for the 2022 model is about $35,000, including shipping. The 2023 model goes on sale this summer.