These large eight-passenger SUV checks all the boxes for size, convenience, and value.
They differ only in front and rear-end styling and dashboards. Some of the accoutrements of the Hyundai Palisade are more high-end, such as the shifting mechanism and interior trim, but underneath they are the same vehicle. The Palisade is also more expensive.
The Palisade/Telluride is very smooth and quiet on the road. Power from the V6 is adequate, and the eight-speed shifts well both up and down. Interior sight lines are good, and rear seat headrest do not interfere with rear-facing vision. Both offer sensible dash layouts with the placement of controls intuitive and right at hand. Entry and exit are easy.
The square overall shape of the vehicle provides a wealth of interior room for both people and cargo room. With its straight roof line, there is no wasted space. Both the Kia and Hyundai offer a host of features in usually found in more expensive competitors, and the interiors are quite elegant but restrained.
The pointer on the tachometer on the Hyundai goes backwards (anti-clockwise), and the key fob on the Telluride may be awkward for some with its side buttons. The windshield wipers on both vehicles cannot be lifted off the windshield, a deterrent when removing ice and snow, and while the second-row seats may be lowered with a button at the inside rear, they must be raised by hand.
At one time General Motors had five distinct division versions of its mini-van, a blatant example of badge engineering. For similar marketing reasons Kia and Hyundai have done the same, but styling has given each SUV some character here. Both offer a great and sensible package of carrying people and cargo in vehicles loaded with features found on more expensive SUVs.
Price as tested: $53,999 (Palisade), $49,999 (Telluride)
Engine: 3.8-liter V6
Power/Torque: 291 horsepower, 262 lb-ft
Fuel Mileage: 10 L/100 km highway, 13 L/100 km city
Drivetrain: On-demand AWD, eight-speed transmission, MacPherson struts and coil springs on front, multi-link on rear, rack and pinion steering, front brakes 13.4-inch vented discs, rear brakes 12-inch solid discs, 245/50R/20 tires.
Specifications: Wheelbase 2900-mm (114.7 in), weight 2022 kgs (4457 lbs), cargo area behind front seat 2447 cubic liters (86 cubic feet), cargo area behind second seat 1297 cubic liters ( 45.8 cubic feet), total interior space 5043 cubic liters (178 cubic feet), trailer towing capacity 5000 pounds, fuel tank capacity 71 liters (15.6 gallons).