Time is up on our long-term 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy, and it’s just in time, too, as we got to experience Hyundai’s 2023 mid-cycle refresh for the popular three-row SUV just a couple of weeks ago.
Our Palisade leaves us in just as happy a mood as when it joined Autoblog’s long-term test car fleet. Over the course of the year, we put over 16,000 miles on this three-row family mobile, toting it all over the Midwest and Southeast. The only skipped beat came thanks to a rodent that decided the O2 sensor wires looked tasty. That put our Palisade out of commission for about two months while we awaited appointments and parts from Hyundai — if we’d have had access to it for those two summer months, we would’ve piled on even more miles.
Every other trip to the dealership in this Moonlight Cloud Palisade was a scheduled one. We only had to have one oil change performed, and beyond that, had Michelin X-Ice winter tires installed and uninstalled for the season changes. As Senior Editor John Beltz Snyder detailed in one update, those winter tires made our Palisade into a killer snow machine in Michigan’s slippery conditions. At a certain point during our long-term test, Snyder decided he didn’t have enough Palisade in his life, and bought one himself. We’ll let that endorsement speak for itself.
We originally took on testing a long-term Palisade because it sure looked like Hyundai’s first successful shot at the big three-row crossover and SUV segment, and we wanted to see if the vehicle remained as impressive over months as it was on the initial launch. We’re happy to see that the luster hasn’t worn off, and we’re just as smitten with this big hunk of Hyundai as we always have been.
Numerous thoughtful features made long-term life with the Palisade easy and convenient. Every time we’d hop out of the Palisade and into something else without its cluster-positioned Blind-View Monitors, it was a time of transition and wishing for the same in whatever car we might’ve been in. Even if you don’t rely on them, being able to take a quick peek in the dash to double confirm there are no cars in a pillar’s blind spot when merging on the highway is great peace of mind.
Want to fill this big three-row full of friends? Easy, the single-tap button to instantly slide the captain’s chairs forward and out of the way for third row access is one of the best in the biz (though the actual space between seat and pillar could be better for access). Plus, the electrical-folding third row is killer when you’re not in the mood to manually fold or yank up seats. This is the best combo of manual and electric-folding seats you can get for speed and ease of use.