2021 Hyundai Palisade Review | CarMax

Abundant cargo space in a smart package.

If your lifestyle requires three rows, you're on the right track with the 2021 Hyundai Palisade. Whether you've got a growing family, regularly use the carpool lane, or just love to take all your friends on a road trip, this three-row SUV should have you covered. Alongside the interior space, this SUV has a wealth of convenience features that will keep everyone riding in comfort.

While we currently do not have many 2021 Hyundai Palisades on our lots, we look forward to selling more in the future. Here's what you'll learn in this 2021 Hyundai Palisade review:

2021 Hyundai Palisade Review: 5 Reasons to Buy | CarMax
2021 Hyundai Palisade Review: 5 Reasons to Buy #1 | CarMax

The base SE model of the 2021 Hyundai Palisade comes with standard seating for eight passengers. This is the best option if you regularly need to carry a lot of people. But if you want a little more legroom, opt for the captain's chairs in the middle row (standard from the SEL trim). This reduces the total seating capacity to seven but gives your middle-row passengers space to stretch out. In the cabin, you'll get plenty of convenient storage for drinks, kids' toys, paperwork, and road trip snacks.

Need to speak to your passengers in the back row? The available talk-in-car intercom (SEL Premium Package) makes it easy for everyone to chat without the need to shout across the Palisade's cavernous space.

2021 Hyundai Palisade Review: 5 Reasons to Buy #2 | CarMax

With an estimated towing capacity of 5,000 lbs with the 3.8L V6 engine (when properly equipped), the 2021 Palisade is a great companion for camping trips and more.2 Whether you're towing a camper, an ATV, or just need a trailer for those trips to the DIY store, the Palisade has you covered. When all your seats are full and you can't use the interior cargo space, this means you've still got the option to tow what you need behind you. Perfect for family vacations or an adventure with your crew.

2021 Hyundai Palisade Review: 5 Reasons to Buy #3 | CarMax

Starting at the base SE trim, you get a wealth of great tech features. From driver assistance technology, including lane-keeping assist, to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, you won't be disappointed by the 2021 Palisade. If you're looking for a bit of an upgrade on the standard features, you'll find an eight-way power driver seat on the SEL model and a Harman Kardon premium sound system on the Limited trim. There are also a number of additional packages to look for if you'd like features such as auto-leveling rear suspension, wireless device charging, and highway driving assist.

2021 Hyundai Palisade Review: 5 Reasons to Buy #4 | CarMax

The optional all-wheel drive system gives the 2021 Hyundai Palisade the ability to traverse tricky terrain. This is great news if you regularly drive in the snow. The Drive Mode Select feature allows you to optimize HTRAC AWD for snowy conditions. What's perhaps more exciting, though, is the chance to head out on off-road adventures. The HTRAC AWD is available on all trims and includes downhill brake control. This means that when you're heading down a steep hill, it'll maintain traction and control your speed without the need to press the brake pedal.

2021 Hyundai Palisade Review: 5 Reasons to Buy #5 | CarMax

If you and your passengers like to travel in the lap of luxury, the Calligraphy trim is for you. Not only do you get some beautiful exterior features such as a trim-exclusive grille and front bumper, but you also get some lovely interior features, too. The quilted leather door panel inserts alongside the perforated leather steering wheel add a touch of high-end sophistication to the cabin. The puddle lights on the door mirrors are another nice touch that remind you you're about to climb into something special.

2021 Hyundai Palisade Review: Key Specs | CarMax


  • The 2021 Hyundai Palisade in FWD with the 3.8L six-cylinder engine and automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 22 mpg combined.1
  • The 2021 Hyundai Palisade in AWD with the 3.8L six-cylinder engine and automatic transmission gets an EPA-estimated 21 mpg combined.1

Cargo Space:

  • The 2021 Hyundai Palisade has 18 cu-ft of space behind the third row.
  • There's 45.8 cu-ft with the third row folded.
  • Behind the front seats, there's a total of 86.4 cu-ft of space.

Towing Capacity:

  • When properly equipped, the 2021 Hyundai Palisade can tow an estimated 5,000 lbs with its 3.8L engine and either FWD or AWD.2

Seating Capacity:

  • The 2021 Hyundai Palisade seats eight people as standard in the SE trim.
  • Optional captain's chairs bring the seating capacity down to seven.

Engine Options:

  • The sole engine choice for the 2021 Hyundai Palisade is a 291-hp 3.8L V6 engine.

Tech Features:

  • Forward collision-avoidance assist
  • Five USB charge ports
  • Apple CarPlay® and Android Auto™ connectivity
  • Eight-inch infotainment display
  • Lane-keeping assist
  • Optional Harman Kardon® premium audio

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2021 Hyundai Palisade Review: What You Need To Know | CarMax
2021 Hyundai Palisade Review: Trim | CarMax
  • SE: Forward collision-avoidance assist, lane-keeping assist, five USB charge ports, eight-passenger seating, reversing sensor, eight-inch display, and more.
  • SEL: Proximity key entry, eight-way power driver seat, dual automatic temperature control, heated front seats, and more.
  • Limited: Wide dual sunroof, 12.3-inch LCD instrument cluster, full-color heads-up display, ventilated front seats and second-row captain's chairs, ambient interior lighting, and more.
  • Calligraphy: Puddle lights, perforated leather steering wheel, quilted leather door panel, 20-inch wheels, and more.
  • SEL Convenience Package: Adds 20-inch alloy wheels, forward parking sensors, hands-free liftgate, wireless device charging, LED taillights, and more.
  • SEL Premium Package: Adds leather seating, eight-way front passenger seat, highway driving assist, talk-in-car intercom, heated steering wheel, SiriusXM satellite radio, and more.
2021 Hyundai Palisade Review: Colors | CarMax
  • Becketts Black
  • Hyper White
  • Lagoon Silver
  • Moonlight Cloud
  • Rainforest
  • Sierra Burgundy
  • Steel Graphite
  • Typhoon Silver


  • Seat up to eight across three rows
  • The 2021 Hyundai Palisade has 18 cu-ft of space behind the third row. This opens up to 45.8 cu-ft with the third row folded. Behind the front seats, there's a total of 86.4 cu-ft of space.
  • Eight-inch display with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay connectivity
  • Available Harman Kardon premium sound system
2021 Hyundai Palisade Review: Average Pricing | CarMax

The 2021 Hyundai Palisade is a newer model year and we currently have a limited number in our inventory. See below for average CarMax prices for previous model years of the Hyundai Palisade.3

  • 2020 — Average prices less than $43,0003

Similar Model Years

If you like the 2021 Hyundai Palisade, check out its previous model year with similar features.


The 2021 Hyundai Palisade received an overall 5/5 by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). Certain vehicles may have unrepaired safety recalls. Click here to look up a specific vehicle.

2021 Hyundai Palisade Review: Similar Vehicles | CarMax
2021 Hyundai Palisade Review: Similar Vehicles - Ford Explorer | CarMax

The fifth generation of the Ford Explorer was released in 2011 with a facelift in 2016 then again in 2018. The 2020 model represents a brand new generation of this rugged SUV. With a choice of three engine options across 2016–2019 models, you can choose which best suits your lifestyle. There's a 3.5L V6, frugal 2.3L Ecoboost®, and a powerful 3.5L Ecoboost with 365 horsepower. The optional intelligent 4WD system allows you to switch between different terrain conditions (2018 onward). This is great if you're tackling steep declines, muddy back roads, or a snowy commute.

Standard features on 2018–2019 Ford Explorers include:

  • Cruise control
  • Rearview camera
  • SYNC® voice recognition system with 4.2-inch color screen
  • Eight-way power driver seat
2021 Hyundai Palisade Review: Similar Vehicles - Honda Pilot | CarMax

Now in its third generation (2016 to present), the Honda Pilot is a great three-row utility vehicle for off-road adventures, camping trips, and day-to-day errands. The capable 3.5L V6 engine pushes out 280 horsepower and there's an available intelligent AWD system (2016 onward). If you opt for the 2019 Elite trim, you'll get all-wheel drive as standard, which is perfect if you often find yourself in situations where that little extra traction is needed.

2018-2020 Honda Pilots include these standard features:

  • Honda Sensing™ driver-assist features
  • Rearview camera
  • Push-button start
  • Cruise control
  • 60/40 split, flat-folding third-row bench seat
2021 Hyundai Palisade Review: Similar Vehicles - Subaru Ascent | CarMax

Released in 2018, the Subaru Ascent is midsize crossover SUV with standard all-wheel drive. This supremely practical vehicle includes all those little features to make life easy for you. This includes 60/40 split-folding seats, under-floor storage, and an available power liftgate (all from 2018). For peace of mind, you'll also get Subaru's Eyesight® driver-assist technology on all models from 2018.

Jump up from the base Ascent to the Premium trim and you'll find these standard features (2018 onwards):

  • Eight-inch Subaru Starlink™ system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity
  • First- and second-row climate control
  • Eight-way power-adjustable driver seat
  • Available 4G LTE Wi-Fi capability4

The Bottom Line

The 2021 Hyundai Palisade can tick a number of boxes. It's a great family vehicle with plenty of features to make long journeys easy. But it's also a great off-road adventurer for a weekend camping trip with your friends. The cargo space also makes the 2021 Palisade ideal for trips to the garden center, DIY store, or when you're buying groceries for a party.

Looking to learn more? Check out these related articles:

1Fuel economy figures are based on EPA estimates when vehicles sold as new. Fuel economy may vary for reasons like driving conditions and vehicle history. Unless specified, figures are for vehicles equipped with an automatic transmission. See fueleconomy.gov for details.
2Various factors may impact towing capacity, including weight of passengers, cargo, and options/accessories.
3Based on prices on carmax.com from May 1, 2019, through October 1, 2020. Actual prices may vary based on your selected model year, features and trim packages. Prices do not include taxes, tags, titles, and any applicable fees.
4Wi-Fi hotspots require a data plan to activate and may also require a compatible device. See the owner's manual or manufacturer website for more information.
Unless otherwise noted, information related to these featured vehicles comes from third-party sources, including manufacturer information. Product and company names may be trademarks or registered trademarks of third-party entities. Use of them does not imply any affiliation with or endorsement by these entities.