Hyundai Palisade, the automaker’s largest ever SUV, has made global debut at the LA Motor Show. The imposing SUV features 3 rows, 8 seats and mammoth 20 inch tyres with 245/50 rubber. It will have North America as its primary market will be pitted against well established mammoths like Chevrolet Honda Pilot, Ford Explorer, Nissan Pathfinder, Toyota Explorer, etc.

The exterior styling is in line with the HDC-2 Grandmaster concept but is significantly watered down. The imposing front fascia features an unmissable hexagonal chrome grille. The primary headlamps (two vertically stacked projector elements) are found where the fog lamps are usually located. The narrow LED DRLs merge neatly with the SUV’s waistline. Overall, the front fascia is unique and is sure to polarize opinions.

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The generously proportioned profile features massive wheel arches, a flat roof and a wheelbase long enough to accommodate three rows of seats. The Hyundai Palisade has a seating capacity of eight passengers. At the rear, taillights are also vertically oriented. In spite of being huge, the drag coefficient is 0.33, making the SUV aerodynamic.

Given that Palisade is Hyundai’s first crack at the big SUV segment, there are no stones unturned on the inside as well. It is packed up to the brim with luxurious features, a comprehensive suite of driver assistance systems, and top notch safety systems.

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On the center dashboard there is 12.3 inch touchscreen, while driver gets 10.25 inch colour TFT info display. There are two sunroofs as well. Seats are finished in premium quilted Nappa leather. Safety is also loaded. Hyundai expects 5 star rating in crash test. 2nd and 3rd row seats can be folded to increase storage. They come with one-touch fold. All passengers get USB charging ports.

Powering the large SUV will be a 3.8-liter V6 direct injected petrol engine which will deliver 291 hp and 355 Nm. The Palisade sits on a new front-wheel-drive transverse engine platform with all-wheel drive capability. An automatic unit with eight ratios will be handling the transmission duties.

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While India is an SUV-friendly market, the Hyundai Palisade seems to be a size too large for our tastes. We expect the new Santa Fe to remain as the flagship SUV for the automaker in our country. #KhabarLive