Is A Hyundai Palisade A Full-Size SUV?

Big families and oversized equipment require a vehicle to fit it all. The new 2021 Hyundai Palisade is designed for space, but does that make it a full-size SUV? We've compared other car manufacturers with the Hyundai Palisade to find out for you.

Compared to a standard SUV, a full-size SUV stands out with its 3rd-row seating feature. The Palisade is a full-size SUV built with comfort and luxury in mind. Not only is it able to easily sit seven or eight passengers, but it will still have room for any additional cargo items.

Coming in four trim levels, the Palisade is a completed remodeled version of the Hyundai Santa Fe XL. Not only is there more seating, but a high towing capacity and more powerful engine. Keep reading to find out all the new and exciting specs that come with the Palisade!

2021 Hyundai Palisade seven passenger sport utility vehicle at a dealership, Is A Hyundai Palisade A Full-Size SUV?

Full-Size SUV Category

There are three types of SUV or sports utility vehicle categories. The first being the mid-size or intermediate SUV. The second is the standard SUV. Finally, the third is the full-size SUV. Each a little bigger than the next and offering more or less utility. Let's start with smallest to largest.


A mid-sized SUV is going to be the smallest out of the three. It ranks top in fuel economy but tightly fits fve passengers and few small bags. This would be a good option for daily drivers who only occasionally need the extra room. An example would be the Hyundai Sonata.


Moving up, a standard-sized SUV is able to fit about one more bag than a mid-sized. The Hyundai Santa Fe is a good example to compare it to. It still comes with five seats, however, there is more legroom and cargo space in the back. A plus with this category of SUV is that you get more headspace. We would recommend a standard SUV to someone that needs more ground clearance and often carries large objects.


The biggest of the categories, full-sized SUVs, are known for their seating and space. Coming standard with seven seats, including a back row, and you'll even be able to find models with an additional eighth seat. Typically wider and taller, full-sized has no problem fitting passengers and all their belongings. This is great for large families or groups going on a road trip. The four trim levels of the Hyundai Palisade present something for everyone. 

Hyundai logo on a Hyundai car at a car dealer

What Is The Largest SUV That Hyundai Makes?

Out of the current 2021 models, the Palisade is the largest SUV made by Hyundai to date. Before this was the Santa Fe XL, which was a bit smaller, only sitting six or seven passengers. Price-wise, the last made Santa Fe XL in 2019 went for anywhere between $35k to $40k; you can find used ones from $29k to $32k. More space, horsepower, and towing capacity have been added to the Palisade. 

The Palisade comes with 40.7 inches of headroom and 44.1 inches of legroom in the front. With the third row down, you'll be able to maximize the volume of cargo space to 45.8 cubic feet, or with the row up, 18 cubic feet. Kids, teenagers, and adults can all coexist in this car. Plus, there have been improvements to the ground clearance levels to allow for more terrain types.

What Are The Trim Levels Of The Palisade?

There are four trim level options for the Palisade: SE, SEL, Limited, and Calligraphy. The Calligraphy trim is the praised level out of the group, valued for its luxury aspects. Each trim comes in seven colors, a V6 engine, and 22 MPG.


To start off, the SE trim levels starting MSRP are around $33k. It comes with second-row bench seating and standard LED lights. On the interior, you'll find an eight-inch color touchscreen and cloth seating. For safety specs, it comes with the Forward Collision Assist and Pedestrian Detection.


Next up is the SEL, with an MSRP asking price of $35k. This level comes standard with a sunroof and seven seats with an eighth seat option. The seat surfaces are manufactured cloth, but leather upgrades are available. SEL trims are equipped with Blind-Spot Assistance and rear Privacy Glass.


The Limited Palisade trim starts off around $45k. It includes seven passenger seats with second-row captain chairs. This trim comes with dual sunroofs and standard leather seating surfaces. You can expect Parking Distance Warnings, smart cruise control, and Lane Keeping Assist in terms of safety.


Finally, the luxury model out of all four trims, the Hyundai Calligraphy. An all-wheel drive system, with 20-inch alloy wheels and front and back fascias. What makes this Palisade stand apart is the new standard feature of quilted leather seating and door trim. It rolls off the lot with a starting MSRP near $46k. Included safety specs for the Calligraphy are Driver Attention Warning, Trailer Sway Control, and Driver's Knee Airbags.

2021 Hyundai Palisade seven passenger sport utility vehicle at a dealership, Is A Hyundai Palisade A Full-Size SUV?

What Is The Hyundai Palisade Comparable To?

There are four other full-size SUVs to compare the Palisade to, including the Kia Telluride, the Ford Explorer, the Chevrolet Traverse, and the Mazda CX-9. Each comes with different trim levels and additional add ons; those listed below will be based on their base level trim from the manufacturer's website. These are all the 2021 models and a few of their overall specs.

Kia Telluride

The bare-bones Telluride trim is the XL; there are four trim levels available. It starts at $32k MSRP with six exterior colors to choose from. The engine is a V6, and it comes with 18-inch wheels. As for the interior, the headspace upfront comes in at 40.9 inches, just slightly more than Hyundai. The legroom is smaller at 41.4 inches, and when the third row is up,there is only 21 cubic feet of cargo space.

Ford Explorer

Next, the 2021 Ford Explorer with six trims and four exterior colors. It's out on the market starting at $33k MSRP. The Explorer sits seven and is a rear-wheel drive system. Headroom comes in at 40.5 inches, comparable to the Kia and Hyundai. The legroom goes from front to back: 43 inches, 39 inches, and 32.2 inches. These specs allow for the Explorer to end up being one of the spacier vehicles.

Chevrolet Traverse

Following that is the American-made Chevrolet Traverse. One of the most popular models out on the roads, Traverses starts in the ballpark of $30k. This SUV sits eight with a maximum cargo spec of 98.2 cubic feet. There are 41.3 inches of headspace and 33.5 inches of legroom with the third row. There are seven different trim levels, and you can choose between a front-wheel or rear-wheel model.

Mazda CX-9 

Last but not least is the Mazda CX-9, coming in at $34k for the basics. The highest-priced out of the comparable vehicles, its base level price matches the Palisade. The CX-9 has second-row captain seats only available for the higher trims; there are five trims to pick from. In terms of drive, the Mazda is a front-wheel system with seven seats. The headspace is smaller at 39.3 inches. Then from front to end row, the legroom goes from 41 inches to 39.4 inches to 29.7 inches. 

All things considered

2020 Hyundai Palisade suv at a dealership in Halifax's North End, Is The Hyundai Palisade Good In Snow

One of the newest full-size SUVs available, the Hyundai Palisade does not disappoint. Coming in four trim levels, each comes with top-of-the-line safety features and is comparable with other SUVs on the market. With this in mind, full-size SUVs are a great pick for larger families and individuals with lots to haul. Fairly priced amongst its competitors from Kia, Chevy, Mazda, and Ford, you have your pick of brands.

Let's take a deeper look into SUVs:

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