Hyundai has effectively opened the door for its seven-or-eight-seat Palisade SUV to be offered in right-hand-drive (RHD) markets after reports from Australia revealed that it will soon be given the green light for sales next year.
Aimed at unibody models such as the Mazda CX-9, Nissan Pathfinder and the segment leading Toyota Kluger (Highlander) Down Under, the twin of the Kia Telluride has been on Hyundai Australia’s wish list since its unveiling at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November last year as a bigger alternative to the Santa Fe.
While an official confirmation has not yet been made, Hyundai Australia Chief Executive, JW Lee, remarked at the Australian launch of the compact Venue yesterday (16 September) that the Palisade is “80% confirmed” for a market that has been in talks with Hyundai Motor Company (HMC) ever since its debut.
“I think we have successfully convinced HMC why we need Palisade. I am sure we are going to get Palisade in the next years but it’s yet to be officially confirmed,” Lee told motoring.com.au, before telling carsguide.com.au that, “We have requested it so many times. It’s a really good car (and) I believe (that) the Palisade will bring a new face to our Hyundai brand”.
No word on specification has however been made with the same applying to the drivetrain, which in the United States is made up of a 3.8-litre V6 petrol engine producing 217kW/355Nm, paired to a shift-by-wire, button operated eight-speed automatic gearbox.
Given that its mentioned rivals are also only petrol fuelled, the Palisade will most likely retain this, though it could potentially be adapted to accommodate the Santa Fe’s 2.2 CRDI turbodiesel motor that punches out 142kW/442Nm.
The seemingly imminent arrival of the Palisade in RHD therefore means that it could come to South Africa as rival for the Volvo XC90, BMW X5 and Mercedes-Benz GLE, although at present, no word from Hyundai South Africa has been made.