Hyundai has confirmed that its flagship SUV, the Palisade, will be coming to South Africa next year after being approved for Australia and therefore right-hand-drive five months ago.
Unveiled at the Los Angeles International Auto Show in 2018, initially only with left-hand-drive, Hyundai South Africa’s Director of Sales and Operations, Stanley Anderson, told The Citizen on the side-lines of the launch of the new Creta that sales are forecasted to kick-off from May or June with initial allocation being small.
Set to take over from the Santa Fe as Hyundai’s biggest and most premium SUV ever sold on local shores, Anderson confirmed that both allocated engines have been ordered for market evaluation, namely the normally aspirated 3.8-litre V6 petrol that produces 217kW/355Nm and the 2.2 CRDI turbodiesel from the Santa Fe that punches out 147kW/440Nm. Both will be mated to a shift-by-wire push-button operated eight-speed automatic gearbox with drive either going to the front or all four wheels.
Providing seating for seven or eight, the Palisade takes its name from the Pacific Palisades neighbourhood of Southern California and measures 4 980 mm in overall length with a wheelbase of 2 900 mm, height of 1 750 mm and width of 1 976 mm. Claimed boot space is 510-litres or 2 447-litres with the second and third rows down.
Despite the pair of engine choices, Anderson stated that the consumption of the petrol could be a worry and that careful attention will be paid to how the diesel performs as it is likely to prove more popular.
“I would like to see what the performance of the diesel is in the Palisade as it is perfectly fine in the Santa Fe. If they change the gear ratios it could work for the Palisade but we can only make the decision once we have driven the vehicles,” Anderson said.
Down Under, sales of the Palisade commence next month with a projected starting price of $60 000 (R671 777). Given that the entry-level Santa Fe Premium starts at R655 900 and the range-topping Elite at R824 900 however, speculation is that the Palisade could possibly carry a sticker price of close to or over R1-million when it becomes available.