Hyundai has so far kept a very tight veil of secrecy surrounding its new 3-row flagship SUV with only a few light teasers, and a preceding concept hinting at its existence, but with LA fast approaching, the Korean car giant has finally confirmed a small slice of information, and revealed the official name for this very important utility offering, Palisade.
Depending on who you ask, the Palisade moniker is derived from a whole swath of inspiration. According to Hyundai, the name is inspired not only by a series of coastal cliffs, but also the strength of an ancient fortress. Others will naturally point out the Palisade islands in southern California as well as the nearby affluent neighborhood of the same name. Either way, this bold name change is a clear departure from its predecessor the Santa Fe XL which will cruise off to retirement when the Palisade eventually makes its way to Hyundai dealers. The Palisade will also fill a noticeable hole in Hyundai's SUV lineup, and be the final cog in Hyundai's broader plans to expand its utility offerings.
Taking on rivals such as the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, and Dodge Durango, the Palisade is expected to be the brand's most serious attempt at carving a slice of the full size SUV market, and follows in the wake of the outgoing Santa Fe XL, as well as Hyundai's last major flagship effort, the underwhelming and long since departed Veracruz. We are sworn to secrecy on any further details, but look for the Palisade to take the premium SUV market seriously, and Hyundai claims that the range topping model will feature bold styling and meticulous attention to detail (traits that did not define the fore-mentioned Veracruz very well.)
The Palisade is also expected to form a compelling duo when viewed side by side with its corporate cousin the Kia Telluride. The Telluride first made its appearance in concept form at SEMA, and like the Palisade, represents Kia's latest attempt at re-entering this segment following its disastrous and ill timed launch of the V8 powered Kia Borrego back in the mid 2000s. This one two punch could help give both Korean brands an advantage in luring in customers, and the distinctive DNA could allow them to forge their own distinctive personalities, especially when viewed by potential customers.
Lastly, the Palisade moniker itself also represents a big risk for Hyundai in terms of marketing, with the nameplate having to be built from the ground up versus reviving an older nameplate for considerably less cost. Hyundai claims that it did not find it in its best interest to either reuse the Santa Fe XL nameplate, nor dig the Veracruz moniker from the graveyard of discarded automotive marques, and instead preferred to use the Palisade nameplate as an opportunity for a fresh start.
Look for more to be revealed when the 2020 Palisade formally makes its official debut at the 2018 Los Angeles Auto Show later this month.