Road Test Followup – 2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy – Hyundai Adds Polish To Calligraphy Model

The 2022 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy had potential when it came to the art of adding more luxury and flair to the venerable Palisade three-row SUV. However, the outgoing Calligraphy lacked some of the finer details to help it stand out from the rest of the luxury SUV crowd especially in regards to the interior. The Korean car giant is out to remedy this with the 2023 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy but have all these changes finally added some much needed polish to the luxury focused trim level? We were eager to find out especially after our first exposure to the model in Northern Ohio.


Palisade Calligraphy Adds More Exterior Adornments

Before we get into the meat of the changes that define the Palisade, we might as well focus on some of the exterior enhancements that have made this version of the Calligraphy better than ever. This trim level benefits from the light updates that Hyundai made to the Palisade for 2023 but the trim now gets new wheels that have an aerodynamic look to them while the front grille has more chrome and reworked silver trim accents. the side profile transitions out to tweaked taillights.

Our tester shined like an elegant piece of jewelry when it hit the sun from certain angles but while it might not broadcast its luxury intentions as obviously as rivals like the Ford Explorer, Chevrolet Traverse and the Toyota Highlander the Palisade’s unique suit of clothes is still visually appealing and Hyundai designers have done a good job retaining the styling balance that the Palisade has in regards to marrying function and style together in one cohesive package.


Palisade Calligraphy Interior Goes To Reform School and Benefits As A Result

Slip inside the 2023 Palisade Calligraphy and the bulk of the updates that Hyundai has made all make a difference in making this version of the Palisade feel like it actually lives up to the moniker. The door panels for example ditch their connection to the Limited model and now come with a perforated leather insert that curves downward as it makes its way along the middle part of the door panel. Meanwhile a maple wood accent piece wraps its way along the dashboard and into the front doors. Buyers can also opt for a blacked out cabin but we recommend the nautical vibes that the lighter hue creates.

The Calligraphy also gets soft heated and cooled Nappa leather seats as well as a posture system that subtly adjusts the amount of support that the seat provides which is supposed to reduce fatigue on long journeys. While this particular feature is more of a gimmick, the amount of comfort that the seats provide is no joke with the Nappa accents providing an impressive amount of comfort. We also liked the wing style headrests in the second-row with Hyundai claiming that these were inspired by the headrests seen in airplanes. Second row passengers get plenty of room to stretch out and relax but like others in its segment, the third row is best left for children or folded down to help expand cargo room. The front seats proved there worth at Youmacon where a cosplaying Emily and her entire hoop skirt were able to fit comfortably during our trek to Detroit for the anime convention.

A 12.0-inch infotainment system is standard on all Palisade models with Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Navigation and Satellite Radio all coming standard. Seven USB ports are on hand through out the Palisade and when paired with Hyundai’s Blue Link App service, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant can actually lock and unlock the Palisade as well as remote start it for added convivence.


Performance For Any Occasion

All Palisade models are powered by a 291-horsepower, 3.8-liter, V6 with the engine being mated to an eight-speed automatic. Front-wheel drive is standard but buyers can add optional all-wheel drive to help improve the Palisades four season capability. Handling in our tester was sound but the Palisade will never be mistaken for a sporty offering even when the SUV is placed in Sport mode.

That said, ride quality is arguably the Calligraphy model’s biggest strength. The suspension is soft and compliant but not to the point where it feels like a boat with ride quality being smooth especially over rough Metro Detroit pavement.  The steering in our tester is roughly what you would expect out of other three-row SUV entries with the steering being soft and a bit muted on dead center though it still delivers crisp responses in city driving. The V6 only layout is also a gamble on Hyundai’s part with many of its rivals either embracing four-cylinder options or adding hybrid technology to their offerings.  Fuel economy is also on par for the segment with all-wheel drive models like our example getting an EPA-rated 19mpg city and 24 mpg freeway. Front-wheel drive Palisades get two mpg more in freeway driving for a slightly higher total of 26 mpg.


Value Quotient

Pricing for the 2023 Hyundai Palisade is still focused on providing families value and feature content with a base SE model starting at $35,550 with this trim giving buyers cloth seats, Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities, and a WiFi hotspot. As you climb your way through the trim ladder, the Palisade gets more luxury equipment with the dirt road ready XRT adding black accents to the Palisades exterior. Range-topping Calligraphy models start at $50,835 with our tester having a final as tested price of $52,735. That allows the Palisade to compete head to head with other luxury laden rivals like the Ford Explorer Platinum, the recently unveiled Toyota Grand Highlander and the Subaru Ascent.

The Calligraphy’s luxury focused nature is a welcome layer of security for returning owners while the additional amounts of polish and poise helping the model deliver a more complete interpretation of Hyundai’s vision of three-row luxury for buyers.