Somewhat surprisingly, the Palisade has been a hit in Hyundai's home market of South Korea, with a monthslong waiting list since its launch there in December.
With standard seating for eight people, the Palisade is Hyundai's "full-nest family" vehicle — the flagship for a brand that is going all-in on crossovers, big and small. The subcompact Venue, to arrive at dealerships before year end, is at the smaller end of the smallest crossover segment.
"The product research shows where all the growth has been," Smith said. "Midsize and entry CUVs are the two fastest-growing now. There's a lot of competition in the compact segment. What's new and different in attracting people are the higher and the lower end."
In addition to the Palisade's sleek styling and near-luxury amenities in the fully loaded version, Smith sees the crossover as having a price advantage over competitors. The base SE trim starts at $32,595 and has a V-6 engine, eight-speed automatic transmission, 8-inch touch screen with smartphone integration and a standard safety suite. At the top end of $45,745, the Limited version comes with Nappa leather, dual sunroofs, second-row captain's chairs and 20-inch wheels. Prices include shipping.
On all versions, there are seven USB ports, a cushy ride and adaptive cruise control with lane-keeping assist for longer family outings.
"We're really ready for families to start focusing on that again — taking trips together," said Smith, hinting at the family-themed advertising campaign coming soon for Palisade. "The journey is, in some cases, more important than the destination, and that is what Palisade is really designed for."