AVON, NC – In my latest update on our long-term loan of a 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy AWD, we discussed how it fared more than 1,900 miles full of people, dogs and cargo for a road trip to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. That was only half the story of why it was such a great tool for the job. The other half focuses on how the Palisade provides peace of mind and increased awareness to the safety conscious driver.
Our Palisade comes equipped with a clever range of driver assistance systems that helped us stay safe and calm while the miles dragged on. Here’s what else we learned on our family vacation, and why the Palisade is a top contender for my wife’s next vehicle purchase.
Highway Driving Assist is excellent. It takes a lot of pain and fatigue out of super long highway driving, especially when you get into heavy traffic. The adaptive cruise control part of it works well, with just a few things I’d tweak if I could. You can choose the acceleration behavior settings when the car accelerates ahead of you, but I would like the fastest setting to be more aggressive. If the car in front of you pulls away quickly, the Palisade is responsive, but doesn’t match the lead car’s speed as aggressively as I do, and I found myself supplementing it occasionally with a little extra urgency from my right foot. The track-tracking feature is adept at following the curves of the highway, and it was the rare, sharper corner in the Pennsylvania mountains that forced me to use more steering effort than the car alone. The system won’t change lanes for you, but otherwise it’s one of the better advanced driver assistance systems I’ve used, based on my preferences.
The blind spot monitoring system is also excellent. The large side mirrors do give a good view of your surroundings, but this system takes all the guesswork out of changing lanes. You get a light on the dashboard and in the HUD if there is a car in your blind spot. Press the turn signal and it will beep if there is a car in your blind spot. The use of the turn signal also brings into the gauges a live video feed of the respective blind spot thanks to cameras located on the underside of the side mirrors. These are layers of safety and a foundation for confident driving. Not only is it great on multi-lane highways, but also in the city where a cyclist can sneak into your blind spot when making a turn.
On the highway, by the time the blind spot light went out, I was always far enough ahead, not only to continue safely, but also not to anger the driver I passed by cutting too close. I was still able to confirm by glancing at the dash, in the mirror, or over the shoulder to make sure it was clear, with the blind spot video feed providing the clearest picture. Being polite to other drivers has never been easier.
All that was missing to provide the ultimate view of the car’s surroundings would have been a digital camera for the rear-view mirror. We had the cargo area quite stocked with stuff, so while the large side mirrors gave a decent look behind me, especially if I leaned against it a bit, something like the rearview camera offered by SUVs like the Toyota RAV4 or Nissan Armada would provide the perfect view. have given. Even without a packed car, these still give a fuller, clearer, and wider view of what’s in the back.
What you see in the instrument panel when you signal left or right
The head-up display is easy on the eyes. It offers a lot of information, if you want it. You can choose to limit what it shows in the vehicle settings menu, but I liked knowing my speed, the speed limit, the status of my blind spots and the distance to my next turn on the navigation system without going down having to look under the windshield. The HUD image appears roughly even with the car’s nose in a focal point, a good distance forward without sacrificing size or clarity.
Final Thoughts: While it’s my wife considering putting a stockade in our driveway, she could see and hear a lot why this vehicle was so calm and confident on our ride. Her preferences can vary, especially when it comes to things like what’s displayed in the HUD or how the cruise control behaves. Fortunately, all of these features are super customizable in vehicle menus. I’m sure, even if she wants things to be configured differently, the Palisade can accommodate her.
If indeed we pull the trigger on a stockade. We will be sure to provide an update on our new super long term.