2019 Acura MDX vs. 2020 Hyundai Palisade

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

Your buying experience includes...

business_centerProfessional Staff
account_balanceSimple Financing
local_gas_stationFull Tank of Gas
local_car_washFree Car Wash

Safety

The MDX’s optional pre-crash front seatbelts will tighten automatically in the event the vehicle detects an impending crash, improving protection against injury significantly. The Palisade doesn’t offer pre-crash pretensioners.

Both the MDX and the Palisade have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact airbags, driver knee airbags, side-impact head airbags, front seatbelt pretensioners, front wheel drive, height adjustable front shoulder belts, plastic fuel tanks, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors and rear cross-path warning.

For its top level performance in all IIHS frontal, side, rear impact and roof-crush tests, its standard front crash prevention system, and its headlight’s “Acceptable” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the MDX the rating of “Top Pick” for 2018, a rating granted to only 104 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Palisade has not been tested, yet.

Reliability

The engines in the MDX have a single overhead cam for simplicity. The engine in the Palisade has dual overhead cams, which add to the number of moving parts and the complexity of the cylinder heads.

Engine

The MDX’s standard 3.5 SOHC V6 produces 5 lbs.-ft. more torque (267 vs. 262) than the Palisade’s 3.8 DOHC V6. The MDX Sport Hybrid’s standard 3.0 SOHC V6 hybrid produces 30 more horsepower (321 vs. 291) and 27 lbs.-ft. more torque (289 vs. 262) than the Palisade’s 3.8 DOHC V6.

Fuel Economy and Range

On the EPA test cycle the MDX gets better fuel mileage than the Palisade:

MPG

MDX

FWD

3.5 SOHC V6

20 city/27 hwy

AWD

Hybrid 3.0 SOHC V6

26 city/27 hwy

Palisade

FWD

3.8 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

AWD

3.8 DOHC V6

19 city/24 hwy

An engine control system that can shut down half of the engine’s cylinders helps improve the MDX’s fuel efficiency. The Palisade doesn’t offer a system that can shut down part of the engine.

Regenerative brakes improve the MDX Sport Hybrid’s fuel efficiency by converting inertia back into energy instead of wasting it. The Palisade doesn’t offer a regenerative braking system.

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the MDX’s engine automatically turns off when the vehicle is stopped, saving fuel and reducing pollution. The engine is automatically restarted when the driver gets ready to move again. (Start/Stop isn’t accounted in present EPA fuel mileage tests.) The Palisade doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

The MDX has a standard cap-less fueling system. The fuel filler is automatically opened when the fuel nozzle is inserted and automatically closed when it’s removed. This eliminates the need to unscrew and replace the cap and it reduces fuel evaporation, which causes pollution. The Palisade doesn’t offer a cap-less fueling system.

Transmission

A nine-speed automatic is standard on the Acura MDX, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only an eight-speed automatic is available for the Palisade.

The MDX offers an available sequential manual gearbox (SMG). With no clutch pedal to worry about and a fully automatic mode, an SMG is much more efficient than a conventional automatic but just as easy to drive. The Palisade doesn’t offer an SMG or a conventional manual transmission.

Tires and Wheels

For better traction, the MDX A-Spec’s tires are larger than the largest tires available on the Palisade (265/45R20 vs. 245/60R18).

The MDX A-Spec’s tires provide better handling because they have a lower 45 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Palisade’s optional 50 series tires.

The MDX has a standard easy tire fill system. When inflating the tires, the vehicle’s integrated tire pressure sensors keep track of the pressure as the tires fill and tell the driver when the tires are inflated to the proper pressure. The Palisade doesn’t offer vehicle monitored tire inflation.

Suspension and Handling

The MDX offers an available driver-adjustable suspension system. It allows the driver to choose between an extra-supple ride, reducing fatigue on long trips, or a sport setting, which allows maximum control for tricky roads or off-road. The Palisade’s suspension doesn’t offer adjustable shock absorbers.

The MDX has vehicle speed sensitive variable-assist power steering, for low-effort parking, better control at highway speeds and during hard cornering, and a better feel of the road. The Palisade doesn’t offer variable-assist power steering.

Chassis

The MDX uses computer-generated active noise cancellation to help remove annoying noise and vibration from the passenger compartment, especially at low frequencies. The Palisade doesn’t offer active noise cancellation.

Passenger Space

The rear step up height for the MDX is 2.1 inches lower than the Palisade (17.4” vs. 19.5”).

Cargo Capacity

The MDX’s cargo area provides more volume than the Palisade.

MDX

Palisade

Second Seat Folded

90.9 cubic feet

86.4 cubic feet

Servicing Ease

J.D. Power and Associates surveys of service recipients show that Acura service is better than Hyundai. J.D. Power ranks Acura 6th in service department satisfaction (above the industry average). With a 48% lower rating, Hyundai is ranked 22nd.

Ergonomics

The MDX’s front and rear power windows all open or close fully with one touch of the switches, making it more convenient at drive-up windows and toll booths, or when talking with someone outside the car. The Palisade’s rear power window switches have to be held the entire time to open or close them fully.

The MDX’s standard speed-sensitive wipers speed up when the vehicle does, so that the driver doesn’t have to continually adjust the speed of the wipers. The Palisade SE/SEL’s standard manually variable intermittent wipers have to be constantly adjusted.

The MDX offers optional automatic dimming rear and side view mirrors which automatically darken quickly when headlights shine on them, keeping following vehicles from blinding or distracting the driver. The Palisade offers an automatic rear view mirror, but its side mirrors don’t dim.

The MDX has a standard dual zone air conditioning allows the driver and front passenger to choose two completely different temperatures so people with different temperature preferences won’t have to compromise. This makes both the driver and front passenger as comfortable as possible. Dual zone air conditioning is only available on the Palisade SEL/Limited.

© 1991-2018 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved.

How much is your car worth?

Get the best value for your car from an Asbury dealership.

Featured Videos