2020 Hyundai Palisade vs. 2019 Ford Flex

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/04

Both the Palisade and Flex have child safety locks to prevent children from opening the rear doors. The Palisade (except SE) offers optional power child safety locks, allowing the driver to activate and deactivate them from the driver's seat and to know when they're engaged. The Flex’s child locks have to be individually engaged at each rear door with a manual switch. The driver can’t know the status of the locks without opening the doors and checking them.

In the past twenty years hundreds of infants and young children have died after being left in vehicles, usually by accident. When turning the vehicle off, drivers of the Palisade are reminded to check the back seat if they opened the rear door before starting out. The Flex doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

The Palisade has standard Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist, which use forward mounted sensors to warn the driver of a possible collision ahead. If the driver doesn’t react and the system determines a collision is imminent, it automatically applies the brakes at full-force in order to reduce the force of the crash or avoid it altogether. The Flex offers an available collision warning system without the automated brake feature that would prevent or reduce the collision if the driver fails to react.

The Hyundai Palisade has Daytime Running Lights to help keep it more visible under all conditions. Canadian government studies show that driving with lights during the day reduces accidents by 11% by making vehicles more conspicuous. The Flex doesn’t offer Daytime Running Lights.

The Palisade’s lane departure warning system alerts a temporarily inattentive driver when the vehicle begins to leave its lane and gently nudges the vehicle back towards its lane. The Flex doesn’t offer a lane departure warning system.

The Palisade Limited has a standard Multi-view Camera System to allow the driver to see objects all around the vehicle on a screen. The Flex only offers a rear monitor and rear parking sensors that beep. That doesn’t help with obstacles to the front or sides.

The Palisade’s driver alert monitor detects an inattentive driver then sounds a warning and suggests a break. According to the NHTSA, drivers who fall asleep cause about 100,000 crashes and 1500 deaths a year. The Flex doesn’t offer a driver alert monitor.

Both the Palisade and the Flex have standard driver and passenger frontal airbags, front side-impact 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, rearview cameras, available all-wheel drive, blind spot warning systems and rear cross-path warning.

A significantly tougher test than their original offset frontal crash test, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety does 40 MPH small overlap frontal offset crash tests. In this test, where only 25% of the total width of the vehicle is struck, results indicate that the Hyundai Palisade is safer than the Flex:

Palisade

Flex

Overall Evaluation

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Restraints

GOOD

ACCEPTABLE

Head Neck Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Peak Head Forces

0 G’s

0 G’s

Steering Column Movement Rearward

0 cm

11 cm

Chest Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Hip & Thigh Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Femur Force R/L

1.2/1.4 kN

2.8/2.2 kN

Hip & Thigh Injury Risk R/L

0%/0%

0%/0%

Lower Leg Evaluation

GOOD

GOOD

Tibia index R/L

.38/.35

.53/.69

For its top level performance in IIHS driver and passenger-side small overlap frontal, moderate overlap frontal, side impact, roof strength and head restraint tests, its standard vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention system, with its optional vehicle-to-pedestrian front crash prevention system, and its available headlight’s “Good” rating, the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety grants the Palisade the rating of “Top Pick” for 2020, a rating granted to only 30 vehicles tested by the IIHS. The Flex is not a “Top Pick.”

Warranty

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The Palisade comes with a full 5-year/60,000-mile basic warranty, which covers the entire truck and includes 24-hour roadside assistance. The Flex’s 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty expires 2 years and 24,000 miles sooner.

Hyundai’s powertrain warranty covers the Palisade 5 years and 40,000 miles longer than Ford covers the Flex. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Flex ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Palisade’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Flex’s (7 vs. 5 years).

Hyundai pays for scheduled maintenance on the Palisade for 3 years and 30,000 miles. Hyundai will pay for oil changes, lubrication and any other required maintenance. Ford doesn’t pay scheduled maintenance for the Flex.

Reliability

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/04

To reliably start during all conditions and help handle large electrical loads, the Palisade has a standard 800-amp battery. The Flex’s 650-amp battery isn’t as powerful.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 Initial Quality Study of new car owners surveyed provide the statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are better in initial quality than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 12 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked fourth.

J.D. Power and Associates’ 2019 survey of the owners of three-year-old vehicles provides the long-term dependability statistics that show that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai 8th in reliability, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked 16th.

From surveys of all its subscribers, Consumer Reports’ December 2019 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 10 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/04

The Palisade’s 3.8 DOHC V6 produces 4 more horsepower (291 vs. 287) and 8 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 254) than the Flex’s standard 3.5 DOHC V6.

As tested in Consumer Reports the Hyundai Palisade is faster than the Ford Flex V6:

Palisade

Flex

Zero to 30 MPH

2.6 sec

3.2 sec

Zero to 60 MPH

7.1 sec

8.5 sec

45 to 65 MPH Passing

5.2 sec

5.8 sec

Quarter Mile

15.4 sec

16.5 sec

Speed in 1/4 Mile

94 MPH

88 MPH

Fuel Economy and Range

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On the EPA test cycle the Palisade 4x4 gets better fuel mileage than the Flex AWD with its standard engine (19 city/24 hwy vs. 16 city/22 hwy).

In heavy traffic or at stoplights the Palisade’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 Flex doesn’t offer an automatic engine start/stop system.

To lower fuel costs and make buying fuel easier, the Hyundai Palisade uses regular unleaded gasoline. The Flex Limited requires premium for maximum efficiency, which can cost 20 to 55 cents more per gallon.

Environmental Friendliness

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In its Green Vehicle Guide, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the Hyundai Palisade higher (5 out of 10) than the Ford Flex (3). This means the Palisade produces up to 16.5 pounds less smog-producing pollutants than the Flex every 15,000 miles.

Transmission

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An eight-speed automatic is standard on the Hyundai Palisade, for better acceleration and lower engine speed on the highway. Only a six-speed automatic is available for the Flex.

Brakes and Stopping

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For better stopping power the Palisade’s front brake rotors are larger than those on the Flex:

Palisade

Flex

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.8 inches

The Palisade stops much shorter than the Flex:

Palisade

Flex

70 to 0 MPH

177 feet

192 feet

Car and Driver

60 to 0 MPH

132 feet

144 feet

Consumer Reports

60 to 0 MPH (Wet)

137 feet

157 feet

Consumer Reports

Tires and Wheels

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/04

For better traction, the Palisade has larger tires than the Flex (245/60R18 vs. 235/60R18).

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Palisade has standard 18-inch wheels. Smaller 17-inch wheels are standard on the Flex SE.

Suspension and Handling

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The Palisade offers an optional automatic rear load leveling suspension to keep ride height level with a heavy load or when towing. The Flex doesn’t offer a load leveling suspension.

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Palisade is 1.8 inches wider in the front and 2.2 inches wider in the rear than on the Flex.

The Palisade Limited 4x4 handles at .81 G’s, while the Flex SEL AWD pulls only .78 G’s of cornering force in a Car and Driver skidpad test.

For better maneuverability, the Palisade’s turning circle is 2 feet tighter than the Flex’s (38.7 feet vs. 40.7 feet).

Chassis

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The Hyundai Palisade may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 350 pounds less than the Ford Flex.

The Palisade is 5.7 inches shorter than the Flex, making the Palisade easier to handle, maneuver and park in tight spaces.

The design of the Hyundai Palisade amounts to more than styling. The Palisade has an aerodynamic coefficient of drag of .33 Cd. That is lower than the Flex (.36) and many sports cars. A more efficient exterior helps keep the interior quieter and helps the Palisade get better fuel mileage.

Passenger Space

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The Palisade has standard seating for 8 passengers; the Flex can only carry 7.

The Palisade has 1.5 inches more front legroom, 2.6 inches more front hip room, 2.8 inches more front shoulder room, 2.7 inches more rear hip room, 2.7 inches more rear shoulder room, 2.6 inches more third row hip room and 4.4 inches more third row shoulder room than the Flex.

For enhanced passenger comfort on long trips the Palisade’s middle and third row seats recline. The Flex’s third row seats don’t recline.

Cargo Capacity

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

Palisade

Flex

Third Seat Folded

45.8 cubic feet

43.2 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

86.4 cubic feet

83.2 cubic feet

The Palisade’s cargo area is larger than the Flex’s in almost every dimension:

Palisade

Flex

Length to seat (3rd/2nd/1st)

20.8”/49”/82.5”

16.5”/47”/83.3”

Max Width

53.7”

46”

Min Width

43.4”

40.5”

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, the Palisade’s liftgate can be opened just by waiting momentarily behind the back bumper, leaving your hands completely free. The Flex doesn’t offer a hands-free gesture to open its liftgate, forcing you to put cargo down if your hands are full.

Towing

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The Palisade’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Flex’s (5000 vs. 2000 pounds).

Ergonomics

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/04

The Palisade Limited has a standard heads-up display that projects speed and other key instrumentation readouts in front of the driver’s line of sight, allowing drivers to view information without diverting their eyes from the road. The Flex doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

The Palisade’s power parking brake sets with one touch and releases with one touch. The Flex

Consumer Reports rated the Palisade’s headlight performance “Very Good,” a higher rating than the Flex’s headlights, which were rated “Good.”

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) conducts detailed tests on headlights for their range both straight ahead and in curves and to be certain they don’t exceed acceptable amounts of glare to oncoming drivers. The Palisade’s available headlights were rated “Good” by the IIHS, while the Flex’s headlights are rated “Marginal” to “Poor.”

While driving with high beams on, sensitive light sensors standard on the Palisade detect other vehicles which could be blinded and automatically switch to low beams. The Flex doesn’t offer automatic dimming high beams.

When the Palisade with available tilt-down mirrors is put in reverse, both rearview mirrors tilt from their original position. This gives the driver a better view of the curb during parallel parking maneuvers. Shifting out of reverse puts the mirrors into their original positions. The Flex’s mirrors don’t automatically adjust for backing.

Standard air conditioned seats in the front and second seat rows keep the Palisade Limited’s passengers comfortable and take the sting out of hot leather in summer. The Flex doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.

Recommendations

© 1999 - 2020 Advanta-STAR Automotive Research. All rights reserved. This vehicle comparison and all of the content in it are provided only by license from Advanta-STAR Automotive Research Corporation of America. If you are not a legally licensed user of this vehicle comparison, it is against federal law to access it, copy it, forward it or use it in any manner whatsoever. Any unauthorized use of this vehicle comparison is a violation of U.S. and international law and is punishable criminally and civilly. 6IUEX-0KENZ 45.55.47.189 2020/06/04

Consumer Reports® recommends the Hyundai Palisade, based on reliability, safety and performance. The Ford Flex isn't recommended.

The Hyundai Palisade outsold the Ford Flex by 17% during 2019.

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

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