2020 Hyundai Palisade vs. 2019 Ford Flex

Detailed Review, Specifications & Comparison

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Safety

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.

Warranty

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).

Reliability

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’ 2018 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 7 more problems per 100 vehicles, Ford is ranked fifth.

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 2018 Auto Issue reports that Hyundai vehicles are more reliable than Ford vehicles. Consumer Reports ranks Hyundai 8 places higher in reliability than Ford.

Engine

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.

Fuel Economy and Range

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

MPG

Palisade

FWD

3.8 DOHC V6

19 city/26 hwy

AWD

3.8 DOHC V6

19 city/24 hwy

Flex

FWD

3.5 DOHC V6

16 city/23 hwy

AWD

3.5 DOHC V6

16 city/22 hwy

3.5 turbo V6

15 city/21 hwy

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.

Transmission

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

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

Tires and Wheels

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

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.

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

Chassis

The Hyundai Palisade may be more efficient, handle and accelerate better because it weighs about 300 to 450 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

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

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”

Height

30.5”

40”

To make loading groceries and cargo easier when your hands are full, just waiting momentarily behind the back bumper can open the Palisade’s liftgate, 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

The Palisade’s standard towing capacity is much higher than the Flex’s (5000 vs. 2000 pounds). The Flex’s maximum towing capacity is only 4500 pounds.

Ergonomics

The Palisade Limited has a standard heads-up display that projects speed 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.

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.

Optional air-conditioned the front and second row seats keep the Palisade’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.

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

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