2020 Hyundai Palisade vs. 2019 Toyota Highlander

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 Highlander doesn’t offer a back seat reminder.

Compared to metal, the Palisade’s plastic fuel tank can withstand harder, more intrusive impacts without leaking; this decreases the possibility of fire. The Toyota Highlander has a metal gas tank.

Both the Palisade and the Highlander 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, four-wheel antilock brakes, traction control, electronic stability systems to prevent skidding, crash mitigating brakes, daytime running lights, lane departure warning systems, rearview cameras, driver alert monitors, available all wheel drive, blind spot warning systems, around view monitors 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 Highlander’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 Toyota covers the Highlander. Any repair needed on the engine, transmission, axles, joints or driveshafts is fully covered for 10 years or 100,000 miles. Coverage on the Highlander ends after only 5 years or 60,000 miles.

The Palisade’s corrosion warranty is 2 years longer than the Highlander’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 Highlander’s 604-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 Toyota vehicles. J.D. Power ranks Hyundai third in initial quality, above the industry average. With 22 more problems per 100 vehicles, Toyota is ranked 17th, below the industry average.

Engine

The Palisade’s 3.8 DOHC V6 produces 106 more horsepower (291 vs. 185) and 78 lbs.-ft. more torque (262 vs. 184) than the Highlander’s standard 2.7 DOHC 4 cyl.

Brakes and Stopping

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

Palisade

Highlander

Front Rotors

13.4 inches

12.9 inches

Tires and Wheels

The Palisade’s optional tires provide better handling because they have a lower 50 series profile (height to width ratio) that provides a stiffer sidewall than the Highlander SE/Limited/Platinum’s 55 series tires.

For better ride, handling and brake cooling the Palisade offers optional 20-inch wheels. The Highlander’s largest wheels are only 19-inches.

Suspension and Handling

The Palisade has standard front and rear gas-charged shocks for better control over choppy roads. The Highlander’s suspension doesn’t offer gas-charged shocks.

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

For a smoother ride and more stable handling, the Palisade’s wheelbase is 4.4 inches longer than on the Highlander (114.2 inches vs. 109.8 inches).

For better handling and stability, the track (width between the wheels) on the Palisade is 2.8 inches wider in the front and 3.4 inches wider in the rear than on the Highlander.

Chassis

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 Highlander (.33 to .34) 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 .9 inches more front hip room, 1.9 inches more front shoulder room, .2 inches more rear headroom, 4 inches more rear legroom, .6 inches more rear hip room, 1.2 inches more rear shoulder room, 1.9 inches more third row headroom, 3.7 inches more third row legroom and .2 inches more third row shoulder room than the Highlander.

The front step up height for the Palisade is 1.3 inches lower than the Highlander (18” vs. 19.3”).

Cargo Capacity

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

Palisade

Highlander

Behind Third Seat

18 cubic feet

13.8 cubic feet

Third Seat Folded

45.8 cubic feet

42.3 cubic feet

Second Seat Folded

86.4 cubic feet

83.7 cubic feet

Pressing a switch automatically lowers the Palisade’s second and third row seats, to make changing between passengers and cargo easier. The Highlander doesn’t offer automatic folding seats.

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 Highlander 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 Highlander’s (5000 vs. 1500 pounds).

Ergonomics

The Palisade SEL/Limited has a standard remote vehicle starting system, so the vehicle can be started from inside the driver's house. This allows the driver to comfortably warm up the engine before going out to the vehicle. The climate system will also automatically heat or cool the interior. The Highlander doesn’t offer a remote starting system.

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 Highlander doesn’t offer a heads-up display.

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 Highlander doesn’t offer air-conditioned seats for the second row.

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

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