Evaluating the Hyundai Palisade from the Cadillac XT6 crossover level
The Hyundai Palisade and the Cadillac XT6 crossovers would hardly have met in a comparative test in the pre-covid period. But the shortage and dealer greed made direct competitors out of two seemingly disjoint models. When sellers of American cars still show restraint, throwing small amounts to the retail price, the overpayment in Hyundai dealerships is sometimes impressive. Although the Palisade got into the premium segment accidentally, it is able to put the XT6 on the spot in some ways.
Palisade is a neighborhood in Los Angeles, not a wooden fence as you may think. The Korean is shorter than the Cadillac by seven centimeters, but more spacious. On the driver’s seat adjusted to my 5’11, I sit with almost twice as much space at my knees — 130 mm vs 70. The feet are also more comfortable, although the gap between my head and the ceiling is smaller than in the Caddy — 80 mm vs 100. The Hyundai has larger rear door openings, a more comfortable driving position and a more welcoming backseat: softer, better suited for three passengers plus has large ranges of lengthwise and backrest angle adjustments.
The rear seat moves further away, making access to the third row easier. It is more spacious at the back in all directions. I don’t touch the ceiling upholstery with my head. If I move the second row seat a little away, there will be a small additional space for my legs. You can do the same in the Cadillac, but you will have to move the middle row so much that it will be uncomfortable for an adult. There is less available space for a head and feet; the seat back is fixed tightly.
In the Cadillac interior, the emphasis is on the trim quality. Seats, front and door panels are upholstered in soft leather. Natural wood, alcantara on the ceiling, the smell of an expensive thing… However, the Cadillac upsets us with a climate control panel’s backlash and a sticky curtain of cup holders between the front seats. The Hyundai is better assembled, the textures are more uniform. But the thought that you need to pay a tidy little sum for such a plastic interior makes me sad.
Both are not perfect in motion, but the Cadillac is more thoroughbred. It has better sound insulation, which is especially noticeable on highways, and smooth running. The US crossover smoothes fine ripples of asphalt well; adaptive shock absorbers work noticeably softer on compression. And on the road with a lot of sloppy patches, the XT6 does great. Same can’t be said for the Palisade: when the road charges potholes with bursts, the Hyundai begins to dance terribly with its heavy wheels and endow passengers with a hail of pokes.
But the Korean SUV less often strains with vibrations of unsprung masses, despite the heavy 20-inch wheels, like on the Cadillac. Of course, when they fall into a large pothole, the Palisade has a hard time, but it is even more difficult for the Cadillac — the suspension reacts rigidly at the bottom-out phase, and a shock wave runs through the car body. The XT6 doesn’t go out, but jumps off even from small speed bumps – and lands roughly.
It’s not particularly sophisticated or well-steerable. The Cadillac is staid: it responds to steering commands in a detached manner and performs them vaguely, and turns in stages on high-speed superelevations – first the front part changes course, and then the rear one does, as if an articulated bus. The XT6 also slows down strangely. The pedal effort without freewheeling is so great that not all men are comfortable. And with each braking, the feeling that the brakes have “run out” doesn’t leave you. Although the overheating resistance persists even when driving actively.
Therefore, you perceive the 200-hp turbo engine 2.0 as a blessing — it doesn’t provoke stupidity and, as expected, turns sour on the highway. It shows not the best figures: in the best attempt with one person and half a tank, it takes 9.8 seconds to accelerate to 60 mph. However, in the urban crowd, the low-gear torque and the ingenuity of the nine-speed automatic gearbox is enough to start dynamically and quickly maneuver in the flow. You slightly opened the throttle — the box changed down, you pressed harder — it jumped down a few gears. Fast and seamless.
The naturally aspirated six-cylinder engine of the Palisade could use such a companion, but the eight-range automatic transmission is configured philosophically there. “Jack-rabbit start” is accompanied by a hitch, shifts to lower gears occur with a delay. But the V6 needs to be kept in good shape – decent traction is felt only by 4500-5000 rpm. That’s where the Palisade pleases not only with a beautiful rumble, but also with powerful dynamics. With the same input the Cadillac has, a spurt up to 60 mph takes 8.5 seconds.
The Hyundai is also more agile on winding sections. It is more willing to enter the arc, stays on it better and corrects more accurately. It rolls and pitches less and generally rides more collected. But there are also traditional problems for Korean cars: uninformative steering obscured by viscous force, and the brakes give up after a couple of intense slowdowns. Although the drive is clearly better configured than on the Cadillac, and it is more convenient to brake in normal situations.
The Palisade is an excellent choice within the recommended retail price. A comfortable and spacious crossover with a full-fledged third row, a large practical trunk, a high-end V6 engine, good dynamics and equipment. But when it comes to larger amounts, the demand becomes stricter. Where dealer margins lead, the Hyundai suffers not only from the lack of rich interior trim. Far from being cramped, the Cadillac offers both higher driving comfort and integrity of nature. A good-natured character and a relaxed mood are captivating even with a puny motor and overly demanding brakes.
This is a translation. You can read the original here: https://www.drive.ru/test-drive/cadillac/hyundai/60d33856f5bf930983cc1a67.html