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Hyundai Palisade Se vs. Sel

1. Overview

The 2022 Palisade comes in four different trim levels: the Calligraphy, the Limited, the SEL, and the SE. This article will pertain to the latter two options. Both models are luxurious and have eye-catching designs, but the SEL offers a bit more than its SE counterpart. Starting with the exterior of the vehicle, the SE and SEL are quite similar as they share many exterior features. Both have 18-inch alloy wheels, heated side mirrors with integrated turn signals, and LED daytime running lights. LED headlights and taillights are also available on both models as well. Moving on to the color options, the SEL allows for a little more personalization with the inclusion of a few more color options that are not available on the SE. The SEL adds Sierra Burgundy and Steel Graphite to its color palette in addition to the colors available on the SE. Aside from the extra color options, both trims have the same exterior features. The price of the SEL and SE only differ by about a $2,000 MSRP, so depending on how important the extra color options are, the SEL may be worth the slight price increase if you're mostly concerned with personalization. Step into the interiors and you will see that both the SE and SEL offer identical interior dimensions and cargo space. Both models provide an extremely spacious and versatile cabin with standard eight-passenger seating with a bench in the second row. Opting for the second-row captain's chairs will provide seven-passenger seating with increased comfort for those in the second row. This option is available on both the SE and SEL but is an additional cost as it is found in the Convenience package, which is available for both trims. High-quality materials are found throughout both cabins. Coming standard on both trims are stain-resistant cloth seats, but leather is an available option on both trims as well. Dual front and rear climate controls and a rear seat quiet mode make for an extremely comfortable environment for all passengers. Both trims also have power driver's seats and 60/40 split fold-flat rear seats. With the interior features being essentially the same, the primary reason to opt for the SEL may be the additional convenience and premium features. Finally, both share the same drivetrain and engine and come standard with HTRAC AWD. That being said, only the SEL offers the Premium package, which gives the buyer an option for a moonroof and a second-row bench, making it a more affordable option for those in need of a seven-seater. All in all, you can't go wrong with either the SE or SEL, but it is worthwhile to take a look at the extras and determine if they are important for your lifestyle. [1][2][3]

1.1. Exterior Design

The Hyundai Palisade is a mid-size SUV model from Hyundai that made its debut in 2020. It holds up to 8 passengers depending on the configuration and features a powerful V6 engine. The Hyundai Palisade features a bold front-end design that incorporates eye-catching headlights and a grille with the Hyundai logo front and center. Subaru is one of the tamer brands in terms of styling, but the Palisade stands out enough. We definitely appreciate it more than the Subaru Ascent, whose front-end design is the definition of a snoozefest. Moving along the side of the vehicle towards the rear, its large proportions become noticeable. 18-inch alloy wheels come standard on the base SE model, and moving up to the SEL model grants 20-inch alloy wheels, giving it a sportier look. The SEL model also incorporates side-view mirrors with LED turn-signal indicators, roof rails, and a hands-free smart liftgate. LED tail lights are standard on all trims, as are four-wheel disc brakes and a single exhaust tip. Overall, the Hyundai Palisade has a modern and aggressive design that is sure to turn heads. Moving onto the Subaru Ascent, the overall design is tame and unoffensive. It certainly can't compare to the bold styling of the Palisade. Its rather vanilla design is safe and will likely be appealing to those who want an SUV that doesn't look too intimidating. LED headlights are standard on all trims, and like the Palisade, the Ascent also features LED tail lights. Lower trims feature 18-inch alloy wheels, and the top Touring trim features 20-inch alloy wheels. With the sole exception of the Touring trim, roof rails come standard on all trims and would certainly appeal to those who lead an active lifestyle. The main standout feature of the Ascent in terms of exterior styling is the Touring model's exclusive satin chrome finish on the door handles, mirrors, and front grille, and it also features second-row sunshades. It's clear that Subaru was going for a more refined look with the Ascent compared to its fellow SUVs. Although we would have to say it's a bit too subdued. [1]

1.2. Interior Features

There are some optional features available in the Palisade SEL, but those optional features are also available in the Palisade SE. Both of these models are armed with climate control, a 6-way adjustable driver seat, 2nd row manual air conditioning control with air filter, 2nd and 3rd row USB outlets, underfloor storage area, and tilt and telescopic steering wheel. This is a great idea from Hyundai to apply those features as the standard features for these cars. Usually, other automakers only provide those features as optional features. But, there is still something missing compared with other Hyundai car series. Both of these cars have no button or lever on the 2nd row seats to slide and get easy access to the 3rd row seats and release the seat for easy entry for the passengers to the 3rd row like the Hyundai Grand Starex. This is important somehow. But the good news is, Hyundai provides this feature in the highest level of these cars that use the 2nd row captain chairs.

Roominess is one of the main concerns every time people are considering an SUV. In this area, both the Hyundai Palisade SE and Palisade SEL do not differ very much. The only difference you could find is that the Palisade SE is capable of carrying 8 passengers with the application of a 2nd row bench seat, whereas the Palisade SEL is capable of carrying 7 passengers only for the same reason.

1.3. Performance and Engine Specifications

Engine options are different and thus represent a significant difference between the models. The SE comes standard with the front-wheel drive train and houses a 3.8L V6 which produces 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque across a broad range of rpm's and Ford has pinned 18 city / 25 highway. This is the only engine available for the Palisade SE. The SEL model also houses a 3.8L V6 engine, as the only other available power train for the Palisade, producing the same 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. However, this is where the similarities end, as Ford specifies an EPA for the FWD option to be at 19 city / 26 highway, a very subtle increase from the SE. The SEL, however, also offers the option of equipping all-wheel drive. An SUV designed with more capabilities in mind, the all-wheel drive option provides a unique driving experience for those who need more traction on the road, or perhaps take their SUV in areas beyond normal concrete roads. It even offers a locking function for improved point-to-point torque and traction off-road, as well as Hillstart Assist Control and Downhill Brake Control. This function is available on both the SE and SEL, but the all-wheel drive option can only be had on the SEL. The AWD SEL offers a 19 city / 24 highway EPA, using regular fuel. It maintains the same top-end features compared to the FWD SEL.

2. Safety and Technology

For the people often embarking on road trips with children on board, there's a feature called Rear Occupant Alert. This was generated taking into consideration how many deaths occur per year due to children being left in vehicles on hot days. The system detects when a child or pet has been left in the back seat and will alert the driver by honking the horn, flashing the lights, and sending a text message to the driver's smartphone. This system is particularly useful for those with baby brain, multiple kids, or when doing school drop-offs when talks of which exit to take before realizing the children are still in the car occur often. In-built window shades would be an added bonus for this system to prevent children from purposefully or accidentally disabling the alert system. Windscreen shades are designed to prevent the alert system from sending off false alarms because the in-cabin motion sensors may detect movement from the rear seats when it's actually the windscreen sun visors being repositioned. There is the option to disable the Rear Occupant Alert system if it isn't required for a certain trip. This system is very well thought out and an excellent solution to a very high-risk scenario. [4]

Hyundai Palisade SE offers the people adaptive cruise control with the Stop and Go technology. This feature works in association with Hyundai's HDA (Highway Driving Assist) and Lane Following Assist system to keep the vehicle centered in its lane on a constant speed set by the driver.

2.1. Advanced Safety Features

The SE and SEL use FWD, but their AWD systems are notable for being vehicle-preference on the road and traction-based off the road. We think the value lies in the midrange SEL, which takes the features from the SE's Convenience and Premium packages and adds paddle shifters, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, a blind-spot monitor, and rear cross-traffic alert. This is also the trim at which Hyundai's intriguing new HTRAC Independent Control will be available, along with a terrain mode selector. HTRAC aims to offer automatic torque distribution in the axle and to individual wheels, and in tandem with the different drive modes, it's an effort to bolster the Palisade's capability and all-weather performance. These features are also available on the Limited, but the price premium over the SEL is rather high. A noteworthy safety feature that is optional on the SE and SEL and included with the Limited's Second-Row Captain's Chairs package is the Rear Occupant Alert. This unusual and potentially lifesaving system uses door logic and an ultrasonic motion sensor to determine whether and when children or pets are left in the rear seats. Should the driver exit and lock the vehicle, the horn will honk and the lights will flash, while a Blue Link alert will be sent to the owner's smartphone via the Hyundai's available Connected Services. This feature should help prevent incidents of clouded judgment that result in vehicular hyperthermia. All three trims come with Hyundai's suite of SmartSense driver aids, and chief among them is the adaptive cruise control, which incorporates stop-and-go functionality and is designed to work in concert with highly accurate machine learning based on AI technology. The Lane Following Assist should also be useful, as it's designed to keep the vehicle centered between lanes, and the SEL and Limited add an additional camera-based feature in the Highway Drive Assist, which is designed to maintain a set distance from the car ahead and provide additional steering assist.

2.2. Infotainment System

The sound system of a car serves as a crucial factor to many potential buyers. Both the SE and the SEL come standard with AM/FM/HD Radio/SiriusXM Audio System with 6 speakers. Although not the extreme in audio quality, the 6 speakers will provide plenty of audio entertainment for the average listener. The SE has a 7" display while the SEL has the largest multimedia display of 10.25 inches. The SEL also features a 2nd row bench seat which allows seating for 8, and comes standard with the HTRAC All Wheel Drive while the SE version has an 8 seat capacity with FWD standard. The SEL AWD model has an option to add a Premium Package which includes the convenience of a 2nd row bench seating at no additional cost. This infotainment system upgrade pushes those considering the SEL to potentially make the slight jump in price to the next trim but offers another possible significant benefit for large families. Finally, with the SEL, you have access to a number of special features to improve the life of your driver and front passenger. These include an 8-way power adjustable driver's seat with 4-way lumbar support and heated front seats. This will serve as a huge benefit for those often taking long family trips in the vehicle. At the top of the line with the SEL trim, those that want a bit of luxury and convenience behind the wheel will be attracted by these features.

2.3. Connectivity Options

The SEL trim is where things start to get relatively interesting. With the addition of a $1600 convenience package, buyers can upgrade their audio system to a 12-speaker premium sound system complete with a 3-month trial for SiriusXM Radio. The real treat, though, is the addition of Hyundai's new HTRAC AWD system. AWD itself is generally not viewed as a technology feature, but the new HTRAC system pushes the boundaries of what has been traditionally offered in the automotive market. In normal, sport, and smart modes, this system provides variable torque between the front and rear wheels to tackle a multitude of different terrains and weather conditions. Through an enhanced traction off-road setting, this system can actively distribute power to each individual wheel depending on the conditions. With Hyundai's goal of ultimately being able to compete with the luxury automotive market, HTRAC is definitely a step in the right direction.

Hyundai has become world renowned for its efforts in offering consumers plentiful amounts of technology within its vehicles. Up to this point, the Palisade incorporates many of the tech features we've seen in other Hyundai products, but with a few stark add-ons. In the case of the usual phone integration systems with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, they're now paired with a feature that allows up to two devices to connect simultaneously. This means the driver and passengers can switch between the devices to control the media displayed on the screen - no more getting car sick from trying to look down at the phone!

3. Comfort and Convenience

Se model's seat 8 passengers with 2nd and 3rd row bench while Sel model only seat 7 with 2nd row Captain Chair. In the term of comfort, Sel model has a little bit upper hand. Its because, middle passenger can be recline slightly backwards, separated with cup holder in the middle console. Captain chair also has armrest on both side. This is something you wont get when you opt for Se model. Both model has option for putting 2nd row bench or Captain chair based on your preference. This alone is already become a huge advantage for Sel model to be chosen. Both Se and Sel has manual 2nd and 3rd row with Dual Level Load Floor. Power folding and unfolding is not available in this trim. Both Se and Sel has 3-zone climate control system with separate 2nd and 3rd row control. But Sel model has added feature with rear seat Ventilation, up until now, this feature is not available in the other variant. This is a fancy feature to have for increasing rear occupant comfort. And to emphasize this, Sel model has tilt control and sunshade for the 2nd row occupant. This will add more comfort level in Sel model compared to Se.

3.1. Seating Capacity and Configuration

We must point out that in crash testing conducted through the United States government, the Palisade earned a four-celebrity frontal effect rating for the front passenger's side and a marginally lowingly four-megastar moderate overlap rating for driver and passenger. In contrast, the mechanically similar Kia Telluride scored full-rate across all crash simulations, suggesting that Hyundai may be able to make improvements to the Palisade's structure with variety enhancements in the coming model years. Be positive to check the release dates on our website for the latest information on this or another topic.

Tucked in between the tool for the motive force and the front passenger, there's a smaller seat that can readily accommodate an individual from a slim build and for journeys of limited duration. Unfortunately in most models the second-row center is a mere suggestion in theory, its viability compromised with the aid of a fixed console that's wrapped round a low-set and considerably askew change lever for the motive force (see under). This configuration prohibits centre-riders from having direct get entry to to the second one-row weather controls, which is a feature we recognize inside the topmost Calligraphy trim degree. Dual-pane sunroof availability may differ by place and/or model, so check with your nearby dealership for specific info.

The Hyundai Palisade boasts 3-passenger rows. SE models give the solution of a second-row bench chair for the 8-seat capacity, or simply a pair of vessel chairs at no additional cost. SELs arrive solely with the 8-passenger configuration, except a factory-attached choice bundle that swaps the vessel chairs and diminishes capacity to 7. We hardly detect a difference between the cloth second-row bench chairs in the SE and the cloth second-row vessel chairs in the SEL, so comfort ranges have to be equal regardless of configuration.

3.2. Climate Control System

The climate control system on the SE offers manual dual zone front air conditioning, separate driver/front passenger controls, automatic air conditioning, and rear manual air conditioning. There are 6 speakers on the SE. As for the SEL, they took things up a notch. The SEL is equipped with a rear window wiper, it has 7 speakers, and the climate controls were upgraded to have tri-zone automatic temperature control. Now comparing the two different climate control systems on the Palisade, they have many similarities. Both models offer heated front seats, driver seat power adjustable lumbar support, and a 2nd row in this case bench seat to match the frame of the vehicle. With the dual zone on the SE contrasting with the tri-zone on the SEL, both models offer air conditioning controls for front and rear. The climate control system for the Palisade spans 3 rows, so it is beneficial to have air conditioning controls for the rear of the vehicle for both SE and SEL purposes. There are very few differences, and it comes on account of the tri-zone automatic air conditioning on the SEL, which can make a change of $1000 if preferred.

3.3. Storage and Cargo Space

Hyundai Palisade SE offers adequate cargo space. Behind the third-row seats, the vehicle offers 18.0 cubic feet of cargo space. Lying in between the second-row seatbacks and the floor is a reversible cargo tray. One side is carpeted and the other is a plastic, easy to clean surface. Both the SE and the SEL come standard with the manual folding second-row seats, which is definitely better than expected for these models' prices. Folding the second-row seats entirely to create a flat surface for the cargo area increases cargo capacity to 45.8 cubic feet. Replacing the base SE's second-row bench seat with a set of captain's chairs decreases cargo space. The SEL offers a slight increase in cargo space. Behind the third-row seats, the vehicle offers 18.0 cubic feet of cargo space. Like the SE, folding the second-row seats entirely to create a flat surface for the cargo area increases cargo capacity to 45.8 cubic feet. But in addition to this space, the vehicle also offers a varied amount of underfloor storage beneath the cargo area. Under the floor mat lies a storage bin; on the driver's side it is only 7 inches deep but on the passenger's side it is 5 inches deep and runs the full length of the underfloor area. This is a unique and unexpected feature that is not offered in the base model and opens up a new approach to cargo area segmentation and organization for automobiles.

3.4. Keyless Entry and Start

In the SE, you get keyless entry and go, with a pushbutton start, meaning you can leave the key in your pocket. The SEL, and all other 2019 Palisades costlier than it, has Hyundai's Smart Key, using a key fob. On a SEL, when you approach the vehicle, the sideview mirrors illuminate when the fob is within a few feet of the front door, and the vehicle senses it, the mirrors and cabin light up with a Palisade logo. You will find this feature quite convenient when searching for the Palisade in a crowded parking lot, and an illuminated cabin assists entry. Additionally, the mirrors must be manually folded on the SE, with the SEL once again automating the task as you lock and exit the vehicle. Both of these features would be quite beneficial when parking on a tight street in a crowded urban area or in a garage with minimal clearance. Finally, at the rear of the vehicle the SEL has a hands-free liftgate that the SE misses.

4. Pricing and Options

The 2020 Hyundai Palisade in SE and SEL trims start at $31,550 and $33,500 respectively. This is an attractive difference considering the marginal price increase buys more features and amenities. Both offer all-wheel drive for a $1,700 increase in price. In San Diego, where we attended the media drive, this was not a selectable feature on the configurator. We asked, and Hyundai replied that selecting AWD was a regional option, while other regions will have it as a typical upgrade just like checking a box. Moving from SE to SEL the Convenience Package is an inexpensive addition, only costing $1300 but the inclusion of this package will force the feature AWD to become a $1,700 upgrade as this is only available on AWD models. The SEL offers three possible packages that the SE does not offer; Premium, Premium 2, and Drive Guidance. Optional packages for the SE consist of the $1400 8-passenger seating with 2nd row bench and $160 carpeted floor mats. With a very inexpensive package and a separate accessory, the optional selections for the SE are a bit limited. Upgrading to the SEL drivers have an opportunity to add far more options. The Convenience Package is the same price as above but is now required for the feature of AWD. The first package available exclusively on SEL models is the Premium Package. Starting at only $2,200 this package is a massive value considering everything included, here's what is offered. Step up to the Premium 2 Package and the price jumps to $2,400 but there's still more value considering the final package only gives features regarding in-car navigation and a larger screen size for $1250.

4.1. Base Price and Trim Levels

Hyundai’s newest full-size SUV is the Hyundai Palisade, which was released in mid-2019. The Palisade immediately was recognized as a great value for a newly released full-size SUV with a starting price of just $32,525. This makes the Palisade an immediate competitor with well-established SUVs in this class such as the Ford Explorer, Honda Pilot, and the Toyota Highlander. The Palisade actually comes in 4 different trim levels starting with the SE and ending with the Palisade Limited. The SE comes with an MSRP of $32,525, the SEL is $34,875, the SEL Plus is $37,275, and the Limited is $45,125. This is key as since the Palisade is a new SUV to the market if the consumer buys the base level trim the value will be maintained in comparison to the competitors until the next car purchase from the consumer. Other newly released cars if bought in their base level trim will not retain as much value as a two-year-old car in comparison to the other competitors in the class. An example of this would be the Jeep Gladiator when compared to the Jeep Wrangler, the Gladiator will hold more value since it is a variant of the Wrangler. The different trim levels provide the consumer with a great deal of options to select a Palisade with a price point that is comfortable for the consumer, and here is a breakdown of the different prices between the trims with the different features. The SE being the base trim comes with an array of standard features in addition to the features that come with all the different trims of the Palisade. All trims of the Palisade come with an 8-speed automatic transmission in addition to a 3.8L V6 engine with GDI (Gasoline Direct Injection) also with all the trims the Palisade comes in either FWD and the vehicle is also available of an HTRAC AWD system. All trims have an 18.2 fuel tank capacity and get an EPA estimated range of 19 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. All the Palisade trims also have LED headlights that are equipped with LED daytime running lights and automatic headlight control, and the wheels are equipped with a TPMS (Tire Pressure Monitoring System) with individual tire indicator. All the Palisade trims come with user setup-able door handle welcome lights and rear privacy glass, the vehicle also has a perimeter approach lighting and also is equipped with various features that ensure that the vehicle does not tilt or roll away when parked or during certain days as the vehicle comes with an electronic parking brake with automatic vehicle hold and also a hill start assist control. All trims of the Palisade come with varied driver assistance systems such as adaptive cruise control, lane following and lane keeping assistance, rear view monitor in addition to rear cross traffic collision avoidance assist with warning and also forward collision and avoidance assist with pedestrian detection. All trims of the Palisade have user customizable mode of driving which is labeled as the "Typical Driver Mode Select" and the vehicle also comes with one touch 2nd row seat access to get to the 3rd row with ease and a rear occupant alert system to ensure no one is left in the vehicle. All trims of the Palisade are 8 seaters with 2nd and 3rd row bench seats and also come with a standard 7-inch display audio system in addition to Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capabilities. All the Palisade trims have a rear view monitor with parking guidance in addition to a rear seat quiet mode for the audio system and auto climate control with several zones and also a 2nd row and 3rd row air condition with vents coming from the console. Now moving onto the SE trim, additional features are noted with an asterisk.

4.2. Optional Packages and Upgrades

No optional packages or upgrades are available for Hyundai Palisade SE. Coming in at $2000 more, the only upgrade available for the SEL trim level is all-wheel drive. This is a significantly low price for a trim level upgrade compared to most vehicles, which usually have prices higher than this for every optional feature combined. With an extra $2000 attached, it gives all-wheel drive a sort of unofficial base price on the vehicle, though this is not necessarily a bad thing. Also, opting for AWD includes adding a windshield wiper de-icer as well as a rear skid plate, two additional features in their own right. These just so happen to be bundled with the all-wheel drive upgrade. As said before, no pricing is available yet on the convenience and premium package, but looking into these options are key in determining if the $4000 difference is truly worth it from the standard features of the SE. Since Ultimate is not the top for Palisade, it is also important to take note what additional represents there may be in the future in terms of priced options or just higher trim levels in general. Only time will tell.

4.3. Warranty and Maintenance

Warranty is where the differences between SE and SEL are greatest. SE gets 5 years and 60,000 miles of comprehensive coverage and 10 years and 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage. That is hands down the best warranty in the industry and shows Hyundai's confidence in its vehicles. SEL only gets the standard 5 years and 60,000 miles of comprehensive coverage and 10 years and 100,000 miles of powertrain coverage. Hyundai offers 3 years or 36,000 miles of complimentary maintenance with any new vehicle. This is the same for both the SE and SEL. Winner: SE. The longer warranty is a huge plus. Although this may not seem important at first glance, vehicles are becoming more and more advanced. The costs of repairing these complex machines are rising and having that extra coverage could make a huge difference in the long run.


[1] D. POSTERS, "E200," namwheels.com, . namwheels.com


[3] J. I. Kavindi, "ENTERTAINMENT, SOCIAL & ECONOMIC IMPACT ON THE WORLD GIVEN BY FAMOUS GLOBAL ICONS 'BTS'," researchgate.net, . researchgate.net

[4] T. L. Glenn, E. Glenn, and L. Neurauter, "Pediatric Vehicular Heatstroke: Evaluation of Preventative Technologies," National Surface Transportation, 2021. vt.edu

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