Avenue Motors NJ Used
 Sales 973-319-8566
Service 973-313-5256
1453 Lawrence St Rahway, NJ 07065
Today 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
Open Today !
Sales: 9:00 AM - 8:00 PM
All Hours

Hyundai Palisade Sel vs. XRT


1. Specifications

Hyundai Palisade SEL comes with a 6-cylinder powertrain, while the XRT comes with a 4-cylinder turbocharged engine. The 6-cylinder Palisade SEL provides better acceleration and towing capacity, which is 5000 lbs compared to the 3500 lbs of the 4-cylinder XRT. Both models also have a standard front-wheel drive transfer and will also come with all-wheel drive, having the capability of a torque vectoring system. The torque vectoring system will allow both models to move power left or right for different driving conditions, delivering superior control to all four wheels at low and higher speeds for better overall performance. This system will come standard on the XRT when it used to be only a feature on higher trim Palisade models. With the 6-cylinder engine, the Palisade SEL has an estimated 19 MPG city and 26 MPG highway for a combined 22 MPG, while the XRT has an estimated 18 MPG city and 24 MPG highway for a combined 21 MPG. These gas mileage numbers do not show a major difference between the engine sizes and will make the decision tougher. The XRT does have a 5-gallon smaller fuel tank (18.8 gallons) than the SEL (18.8 gallons), so with the combined MPG, it will be stopping to refuel more often than the SEL on those long road trips.

1.1. Engine performance

The result is high performance in all conditions with high fuel efficiency and low emission levels. High fuel efficiency is also a result of using the 4-speed INVECS-II automatic transmission. The gear shift is determined by the computer according to road conditions and driving style and can even 'learn' the driver's style and adapt accordingly. The transmission can be changed from regular drive mode to sports mode. In sports mode, the transmission uses each gear ratio to a high transmission speed for sporty acceleration and even greater gear positioning.

With the 3.8L MIVEC engine, the Palisade is guaranteed to offer a different driving sensation from other SUVs. MIVEC is Mitsubishi's brand name for variable valve lift and timing electronic control system. The MIVEC V6 gives strong and smooth acceleration, on and off-road, high fuel efficiency, and low emissions. The MIVEC system changes the valve lift and timing according to engine revolutions and load, allowing the continuum to switch between high-performance cam profile with a high lift, duration, and timing of the intake valves, and a low-performance cam profile which has a low lift, duration, and timing of the intake valves.

Both the Palisade and XRT come with different engine performance for sure. The Palisade from Hyundai SUV comes with a 3.8-liter 6-cylinder GDI-V6 engine, while the standard XRT has a 4-cylinder 2.4-liter Honda CRV engine. Going for the top-of-the-range XRT, the Allegro comes with an upgraded Honda 2.4L ViTEC engine. If you don't mind fuel consumption and want an SUV with some poke, this XRT model is a good choice. The 2.4L ViTEC Allegro is a real wolf in sheep's clothing.

1.2. Fuel efficiency

The Hyundai Palisade uses 12.3L/100 km. On the other hand, the XRT uses 13.8L/100 km. Looking at the comparison, it is clear that the Palisade has better fuel efficiency compared to the XRT. With a 0.5L/100 km difference, the Palisade will definitely be more economical and efficient for running daily errands. This applies not only to driving within the city but also when driving on highways or long-distance journeys. The Palisade also has a larger fuel tank with a capacity of 71L compared to the XRT, which has 68L. A larger fuel tank usually translates to better mileage on a full tank. With already better fuel efficiency, the Palisade can travel much further distances compared to the XRT, and all this leads to saving more money in the long run. One of the phenomenal developments that the Palisade has is the Idle Stop and Go feature. This feature automatically turns off the engine when the car comes to a complete stop, such as traffic lights or intersections. The engine will then start once again automatically once the driver takes his foot off the brake. This feature can, of course, be manually turned off. The main purpose of this feature is to further improve fuel economy and to reduce tailpipe emissions during driving in the city. By reducing instances of the fuel being wasted during idling, this can considerably save money on petrol in the long run. This feature is not equipped in the XRT or the previous Hyundai models. This is a big plus point for the Palisade in terms of fuel efficiency.

1.3. Dimensions

The Hyundai Palisade SEL has a longer wheelbase and length than the XRT. This means that the Palisade could have a lot more rear legroom compared to the XRT, which is a good thing if you are a chauffeur-driven person. It also means that the Palisade could be slightly more stable at high speed and less prone to body roll due to the longer wheelbase. Width is similar for both cars, but the XRT has 10cm more height than the Palisade. This could mean that the XRT may have a more commanding driving position and potentially more headroom in the interior of the car compared to the Palisade. The downside to that would be a more top-heavy mass and lower fuel economy for the XRT. Tailgate opening is more for the XRT, which is useful but may be hard for a shorter person to reach the top of the tailgate. This won't be an issue for the Palisade. Overall, both cars' dimensions have their own pros and cons, but I believe the Palisade dimensions are more suited to normal everyday family life.

2. Features

Entertainment options Although some may prefer the standard AM/FM radio and CD player with MP3/WMA playback capability (Oh, you thought we'd make a joke about tuning the radio to an AM station, didn't you? Booyah.), our SE test model had the ability to get Sirius XM Satellite radio and Blue Link Connect Car System, which is complimentary for 3 years. Blue Link is something our group has used in another Hyundai vehicle, and this system has the OnStar system equivalent to the 40s and older generation. With radio still being the primary source of music output, Android Auto/Apple Carplay compatibility provided us with the options of music streaming with our phones or using an app like Spotify available for use in global countries and not just the United States. In addition to making the best possible selections in his music streaming in the various genres, Paul also used the audio mixing feature in the driver settings to combine sound from the front center and back speakers to work on a mix while parked in his driveway in New York and California.

Safety technologies Right from the start, all Palisades come standard with adaptive cruise control, lane keeping, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection, and driver attention warning, to name a few. These features are doodled with their very fine and complementing irony when the best way to upgrade to these features on XRT or emulate them is to purchase higher trim levels starting from the base model. Of course, higher trims on Palisade offer much more than the standard and include a smart safety feature where the blind spot cameras automatically come on if your turn signal is on.

Interior amenities Palisade offers an abundance of features in all areas, but when compared to XRT's most basic model, buying the base Palisade SEL still gets much more for the money. Besides alloy wheels, most of XRT's set of amenities start at higher trim levels. The almond cloth interior is a standard on the base Palisade SEL, but we drove a slightly loaded model with somewhat short of black Nappa Leather. Seating options include an 8-passenger bench layout with a 2nd row bench and 3-passenger 3rd row, but our test-driven SE with beige seats/plastic and the captain's chairs with center console combine for optimum comfort. All the features aren't going to fit in this one section, but let's just say the SEL primary model and our test SE had enough to have included 10 different images of features on the Hyundai site.

2.1. Interior amenities

The complete interior of the 2020 Hyundai Palisade SEL incorporates special features and amenities required when you are driving with your family and friends. A One-Touch 2nd row seat access to the 3rd row is quite simple so you don't have to remove child seats when you need to access the 3rd row. 2nd row captain's chairs with ventilated seating surfaces are also available. Ventilated, power adjusting driver's seat has an extendable seat cushion for under thigh support which is a unique and an intelligent idea and applicable for various heights. Quilted Nappa Leather surface seat covering is available solely for the SEL with Premium Package is a nice touch. Seats are astonishingly comfortable and refined. Dual automatic temperature control with an automatic de-fogging system is designed with clean air technology and cluster ionizer. This feature detects the level of humidity in the vehicle and can eliminate mist on the windshield more effectively than conventional automatic climate controls. There are plenty of cup holders and USB outlets throughout the interior to keep everyone's devices charged. 2nd row passengers get a hold of sun shades and there is a full-length sunroof providing natural light and unique skies view for all passengers. Superior room throughout means ample head and legroom for all occupants, even those in the 3rd row. If you did not opt for the 2nd row captain's chairs, the standard configuration of a 2nd row bench seat will allow for 3 passenger seating. The 2nd row bench has standard power folding/unfolding and it even works when the child safety lock is active. Step into the 8-passenger 3rd row is easy even with a child seat in the 2nd row with the standard power tilt-and-slide 2nd row seat. Third-row passengers won't feel forgotten either, with their own control panel for dual-zone climate controls and standard USB outlet measures to keep them comfortable throughout the ride. Then as for cargo, there is a generous amount of space behind the 3rd row for luggage. Power folding 3rd row seats are standard on all SEL models for easy conversion to a virtually flat cargo floor when the back row isn't being utilized. Step back to the tailgate with a hands-free Smart Power Liftgate is provided, it will open automatically when it senses the Proximity Key for more than 3 seconds, for convenient loading when your arms are full. Overall, these many thoughtful features and amenities will provide maximum comfort and convenience to everyone riding in the 2020 Hyundai Palisade SEL. [1]

2.2. Safety technologies

Both vehicles have rear cross-traffic collision warning. The Hyundai Palisade system uses sensors mounted in the rear bumpers to detect vehicles approaching from the left or right, while the XRT system most likely uses its pre-existing blind spot sensors for the same purpose (for instance, a 2019 Subaru Outback's rear cross-traffic collision warning uses this method). This will cause both vehicles to alarm the driver while in reverse if it detects a vehicle approaching. This feature is essential for alerting the driver to unexpected traffic and will prevent many potential collisions. A step up from rear cross-traffic collision warning is rear automatic emergency braking, a feature which is standard on Limited Palisades. While rear AEBS is also becoming available on luxury range vehicles such as the Lexus RX, it is still a rare feature and neither the XRT nor the rest of the Palisade range have this feature.

Unlike the XRT, the Hyundai Palisade has parking sensors standard from the SEL upwards, which are useful both for parking and for alerting the driver to obstacles in urban environments at low speeds. More importantly, both the Palisade's parking sensors and its rear-view camera beep loudly to alert the driver to pedestrians or traffic coming from either side, which is a feature not found in many cars and is potentially life-saving in preventing driveway accidents. A conventional safety feature shared by both vehicles is the ability to electronically lock the rear doors to prevent children from opening them from the inside, a feature which is useful for making sure that young children do not open the doors while the car is moving. This is in addition to child safety locks and windows on the upper rear doors which do not open. While such features are simple, they are potentially life-saving. Palisades also have an inbuilt conversation mirror so the driver can see both the rear passengers and the traffic behind.

Vehicle safety has come a long way since the days of lap belts and collapsible steering columns. Modern cars, like the Hyundai Palisade SEL and XRT, are often equipped with a whole range of safety technologies, all of which have slightly different features, functions, and names. However, the overall purpose of many of these technologies is to help make sure the driver avoids accidents. Although many of these technologies are still considered to be in their infancy, and as such are not necessarily guaranteed to actually reduce accidents or indeed be reliable themselves, advances in vehicle safety are still very promising.

2.3. Entertainment options

7.3. Rear Seat Entertainment The Passport has an advantage in this area, featuring a 115V power outlet, 3 USB ports, one HDMI port, and a standard 8-inch display. Only the PR-EXL and Elite trims have an available rear seat entertainment system. In comparison, the Palisade offers a 115V power outlet, two USB ports, and shares the same HDMI and 8-inch display. Only the higher SEL and Limited trims are eligible for the rear seat entertainment.

7.2. Cabin Talk and Quiet Mode The Palisade has an intercom system that allows the driver to communicate through the speakers to all passengers, which is a convenient option to keep from turning around to talk to passengers. It also has a quiet mode, which will mute the rear speakers to keep sleeping children undisturbed. The Passport has a wireless phone charger and a mobile hotspot for internet access.

7. Entertainment Technology 7.1. Connectivity and Infotainment Both vehicles have a 7-inch display to control their infotainment system. However, the Palisade has a larger touch screen and it also offers a dual sunroof and a 12-speaker Harmon Kardon. The Passport has a larger touch screen and offers an 8-speaker system standard on their Sport model. The Elite and Touring trims come with a 10-speaker system.

2.4. Exterior design

The XRT is based on the Palisade, which means it won't disappoint you when it comes to space and luggage capacity. With a length of 196.1 inches and a width of 77.8 inches, this SUV shares the same overall dimensions as the Palisade. However, the design of the XRT is a bit too boxy. This may be due to Hyundai's initial intention of giving the Palisade a more appealing design. The bolder front end, grille, and headlights of the XRT are heavily inspired by Hyundai's larger SUV lineup, particularly the Hyundai Telluride. The only noticeable changes in the XRT are its rear end design and side skirt, which differentiate it from the Palisade. These changes aim to position the Palisade as a more luxurious SUV, while the XRT is marketed as an off-roader modification.

3. Pricing and trim levels

Pricing-wise, to upgrade from the base model SE to the SEL, you would be looking to spend an additional $2,650. Of course, the best value option is to look for an SEL with the convenience package. This will add door handles for the second and third rows where the XRT has, a power sunroof and sunshade, LED taillights, and an option to add on captain chairs for the second row. The MSRP for an SEL with the convenience package starts at $37,545. Heated second-row seats and a power-folding third row will be available upon additional options for both the base SEL and the convenience package SEL. All in all, the SEL is offering more value towards the price for features and options compared to the XRT that may be an upgrade from a base model at a competitor's dealership.

The Hyundai Palisade SEL MSRP starts at $34,595. Standard equipment at the SEL level would include, but not limited to: driver's power seat, heated front seats, premium interior trim, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, dual automatic temperature control, push-button start/keyless entry, proximity key with push-button start, auto up/down windows for the second row, 7-inch LCD cluster, and an 8-inch display audio system with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Based on that, you can see that Hyundai has this trim level that is jam-packed with features and creature comforts. This is a huge leap ahead for Hyundai who probably would have called it quits with their features in the past on an SEL level vehicle.

With the Hyundai Palisade SEL being compared to the XRT trim, there needs to be a little more explaining than the differences at the SEL level or at the top of the line for the XRT. This will encompass the features of the SEL package and then differentiate from there with the XRT.

3.1. Base trim

304 horsepower, an 8-speed automatic transmission, and three driver-selectable power modes are standard equipment on all Palisades. However, the base SE comes only with front-wheel drive. Add all-wheel drive, and the Palisade price increases by $1,700. The Palisade's base spec is actually quite good, as it includes 18-inch alloy wheels, automatic headlights, LED running lights and taillights, keyless entry, push-button start, rear privacy glass, a tilt-and-telescoping steering wheel, air conditioning at all three seating rows, 8-passenger seating, a one-touch sliding and folding second-row seat, a 60/40-split third-row seat, an 8-inch display, six USB ports, Android Auto, and Apple CarPlay smartphone integration, and 2.1-amp USB ports at all three rows. This version of the Palisade also includes a 7-passenger seating configuration with 2nd-row captain's chairs instead of the bench, a no-cost option that later becomes exclusive to the top-level Limited trim. Various advanced safety features are also standard, such as forward collision detection, front automatic braking, lane-keeping assistance, and a driver inattention monitor. A common misconception is that the SE is a fleet model only, destined for rental car companies and not for retail customers. Perhaps Hyundai is planning to release a fleet version at a later date, but initially, the SE will be available to anyone. However, the SE likely will be hard to find as customers willing to spend the additional $1,700 for all-wheel drive will be tempted to move up to a higher trim that includes it for less than that price difference. For this reason, we have explained pricing and features primarily in terms of the all-wheel drive SEL, which we believe provides the most bang for your buck in the Palisade lineup.

3.2. SEL trim

In addition to that, the new SEL trim is eligible for 4 different packages. By upgrading to the premium package or the convenience package, you can add some additional luxury and convenience features, and the safety package or the 8-passenger package are great options for buyers who are looking for more safety features or additional seating capacity. All of these packages are sure to add to the overall value of choosing an SEL model and will help to bridge the gap to the luxury-style features of the limited and new XRT trim levels.

The new SEL trim of the Palisade offers enhanced safety features and an all-wheel drive option. The drive package is what forces you to opt for an all-wheel drive model as it is only available as an add-on to the SEL's base front-wheel drive configuration. This package features dual-zone automatic temperature control, a 7" instrument cluster display, a premium door armrest, the second-row bench seating option to accommodate 8 passengers, and the all-wheel drive upgrade includes an 8-speed automatic transmission with shift-by-wire and HTRAC. All of that is quite a bit of extra bang for your buck considering the cost, which is another $1400 from the base FWD SEL to the AWD SEL with the drive package.

It's the trim level that no one really loves. The base trim of the new Palisade leaves a lot to be desired when it comes to features, and when you upgrade to the SEL, you're forced into some options packages that start to feel a little bit excessive. That being said, the SEL offers a lot of additional value to buyers when it comes to other aspects than just added features, and at only a slight increase in cost.

3.3. XRT trim

Design-wise, the XRT has a more rugged appearance and comes with roof side rails to provide buyers with the option of adding cross rails to easily mount items on top of the vehicle. As standard, the XRT comes with a larger and more durable cargo space with an all-weather cargo tray and a one-touch 2nd row seat for easy access into the third-row seating. The cargo tray comes standard with the SE, the bench seat option, and the second-row captain's chairs. The one-touch seat is not available on any other Palisade above the SE and is a very useful feature for vehicles with the bench seat that suits families with children. A new bumper applique located at the rear provides protection for vehicles using the cargo area for outdoor activities.

The XRT trim is exclusive for the Palisade lineup. It is the first time a Hyundai vehicle dons the XRT or terrain mode appearance. The XRT is based on the all-wheel drive 7 pax Palisade and looks to target a more adventurous buyer. While it does not provide any enhancement in the power or towing department, the XRT has several features that may entice buyers looking for an SUV that can handle more than the school run. The added hardware and features are backed by the ability to seat eight people with a bench seat and its price point. The Palisade XRT starts from $47,750 + $1,185 for freight compared to the current pricing of similar features on the standard AWD Palisade, which comes to $46,000 + $1,185 for freight.

4. Comparison and conclusion

The tested vehicles both are set strong in the mid to upper classes of SUVs at $40,000 and over, other than putting it at other defined classes due to both being highly equipped and coming with three-row seating. Neither vehicle comes with a moonroof, which is disappointing, but two feature a dual-panel sunroof. Unfortunately, only one vehicle has the top-end infotainment system with a 12.3-inch touchscreen, and that is the Palisade. It, though, comes down to the second-row seating and which is very easy to differentiate on which would rather have. The XRT offers a bench seat, allowing eight passengers to be seated and also to provide an exit to the third row from each side of the vehicle. This is what an actual SUV should be defined as. With that, the XRT has 8-passenger seating while the Palisade offers seven due to the second row having seating for three with two captain seats. This almost acts as if the Palisade is trying to steer in the direction of a large crossover compared to an SUV, but there are too many class three-row crossovers on the market. The second-row bench seat idea and the added seat for an extra passenger give the XRT a major edge for a family vehicle, and the second-row bench seat will even allow a friend of the kids to easily sneak into the third row.

4.1. Pros and cons

Hyundai Palisade SEL pros: cheaper, front-wheel drive, higher tech level. Hyundai Palisade SEL cons: smaller wheels, below-average cargo space. As the cheaper trim, the SEL, of course, has a lower starting MSRP. However, it also has savings at the pump because it is only offered in front-wheel drive, which eliminates the costly fuel inefficiency of driving full-time AWD. With the same 3.8L V6, SEL gets around the same performance as the XRT. SEL comes with a higher level of tech, offering a Driver Guidance Package* which includes a 10.25" screen, premium instrument panel, Highway Drive Assist, and Sirius XM traffic. All without needing to add it to a more expensive trim or having to purchase it with costly optional extras. The SEL also includes features like a dual-panel sunroof and embedded navigation, which are not available with the XRT package at any cost. However, the SEL does come with a few drawbacks. It has smaller standard 18" wheels compared to XRT's 20" dark finish wheels. Offering a Dual Sunroof package as an option, the SEL's larger default sunroof isn't even an option on the SEL. While the SEL has the same total interior volume as the XRT and seating for 8, it presents less cargo space, being below the category average. Overall, how this trim relates to the XRT is quite similar to how the base XLE relates to the XRT. Considered in the context of the full picture, the EXL is the slightly better value and investment. Therefore, we recommend the EXL over this cut for similar reasons as recommended for the XRT over XLE.

4.2. Overall verdict

It would have seemed to American consumers ten years ago that it would be outlandish to see Hyundai drawing fair comparisons to Toyota's luxury brand, Lexus. Hyundai has a history of offering value-rich vehicles with tremendous warranties. The value that could be found at a Lexus dealership was well known but at the cost of several thousand dollars. Toyota/Lexus' reputation for quality and durability actually seems to be under fire as of late. Hyundai seems to be following the Japanese automakers' prior successes with many consumers and gaining market share by offering a comparable product at a much cheaper price. It remains to be seen how Toyota's reputation for quality and resale value will stack up against Hyundai's new relentless push into the CUV market. Place these same two vehicles a few years down the road and it may be a very different story. Considering a significant price difference may also lead one to consider that a fully loaded Limited trim Palisade may be a bit closer to the XRT's price tier than we think. Given the contents of this comparison, it is our belief that the gap in price and value can be closed quite considerably when cross-shopping the two vehicles.


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