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Hyundai Palisade XRT vs. Sel


1. Overview

Moving onto the XRT, you're left with a smile on your face. The XRT has a more rugged-looking design compared to the SEL. The XRT's Premium grille has a dark chrome patterning and it comes with the standard front skid plate. The XRT's side profile will stand out specifically on its different set of wheels. The XRT comes with a special edition 18" dark wheels which can definitely take you on an outdoor adventure. It only comes in 2 colors of Portofino grey and Hyper white, but despite the limited amount of colors, the XRT still looks like a capable off-road luxury car. This design definitely suits more of the people that want to go off-roading and adventuring with their car. The rugged and narrower body panels on the XRT also allow it to fit more of Hyundai off-road accessories like the side steps and mudguards. The XRT is capable of a wide variety of outdoor activities. Appearance-wise, I'd say the XRT is a 4.5/5 going in a different direction and does have a unique look compared to the SEL.

The one thing that stands out to the crowd is the front grille, which is topped off with a chrome finish. It has a very unique set of headlights that would catch the attention of the general public. The most striking feature on the side profile of the car is the funky designed 20" alloy rims. It's by far one of the best sets of rims Hyundai has designed, it's a 50/50 split 5-spoke design that's definitely an eye-catcher. To top it off, the Palisade comes in a variety of colors to choose from, and trust me when I say this, the palette the car comes in is definitely something you should have a look at. Overall, this car is a showstopper, everyone is going to want to look and take a few glances at this beast of a car. Appearance-wise, I'd say this car's a 5/5.

The Hyundai Palisade is one of the most spectacular cars in the market and it's as accessible as it's going to get. There is no doubt that its top of the line features and qualities live up to its name as a "luxury car". It's a perfect sized family car with ample space and storage.

1.1. Exterior Design

The Hyundai Palisade is a full-size SUV with a great mix of function and style. The base model for the vehicle is the XRT, and many new options are available, including the SEL trim. The XRT offers 7 seats, while the SEL offers 8 seats. The designs for these versions are similar, with a modern and sleek-looking model. However, opting for the higher trim level can offer a higher level of quality and options for features. Exterior and interior colors are different, with a couple more options in the SEL. Wheels are also larger with the SEL, adding a little more luxury, so you can show off a bit more rolling down the street. LED headlights and taillights come standard for the SEL trim and are an option for the XRT, providing a brighter and more energy-efficient option over regular headlights. Roof side rails and premium side rocker panels also add that luxury feel while adding a bit more function with the side rails. A lot of the add-ons are optional specifically for the SEL trim, providing greater flexibility of customization to better fit consumers' needs. This makes it easier to choose which options are best for personal preference.

1.2. Interior Features

The interior of the Hyundai Palisade XRT is just as impressive as the exterior. Opening the door to the Palisade XRT, you are greeted with a black premium cloth seating surface and third-row seating with folding tray/cupholders. With the driver's seat featuring an 8-way power seat adjustment with power lumbar support and the passenger side 4-way, there is a deep level of adjustable features in the seat and steering heating. The 8-heated seat setting includes high, medium, and low levels, adding to the comfort level the Palisade XRT offers. The XRT also offers a little extra luxury with additional features such as the leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob with an included heated control, offering yet another level of comfort. The dual automatic temperature control also offers a higher level of luxury, as well as fully automated back access to the third-row seating by the push of a button to access the trunk release. After looking inside the Palisade XRT, the amount of luxury and space is just as abundant as the SEL. When comparing these two, the interior of the XRT and SEL are extremely similar, with the XRT offering a few extra features mentioned above.

1.3. Performance and Engine Options

The Palisade is fitted with a 3.8-liter V6 engine that produces up to 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque and is paired with an automatic transmission. The entry level SE trim includes front-wheel drive and offers the available option to upgrade to an all-wheel drive for an additional $1,700, while all other trims come standard with front-wheel drive. The XRT and SEL trim offer preferable fuel efficiency as they've been adapted to an 8-speed automatic transmission which boasts 19/26/22 (city/highway/combined) MPG. Compared to the XRT, the SEL has an available upgrade to all-wheel drive for $1,700, while the XRT is exclusively front-wheel drive. The XRT and SEL do not offer different engine options and do not include an adaptive suspension, but drivers and passengers can enjoy a quiet ride through the rigidity and sound-insulating interior air ducts in their Hyundai Palisade for an improved driving experience. Measures were also taken to limit engine noise, vibration, and harshness through improvements of the engine mount and by adding a rear cross member to isolate road vibrations. A shift by wire system with a push-button gear selector also contributes to a noise-free cockpit, while overall comfort and handling options are well-suited for a family vehicle through extended length front and rear wheel travel and improved front and rear suspension responsiveness. All in all, the 2022 Hyundai Palisade is best suited for those that want an alternative to the V8 gas guzzlers of earlier years and are content with a practical ride for their new Hyundai Palisade.

2. Safety and Technology

On the other hand, Hyundai Palisade SEL comes with more advanced features. The seating is an 8-passenger configuration with a second-row bench seat instead of the XRT's 7-seat layout with second-row captain's chair and electric push buttons. It includes second-row window sunshades, a proximity approach light, hands-free rear liftgate release, a four-way power passenger seat, and a 3-year subscription to Hyundai Blue Link connect car services. You can add a $190 all-wheel-drive option to SEL. [1][2][3]

Hyundai Palisade XRT comes with a 7 or 8-inch touchscreen which provides a crisp picture and easy viewing. It includes dual-zone automatic climate control, proximity key entry, heated front seats, a power-adjustable driver's seat, and simulated leather upholstery. The features include better safety options like blind-spot warning, adaptive cruise control, automatic emergency braking, a driver attention warning, safe exit assist, rear cross-traffic warning, ultrasonic rear occupant alert, parking distance warning, convenience package, leather seats, and automatic descent control.

Hyundai Palisade XRT and SEL both come with amazing safety features and technology that help you with connectivity. We cannot deny the fact that XRT comes with basic safety and technological features compared to SEL. However, the dissection of both the kindreds would provide you with a better option when purchasing the ride of your desires.

2.1. Advanced Safety Features

The ones who are concerned about the safety features in both the trims, don't worry! We got you covered! Both the trims have splendid safety features. Both come with Forward Collision-Avoidance Assist with Pedestrian Detection (FCA-PED), Lane Keeping Assist (LKA), Rear Occupant Alert (ROA), Safe Exit Assist (SEA), Rear Cross-Traffic Collision-Avoidance Assist (RCCA), Blind-Spot Collision-Avoidance Assist (BCA) and Smart Cruise Control with Stop and Go (SCC). This will make sure that you and your loved ones are safe inside the car when you go out for a drive or a family trip. Now apart from all these, there are few features which are available in XRT but missing in SEL. The XRT comes with Ultrasonic Rear Occupant Alert with available BLUE link Notifications. This feature is pretty useful in case you forget someone in the car and leave the vehicle or someone just comes and sits inside the parked car and falls asleep. The horn will be honked a couple of times and you will get notifications on your smartphone connected to the car. Another exclusive feature with XRT is Blind-Spot View Monitor (BVM). This feature is a camera-based view of the driver's blind spots and is displayed in the cluster when the turn signal is initiated. This feature helps in better monitoring of the blind spots compared to just the warning that is available in SEL. These two are only available in XRT, which is a good thing but basically both the trims are well equipped with safety features.

2.2. Infotainment System

Both Hyundai Palisade variants are also equipped with a 7-inch TFT display instrument cluster with informative, high-resolution visuals. This cluster does not only have easy-to-comprehend and on-time information at the driver's disposal, but it also adds a high-tech vibe to the interior of the car.

The SEL variant steps it up a notch with an AM/FM/HD audio system which has 7 speakers including a center channel and subwoofer, and also has the option of adding on a 10.25-inch touchscreen with on-board navigation. This touch screen has a split screen display and also a simultaneous dual Bluetooth feature where two devices can be connected at the same time. With second and third row USB outlets, aux audio jack, and a 115-volt power outlet, this will definitely keep the kids entertained during longer road trips. To top it off, the SEL variant has a 3-month free trial of SiriusXM. This trial offers various channels including a trial dedicated to your favorite sports teams, and the trial will also provide access to the SiriusXM app.

The Palisade XRT is equipped with an AM/FM/HD radio audio system which has 6 speakers. To ensure you can listen to whatever type of music you enjoy the most, there are steering-wheel-mounted audio controls with Apple Siri and Android Voice Recognition, and Bluetooth hands-free phone system with phonebook transfer. It is also compatible with both Android Auto and Apple CarPlay.

Hyundai's objective to provide customers with engaging and enjoyable driving experiences has been achieved in the Palisade XRT and the Palisade SEL. Both variants come with seamlessly integrated systems to make sure you are not left with any spare time when travelling, while the SEL variant will come with an optional add-on which is expected to launch in the summer of 2020.

2.3. Connectivity Options

The SEL comes with the option of an 8 passenger configuration with second-row bench seating or captain's chairs and a 7 passenger configuration with captain's chairs and a centreplace, the XRT comes standard with second-row captain's chairs and a centreplace. Both of these captain's chair configurations provide easy access to the 3rd row. With the 8 passenger PALISADE SEL configuration, both of the 2nd row seating options will provide easy entry into the 3rd row with one-touch sliding capability on the side of the 2nd row seats. This feature also provides an advantage for 3rd row passengers as it allows them to move the 2nd row seat out of the way with one-touch in order to more easily obtain entry and exit. The XRT's second row seating option is also designed for easy access to the 3rd row with the ability to tilt and slide the seat forward for easy 3rd row access.

3. Comfort and Convenience

Hyundai Palisade XRT has a standard seating capacity of 8 passengers. However, you can upgrade the XRT to a bench seat and the seating capacity goes up to 10. Hyundai Palisade SEL comes standard with a bench seat and seating capacity of 8. Both of them have sliding and reclining feature on the 2nd row. SEL only has a power folding and reclining feature on the passenger side, whereas XRT has manual folding and sliding on the 2nd and 3rd row. Both have standard heated front seats, and if you're looking for cool air in hot and humid weather, then SEL is the right choice. SEL has dual ventilated front seats, and a conventional air conditioning system; and it comes equipped with rear seat occupants with climate controls. As for cargo capacity, XRT and SEL have more or less the same capacity, 18 cubic feet behind the 3rd row, 45.8 cubic feet behind the second row, and 86.4 cubic feet behind the front row. Hyundai Palisade XRT comes with Smart Key with push button start and remote start engine. SEL has an upgrade on XRT's keyless feature. The SEL has a hands-free smart liftgate with an Auto Open, adjustable height setting. This feature is very convenient especially if both of your hands are full of stuff. Maintenance is the same when compared to XRT and SEL. Both are provided with Complimentary Maintenance for 3 years or 36,000 miles, which includes normal maintenance like oil changes or rotating tires.

3.1. Seating Capacity and Configuration

The Palisade was designed with improved flexibility and passenger comfort in mind. The second row can provide either 7 or 8 person seating configurations. Both second row seats fold and move forward to allow easier access to the third row. The simple to use pull lever seats to access the third row have been designed to make it easy to get in and out, even with child seats installed by creating a larger entry into the third row. Both second row captain's chair and bench seat configurations offer standard one touch buttons to easily fold and move the seat forward for third row access. And to make sure the kids don't fall out when running to claim third row seating positions, the second row seats come equipped with on/off switches that control the standard rear side doors safety locks, as well as available power sunshades for the side windows. The third row seating area has been improved to allow easy access and increased comfort. The available power folding/unfolding seats are controlled by buttons at the rear of the vehicle, as well as from the second row. Once seated, passengers will notice an increase of headroom as well as a seat height closer to the floor, designed to provide better cushion support and comfort for both children and adults. This new seat design allows the second row seats to be positioned slightly higher than the rear, providing third row passengers with improved visibility and a better view out the front of the vehicle.

3.2. Climate Control System

Also, there is a standard feature for SEL variants only with 2nd Row Seat with Captain's Chairs, which includes heated seat control and seatback table. So, it is an exclusive and improved option compared to the XRT range. In a nutshell, choose the Hyundai Palisade XRT if you are looking for the most value with comfort, and the SEL range for the most exclusive comfort features mentioned above.

Now, the Hyundai Palisade SEL has even better comfort features. This improved variant includes the standard front dual automatic temperature control with CleanAir Ionizer and so forth. Unlike the XRT range, this feature is standard across all Hyundai Palisade SEL variants. Then, the SEL range introduces another level of comfort with the standard heated front seats, which will soothe your posture during cold weather. This feature is definitely an attractive option that is not available in the XRT AWD range.

The climate control system for the Hyundai Palisade XRT includes manual air conditioning with front and rear controls. There is also an option for front dual automatic temperature control with CleanAir Ionizer and a CO2 sensor, which is only available in the Hyundai Palisade XRT AWD. In layman terms, the CO2 sensor will detect the level of CO2 in the cabin and introduce fresh air when it reaches a certain level. This luxury feature is only available for the top-range Hyundai Palisade XRT AWD in Australia, which is impressive and could be a selling point for potential buyers.

3.3. Storage and Cargo Space

Sel comes with standard 2nd row bench seats or optional captain's chairs. XRT comes with standard 2nd row captain's chairs only. Boot space is the same at 18 cubic feet. Cargo space is the same when the 3rd-row seats are folded down at 45.8 cubic feet. When the 2nd and 3rd-row seats are folded down the cargo space is 86.4 cubic feet in both. The SEL is equipped with a standard remote seat folding levers in the cargo area to remotely fold the 2nd row and 3rd-row seats. The XRT is equipped with power folding 2nd-row seats and standard 3rd-row seats. This is the only part that is more convenient than the SEL, power folding for the 3rd-row seats is not an option in the SEL. All power seat controls are only available on the side of the seat, which is less convenient than having controls on the door. This essentially makes the feature only useful when the seat is not blocking the way to the 3rd row. Comparing the SEL and XRT, the 2nd row and 3rd-row seats with the XRT are identical to the SEL. The only difference between the two trims is seat material. In all Hyundai Palisade models, the second-row seats can be slid forward and rearward. This is often not the case in other cars, where the 2nd row is best for child passengers and parents stepping through to buckle them in. With quick access to the 3rd-row seats in the Palisade, the 3rd-row seats are comfortable for adults and the child locks on the rear doors are an added safety feature.

3.4. Keyless Entry and Push Button Start

Overall comfort and convenience of the Palisade XRT and SEL is modern and elegant. Both feature the practical keyless entry and push start button along with clever design features for a family lifestyle. With the third row split foldable seat as a standard feature on both models, along with the ability to reach the third row with kid comfort walk-in feature, comfort and convenience also extend to the rear of the car for all passengers, an important consideration for the typical family that will be using this car. Although the XRT and SEL have few differences in overall practicality, Hyundai has not held back on comfortable family convenience features for either model. Both can feel the keyless entry and push button start feature is only the beginning of modern-day practicality for the Hyundai Palisade.

The Palisade XRT and SEL also come with the standard Hyundai Smart Sense keyless entry system that unlocks the door at the touch of a button as long as the key fob is within close proximity. Both models also have the standard push start button to power on the engine and begin driving. No compromises here when it comes to keyless entry and push button start for both SUVs.

4. Pricing and Trim Levels

Hyundai has recently expanded on their series of SUVs and has released the 2020 Hyundai Palisade. The car is the biggest SUV in their lineup and also the most premium. There are many trims that you can get the car in. But in this review, we will be focusing on the two new trims of the XRT and the SEL. In this review, we will be comparing the two in their features and pricing. The XRT is a new trim level for 2022. It is the cheapest trim of the Palisade that you can get, but it doesn't mean you are losing value. This is a great option for someone who needs a big SUV but doesn't want to spend too much money. The XRT is priced at $32,675. When compared to the previous year's cheapest option which was the SE ($32,525), you only have to spend an extra $150 to receive the XRT. This is a much better deal because the previous SE did not include 3rd row seating, so if you spent the extra $150 to get 3rd row seating, the price increased to $32,675 anyways. By getting the XRT, you are receiving better value and also the latest 2022 model.

4.1. XRT Trim

XRT is the latest addition to Palisade lineup and it stands out with a distinct appearance that includes a dark cross-hatch pattern grille, a front skid plate that spells adventure, and phantom black detailing throughout. Unique 20-inch alloy wheels and LED headlamps also reinforce the exclusive vibe of this special edition trim. Inside, the dark and sleek theme continues with black headliner and roof pillars plus a gearshift specific to the XRT. Functionally, the XRT will satisfy in its ability to tackle both suburban and off-road terrains with HTRAC AWD, and the exclusive AWD locking differential capability further enhances off-road capability. Heading inside, the XRT gets a convenient upgrade with a 2nd row bench seat bringing seating capacity to 8, and we see features such as the 10.25-inch navigation system and 12.3-inch fully digital gauge cluster carried over from the Limited trim. Other features like the around view monitor, premium finish front and rear door armrests, and puddle lamps which project the HYUNDAI logo for increased visibility at night round out the long list of features that are unique to the XRT trim. Price for the XRT comes in at $45,185, making it $1400 more expensive than the SEL with FWD, and $250 less than the current Limited trim.

4.2. SEL Trim

The SEL trim is $2,000 more expensive than the base MSRP of the XRT ($33,500), pricing at $35,500 for the FWD and $37,200 for the AWD. For this limited extra cost, there are many feature improvements. Greater attention to comfort was taken with this trim. These are first seen as the standard leather/cloth seats. The leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob also add a bit of a luxurious touch to the interior. The SEL trim comes equipped with a power driver seat, featuring convenience when getting into the vehicle when different drivers are involved. This is an upgrade to the XRT's standard driver seat. Though both trims feature standard heated front seats. The SEL trim also has standard rear air conditioning, floor ducts, and controls. This is an improvement from the XRT's standard front air conditioning. A big convenience feature is the proximity key with push-button start. This feature spares the driver from fumbling to get keys in poor weather by keeping them in pockets, purse, etc.

4.3. Comparison of Features and Pricing

The Palisade is a three-row SUV that offers three trims. The XRT is sandwiched in between the base SE and the SEL, and the front-wheel-drive version has an MSRP of $37,840. Our review of the XRT is found here. While we don't know the exact number or pricing of the features it has – thus we would have to suggest visiting the dealership and costing it out given it's the same features as the SEL. The XRT would be a great option for someone planning to add AWD as that adds $1700 to the XRT's existing price, still making it the cheaper option than the SEL. The SEL has a lower MSRP than the XRT, however, there are more features available for the XRT if adding the convenience, premium, or sun and wheels packages. A front-wheel-drive SEL has an MSRP of $35,180, and the Palisade's AWD system is a $1700 upcharge on any trim. The gap between the XRT and SEL can be around $3000 if adding AWD to the XRT. The SEL trim starts at $35,915 for front-wheel drive and $37,615 for HTRAC AWD. There are a few key options on the SEL which bog down the price. One of them is the $2000 convenience package which adds an 8-way power driver seat, LED taillights, 7" color LCD cluster, acoustic front side glass, LED interior lights, leather steering wheel, dual automatic temperature control, 2nd-row bench seating, and a proximity key with push-button start. This package is a precursor to the limited trim as this exact predetermined setup has to be chosen to get to the next package upgrade. Another key option is the $1900 premium package taking the previous package and adding a dual-panel sunroof and a premium finish grille. The SE/XRT Palisades also have a convenience/18" premium wheel package and a sun and wheels package, which would still not add up to the $37,925 MSRP of the AWD version of the SEL before adding $1700 for AWD.


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[2] W. Lindesay, "WALL OF GENGHIS KHAN” PART 2," AVAILABLE FOR SALE TO NON-MEMBERS, 2020. academia.edu

[3] B. Smith, "Learning and Earning in This New Economy," 2021. rand.org