After having driven the all new Hyundai Palisade along with the new Kia Telluride last August at the Rocky Mountain Driving Experience out in Colorado Springs, we finally got to have an entire week with the new family adventure eight-passenger Palisade SUV.

These vehicles from Hyundai and Kia are very similar in appearance, interior and technology. However, there are differences, and for whatever reason many folks are moving toward purchasing the Telluride. For instance, our son Landon and his wife, Michelle, are looking at the Kia; however, having to be put on a waiting list and also having to pay full retail had them at our home the first night we had the Hyundai to see if they thought it might be a viable option.

The Palisade comes with all kinds of family friendly additions that would make it the perfect vehicle for an active, growing family such as Landon’s. With our second grandchild, Hayden, just hitting the 17-month mark and Jensen at 5 years old, they need more cargo space and more seats, making a three-row SUV the perfect choice.

They have been with us in various new SUV’s during the past eight months — including the VW Atlas, Subaru Ascent and Nissan Pathfinder — as they have tried to make up their minds.

Hyundai is touting the new Palisade as its flagship model, as well they should given that it is their largest offering to date and can be decked out with some very nice high-end items such as quilted Napa leather seating and a huge 12.3-inch, center, fully digital driving cluster that can be configured with various views and effects.

With the use of this digital cluster, Hyundai has taken blind spot monitoring to a new level. Each time the turn signal indicator was turned on, an image of what was on the right or left side of the Palisade, depending on the direction of turn, was displayed. So now, along with an indicator in the mirror and a tone, there is an actual video display of what is next to and behind the SUV.

As if all this technology was not enough (warning lights, beeps and video), this new system would also intervene and try to move the Palisade away from a vehicle in the blind spot, if necessary, and the computer felt a collision might be imminent. This was one of the most comprehensive blind spot monitoring systems we have seen to date, and the kids were even more taken with it, having not seen anything like it with other test rides.

Top this off with a heads-up display that was included in the limited trim that we got to experience for a week. It would display speed, speed limit, turn-by-turn navigation and even the song we were listening to.

However, the digital experience kept on coming as the infotainment system comes complete with a 10.25-inch-wide touchscreen that controlled pretty much everything else in the vehicle. It also allowed for user setup and split-screen functions. In other words, we could watch navigation, see what radio station was playing what song and also be ready for another new feature named “Driver Talk.”

This is a great new addition that we saw pop its head up a couple of years ago when the new Toyota Highlander came out with “Driver Easy Speak.” With just the touch of the screen, the volume is reduced and the driver’s voice is piped through the sound system so the folks/kids in the rear two seats can hear them better.

That’s right, mom, no more yelling to get the attention of those in the back. You are in control of your voice and getting the kids to listen to you. We found this system super easy to use and would have loved having it when our kids were younger growing up!

Another important point in todays connected society is that there are seven individual USB power ports for charging devices located throughout the SUV, so everyone should have a place to plug in!

The front and second row seats of the limited trim come standard with heat and cooling systems. Now, the kids can fight over who sits where! First time we have seen cooled seats in the rear at a price point such as the Palisade Limited’s. Oh, and the steering wheel of course also came with heat.

On the power side, the new Hyundai is equipped with a 3.8-liter V-6 Atkinson-Cycle engine that produced a very nice 291 horsepower and 262 foot-pounds of torque and netted us 22 mpg for our week of over 400 miles of driving — pretty much right where the EPA put the Palisade. It can also tow up to 5,000 pounds, so no problem pulling boats and small camping trailers around for the weekend. This setup is class-leading in size, horsepower and torque.

It comes with a new “snow mode” that will put all the systems into the proper mode to handle snow and any kind of slipping that comes with those nasty winter days. We would highly recommend the all-wheel drive version for the mountain climate we live in.

Of course, there were all kinds of safety features included: pedestrian detection, radar cruise control with stop-and-go technology, rear cross path detection, high beam assist and driver attention warning.

The only question reaming is will our son opt for the new Palisade that is more readily available than the Telluride? Only time will tell. It seems to be the perfect choice for growing families, or even with empty nesters such as ourselves.

Base price: $46,400

Price as driven: $47,605

Craig and Deanne Conover have been test-driving vehicles for over eight years and have had the opportunity to drive many makes and models. They receive a new car each week for a weeklong test drive and adventure. They both love having the unique opportunity of trying out new cars. They reside in Springville, Utah.

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