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  • Drew Dowdell
    Drew Dowdell

    Ask Me Anything: 2020 Hyundai Palisade AWD

      ...my that's a big ship...

    IMG_20191127_140956.jpgIn the C&G garage for the week is the 2020 Hyundai Palisade Limited AWD with a sticker price of $47,605. This is Hyundai's newest SUV, at least until the diminutive Hyundai Venue takes its place at the other end of the size spectrum.  The first impression I got from the Palisade was how big it is.  Even though it is around 7 inches shorter than a Buick Enclave, it looks bigger and beefier. Being a Limited means that it is in top trim with only carpeted floor mats as an additional option.  It's powered by a 3.8 liter naturally aspirated V6 producing 291 HP and 262 lb-ft of torque and equipped with start/stop.  On my quick initial test drive I found the start/stop function to be unobtrusive and quick to restart the vehicle when I was ready to roll.  Another immediate impression was with the sound quality of the Harmon Kardon sound system. I hooked my phone up via USB and Android Auto took over, playing my favorite Pandora station loud and clear. 

    Another feature I like is the video display in the dash when using the turn signal. It helps clear any blind spots one might have in this big SUV. 

    So while you're stuffing your faces with turkey this Thursday, think of questions you have about the 2020 Hyundai Palisade and post them below.

    2020 Hyundai Palisade qqmonroney[9116].jpg



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    I was just out in it for 45 minutes. I could really see myself living with one on a daily basis since I'm shopping in this size class anyway once I find a new job.

    BTW, here's a close-up of the center console and the gear selector.

    IMG_20191202_143100.jpg

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    2 hours ago, ccap41 said:

    If I'm driving in a straight line and my car is going off with alerts every time somebody passes me or I pass somebody on the interstate, I'm turning that crap off. That sounds annoying. 

    I'm perfectly okay with the little amber light in the corner of a side mirror as I'm turning my head anyway. 

    It's not going off...it lights up if someone is there, and if you still signal (i.e. you're signalling but there's not space to change lanes safely), it chimes.

    A tiny amber light you can barely see unless staring at the tiny corner of a mirror does nothing, and avoids the point of what blind spot is meant for.

    44 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    I was just out in it for 45 minutes. I could really see myself living with one on a daily basis since I'm shopping in this size class anyway once I find a new job.

    BTW, here's a close-up of the center console and the gear selector.

    IMG_20191202_143100.jpg

    Great shot. Buttons...are GREAT. As anyone who's gotten used to a "it's somewhere in the touchscreen..." car lately, buttons remain underrated.

    Nice shot. How's the current Hyundai H-Trac system in snow or road going?

    Front to back, side to side, or anything?

    2 hours ago, surreal1272 said:

    Drew sat in and drove one yet doesn’t share the same gripes as certain folks here. Three other reviews by major publications echo the same sentiments as Drew. Interesting. 
     

    Confirmation is bias is, indeed, a real thing. 

    Right? Who knew...;)

    Competition and choices are GREAT things. Nice move, Hyundai Kia.

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    3 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    I was just out in it for 45 minutes. I could really see myself living with one on a daily basis since I'm shopping in this size class anyway once I find a new job.

    BTW, here's a close-up of the center console and the gear selector.

    IMG_20191202_143100.jpg

    Man that display screen has seen better days. You use steel wool pads on it? 😁

    Yeah, just not a fan of the rotary or button shifters as stated before, too artificial and now you have to worry about the shift solenoid or actuator going out at the transmission or slopping a sugary drink or even water in the buttons if you have to slam on the brakes, second one most likely not covered by the long warranty. Some things to consider in a daily driver.       

    I realize that other manf's. do it as well and it's to save space in the console, but it's just another electronic moving part that will inevitably go bad at both ends.

    Long live the column shifter! 😎

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    3 hours ago, caddycruiser said:

    Until you've actually experienced a real blind spot system, you wouldn't understand.

    A tiny, barely visible light amber colored spec that blends in and you have to stare at the far corner of the mirror to see it, then does no other alert, avoids the purpose.

    Driving requires mirrors. But blind spots happen and an actually visible/audible alert helps, without making a sound unless you're doing something you shouldn't be. Was a top complaint from our 2016 Traverse for years, and rentals I've driven from some brands.

     

    1 minute ago, caddycruiser said:

    It's not going off...it lights up if someone is there, and if you still signal (i.e. you're signalling but there's not space to change lanes safely), it chimes.

    A tiny amber light you can barely see unless staring at the tiny corner of a mirror does nothing, and avoids the point of what blind spot is meant for.

     So I went and tested this out for you.  With the blind spot monitoring system, you get an amber light in the mirror and also in the heads up display telling you someone is in your blind spot.  If you signal that direction, you get a chime and the steering wheel buzzes.  Plus you also get the video of that area in the dash.  

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    Just now, Drew Dowdell said:

     

     So I went and tested this out for you.  With the blind spot monitoring system, you get an amber light in the mirror and also in the heads up display telling you someone is in your blind spot.  If you signal that direction, you get a chime and the steering wheel buzzes.  Plus you also get the video of that area in the dash.  

    Works as it should. Perfectly. Thanks!

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    14 minutes ago, caddycruiser said:

    It's not going off...it lights up if someone is there, and if you still signal (i.e. you're signalling but there's not space to change lanes safely), it chimes.

    A tiny amber light you can barely see unless staring at the tiny corner of a mirror does nothing, and avoids the point of what blind spot is meant for.

    That's acceptable to me. 

    I definitely do disagree that the amber light does nothing. Unless you have poor vision, it isn't difficult to see the only light on a mirror in which you're already looking at before changing lanes. 

    12 minutes ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    So I went and tested this out for you.  With the blind spot monitoring system, you get an amber light in the mirror and also in the heads up display telling you someone is in your blind spot.  If you signal that direction, you get a chime and the steering wheel buzzes.  Plus you also get the video of that area in the dash.  

    I like that. It isn't intrusive in any way unless you're about to make a move in that direction in which it makes sure you are aware. 

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    13 minutes ago, USA-1 said:

    Man that display screen has seen better days. You use steel wool pads on it? 😁

    Yeah, just not a fan of the rotary or button shifters as stated before, too artificial and now you have to worry about the shift solenoid or actuator going out at the transmission or slopping a sugary drink or even water in the buttons if you have to slam on the brakes, second one most likely not covered by the long warranty. Some things to consider in a daily driver.       

    I realize that other manf's. do it as well and it's to save space in the console, but it's just another electronic moving part that will inevitably go bad at both ends.

    Long live the column shifter! 😎

    Transmissions have been electronically actuated for more than a decade now.... even if they have a column or floor mount shifter. 

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    1 minute ago, frogger said:

    The light in my SO's car is pretty easily noticeable in peripheral vision.

    image.png.4c04a0a1c7158c2f0df608fcee37255b.png

    That's a good, and large, light on the side there.  Most of them are just little icons in the mirror. 

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    1 minute ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Transmissions have been electronically actuated for more than a decade now.... even if they have a column or floor mount shifter. 

    Right, all transmissions have been electronically controlled for over three decades, but not all have shift solenoids or "shift by wire" like this.  

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    1 hour ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    That's a good, and large, light on the side there.  Most of them are just little icons in the mirror. 

    This is the one addendum...Subaru, and a few other brands, who (though they still should be audible) actually keep it large & visible almost inside.

    I'm used to these now after 24k miles of driving...but still unsure why it is the one and only feature that has NO audible anything, regardless of what's happening. Everything else beeps...except blind spot.

    For blind spot to be most effective, it being mounted INSIDE, a-la Subaru, Audi, Infiniti/Nissan, Acura, etc. is best of all...but add a BEEP too.

    Hyundai Kia's sounds spot on, even being mirror based. Good move.

    Edited by caddycruiser

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    How's the HTRAC AWD in snow, normal driving, etc? Does it front back, side to side or?

     

     

    Edited by caddycruiser
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    12 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    What "rotary"?   The Rotary dial is not the shifter, it's the drive mode selector.  Set it to comfort or snow, but otherwise leave it alone. 

    What's even funnier is... I've driven one and I forgot this.  Sold unit.

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    37 minutes ago, ykX said:

    So bottom line, how you personally ranking it against other crossovers in this segment?

    One of the best. 

    Less road noise and better ride than the Pilot.
    Nicer interior than Enclave or Traverse. 
    Bigger and more up to date than the Durango.
    Highlander is new and I haven't driven the new one yet.
     

    The one downside I've found to this one is fuel economy. In my mostly suburban driving I'm getting in the high teens and I'm pretty gentle on the throttle. It doesn't have the trick cylinder shutoff that the GM twins and Pilot have. 

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    4 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    One of the best. 

    Less road noise and better ride than the Pilot.
    Nicer interior than Enclave or Traverse. 
    Bigger and more up to date than the Durango.
    Highlander is new and I haven't driven the new one yet.
     

    The one downside I've found to this one is fuel economy. In my mostly suburban driving I'm getting in the high teens and I'm pretty gentle on the throttle. It doesn't have the trick cylinder shutoff that the GM twins and Pilot have. 

    Does the back open up wide to allow large stuff to be put in with the rear seats down?

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    1 minute ago, dfelt said:

    Does the back open up wide to allow large stuff to be put in with the rear seats down?

    Yup, up and out of the way. Lift height is programmable too.

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    4 hours ago, dfelt said:

    Does the back open up wide to allow large stuff to be put in with the rear seats down?

    Now we know where dfelt's wife puts him in the Escalade when they go for a Sunday drive.

    9 hours ago, Drew Dowdell said:

    Nicer interior than Enclave or Traverse.

    Wow.  Ruhlly?

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      The Signature also comes with active headlights that turn when you turn to help see around corners. They helped me spot a deer on the side of the road I normally would not have seen.
      The Verdict
      The CX-5 Signature is the top of the CX-5 line, so naturally, the price is reflected in that. With an MSRP of $36,890 before any options, the CX-5 may seem pricey, but it comes with everything you could possibly want.  However, when you compare it to other small crossovers with similar equipment it actually ends up comparing favorably to others in its class. I priced out Jeep Cherokee Overland with the 2.0T and technology group and the MSRP is $41,685. A GMC Terrain Denali with all the same option boxes checked? $41,430.  A Honda CR-V can’t even be equipped like the CX-5 because there is no up-level engine option, yet it still rings up to $38,147.
      Overall, Mazda has produced a handsome, sporty, fun to drive crossover with enough utility to remain competitive. They’ve loaded it with safety equipment and kept the price in check. It is definitely worth a look.
       

      View full article
    • By Drew Dowdell
      2019 Mazda CX-5 Signature
      Mazda is on a mission lately to make their products feel more premium. They have been tuning their vehicles to be quieter and more refined in order to give them an air that they are above their class. This second generation of the Mazda CX-5 debuted for the 2017 model year with a 2.5-liter naturally aspirated 4-cylinder producing 187 horsepower and 186 lb.-ft of torque.  For 2019, Mazda added the 2.5-liter turbocharged engine from the CX-9. On regular gas, the engine produces 227 horsepower and 310 lb.-ft of torque, but if you fill it up with 93 octane, the horsepower figure bumps up to 250.  Available only on the Grand Touring and Signature trims, the 2.5-T makes the CX-5 the compact crossover with the most available torque.  Mazda sent a CX-5 Signature for me to try for a week to see what I thought.
      There’s no replacement for displacement… maybe
      The biggest CX-5 news for 2019 is the engine options. There is the 2.5-T mentioned above and a 2.2-liter turbo diesel. Both are exciting entries into a relatively conservative segment.  The 2.5-T is the second-largest displacement engine available in the segment, behind the 3.2 liter V6 in the Jeep Cherokee.  This 4-cylinder puts out quite a bit more torque than the bigger V6, though the Jeep produces more horsepower (271 @ 6,500 rpm). Even among 4-cylinders, this is the largest displacement you can get, but none of those others offering 2.5 liters also offers a turbocharger. This engine is rated by the EPA to get 22 city / 27 highway.  I got about 24 mpg in mostly city driving. Zero to 60 is a claimed 6.2 seconds.
      Under normal driving, the engine is quiet and composed, with torque coming on quickly when called for. When the pedal is mashed at speed, the CX-5 leaps forward with minimal turbo lag and gives off a strong growl from under the hood. The only time you can really feel any lag in the turbo is if you are starting from a dead stop. Overall, you never feel without power at the tip of your toes and the sounds, and lack of sounds, from the engine room is quiet and refined.
      One area the CX-5 falls behind on is in the transmission department. Although the transmission offers smooth shift and is willing to downshift when called upon, a 6-speed automatic almost feels anachronistic in a time when all of its direct competition is sporting 8 or 9 speeds. I never thought there would come a day when 6-forward gears aren’t enough, but here we are. Adding 2 or 3 more gears to the CX-5 would further liven up the already sporty crossover and help keep the turbocharged engine firmly in the good places of its torque band.
      Ride: Al dente – Firm but tender
      If there is a brand that Mazda is looking to emulate here by being premium without the premium badge, it would likely be BMW.  The ride is firm, but not so harsh as to spill your latte. Steering is on the heavy side with precise control and great on-center feel.  Body roll is minimal. Pushing the CX-5 into corners is fun and the standard G-Vectoring Control Plus makes sure you stay planted where you intended to be.  The i-ACTIV all-wheel-drive mostly runs in front-wheel-drive mode until microscopic amounts of wheel slip are detected and then some torque is instantly transferred to the rear wheels.  Mazda programs the AWD system to always have at least a little bit of torque going to the rear in order for the transfer of torque to happen faster. 
      It’s what’s inside that matter most
      Inside the CX-5, the premium story continues. There is a distinct lack of cheap plastic even in places where they could probably get away with it. The dash and door panels are made of soft-touch material and there is a tasteful amount of chrome trim. Though the seats look black in pictures, they are actually a very dark brown that Mazda calls Caturra Brown Nappa leather. This leather is a feature of the Signature trim level and they are both heated and ventilated.  Rear passengers get heated outboard seats as well, controlled from inside the fold-down center armrest. Also, a feature of the Signature trim is the real wood dash inlay and ambient cabin lighting. The seats in the CX-5 are very comfortable with just the right combination of support and cushion. They would be most welcome companions on a long road trip. The rear seats are fairly flat and do not offer a lot of legroom.  There is no adjustment fore and aft.  Wind and tire noise has been kept to a minimum.
      There are 4 USB ports, two in the up front armrest and two in the rear armrest. Only one of them allows a connection to the infotainment system.  Oddly, the USB ports don’t seem to put out much juice as my phones were very slow to charge from them.
      The infotainment system is another area similar to BMW.  The unit is controlled by a large dial in the center console or touch screen controls. I found the touch aspect to be laggy and a long reach, so I found myself using the dial. Using the dial to navigate is simple enough, but the menus and layout of the screen could probably use a re-think.  Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are both here, for some reason only Apple CarPlay can be activated by touch. Operating either system is frustrating with the dial however, this is especially true for Android Auto which I found frustrating to use without touch screen functionality. At least, unlike BMW, Mazda doesn’t charge you an extra subscription fee to use them. Sound from the Bose speakers was clear, but not especially great.
      There was a time when people mostly bought crossovers for the utility of hauling lots of bulky stuff home from the store, however, these days are different. Now, crossovers are a fashion statement.  Still, the CX-5 has 59.6 cubic feet of space with the rear seats folded and 30.9 cubic feet with the seats up.  That is at the high end of mid-pack in the segment with the Honda CR-V being the leader, while the Toyota RAV-4, Chevy Equinox, and Ford Escape all have less. 
      Do you need a safe space? This may be it.
      The Mazda CX-5 Signature comes with a whole host of safety equipment and the center of it all is the heads-up display that keeps the driver informed.  Blind Spot Monitoring, Lane-Keep Assist, and Radar Cruise Control, all have status lights in the heads-up display.  I found the blind spot monitoring system to be especially helpful when I was backing out onto a busy street with limited visibility.  Radar Cruise control is one of my favorite systems of all and I feel it should be standard equipment on all cars. The CX-5 can even read speed limit and stop signs as you approach, changing and updating the local regulations in the heads up display.
      The Signature also comes with active headlights that turn when you turn to help see around corners. They helped me spot a deer on the side of the road I normally would not have seen.
      The Verdict
      The CX-5 Signature is the top of the CX-5 line, so naturally, the price is reflected in that. With an MSRP of $36,890 before any options, the CX-5 may seem pricey, but it comes with everything you could possibly want.  However, when you compare it to other small crossovers with similar equipment it actually ends up comparing favorably to others in its class. I priced out Jeep Cherokee Overland with the 2.0T and technology group and the MSRP is $41,685. A GMC Terrain Denali with all the same option boxes checked? $41,430.  A Honda CR-V can’t even be equipped like the CX-5 because there is no up-level engine option, yet it still rings up to $38,147.
      Overall, Mazda has produced a handsome, sporty, fun to drive crossover with enough utility to remain competitive. They’ve loaded it with safety equipment and kept the price in check. It is definitely worth a look.
       
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