2024.02.28 Hyundai Motor Company

Embracing the Fading Winter with the Palisade

Hyundai Motor Company
As winter’s end approached, I found it hard to say goodbye, even if it was just a reluctant attachment to the season. To fully embrace the last of this particularly snowy winter, I embarked on a journey with the Palisade.

The biting cold that freezes both body and soul, the snow pouring down as if the heavens had opened up—it was these conditions that had me longing for spring. Perhaps the collective yearning for warmer days reached the skies, for the fierce grip of the winter chill seemed to loosen. With Gyeongchip (the awakening of insects) on the horizon, signaling the stir of life from its winter slumber, it felt as though winter was preparing to bid us farewell. And yet, the thought of parting with the season brought a tinge of sadness. To ease this feeling of farewell and to properly send off winter, I set off to Taebaek in Gangwon Special Self-Governing Province, where winter lingers the longest, with the Palisade.

The anticipation for the trip began even before departure. The Palisade, having become more attractive with a facelift, continuously brought a smile to my face. Its design, harmoniously blending horizontal and vertical lines, exuded a robust and overwhelming presence, especially from the front. The parametric jewel patterned grille stood out, conveying a sturdy image reminiscent of a warrior’s armor. The vertically aligned headlamps and daytime running lights seamlessly connected to the upper part of the grille’s edge, exuding a neatly arranged and luxurious atmosphere.

Filled with excitement, I set the navigation to Manhang-jae, a renowned spot in Gangwon Special Self-Governing Province, Taebaek City, where one can behold the Taebaek Mountains. It’s a popular destination year-round, bustling with more visitors when it snows, known for its romantic winter drive up to the nation’s highest accessible point by car. The drive along the 1300m-high winding roads adorned with snow-covered trees and trekking through snowy mountains offer unforgettable experiences.

Following the navigation, I headed out to escape Seoul. The journey to Manhang-jae, about 230km away, would take roughly three hours. But the distance didn’t seem daunting, thanks to the plethora of convenience features packed in the Palisade. The ergo motion seat, in particular, relieved back pain by inflating and deflating seven air pockets in the back, side, and seat areas. The high-quality leather offered superb sitting comfort, and the addition of ergo motion functionality made it feel like sitting on a luxurious sofa. The air purification mode continuously improved indoor air quality, and it even preemptively closed any open windows before entering tunnels.

The Highway Driving Assist 2 (HDA2) functioned like a smart assistant, meticulously managing all tasks. It maintained the set speed precisely, slowing down before entering safety speed zones, and kept a perfect distance from the vehicle ahead and within the lane. With a light touch on the steering wheel and activating the turn signal, it assessed the front and rear conditions and changed lanes smoothly. The movement was so natural that it felt like a seasoned driver.

With its superior driving performance, the Palisade effortlessly accelerated, reducing the distance to the destination. Pressing hard on the accelerator, the 3.8 V6 gasoline engine smoothly revved up, delivering a peak power of 295 horsepower and a maximum torque of 36.2kg·m. The weight of 1,990kg (for the 7-seater, 20-inch tire version) was hardly noticeable, thanks to the abundant power. The movement of the 8-speed automatic transmission was particularly impressive; it shifted gears accurately and swiftly without any noticeable transition, befitting the Palisade’s flagship SUV status.

The ride comfort also eased the burden of driving. The shock absorbers, equipped with the third-generation Selective Damping Control (SDC) valve, accurately read road conditions while filtering out unnecessary vibrations, providing a luxurious feel. The active noise control perfectly managed noise from the road, maintaining a tranquil interior across various conditions.

Two hours into the journey away from Seoul, the slowly pacing cars began to disappear, replaced by mountain slopes, trees, and streams. The wide windows of the Palisade turned into picture frames capturing the magnificent natural scenery. Enjoying nature as I drove, I quickly passed the sign indicating entry into Taebaek. However, an unexpected challenge arose. Large flakes of snow began to fall, clinging to the bare branches of trees and quickly covering the road with a thick white blanket; It was a blizzard.

As I entered the heart of Taebaek City, the snow piled up to my shins turned slushy, mixed with deicer. The sudden blizzard caused many cars to give up on their journey, crowding the streets. But with the Palisade’s HTRAC, controlling all four wheels, I felt secure. I switched the driving mode to Snow and monitored the drive distribution on the cluster.

The change in mode led to a noticeably different behavior. The HTRAC intelligently assessed the road conditions, constantly and cleverly adjusting, distributing power to the front and rear, and preventing the wheels from spinning. Thanks to this, I wasn’t stuck in the snow. The Palisade’s driving modes include Comfort, Eco, Sport, and Smart, with Snow, Mud, and Sand options available for off-road conditions with HTRAC.

After leaving the center of Taebaek and driving for about 20 minutes, the wide roads narrowed, leading into winding mountain paths towards the peak at 1,330 meters above sea level. As I entered the winding mountain roads, the Palisade’s charm shone even brighter. The luxurious driving sensation experienced on the highway continued. The Palisade moved cleanly in the direction I steered, more about gentle direction changes than agility. The nearly 5-meter length didn’t feel cumbersome, dispelling any prejudices of large SUVs being sluggish or wobbly.

This refined driving experience resulted from the perfect harmony of all components. The 3.8 V6 gasoline engine smoothly generated power, HTRAC intelligently controlled all four wheels, and the suspension ensured maximum comfort while keeping the body stable during cornering. Simply stepping on the accelerator and turning the steering wheel was all it took for the Palisade to take care of everything.

Finally, I reached my destination; Manhang-jae was already filled with people enjoying the snowy landscape. Seeking a quieter spot, I moved away from the crowd. Through the car windows, a vast snowy mountain unfolded before me. The Palisade transformed from mere transportation to a space of rest. Everything I saw and touched within the luxurious and spacious Palisade became my haven of healing.

To fully appreciate the snowy view of Manhang-jae, I moved to the second row for a more relaxed farewell to winter. The second row of the Palisade, equipped with the optional VIP package, further enhanced convenience for passengers. The VIP package, true to its name, offered an exclusive space with various comfort features.

Features like the wing-type headrest with built-in speakers in the independent seats, entertainment systems, center console armrest, touch switch, air purifier, and even the cool/warm cup holders, door trim wireless smartphone charging system, and ambient mood lighting were exclusive benefits of the VIP package. The view from the luxurious second row was like a work of art.

The farewell journey with winter was a success. The winter landscape gifted by the season and the care provided by the Palisade created unforgettable memories. It was an opportunity to deeply appreciate the allure of the Palisade: smooth and luxurious driving texture, overflowing consideration, and the luxury of the VIP package. The Palisade promises to be a source of new experiences at every moment.

Photography by Choi Dae-il and Kim Bum-seok

Video by Jung Hee-don and Woo Yong-sik

HMG Journal Operation Team


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