During the early planning for Hyundai’s sales-boosting crossover push, the automaker announced the Santa Fe Sport would become brawnier, while its larger Santa Fe sibling would go bigger, adopting a name that buyers wouldn’t confuse for its little brother.
We’ve already seen much of this come to pass. First off, there’s now a subcompact Kona crossover to lure buyers into the brand. The Santa Fe Sport grows larger for the 2019 model year, ditching its name for “Santa Fe.” Meanwhile, the existing Santa Fe dons an “XL” to differentiate itself until a larger replacement arrives.
Is the name of that range-topping utility vehicle no longer a mystery?
According to Carscoops, the upcoming three-row crossover might carry the Palisade moniker, which would be in keeping with the brand’s American Southwest-themed utility vehicle naming scheme (Kona notwithstanding).
Palisade immediately calls to mind great, imposing things. Cliffs, palace walls, but more specifically, an impressive three-mile-long butte that rises from Mesa Country, Colorado. It sounds regal and grand, and Hyundai certainly wants people to think of its upcoming vehicle in those terms.
Spy photos sent to us in late February show the vehicle undergoing winter testing. Naturally, we asked readers to place bets on its inevitable Southwestern name. The images show a fairly upridge crossover of generous dimensions. Despite the camo, there’s clear similarities between it and the design of the new Santa FeÂ â€” it’s bolder, better suited for American tastes, and there’s a big honkin’ grille up front. Seating for eight puts it a class above the five- or seven-seat Santa Fe.
Said to ride atop the platform used by the Kia Telluride (a concept almost certainly destined for production), the Palisade will likely boast some form of hybrid assist. Expect to see this vehicle unveiled during the next auto show circuit, with sales beginning in 2019.
[Images: Brian Williams/Spiedbilde]