Second-Gen, 2026 Hyundai Palisade Spied Undergoing Testing

Since launching for the 2020 model year, the Hyundai Palisade has quickly established itself in the highly-contested midsize three-row crossover SUV space. Not resting on this success, the Korean automaker is hard on work at the next-generation, 2026 Hyundai Palisade, and our spies just caught that model undergoing testing.

Snapped while undergoing winter testing, the prototype seen here is covered in heavy camouflage front to rear. Nevertheless, we can still see that the overall shape features boxy, angular styling, right in line with its sibling, the 2025 Hyundai Santa Fe, itself overhauled for the 2025 model year.

The front fascia has an upright, blocky shape, as do the A-pillars. Note the cutouts within the front fascia camouflage for the parking sensors, headlights with seemingly “flat” surface, and a large, upright grille.

The side profile of the 2026 Hyundai Palisade prototype reveals a revamped daylight opening (window) profile, along with a relatively flat roof (as opposed to a sloping one). Both of these elements are in line with the utilitarian purpose of a three-row utility vehicle like the Palisade.

The all-new wheels feature a double five-spoke pattern. Look closely at the center caps, and you’ll see Hyundai’s “H” logo. Looks like either someone forgot to camo those, or they were left bare intentionally.

The rear end gets the heaviest camo, preventing us from discerning much of the lines. Even so, we’d bet it features blocky styling, much like the 2025 Santa Fe. Note the overhauled tail lamps, buried beneath the aforementioned camo, as well as the tucked-under exhaust on the passenger side of the prototype.

Rumored to be assigned codename LX3, the 2026 Hyundai Palisade is expected to feature a new platform and resulting new packaging, headlined by a longer wheelbase that will enable it to compete better with larger offerings such as the new-to-market Toyota Grand Highlander and recently overhauled Chevrolet Traverse. Similarly, the Ford Explorer will soon receive a mid-cycle refresh, making the segment best-seller even more competitive.

2025 Hyundai Santa Fe

Under the hood, the second-gen Palisade is expected to feature two new gasoline engines. A 2.5L hybrid unit will likely be standard, while a turbocharged 3.5L V6 will be optional. As a reminder, the current model is powered by the atmospheric 3.8L Lambda V6 in North America, though a 2.2L turbo-diesel is available in international markets.

Sales Numbers - Mainstream Large Three-Row Crossovers - 2023 - USA

FORD EXPLORER -10.05% 186,799 207,673 16% 19%
TOYOTA HIGHLANDER -23.91% 169,543 222,805 14% 20%
CHEVROLET TRAVERSE +27.42% 123,555 96,965 11% 9%
KIA TELLURIDE +10.89% 110,765 99,891 9% 9%
HONDA PILOT +0.73% 100,298 99,567 9% 9%
VOLKSWAGEN ATLAS +16.64% 95,675 82,025 8% 7%
HYUNDAI PALISADE +8.25% 89,509 82,688 8% 7%
NISSAN PATHFINDER +23.93% 71,710 57,862 6% 5%
DODGE DURANGO +24.83% 69,196 55,433 6% 5%
SUBARU ASCENT -4.96% 60,543 63,704 5% 6%
MAZDA CX-90 * 30,821 0 3% 0%
MAZDA CX-9 -49.53% 17,451 34,580 1% 3%
TOTAL +6.41% 1,173,901 1,103,193

As mentioned earlier, the Palisade has quickly established itself as a solid fixture in the mainstream midsize three-row crossover SUV space, having replaced the slow-selling Santa Cruz. During the 2023 calendar year, the Palisade was the seventh best-selling model in its segment (out of 13 rivals), earning an eight percent market share. The Kia Telluride, which shares the Palisade’s platform, placed fourth. With the all-new model, Hyundai is looking to further strengthen that already-solid position.

Motrolix Founder with a passion for global automotive business strategy.

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