Large SUVs are extremely popular choice for long distance road travel and for good reason. I fully understand the appeal; My family has owned several of them over the years, starting with the 1992 Nissan Patrol that we bought while in Central America, moving to a Mitsubishi Montero, then settling into the largest of my own parked before a Lexus GX460. Before Driveway my current Vintage 1993 GMC Suburban is quite adept at ranking miles, and it boasts of the many qualities that make it a tough road tripper.
But when to use alternatives Autoblogs A long-haul Hyundai Palisade for a week-long trip to South Carolina’s beaches and sunny climate, I jumped at the chance. It wouldn’t represent our first long trip to Palisade, but it was my first taste about its usefulness. I could have picked up my current generation Lexus GX – much more modern than my GMC but still a traditional body-on-frame SUV – but I wanted to experience the crossover life. The $ 64,000 question (okay, okay… maybe a few bucks less than that) I think: How good is a modern crossover for long road trips from an old-school SUV?
For family road trip duty, the number one thing is to be wide. As you might expect, my 219.5-inch-long suburban has quite a bit more total cargo space than the 196-inch-long polyside. Compared to the Lexus GX, it is quite comparable. Equally important, Hyundai’s cargo area is easily accessible with a low entry point, well-shaped and therefore easy to pack. Hyundai says the second and third rows have 86.4 cubic feet of space folded. We had four people, which meant we had 45.8 cubes left. We tore up some tall items in the middle captain’s chair, expanding the available space.
In the end, we packed a week’s worth of clothes into a quartet carry-on size suitcase, four folding chairs, beach blankets and umbrellas, and a few coolers, leaving (the most) space for a bracket. Neck pillows, blankets and all kinds of electronic gear.
The second most important requirement of road-trip duty is comfort. This is where the Palisade blows a traditional body-on-frame SUV out of the water. That’s right, an old one in my own suburb; The latest models run and handle several orders of good quality from my ’93 K2500 ‘. I have traveled the big road in several recent models including Chevy Tahoe, Ford Expedition, GMC Yukon, Nissan Armada and Toyota Sequoia. I put a few thousand miles on the Lexus GX460. So I feel worthy enough to declare that none of these Big-Un are as comfortable as the hills, the tree-lined backroads, and the Palisades at 70 miles per hour. Coastline
I surveyed my passengers – including my wife, his brother and his wife – and received positive notes from everyone about the ride, the spaciousness, the quietness and the comfort of the seat. From the driver’s seat, the palisade is quiet and collected, with a comfortable ride and good steering feel. All of these things work together to make Hyundai’s largest utility vehicle an excellent choice for miles. Everyone agrees that they are happier inside Hyundai than my own Lexus.
I will comment on the importance of the third and final road trip bit skills. Palisade has 19 cities, 24 highways and 21 collectively EPA-rated. In my 1,495-mile adventure I averaged 23.5 miles per gallon. Needless to say, I’ve gotten much worse on my old Big-Block 454 Suburban, but it’s much better than the V8-powered Lexus GX, which in my own experience struggles to break 17 or 18. Mpg on the highway with passengers and cargo.
Looking back on our trip, my family was glad they were able to ride the Hyundai Palisade instead of our Lexus GX 460. They felt comfortable in the luxurious borders of its interior and it seemed that they had plenty of space. I was happy to be able to drive some more cars like trucks. And fuel savings were also meaningful. So while I will not leave my faithful old suburbs for camping, kayaking, and towing, and cautioning that the largest of the large families may still need more than Polysed, I can confidently say that a large unibody crossover is a large body. Lots of great offers for most family trips compared to on-frame SUVs.