Hyundai Kia

Comparison: 2023 Hyundai Palisade vs 2023 Kia Telluride

The Hyundai Palisade and Kia Telluride have been runaway hits since their introduction a few years ago. For 2023, both of these SUVs receive mid-cycle updates to keep their momentum going. So is there one that is better than the other?

2023 Hyundai Palisade Exterior


Engine – Both 3-row SUVs are powered by a naturally aspirated 3.8L V6 that can produce 291 hp and 262 lb-ft of torque (217 kW & 355 Nm). This engine doesn’t have the strong “punch” off the line like some other turbocharged engines but it has enough grunt to get the SUVs moving without feeling like as though it’s struggling. Though you can feel the engine really getting into its stride once the rpm needle climbs past the 3,000 mark. This is normal for naturally aspirated engines. Both of these SUVs can tow up to 5,000 lbs with the X-Pro trim of the Telluride being able to tow up to 5,500 lbs when properly equipped.

2023 Kia Telluride Exterior

Fuel Economy – With both these SUVs having the same engine, you’d think that they’d have the same fuel economy. Not so. The 2023 Hyundai Palisade is rated for 12.6 L/100km (18.7 MPG) in a city and 9.5 L/100km (24.7 MPG) on a highway. The 2023 Kia Telluride is rated for 12.8 L/100km (18.4 MPG) in a city and 9.8 L/100km (24 MPG) on a highway. I’m not sure why there’s this discrepancy between these two as they share the same powertrain and weigh approximately the same at around 1,950 kg (4,300 lbs). Perhaps it’s due to aerodynamics? Whatever the case may be, I did manage slightly better fuel economy in the Palisade than the Telluride. I averaged 11.9 L/100km (19.8 MPG) in the Hyundai and 12.2 L/100km (19.3 MPG) in the Kia.


Transmission – The engine is mated with an 8-speed automatic transmission. This is a very smooth shifting transmission which is what you want for a family SUV. However, it’s pretty slow to react to driver inputs. A stab of the throttle takes a good second before the transmission downshifts and it’s even slower if you decide to use the paddle shifters (in the Palisade) or the gear shifter (in the Telluride). So it’s best to leave this transmission in “D” and let the computer decide what’s best for the driving situation.

2023 Hyundai Palisade Exterior

Braking – The brakes on these SUVs are nothing special or extraordinary. They are normal brakes, which help with reduced costs, and they have enough stopping power to bring the big SUVs to a stop. The brake pedal feels firm and is easy to modulate for smooth stops.

Handling – Dynamically, these are not meant to be sporty SUVs like the Acura MDX Type-S or even the Mazda CX-9. Having said that, they feel planted and composed around corners. The steering firms up as the speed builds but it’s light enough at slow speeds for easy parking. There is some body roll through corners but it’s not as dramatic as in the Land Rover Range Rover that I previously drove.

Both of these SUVs also have self leveling suspension. Don’t get fooled though, they do not have air suspension or any sort of external hydraulic system. The rear shocks have two reservoirs with different valves that allows for the fluid to move between them depending on how much cargo is in the SUV. They do not react immediately and instead require the SUV to drive for a bit so that the movement of the shock redirects the fluid from one reservoir to another. From the few articles on the web explaining this system and from owners on forums, this system doesn’t raise the back end by that much but it does help in preventing the back end from bottoming out when the SUV is loaded and driving over big bumps.

2023 Kia Telluride Interior


Ride Comfort – With these SUVs being family vehicles, it’s important that they have smooth rides. I’m glad to say that they both do. There isn’t much of a difference between the two when it comes to driving over poorly maintained pavement. However, the seats in the Hyundai Palisade provide a bit more cushion from the bumps in the road than the seats in the Kia Telluride. The Calligraphy trim of the Palisade also incorporates an Ergo Motion Seat which is not a massage feature per se, but it does help with reducing pressure points and to promote blood circulation on longer drives. The Kia Telluride does not have this option but it will adjust the lumbar every 30 or 60 minutes to try to replicate this Ergo Motion feature that the Palisade has.

2023 Hyundai Palisade Interior

Interior Space – Both of these SUVs provide a lot of space on the inside. Front occupants have plenty of headroom and legroom with a pretty decent seating position to allow for good visibility over smaller cars. Interestingly, the Palisade has more legroom than the Telluride when looking at their official specifications.

The second row is also spacious, even for adults. Behind my 6’4” driving position, my knees do not touch the back of the front seat. Headroom is also really good. Both SUVs are available with bench seats, depending on the trim level, while the captain’s chairs allow for sliding and reclining for more comfort. 

Getting into the 3rd row is super easy. There’s a button to slide and fold the 2nd row seat all in one motion that is located on the bottom and the top of the seat. Depending on how far back the 2nd row seat is moved, there can be very little or just enough legroom for adults. There isn’t the same amount of space in the 3rd row as a GMC Yukon or Ford Expedition but it’s adequate for shorter journeys. Headroom is a bit on the tight side. The 2023 Palisade has a bit of a leg up on the 2023 Telluride as it has power reclining 3rd row seats. 

2023 Kia Telluride Interior

Behind the seats, both SUVs have a lot of space but it’s the Kia that just a little bit more with all rows of seats up. It has 601 L (21.2 cu.ft) vs the Palisade’s 509 L (18 cu-ft). I suspect this is because the Telluride has a slightly larger storage compartment under the floor than the Palisade. Folding down the 3rd row seats, electronically in the Palisade, will allow for 1,304 L (46 cu.ft) in the Kia and 1,297 L (45.8 cu-ft) in the Hyundai. And finally with all rows of seats folded, the 2023 Kia Telluride has 2,455 L (86.7 cu.ft) of space and the 2023 Hyundai Palisade has 2,447 L (86.4 cu-ft) of cargo space.

Noise, Vibration, & Harshness – Both SUVs are moderately quiet. They’re not necessarily much better nor are they worse than other SUVs in the same price range. Tire noise is the most abundant intrusion into the cabin at highway speeds. Engine noise is well subdued so long as the rpms don’t climb past that magical 3,000 mark.

2023 Kia Telluride Exterior

Odds and Ends

Pricing – Between the two, it’s the Kia that is more expensive. The 2023 Kia Telluride starts at $50,195 CAD ($35,890 USD) and this X-Line trim will cost you $61,195 CAD ($51,985 USD, SX Prestige X-Line). Here in Canada, there’s also the X-Pro trim but as far as I can tell, it only adds some slightly more off-road tires and 18-inch wheels. It has the same gadgets as the X-Line.

The 2023 Hyundai Palisade starts at $47,999 CAD ($35,550 USD, SE trim) for the Preferred trim while this Urban trim will cost you $53,199 CAD ($40,850 USD). The Calligraphy trim costs $56,799 CAD ($49,500 USD). In the United States, this Urban trim is the equivalent of the new XRT trim which costs $40,850 USD.

2023 Hyundai Palisade Interior

Gadgets – These two are not similar trim levels and it’s a good thing because you can easily see what is and isn’t available on lower trims. Starting with the Palisade first, it has leatherette upholstery, heated & ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, heated 2nd row seats, a power sunroof, power tailgate, surround view cameras, 3-zone automatic climate control, satellite navigation, 2nd row sunshades, parking sensors, and driver’s memory seat. A pretty good amount of gadgets.

If you move up to the Calligraphy trim of the Palisade, you’ll get the same gadgets that this Telluride X-Line comes equipped with. It has the same features as mentioned above but it adds ventilated 2nd row seats, a head-up display, leather upholstery, wireless phone charging pad (standard on all Telluride trims), a second sunroof (however it does not open even though the control to open and close the sunshade makes it look like as though the sunroof does open) and a rear camera mirror. These features are not packaged the same between the Canadian & American markets.

The infotainment systems are identical in their function. They only differ in the colours that they use and the graphics for the radio. Overall, it is a straightforward system to use with crisp and clear graphics. It allows for Apple CarPlay & Android Auto integration but neither are available as wireless connections.

2023 Kia Telluride Interior

Interior Design – These cars have their own unique interior designs. With the Kia being a higher spec trim, it looks a bit more stunning than the interior of the Palisade. I love the contrast of the tan leather and mid-trim pieces against the black trim and headliner. I’m not a fan of the gloss black plastics on the center console but they do look great when they’re clean and new. Unfortunately, scratches will easily be visible after a few years. The controls in the Kia are well laid out and dummy proof. Each function has its own dedicated button from the fan speed to the heated & ventilated seats, to the faviourites menu. I also like the clever cup holders which pop out when you need them or can pop back into the side of the center console when you need a bit more storage space.

The interior of the Palisade is also well laid out with all the functions having the same dedicated physical controls. It’s only when you move up to the Calligraphy trim, do some of the climate controls get integrated into a touchscreen. But on this mid-level Urban trim, they have their own buttons. I also like the texture of the trim pieces on the center console and dashboard. However, with the grey seats, grey trim, and grey headliner, it all looks a bit too “plastic-y”. But the Palisade is available with black seats and headliner. Actually, there are more options for interior colours for both SUVs in the American market than the Canadian market.

2023 Hyundai Palisade Exterior

Exterior Design – One of the most significant changes to these SUVs for the 2023 model year is how they look. The Kia unfortunately loses its iconic amber daytime running lights and instead are replaced by two, white LED daytime running lights that double as the turn signals. The rest of the front end had some tweaks to the grille but overall nothing too significant. The rear also doesn’t see any drastic changes.

The Hyundai Palisade on the other hand has had more of an update. The daytime running lights, the turn signals, and the grille are all different. The DRLs look like they’re straight from the Tron Legacy movie. The turn signals are neatly integrated into the grille which has a sharper and less curvaceous design. Just like the Telluride, the back end of the Palisade doesn’t see significant changes.

Safety – Neither of these new 2023 models have been tested by the IIHS but the previous model years received a Top Safety Pick and a Top Safety Pick+ award. The Palisade was the one that received the latter award. I would be surprised if the updated 2023 models didn’t receive these awards as well.

2023 Kia Telluride Exterior

Both SUVs come equipped with most of the available safety & driver aids such as automatic emergency braking, lane keep, blind spot sensors, and adaptive cruise control to name a few. However, other features such as highway driving assist, side blind zone view and front parking sensors (among a few others) are only available on mid-level or top spec trims.

Warranty – In Canada, the 2023 Hyundai Palisade and the 2023 Kia Telluride are covered by a 5 year / 100,000 km new vehicle and powertrain warranty. In the United States, the basic warranty is 5 years / 60,000 miles and the powertrain warranty is 10 years / 100,000 miles. For more information on Hyundai’s Canadian warranty, click here. For USA warranty information, click here. For more information on Kia’s Canadian warranty, click here. For Kia USA warranty information, click here.


Conclusion – Before we get to which one is better, both of these SUVs are excellent family vehicles. They’ve both won countless awards from multiple publications and it’s easy to see why. They’re spacious, safe, easy to drive, packed with features, and well thought out for a family’s needs. 

Now, which one is better? Well, because they’re so similar, it all comes down to personal preference. I, for example, like the looks of the Palisade and the softer seats but I like the dummy-proof controls of the Telluride. So overall, I’m leaning towards the 2023 Hyundai Palisade as the one with a slight advantage. But that’s just my opinion. Your preference for styling or seat comfort might be different. Regardless, both of these SUVs are excellent family vehicles.

Thank you to Hyundai Canada for providing the Palisade.

Thank you to Kia Canada for providing the Telluride.

Video Comparison

2023 Hyundai Palisade Gallery

2023 Kia Telluride Gallery

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