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2023 Hyundai Palisade Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons.

2023 Hyundai Palisade Trim Levels, Configurations & Comparisons: SE vs SEL, XRT vs Limited and Calligraphy
Reviewed & fact checked by
James Murdoch

What 2023 Hyundai Palisade Trim Should You Buy? What is the Difference Between Trims?

When it debuted for the 2020 model year, the Hyundai Palisade made a splash, shaking things up in the third-row SUV world. Hyundai must have known that they would only have that one chance to make a big first impression, because they put out a vehicle that quickly became a top seller. This vehicle is immensely versatile in its utility, carrying both cargo and passengers with ease. And the cabin is adorned in high-end looking materials that give off a sense of luxury - without the steep price tag.

Hyundai is giving the 2023 Hyundai Palisade some reasonable upgrades. They aren't anything too massive, but this mid-cycle refresh feels quite welcome. Hyundai is building off of a solid foundation, giving this SUV an updated front fascia that looks more on-brand with Hyundai's other models. The revised front grille looks more like the big, imposing ones found on the Tucson and Santa Fe, showing a more refined approach. The grille encompasses the LED daytime running lights much better this year, and the front bumpers have headlights that are better integrated.

A new set of multi-spoke wheels get added, which is the only real difference when it comes to the side profile of the Palisade. The new XRT trim level debuts this year, and it marks a lot of aesthetic differences from the other trim levels. The lower door trims are darker, as is the front grille. Even the 20-inch wheels have been darkened.

There are also a slew of tech upgrades that will attract buyers this model year. There is a new instrumentation panel, a digital key system that works with iPhones and Androids, and a stronger Qi wireless charging pad.

There are a lot of tough competitors in this segment, including the Palisade's own corporate cousin, the Kia Telluride. You might find yourself overlooking quite a few of these rivals, though, since the Palisade has so much value behind it. But which trim level has the most value? Is there one that has all the features you need without going over your budget?

Read on through this trim level comparison review to learn more about each of the 2023 Hyundai Palisade's trim levels. In the end, we will announce which trim we think has the most value to it, that will appeal to the average buyer in the third-row SUV segment.

Compare the SE vs SEL Trims. What is the difference?

The base trim on the 2023 Hyundai Palisade's line-up is known as the SE. It is followed up by the SEL. Every trim level in the line-up is powered by the same 3.8-liter V6 engine, which generates a power output of 291 horsepower and 262 lb-ft of torque. This V6 engine gets mated to an eight-speed automatic transmission. While each trim comes with available all-wheel drive (AWD), front-wheel drive (FWD) is standard issue across the board.

The SE comes with a second-row bench that allows you to seat eight people, but it is optional on the SEL. Second-row captain's chairs are standard on the SEL, XRT, Limited, and Calligraphy and thereby reduces the seating capacity to seven people.

Otherwise, the SE trim level starts you off with 18-inch wheels done in alloy, push button start with the proximity entry system, and LED headlights up front. There is a digital key system that lets you use your smartphone as a key to access your vehicle when you do not have your Palisade's key on your person. That way, if you ever accidentally lock your keys in the car, you can use your smartphone as a key to access the vehicle and retrieve your keys. Add to that auto-dimming side mirrors that give you enhanced visibility.

Inside of the Palisade's well crafted cabin is a height-adjustable driver's seat and a power folding seatback for the second-row bench seat. Technology is a strong point as well, as the base SE is equipped with a massive 12.3-inch infotainment touchscreen display that is compatible with smartphone app integration via Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There are also USB ports for the front and second rows of seats, as well as integrated navigation, which is not often found as a standard feature on a base trim vehicle.

As far as advanced driver aids go, Hyundai equips a suite that packs in quite a few of them. This packages together a blind-spot monitoring system with rear cross-traffic alert (which alerts you if there is a vehicle driving in your blind spot as you try to change lanes or go in reverse), forward collision warning (which warns you of a potential oncoming collision and applies the brakes for you if it senses you won't be able to do so in time), adaptive cruise control (which lets you set a safe following distance between the Palisade and the vehicle in front of it), rear parking sensors (which detect and alert you to any obstacles behind the vehicle you wouldn't be able to see), and lane keep assist (which gently steers the Palisade back into the intended driving lane if the wheels start to stray over the line).

Upgrading to the SEL changes more than just the seating arrangement. It comes with roof rails up top and a push button ignition with the proximity keyless entry. Inside, you will find simulated leather upholstery. In the back, the liftgate gains hands-free access to the cargo area. There is an auto-dimming rearview mirror and a dual-zone automatic climate control system that keeps temperatures set in either zone for a comfortable ride experience.

The two front seats are power-adjustable, and they also have a heating function. You can choose the second-row bench seat at no extra cost to you, and there is a wireless smartphone charging pad included up front.

If you want, there is a Premium package for the SEL you can opt to add. This package gives the vehicle a blind-spot camera, a 360-degree surround-view camera system (which gives you a top-down view around your vehicle), enhanced forward collision mitigation, and a lane keep system (which makes small steering corrections to keep the vehicle centered in its lane). There are also more features, including a set of 20-inch wheels, a sunroof, a heated steering wheel, and a self-leveling adaptive suspension. On top of that, you get memory settings for the driver's seat, a 12-speaker premium audio system, ventilation for the first and second row of seats, front parking sensors, a 115-volt household-style outlet, heating on the second-row seats, a cabin intercom system, two USB ports for the third row seats, an upgraded driver information display, and sunshades for the rear.

Compare the SEL vs XRT Trim Levels. What is the difference?

As the newest addition to the line-up the XRT brings with it some aesthetic upgrades. However, it cannot be ordered with the Premium package. It does, however, come with a sunroof, unique 20-inch wheels, skid plates for the front and rear, special dark exterior trim, and roof rails done in black.

Compare the XRT vs Limited Trim. What is the difference?

The Limited is the next trim level up on the Palisade. It includes everything that comes on the SEL, thereby standardizing everything that comes in the Premium package.

The Limited trim level makes a few more important upgrades, too. It comes with a sunroof with a dual-pane design for more light and airflow entrance to the vehicle. The Limited also adds automatic windshield wipers, a head-up display (which projects important vehicle and driving information onto the windshield right in front of your eyes), and third-row seats that are both heated and power-folding. On top of all that, all seats are upholstered in leather.

Compare the Limited vs Calligraphy. What is the difference?

If the Limited trim level is not luxurious enough for you, the line-topping Calligraphy trim might just do it for you. The Calligraphy stands apart from the rest of the Palisade trim levels with its unique front and rear fascia designs, wheels, and front grille.

Inside of the Calligraphy's plush cabin, there is a sleek faux suede headliner and premium leather upholstery for a truly refined aesthetic. The driver's seat gains a massaging function for your back and spine, and the door inserts are done in a chic quilted leather material. What's more, the ambient interior lighting is customizable so you can pick the color you want the lights to show. There are also second-row wing-out headrests for extra comfort for your head.

There are quite a few high-tech advanced safety features included on the Palisade's Calligraphy trim level. There is a digital display rearview mirror that lets you see out of the back of the vehicle even if you completely load up the cargo area. The climate controls gain their own touchscreen interface up in the cockpit, and rear parking collision avoidance gets tacked on as well. Finally, the Calligraphy gains something called Smart Parking Assist, which allows you to use your own smartphone to remotely guide the Palisade into a chosen parking spot. This means you barely have to intervene in order to get the vehicle parked in a difficult parking spot.

Final Thoughts

There you have it, folks - the 2023 Hyundai Palisade line-up. The refresh made for this model year gives the Palisade even more desirable features. And, for the cost, everything you get is downright impressive. There is no real way to go wrong on this line-up since you are getting a solidly built vehicle with ample power and plenty of space.

But there is one trim level that stands out above all the rest, and that Palisade trim level is the SEL. It has more standard features than the base SE, plus you can add that beefy Premium package for a pretty reasonable cost. The higher trim levels do get a little pricier than some prospective buyers might like, which is why the SEL with the Premium package is so ideal. The SEL's standard heated front seats and keyless entry are nice touches, plus the Premium packs in a ton of creature comforts, such as that 360-degree surround-view camera system. That kind of technology is something that other vehicles offer starting on much higher trim levels or straight-up just leave as an optional feature.

Of course, Hyundai has exemplary warranty coverage on all of its vehicles, which makes the Palisade even more worthy of your consideration. The only offering that parallels it is from Kia. The Palisade's 10-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty and five-year/unlimited mileage roadside assistance are industry-leading and pack this vehicle even fuller with value.

Previous Year Trim Configurations:

2022 Hyundai Palisade Trim Levels