The 2023 Volkswagen Atlas vs. The Hyundai Palisade

May 2nd, 2023 by

Both the Volkswagen Atlas and the Hyundai Palisade come at the top of many lists of the best high-performing SUVs that are available today. Both vehicles have excellent performance capabilities, offer state-of-the-art technological innovations, and are exceedingly comfortable for both the driver and the passenger. This can make deciding between the two a difficult task, given that they both seem to provide similar specs for similar jobs. This article will give you a good idea of which one has the edge when you compare them side by side. 

Engine, Performance, and Exterior

The Volkswagen Atlas’ 2-liter four-cylinder engine gives you 235 horsepower and achieves 21 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway. You can upgrade this to a 276-horsepower V-6 engine, which is worth considering if you’re planning on doing any towing. This is because it’s capable of 5,000 pounds compared with 2,000 pounds for the four-cylinder model. 

It’s worth noting, however, that if you go for the stronger engine for the Atlas, then the fuel efficiency then drops to 18 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. Nevertheless, this vehicle gives you several options to fit most needs. You also have the flexibility to boost the engine’s power to increase its strength and towing capacity. 

 The Palisade is slightly less good in terms of combined fuel economy than the four-cylinder Atlas model with 22 mpg. This translates to 19 mpg in the city and 24 mpg in the highway, which isn’t a huge difference. Its 3.8-liter V-6 engine gives you that little bit more power with 291 horsepower and an eight-speed automatic transmission. It’s also able to tow 5,000 pounds when the model is equipped with a dealer-issued trailer hitch. 

So, all in all, there isn’t much between them, but the Atlas offers you a stylish exterior with excellent build features. This stream-lined, tough-but-smooth design gives you an excellent combination of muscle and delicacy. In contrast, the Palisade looks good, and you could check out some of the upgrades available in the wheels and tire size in some of the trims, but it doesn’t quite match the striking features of the Atlas. 


The Volkswagen Atlas and the Palisade come with various technological bells and whistles, but the Atlas shrugs off the competition in this area because it offers many options for you to personalize it. The vehicle can keep four different profiles on file, and this can help it recognize the preferred settings of whoever is in the car. 

In the Atlas, the standard infotainment is a 6.5-inch touch screen with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto capability. It also offers a Wi-Fi hotspot, two USB ports, and a six-speaker sound system. In other trims, such as the SE, the touch screen is 8 inches. Further, there are three USB ports available for the backseats, and it comes with a subscription-based SiriusXM 360L satellite radio

The capacity of the Atlas is excellent, with the back row being large enough to hold most adults, which is rare in many large SUVs. Overall, it’s generally spacious and can seat up to seven people. The Palisade has room for seating for up to eight people, but it depends on which trim you choose; only seven can be accommodated if the captain’s chairs row is used. 

 The Palisade offers a 12-inch touch-screen infotainment display, which also offers Android Auto and Apple CarPlay. Depending on the trim, you can increase the number of USB ports to seven and link Bluetooth devices simultaneously. Neat optional extras such as the BlueLink app service mean that you can unlock and start the vehicle remotely.  

The cargo volume in the Palisade is 86 cubic feet with all the seats folded, 46 cubic feet with the second row folded, and 18 cubic feet if it’s running at full capacity. There are also some nice storage options in the central cubby hole. The Atlas certainly beats this to the post, offering 96.8 cubic feet when the rear seats are down and a good 20.6 cubic feet when the vehicle is running at capacity. Overall, the Atlas gives you all the space you’d need in a vehicle of this kind. 


The Palisade offers five available trims, starting from the SE, SEL, and XRT and building up to the Limited and Calligraphy. The Palisade seats eight passengers in the SE and SEL trims, and the Limited and Calligraphy trims offer second-row captain’s chairs. The options for the higher trims are impressive, with the Limited offering heated and power-folding third row seats with leather trims. The front-wheel-drive SE trim has an MSRP of $34,950, and the pricing increases to $48,585. 

 In comparison, the Atlas also offers seven unique trim levels, from SEL, SE with Technology, and SEL R-Line Black rising through to the SEL Premium R-Line. There are several different styles available within these trims, meaning that they offer you lots of choice so you can find the vehicle that best fits your needs. Pricing starts at an MSRP of $34,335 rising through to $51,790. 

All in all, pricing is comparable between these models, so it really depends on what you get with comparable trims. We find that with the Atlas, the mid-range trims offer you more at a lower price,  and it also has slightly lower running costs, so it’s worth taking a closer look at this model. 

Safety Features 

 Both vehicles offer excellent safety features, with standard forward-collision warning and automated emergency braking together with blind-spot monitoring and rear cross-traffic alert in the Atlas. Each vehicle has  adaptive cruise control, and stop and go technology helps you keep the costs down in the city. The Palisade also offers a semi-autonomous driving mode. Although as of now, this only works on a few roads, it might be an innovation worth bearing in mind for the future. 

The Atlas vs. the Palisade

Overall, this is a personal choice, and it’s really a case of horses for courses — you’ll need to see what’s available close up to work out if it’s what you need. For us, the  Atlas has all the power, style, and technology you might need, but don’t take our word for it — have a look for yourself. If you want more details, need to take a closer look, or just want to ask a question, drop us a line at Capistrano Volkswagen in San Juan Capistrano, California, and we’ll be only too happy to help. 

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