Hyundai previews a cross-filled future for Singapore

New Venue compact SUV and giant flagship Palisade eight-seat SUV previewed in Singapore against the backdrop of Hyundai’s global distributor conference

Photos: Derryn Wong

SINGAPORE – If Hyundai has anything to say about it, the future is very cross indeed.

Today it showcased three new sport utility vehicle (SUV)/crossover models against the backdrop of its global distributors’ conference. Held at the JW Marriott South Beach, the conference involves almost 300 representatives from more than 100 markets across the world.

Mr Teo Hock Seng, the group executive chairman for Komoco Holdings

“Today is a significant milestone in the partnership between Komoco Motors and Hyundai Motor Company, as Singapore has a long standing history of 33 years of distributorship for Hyundai vehicles. Held bi-annually, the Global Distributor Convention is now in its 10th year since 2001, with Singapore being chosen for the first time to host this prestigious event from 19 to 21 June,” said Mr Teo Hock Seng, the group executive chairman for Komoco Holdings, at the preview event.

The models previewed are the Venue compact SUV, the Kona Iron Man Edition, and Palisade large, eight-seat SUV.

“At the same time, we would like to use this opportunity to showcase Hyundai’s latest and complete suite of Hyundai SUV model mix that are the ultimate family vehicle for practical and comfortable daily use,” he added.

The Hyundai team from Singapore distributor Komoco Motors

Komoco Motors, Hyundai’s Singapore distributor, says the Venue and Palisade will not be launched currently, but it will sell the models in Singapore at a later date, presumably once right-hand drive production begins.

As a limited-run current model, the Kona Iron Man Edition will not be offered for Singapore.

Counting the Santa Fe variants as one model, Hyundai now has seven SUVs in its global line-up, expanding to eight next year

The Venue and Palisade are brand new models for 2019, bringing Hyundai’s global SUV line-up to a total of seven models, namely the Creta (small budget SUV for developing markets), Venue, Kona, Tucson, Santa Fe, Palisade, and Nexo (hydrogen fuel cell SUV, previewed in Singapore last year.

Next year that number will rise to eight, with a new SUV from Hyundai’s luxury brand, Genesis, previewed in the concept GV80. With that, Hyundai’s global lineup of passenger cars now stands around 40-plus vehicles.

In Singapore currently the Kona, Tucson and Santa Fe are available, if the Venue and the Palisade were to join the stable, they would bookend the current line-up as a compact and extra-large SUV, respectively.

The Palisade is what the new X7 is to BMW – a flagship SUV capable of seating more than five people with huge space and lots of features.

Based on an all-new platform, the car is big- it’s 4,980mm long, 1,975mm wide, 1,750mm tall and has a 2,900mm wheelbase, making it as large as a BMW X5, although its chunky design language makes it seem even larger, especially with that huge Hyundai grille.

Globally, it’s powered by a choice of three engines, a 2.2-litre inline 4 turbodiesel with 200hp and 450Nm of torque, a 3.5-litre V6 petrol with 277hp and 342Nm of torque, or a 3.8-litre V6 gasoline engine with 295hp and 362Nm of torque. All variants have an eight-speed automatic gearbox, with all-wheel drive as an option.

The car can be chosen to seat seven in a more luxurious dual-throne second-row layout, or a maximum of eight with three seats in the second and third rows.

At the preview the car we saw came with lots of practical features such as a electrically-powered folding seatbacks for the second- and third-row seats, dual sunroofs, roof mounted aircon vents capable of diffuse or direct air flow, USB ports for the second row, a ‘sleep mode’ that shuts off the rear speakers, and much more.

We were impressed by the build quality and sheer amount of room on offer. If the Palisade is sold in Singapore it will have no direct competition, since it’s larger than existing seven-seat large SUVs such as Hyundai’s own Santa Fe, the Kia Sorento, Mitsubishi Outlander, and Toyota Fortuner.

However it does have plenty of rivals in the USA where the ‘midsized’ (their ‘mid’ is our ‘huge’) SUV segment includes the Honda Pilot, Toyota Highlander. As typical of Hyundai Group Products, the Palisade has an arch rival in the form of the Kia Telluride, which is slightly longer, but has the same wheelbase.

On the opposite end of the scale is the Venue compact SUV, which at 4,036mm long, 1,770mm wide and 1,656mm tall, is as compact as a modern SUV gets.

First debuted at the New York International Auto Show in April this year, the Venue is the entry-model of the Hyundai SUV range and aimed at younger buyers. As a result it adopts the same ‘split lights’ styling seen on the Kona and Palisade, but paired with more adventurous colour options (a total of eight, including Denim).

Globally the car is offered solely with inline four cylinder powerplants: A 1.6-litre gasoline engine, 1.4-litre turbodiesel engine, and 1.0- and 1.4-litre turbocharged engines.

The 1.6-litre engine is new, named ‘Smartstream Gamma’ with fuel economy improvements. Paired with , Hyundai’s first internally-developed continuously variable transmission (CVT) its estimated fuel economy is 7.1L/100km.

The 1.0-litre turbo is seen in the Kia Stonic, which again will be the Venue’s key rival if/when it launches in Singapore.  

Like the Stonic, the Venue should offer plenty for the money, including keyless go, a sunroof, 8.0-inch infotainment system with Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and more.

Can one of the cheapest SUVs in Singapore really be any good?

Lastly the Hyundai Kona Iron Man Edition is a made-to-order limited edition, announced at 2018’s Comic Con, featuring various Iron Man-themed touches including unique paintwork,  Iron Man badges, Stark Industries decals, unique DRL lighting made to look like the Iron Man suit, and a unique HUD theme.

It looks like something for hardcore fans only, we’d be more sold if Paul Bettany (aka Vison/JARVIS) voiced the navigation system.  

Hyundai Palisade

Hyundai Venue

Hyundai Kona Iron Man Edition

about the author

Derryn Wong
Has a keen interest in all things mechanical, technological, animal and mineral. Is particularly fascinated by eco-cars and cars which make no logical sense. An avid motorcyclist and photographer, he also enjoys cats.