I wrote part of a book in the 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy AWD during the pandemic. Here’s why

A shiny, black 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy AWD driving by.
Credit: Hyundai

Some of us have had to relocate our office, work at home, or come up with some pretty crazy solutions to remote work during the pandemic. I found one that is not as crazy as it sounds, at least for a few days of work.

I’m working on a new book that doesn’t come out for about a year. It’s on productivity with purpose and the work involved to craft this tome has actually informed the book itself. During the pandemic, I’ve had to rent cabins, work at hotels, and even stayed in a tent for an entire week. Of course, the costs start to add up so I was looking for other options.

When I started testing the 2021 Hyundai Palisade Calligraphy AWD (an SUV that’s similar to the Ford Explorer), I knew right away that the back seat was more spacious than most. I decided to park it in a remote area, sit in the back seat, and work on the book. I did about three day trips this way.

I’ve never really tried this, and honestly don’t typically have a lot of success working in a moving vehicle. It never dawned on me to work in a vehicle that’s parked. The pandemic has made me rethink that. I worked in a bubble of isolation, one that has a base price of $46,050. 

It’s amazing. I moved the passenger seat in front of me forward, connected my iPhone (I was able to control the music using Siri), stretched out my legs, used the cup holders and USB ports to charge up my gear, and felt like I was in the perfect remote office.

Now, it might seem strange at first. I had to adjust my thinking at first. Yet, when you’re actually in the back seat, you realize you have an amazing view, the surround-sound audio is pristine and even cathartic (especially if you play bands like Pinegrove), the seat is amazingly comfortable, and there was enough space for typing on my MacBook.

Before you think I was running the engine, know this: Most cars let you long-press on the start button to go into what is called battery mode. I usually shut the engine off but this mode means you can listen to music and keep charging. Many cars that have this battery mode will know when to turn off the power so you don’t deplete the battery.

Another interesting discovery I had: I was incredibly productive. There’s something about being in a cocoon like this where you are not distracted by anyone else at the office or at home, you can’t get up and head to the kitchen, so you might as well keep working. It was warm enough that I would listen to surround-sound music for a while then switch to my AirPods and keep working for another two or three hours. A nice perk is, as you may know, it’s never a good idea to rack up a lot of miles on a press car, but sitting in a park doesn’t use any miles.

I’d definitely do this again, but I would say the Palisade is particularly well-suited to working like this for long periods. I’m testing a sedan right now and I’d feel cramped (not to mention the seats are not as luxurious). Would it make sense to buy a car like the Palisade only to use it as a remote office? Actually — maybe so. There are many other perks when you drive it.