A series of N-aryl (2a,b) or benzyl (2c,d) substituted piperidoimidazolinium salts and their palladium complexes (3a-d) were prepared and characterized by H-1, C-13 NMR, IR spectroscopy and elemental analysis. The crystal structures of 3a and 3c have been determined by X-ray crystallography. Thermogravimetric analysis (TGA) was applied to complexes (3a-d). The palladium complexes have been employed as catalyst for Suzuki-Miyaura cross coupling. The N-aryl substituted complex 3b was a highly efficient precatalyst and successfully employed in Suzuki-Miyaura cross coupling reactions of (hetero) aryl chlorides with arylboronic acids in air. In addition, the oxidative addition step of the reaction mechanism involving chlorobenzene and the catalysts 3a, 3b, 3c and 3d were computationally investigated by the DFT-w-B97X-D method and complete agreement were obtained with the catalytic results. To measure alpha-donating and pi-acceptor properties of the new ligands, the rhodium carbonyl complexes were also prepared. (C) 2018 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.