Automotive

Hyundai drops full specs on Santa Cruz pickup truck

Hyundai drops full specs on Sa...
The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a truly small pickup truck, with an emphasis on adventure and utility
The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a truly small pickup truck, with an emphasis on adventure and utility
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Both a standard and a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine power the new Santa Cruz
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Both a standard and a turbocharged 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine power the new Santa Cruz
A 10.5-inch infotainment screen is available in the 2022 Santa Cruz
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A 10.5-inch infotainment screen is available in the 2022 Santa Cruz
As with all new-generation Hyundai vehicles, the instrument cluster in the Santa Cruz is digital
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As with all new-generation Hyundai vehicles, the instrument cluster in the Santa Cruz is digital
Storage under the rear seats of the Hyundai Santa Cruz adds some utility
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Storage under the rear seats of the Hyundai Santa Cruz adds some utility
The seating in the back of the Santa Cruz appears small, akin to a compact vehicle
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The seating in the back of the Santa Cruz appears small, akin to a compact vehicle
The utility bed of the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz offers versatile cargo carrying and includes a built-in tonneau cover
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The utility bed of the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz offers versatile cargo carrying and includes a built-in, lockable tonneau cover
Under-bed storage allows for further expansion of the cargo area's capacity
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Under-bed storage allows for further expansion of the cargo area's capacity
Hyundai downplayed the "pickup truck" aspects of the Santa Cruz and played up its "adventure" potential instead
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Hyundai downplayed the "pickup truck" aspects of the Santa Cruz and played up its "adventure" potential instead
The utility of a small pickup truck like the Santa Cruz cannot be ignored
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The utility of a small pickup truck like the Santa Cruz cannot be ignored
The 2022 Santa Cruz is small and its bed is too, as illustrated here
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The 2022 Santa Cruz is small and its bed is too, as illustrated here
Small homages to the Santa Cruz's American roots are found in details like the "California" embossments on the tail lamps
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Small homages to the Santa Cruz's American roots are found in details like the "California" embossments on the tail lamps
The Santa Cruz is about 15 inches shorter in length than the crossover-based pickup truck from Honda, the Ridgeline
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The Santa Cruz is about 15 inches shorter in length than the crossover-based pickup truck from Honda, the Ridgeline
In its overall design, the Santa Cruz straddles the line between crossover-SUV and pickup truck
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In its overall design, the Santa Cruz straddles the line between crossover-SUV and pickup truck
The front grille and hood of the Hyundai Santa Cruz are very much like those found on the Santa Fe
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The front grille and hood of the Hyundai Santa Cruz are very much like those found on the Santa Fe
Hyundai touted the all-wheel drive system in the Santa Cruz and its robust design elements, but did not detail off-road capabilities
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Hyundai touted the all-wheel drive system in the Santa Cruz and its robust design elements, but did not detail off-road capabilities
The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a truly small pickup truck, with an emphasis on adventure and utility
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The Hyundai Santa Cruz is a truly small pickup truck, with an emphasis on adventure and utility
The Hyundai Santa Cruz is being called a "Sport Adventure Vehicle" and its design certainly straddles the sport utility and pickup truck genres
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The Hyundai Santa Cruz is being called a "Sport Adventure Vehicle" and its design certainly straddles the sport utility and pickup truck genres
Several advanced driver assistance and safety systems are either standard or available on the Santa Cruz
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Several advanced driver assistance and safety systems are either standard or available on the Santa Cruz
The 2022 Santa Cruz includes a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty and three years of complimentary vehicle maintenance
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The 2022 Santa Cruz includes a 10-year/100,000-mile warranty and three years of complimentary vehicle maintenance
View gallery - 19 images

The long-awaited small pickup truck from Hyundai, the Santa Cruz, has finally been fully detailed. With the exception of fuel economy and cost, we know everything about the car-based truck and its impressive capabilities.

Billed repeatedly in a Hyundai presentation as a "Sport Adventure Vehicle," the Santa Cruz will go into production later in 2021 as a 2022 model year offering. The truck, designed in California, will be made in Alabama and sold primarily in the North American market. It has four doors, seating for five, a truck-style cargo bed, and impressive towing numbers ... all while being smaller than any other small or midsized truck on the American market.

The Santa Cruz is about 15 inches (38.1 cm) shorter in length than the crossover-based pickup truck from Honda, the Ridgeline, and is about 10 inches (25.4 cm) shorter in length than the diminutive Nissan Frontier. Yet its width is right in between them, making it short and wide – a sporty combination. It has an overall length of 195.7 inches (497 cm), an overall width of 75 inches (190.5 cm), and a height of 66.7 inches (169.4 cm). The Santa Cruz’s wheelbase is 118.3 inches (300.5 cm), giving it a turning radius of just 20 feet (6 meters).

In its overall design, the vehicle straddles the line between crossover-SUV and pickup truck, using elements of design that are familiar to Hyundai crossover fans – in fact, most of its components are also found on the current Tucson. The front grille and hood are very much like those of the Santa Fe, while the wheel arches and stance are similar to that of the larger Pallisade.

In its overall design, the Santa Cruz straddles the line between crossover-SUV and pickup truck
In its overall design, the Santa Cruz straddles the line between crossover-SUV and pickup truck

Hyundai is carefully marketing the Santa Cruz as an activity vehicle, and isn’t pushing its truckness except to point out the utility of that design aspect. Behind the sideways "T" tail lights, the bed itself has an underbed storage compartment similar to that found on the Honda Ridgeline, but also features a built-in tonneau cover that is lockable and integral to the bed, providing secure cover for everything inside. With the cover in place, the accessible bed area is 48.4 inches long (122.9 cm) and removing the cover expands that to 52.1 inches (132.3 cm).

Also mentioned, but again only as a utility point, is the Hyundai Santa Cruz’s towing capability. With the standard engine, it’s rated at 3,500 lb (1,587.5 kg), and with the upgraded engine it tows 5,000 lb (2,268 kg). While not class-leading, those numbers are certainly commensurate with the midsize pickup truck category’s expectations. The best-selling Toyota Tacoma, for example, tows up to 6,800 lb (3,084 kg) while the more comparable Honda Ridgeline tows a maximum of 5,000 lb (2,268kg) and the smaller Ford Ranger tows only 3,500 lb (1,588 kg) at maximum.

The seating in the back of the Santa Cruz appears small, akin to a compact vehicle
The seating in the back of the Santa Cruz appears small, akin to a compact vehicle

With all of the focus on being more daily utility than pickup truck, the Hyundai Santa Cruz puts emphasis on its interior. Most people familiar with the interiors of the Hyundai crossover-SUV lineup will see a lot of commonality in the Santa Cruz. Its large infotainment with the Edison light-style numbering and "flow forward" center stack are hallmarks of Hyundai vehicles.

Wide-opening doors (front and back), well-designed seating, and obvious control placement are also part and parcel for the Korean make. Differences are in the underseat storage at the rear and the smaller, less adult-friendly look of the back seats compared to the other more dedicated people movers in the automaker’s stable. We’ll have to experience them firsthand to get a better feel for the roominess in the back of the Santa Cruz.

Powering the whole Sport Adventure Vehicle are two engines familiar to Hyundai fans. The standard engine is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder that outputs 190 horsepower and 180 pound-feet of torque (141.7 kW, 244 Nm). The upgrade engine is the same 2.5, but with turbochargers to boost output to 275 hp and 310 lb-ft (205 kW, 420 Nm). Hyundai, however, isn’t solidifying those numbers yet, adding "plus" signs after them to indicate that they may be larger at production time. They’re impressive enough for the design and size of the truck, but nobody will complain if they’re larger, for sure.

Both engines connect to an eight-speed automatic transmission, also familiar to Hyundai enthusiasts. This transmission uses a multi-disc and individually-controlled hydraulic channel torque converter to give a more direct connection. It appears that all-wheel drive will be standard with the Santa Cruz, using Hyundai’s HTRAC AWD system.

As with all new-generation Hyundai vehicles, the instrument cluster in the Santa Cruz is digital
As with all new-generation Hyundai vehicles, the instrument cluster in the Santa Cruz is digital

Standard in the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz will be forward collision avoidance with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane-keeping assistance, and driver attention warning systems. Several options such as blind-spot collision avoidance and highway drive assist will also be available – as will infotainment and connectivity options like wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, plus Hyundai’s Blue Link Connected Car Service system.

Other tech options like Digital Key support and remote vehicle monitoring will also be available for the Santa Cruz, as will an eight-speaker Bose audio system.

Pricing and other details will come before launch.

Source: Hyundai

View gallery - 19 images
10 comments
10 comments
nick101
Expect $35,000 base price, they will sell a lot, initially, then people will discover how useless a tiny (4ft!) bed like that is.
Daishi
I didn't realize how small it was until the photo with the bicycle in the back. It looks like the size of a Geo Tracker with an extended cab. Considering a Tacoma is $26k base my guess for base price for the Santa Cruz will be under $25k.
paleochocolate
@nick101 I'd have to disagree with you there. In my country small pick ups based on kei cars are really popular. In reality, you don't need that much space at all. Certainly at least 50% of pick up owners don't use or even need the full size bed, 4 feet would be sufficient for 90% of your needs.
kwalispecial
I have a long driveway and a small car. Every week on trash day I unroll my window and pull my wheeled trash can up the driveway as I leave for the day, since the morning routine makes it hard to take the time to walk the barrel up and back. A small vehicle that holds 2 adults and 2 kids, is fuel efficient, but also has room for 2 trashcans in the back, is PERFECT.
minivini
It’s taken a shockingly long time to get this thing to market!Many cars have gone through an entire product cycle in this amount of time.
Lance Williams
"It appears that all-wheel drive will be standard with the Santa Cruz, using Hyundai’s HTRAC AWD system."

Hyundai's "configurator" disagrees - selectable option on all trims.
ljaques
I hope they make one in =usable= configuration, too. Nix the rear doors and put a real shortbed in there. Keep the underbed storage, as it's really nice. Lose the turbo and go with a torquey I4 or give us an electric option, Hyundai. Most pickup owners don't tow anything or haul more than a few hundred pounds of "stuff" the vast percentage of the time. Rent a large pickup for those days or a week, ,eh? Hurry those mods to the USA, please, Hyundai!
Bruce H. Anderson
Not a bad looking vehicle. Back seats looking like kid-size, and said kids will be complaining when they are teenagers. A bed that won't haul anything serious, although that is not what Hyundai is going for. So there is a niche to fill, but I am thinking Subaru Brat's big brother.
JDC1
Subaru tried this concept with the Brat. Unfortunately, it had lousy gas mileage and cost a lot. If you are going to build a small truck, you need to keep the price down.
Aaron MacTurpen
@JDC1 Subaru's biggest problem with the Brat was the "Chicken Tax" tarriff that imposes a 25% import tax on any truck coming to the States. That jacked the price of the Brat considerably. They got around it for a short amount of time by welding seats into the bed and then by making a four-door that didn't sell. The Brat would have done beautifully had it been able to sell through the tax. Subaru at the time didn't have the means to create production in the U.S. They could certainly bring it back now, though.