The All-New Hyundai Santa Cruz: 5 Things You Need to Know

It's here, and it looks awesome. Just don't call it a truck, or someone at Hyundai will get annoyed with you.

hyundai santa cruz
DREW PHILLIPS

We’ve had the rumors and reports, and we’ve seen the teasers and leaked photos. Now, Hyundai has — finally — released its cool new (don’t call it a) compact pickup truck, the 2022 Santa Cruz. And you’ll be able to pick one up real soon.

Here’s what you need to know about the new rig.

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Hyundai says the Santa Cruz is not a truck
hyundai santa cruz
DREW PHILLIPS

Hyundai is calling the Santa Cruz a “sport adventure vehicle” that is, by its own suggestion, “segment-shattering.” Essentially, it’s a crossover with an open bed to make it easier to carry gear. If you want to call it Hyundai’s take on the Subaru Baja, we aren’t going to fight you.

Hyundai will need to work on the acronym, however; BMW already has a claim on “SAV” for their “sport activity vehicles.”

The Santa Cruz is definitely a compact vehicle
hyundai santa cruz
DREW PHILLIPS

There was some confusion on how big the Santa Cruz was going to be. As it turns out, it comes in significantly smaller than a mid-size truck. It’s 14.3 inches shorter than the Honda Ridgeline, and 3.5 inches narrower. The bed comes in around four feet long, instead of the five-ish feet most midsize trucks have.

The Santa Cruz offers two engines
hyundai santa cruz
DREW PHILLIPS

Hyundai will give Santa Cruz buyers two engine options. The base powertrain is a 2.5-liter four-cylinder putting out 190+ horsepower and 180+ lb-ft of torque, combined with an eight-speed automatic transmission. The upgrade engine should be more fun; it's a turbocharged 2.5-liter inline-four with 275+ horsepower and 310 lb-ft of torque. That unit gets an eight-speed dual-clutch automatic with paddle shifters. AWD is standard on the more powerful model, but optional on the base version, where FWD is the entry-level choice.

The Santa Cruz packs good towing capability (for its size)
hyundai santa cruz
DREW PHILLIPS

The Santa Cruz can tow up to 3,500 lbs with the base engine and up to 5,000 pounds. That’s on par with the Ridgeline and better than a Subaru Outback. However, it won’t match up with the body-on-frame midsize trucks equipped with towing packages.

When can you buy a Hyundai Santa Cruz?
hyundai santa cruz
DREW PHILLIPS

Hyundai says the Santa Cruz will begin production in June and be available at dealers later in the summer. A reservation system will go online in late April. Santa Cruz pricing will be announced closer to the production launch.

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