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Hyundai is opening up the door to a brand new vehicle segment with the all-new 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz. Combining the benefits of both traditional pickup trucks and SUVs, Santa Cruz is the first Sport Adventure Vehicle (SAV) to hit the market.
The Santa Cruz does well to bridge the gap between the two segments by offering the utility of an open bed, but in a more compact and less utilitarian design.
Offered in two powerful engine options with a towing capacity of up to 5,000 pounds, the Santa Cruz is sure to make a splash in the Minnesota area at only $23,990. The small Hyundai truck is the ultimate vehicle for those wanting to get away from urban life over the weekends.
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Glancing at the Santa Cruz requires more than a double-take. Its show-stopping design meets both ends of the traditional SUV and truck makeup. From certain angles, you would have to be forgiven for confusing this adventure truck for a traditional SUV.
The bold front-end features sharp-looking headlights that blend elegantly into the grille design. The A- and C-pillars find themselves extended outwards more than usually found on pickups, evoking the look of an SUV. But one look towards the rear and one will find an open truck bed.
The four-foot-long bed comes with an under-bed storage area as well as a lockable tonneau cover for added security. Near the corner of the Santa Cruz, you’ll also find integrated steps to help with any access further into the bed.
While the exterior dimensions of the Santa Cruz are smaller than most other pickups, it uses it to its advantage. With its shorter wheelbase and overhangs, it should provide a more planted and responsive driving experience in urban situations. Additionally, the smaller size allows for easier navigation of congested streets. The Santa Cruz will however not be a stranger to going off-road when needed. Hyundai cut no corners with this new market entry.
The Hyundai Santa Cruz interior can fit five people comfortably in its crew cab. The interior mimics the ideals of the exterior and gives a rugged, but sophisticated feeling. The Santa Cruz features Hyundai’s dual-cockpit design which flows the lines of the interior towards the centerpiece 10-inch screen directly in the center console.
The edgeless 10-inch display will serve as the base for most of the vehicle’s controls. Both Apple CarPlay and Android Auto are supported with a wireless charger available to keep your phone charged. Additionally, owners can access Santa Cruz’s features through the Digital Key found on their phones. The app will allow owners to do things such as lock/unlock and start their cars.
The Santa Cruz features two engine offerings. There is both a 2.5L inline 4-cylinder making 191 hp and 181 lb-ft. as well as a 2.5L inline 4-cylinder turbo making 281 hp and 311 lb-ft. Both of the engines are coupled to an eight-speed transmission and are offered in both FWD and AWD.
Determining tow capacity will be dependent on which engine and transmission is selected. The 2.5L non-turbo will provide a towing capacity of up to 3,500 pounds on the Santa Cruz. The turbo version will also have a 3,500-pound capacity if it is a FWD model but will go up to 5,000 pounds on the AWD model.
|2.5L Non-Turbo||2.5L Turbo|
|Towing Capacity (lbs.)||FWD/AWD: 3,500||
|Fuel Economy (City/Hwy)||FWD: 21/26
The Santa Cruz can be optioned with the advanced HTRAC all-wheel-drive system. The innovative system is able to deliver a variable amount of torque to both the front and rear axles. With the HTRAC, both on and off-road driving benefits will be showcased. When traversing through mud or snow, the system will intelligently deliver power to the wheels that need it most. When driving through calmer roads, however, setting the drive mode to Sport will send more power to the rear wheels, giving a more sporty and dynamic driving experience.
Feeling safe in a vehicle is, of course, a big priority for consumers and thankfully Hyundai has prioritized keeping up with the latest in safety technologies. There are a plethora of safety features found in the Santa Cruz through the use of its Advanced Driver Assistance System (ADAS). Some of these drivers assistance features include:
The Santa Cruz price will be dependent on which of the four trims, SE, SEL, SEL Premium, and Limited are selected.
The SE and SEL models can only be optioned with the non-turbo 2.5L engine. The base prices are $23,990 and $27,190 respectively. Choosing to upgrade to the AWD system will only cost an additional $1,500.
The SEL Premium and Limited trims are offered with the 2.5L Turbo and start at $35,680 and $39,720 respectively. Currently, they are only available in the AWD configuration with the pricing for the FWD versions of both not yet revealed.
|SEL Premium||2.5L Turbo 4-cyl||FWD||TBA|
|Limited||2.5L Turbo 4-cyl||FWD||TBA|
The Santa Cruz will be offered in six different colors: Ice White, Phantom Black, Hampton Gray, Sage Gray, Blue Stone, and Mojave Sand. The SE and SEL will come standard with more rugged 18-inch wheels, while the SEL Premium and Limited will come with commanding 20-inch rims instead. Options are limited at the moment and there are no packages aside from a $3,270 activity package which is only available on the SEL trim presently.
The Santa Cruz SAV has yet to hit the streets, but reservations for the revolutionary vehicle have been open and deliveries should start at your local Twin Cities Hyundai dealerships soon.