For the first time ever, a Korean pickup truck is making its debut in North America. Hyundai’s approach with the all-new 2022 Santa Cruz is pretty unconventional, mind you.
In fact, the company doesn’t want to call it a pickup or a truck, instead using the term “sport adventure vehicle.” The Santa Cruz is like a smaller version of the original Honda Ridgeline, designed not for hard work but rather outdoor fun in a versatile package.
- Also: Hyundai Santa Cruz Production to Start in Alabama in 2021
- Also: It’s Official: Hyundai Will Produce The Santa Cruz
Tucson With a Box
From a styling standpoint, the new Hyundai Santa Cruz shares many cues with the next-generation 2022 Tucson, a model that is hitting the market this spring with great expectations.
The front fascia and the interior layout are both very similar, the latter with a 10.25-inch centre touchscreen and available digital display replacing the gauges.
Of course, the numbers show that the Santa Cruz is much longer than the Tucson. At 3,005 millimetres, its wheelbase is longer than that of the Palisade, yet shorter than all midsize pickups currently on the road.
The Santa Cruz is more compact than the Ridgeline, and that’s mainly because the rear cargo bed is just 1.3 metres long (4.25 feet). So, no, you won’t be able to haul plywood sheets with this pickup. Excuse me, sport adventure vehicle.
On the other hand, Hyundai designers managed to incorporate a weatherproof storage compartment in the bed floor, while the cabin offers additional storage solutions under the rear seats.
Standard Turbo Engine
In Canada, the only engine available with the 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz will be a turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder also found in the Santa Fe midsize SUV. It’s expected to deliver more than 275 horsepower and 310 pound-feet of torque.
Power is sent to all four wheels using an eight-speed transmission—not the conventional type but rather a dual-clutch unit. That’s right. There won’t be a 4x2 variant in Canada. As for towing capacity, it’s rated at 5,000 pounds.
Safety is a big focus of Hyundai. The Santa Cruz comes standard with numerous technologies designed to assist drivers including lane departure warning, blind spot monitoring and automatic emergency braking with pedestrian detection.
The 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz will enter production in Alabama shortly, with pricing details and full specs to be revealed closer to launch this summer.