2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz Shows Updated Looks, New Tech, XRT Model

Hyundai introduced a refreshed Santa Cruz at the New York International Auto Show today. The new 2025 model features updated looks and packs more technology while also offering a new XRT model.

The most significant changes to the exterior can be found up front, with a redesigned grille and headlights. The newly styled alloy wheels also deserve some attention. In XRT trim, highlights include front tow hooks, unique 18-inch wheels and all-terrain tires, not to mention a more aggressive bumper allowing a greater approach angle.

“These changes give the 2025 Santa Cruz a more planted, robust stance,” said Brad Arnold, senior design manager of exteriors at Hyundai Design North America.

Photo: Hyundai

Inside, a keen eye will notice the revised steering wheel and air vents. In addition, the centre stack controls are more ergonomic, with additional physical switchgear for frequently used audio and HVAC functions. In the second row, the centre armrest gets two cupholders.

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The 2025 Santa Cruz cabin wows with a new panoramic curved display that houses an optional 12.3-inch driver information cluster and standard 12.3-inch infotainment screen with available navigation. All models get wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto integration plus over-the-air software update support.

Owners will surely appreciate the available digital key that makes it possible to lock/unlock the doors and start the vehicle using a compatible smartphone. A wireless charging pad is included, as well. In top-line Ultimate trim, a fingerprint scanner grants access to the cabin, which sounds pretty cool but may not work that well in winter.

Photo: Hyundai

Naturally, the Santa Cruz continues to boast a long list of advanced safety features. For 2025, newly available Forward Attention Warning monitors the driver through an infrared camera mounted on the steering column. If the driver is found to be unresponsive, the system can even help safely bring the vehicle to a stop.

Turbo Engine is Unchanged

Under the hood of the 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz is the same turbocharged 2.5-litre four-cylinder engine producing 281 horsepower and 311 lb-ft of torque through an eight-speed dual-clutch transmission. The latter can be operated using the paddle shifters on the steering wheel.

Photo: Hyundai

Standard HTRAC all-wheel drive was developed as a multi-mode system, providing an electronic, variable-torque-split clutch with active torque control between the front and rear axles. The Sport mode sends additional torque to the rear wheels, giving the Santa Cruz a more agile feel. A new Tow mode is added, but maximum towing capacity is still rated at 5,000 lbs.

The 2025 Hyundai Santa Cruz is scheduled to land in Canadian showrooms this fall. Pricing will be announced closer to launch.

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