2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Spied: This Compact Pickup’s for Urban Adventurers

2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz Spied: This Compact Pickup’s for Urban Adventurers

We spotted a camouflaged pickup based on a 2022 Hyundai Santa Cruz crossover on a trailer in the middle of the SoCal desert, possibly en route to Death Valley for actual testing in warmer than hot conditions. After all, we saw a temperature of 110 degrees where we saw the truck, suitable for giving any vehicle a healthy workout.

Hyundai has been teasing us with the Santa Cruz for a very long time – ever since the 2015 North American International Auto Show in Detroit, in fact, when it was billed as the diesel-powered Santa Cruz Crossover Truck Concept. It was then lit in 2016 to arrive in 2018 as a 2019 model, but that did not happen. Now it looks like production at the Hyundai plant in Montgomery, Alabama, will begin in 2021. Prices could start at around $ 25,000.

Hyundai, recognizing the need to increase its presence in the truck and SUV market, hopes the compact unibody pickup will do the trick. Is it even a truck? To the disappointment of avid body-on-chassis truck enthusiasts, the Santa Cruz 2022 will be a crossover-style unibody truck built on the platform of the Hyundai Tucson compact SUV. It will look the most like the Honda Ridgeline, but smaller, which perhaps makes it better suited for city missions. Its traditional pickup truck competition – if you could even get the Santa Cruz into the smallest of today’s truck classes, the mid-size – would be the Toyota Tacoma, Ford Ranger, GMC Canyon, Chevy Colorado, Nissan Frontier. , the Jeep Gladiator and the aforementioned Ridgeline. A more direct competitor is on the way in the form of the Ford Maverick, and Ram plans to enter one of two segments with its reborn Dakota.

However, the Hyundai Santa Cruz is not targeting truckers. It hopes to appeal to active young people and urban adventurers who need a vehicle with a bed to carry gear and items that are too dirty, smelly and / or large for the cabin interior. These buyers won’t need or want the expense, capacity, maximum towing, payload, ground clearance, physical presence and truck-like ride quality. In that sense, it will be a relatively economical and compact runabout that combines the utility of a small bed with a car-like ride quality.

And unlike a traditional truck, it will be front-wheel drive, with all-wheel drive probably optional. It would be cool to see a diesel option, but the power is more likely to come from some sort of turbocharged four-cylinder gasoline engine.

The clandestine four-door Hyundai Santa Cruz we spotted looks perfect with the naked body revealed in a leaked image a few months ago. While much of the body has been coated so that the body lines cannot be seen, all of the glass has been exposed – and the shape of the side window glass and trim line up with the leaked image. The windshield has an aggressive car-like rake, creating a sleeker, narrower, and more rectangular cabin in line with today’s pickup trucks, as opposed to the straighter windshield and more boxy cabins. and taller trucks from yesterday. Although we can’t say much about it due to all the facings, the silhouette of the front end apparently reveals an SUV-like front end with a flat hood. The hood appears to have a small tilt in the front which leads to a blunt fascia; However, it cannot possibly be more polarizing than the 2020 Chevrolet Silverado.

Instead of having more traditional and clearly demarcated ‘cabin’ and ‘bed’ sections (think the new Honda Ridgeline), the Santa Cruz has a slanted, thick C-pillar with panels that connect the roof to the bed, looking more like to an SUV with the rear roof section removed (think the first generation Ridgeline). The camouflage completely concealed the bed and tailgate area, preventing us from truly examining the one area – the bed – that gives the Hyundai Santa Cruz 2022 an excuse to be viewed remotely as a truck. We are not yet sure whether the short bed will be fitted with a standard or optional extension, although such an accessory, as well as items such as tonneau covers, will surely be available to allow styling types to life to customize the small pickup.

At one point, we learned that Hyundai was planning to sell between 50,000 and 70,000 Santa Cruz per year. It remains to be seen if these goals hold up, or if they are even achievable, but with a reasonable price, potentially attractive fuel economy, modern convenience and safety technology, good warranty, and van utility in a package based. on the car, it may just have a chance. For now, we’re waiting for the Santa Cruz to get rid of the cover-up and show us what it’s made of.

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